Toyota
is looking to play catch-up with its Prius Plug-in by sweetening the pot for prospective buyers. The Japanese automaker is offering as much as $5,000 in financing funds for some versions of the model, according to Green Car Reports. Toyota is also offering as much as $4,000 for the 'regular' Prius Plug-in. Either way, buyers get a zero percent interest rate for 60 months. The Prius Plug-in has a 95 miles per gallon-equivalent rating from the EPA – almost double the regular Prius' fuel economy.

Toyota's using such perks to spark sales of its least-popular Prius variant. Through October, Toyota sold about 9,600 Prius Plug-ins, or less than a third of the number of Prius V wagons and Prius C compacts. So far in 2012, Toyota has sold more than 126,000 units of the various Prius models, making the line the most popular hybrids in the US, by far.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      sodajerk847
      • 2 Years Ago
      I currently drive a 2010 Prius (50 - 60 mpg, thank you very much) and have considered trading up to the plug-in hybrid when it becomes available in Illinois. Problem is that they only offer two versions. I want leather, sunroof and navigation but don't want all the other bells and whistles they stick you with, driving the price up to $40k. Toyota needs to offer a middle package for this car - just as they do with the standard Prius.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sodajerk847
        Get the c max energi-much better.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      No way - the Rav4 costs $4 billion dollars. Buy a Tesla instead. Same price (okay okay, not $4 billion, but way more than I would want to spend on a stupid Rav4)
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Financing funds? Just take $5k off the price! What kind of bank charges 5 thousand dollars to buy the rate down to 0%... thats crap! These are NOT cost competitive with other plugins IMO. Take the 5k off the price and you will be where you need to be on price. Let people finance through their credit union and save everyone money.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmmm! Add in the various government rebates and such, and it will be pretty cheap. Seeing as I can math, factor in California and/or Colorado, and it will be what...mid $20's? Too bad Danny didn't math for us...
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        The PIP only qualifies for $2.5k in Federal cash back (vs. $7.5k for Volt / Leaf / Spark EV), and both California and Colorado will likely be similarly reduced (down from $2.5k in Cali). PIP stickers at $32k, so it's under $30k after Fed. With $5k on the hood, it'd be under $25k - same as a Spark EV. For comparison, the Volt stickers at $40k, and is eligible for the full $10k combined Cali & Federal credits, so is $30k before any incentives. With a $2.5k kickback on the hood, then it's $27.5k. If it's a 10% incentive, then it's $26k - same as Spark EV and PIP.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Folt?
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Wow. Sorry Toyota, the Folt is still the way to go. GM really needs to advertise this stuff. When one hears $40k for a small car, even 250mpg won't get it over that hump. They say $27k, well that is a different animal.
      balticstein
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks like no one wants their leaf :)
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not really seeing the rationale here. Toyota moved 1,889 PIP last month - a number that beats anything with a plug not badged "Volt" - not even Leaf has ever moved 1800+ cars in a single month. 2k PIP a month is a good number, good for 25k annually, and that's a pretty solid base. It beats the original Prius numbers by a healthy margin and is showing faster uptake. My guess is visibility. At this point, you can't drive 20 minutes and not see a Volt or two prowling the roads, with their beautiful green HOV access stickers. It's a mindshare thing that Toyota is acting on here. Ford has been pushing hard against the Prius, and their new Energi plug-ins are categorically better than the PIP. With Chevy having already grabbed the crown for 2012, Toyota doesn't want to see Ford pass them by, pushing them to third. So Toyota is making a strategic corporate decision to push metal onto the road despite much reduced profit in order to tighten the race and put the squeeze on everybody else. Toyota's buying share before Ford's Energi product ramps up and word of mouth gets out. Kind of like what Nissan should have done before the Volt got its legs, and what Chevy is doing to try and widen the gap.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        I doubt it is visibility because you barely notice the Plug-In Prius since it looks just like a regular Prius. Unless you are an EV geek, you'll just assume it is a normal one. I think the only difference is a 2nd fuel door and the badge that says plug-in Prius.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          There's PIP-specific badging on the sides, along with a full-width chrome bit across the back. Can't miss it, if you know what you're looking for. ;)
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      So they're selling it at closer to what it should really cost? :)
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I wonder if all of those up votes were from people that realized you were being good naturedly smart-ass'd? :D
      IanB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reason for low sales is due also to Toyota not passing the full $7500 government credit to the buyer. They are giving you part of the 7500 and keeping the rest where Nissan is passing the full 7500 to the buyer. No thanks Dumbyota.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IanB
        False. The Toyota Prius Plug-in only qualifies for a $2500 tax credit because it has a smaller batter than the Leaf (and the Volt). Toyota is not keeping any of the tax credit.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IanB
        7500 is for EV with big battery, Prius plug in only has a smaller battery (11 miles pure EV VS Volt's 40Miles) so the tax credit is smaller. also, it's tax credit, so it's your tax return, toyota can not get a dime out of your tax return.
        IanB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IanB
        Ok, that makes sense but on the rav4 ev, they are doing what I said if you lease. You are better off buying in that case.
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Until plug-in's get a range comparable to a traditional tank of gas (> 300 miles) the vast majority of people will pass.
        ketchme
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        Wow . . . . talk about being clueless . . . even with the battery depleted the PiP get 50 mpg. Times 10 gallons? Geez man . . . do the math.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        Great news! The Prius plugin does get >300 mi range! So does the Volt. ;-)
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          70 miles? Are you kidding? Worst case, the Volt will have burned 1 gallon of gas total, and the Gen 2 Prius doesn't get 70+ mpgh. A Gen 2 Prius gets 45 mpg highway. A Volt gets 40 mpg highway. The Volt covers the first 38 miles on battery, and then starts burning gas, so at the moment the Volt genset turns on, the Prius will have burned 0.84 gallons of gas. Thereafter, the Prius burns only about 10% less gasoline. Over the next 300 more miles, the Volt burns 7.5 gal, while the Prius burns 6.67 gal = 0.83 gallons back. If you are driving from metro Los Angeles, the Volt is definitely better (under 300 miles). You need to be starting south of Chula Vista San Diego (more than 325 miles) for the Prius to beat the Volt.
          ketchme
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spiffster
          If you fill both the Volt plug-in gas tank . . . and a 5 or 7 year old gen II Prius NON-plug in gas tank . . . . then you take off to Vegas . . . guess how far you have to drive before the 7 year old prius gets better mileage ... even though the old Prius has no pure electric mode: Somewhere between 70miles and 75 miles - the regular old Prius gets better mileage. And, you can pick it up for around $9,500.00 instead of $40k. Plus, it seats five ... instead of just 4. And it uses regular gas in stead of premium.
        John Hansen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        With my Chevy Volt I have much less range anxiety than I did with my traditional gas car. With my old car I got range anxiety about once every two weeks when my tank was getting low. Since my Volt is topped off every night in the garage, I haven't had range anxiety at all in three months now. How's that for better?
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @John Hansen
          As counterintuitive as it may sound, I'm getting less range anxiety in leaf than I had in my gas car. Gas tended to run out exactly when I was late for work :)
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        LOL. "Car Guy" doesn't know what a PHEV is.
      fairfireman21
      • 2 Years Ago
      They need to offer it so they can sell them. If the standard plug in Prius is $32,000 minus the $5000 that comes out to be $27,000. minus what we just paid for a 2012 Cruze comes out to be $8200, and if gas was at $4 per gallon that comes out to be 68,060 miles extra that we could drive so about 7 maybe 8 years if gas stays from $3.50 - 4.50 per gallon just from the cheaper plug in purchase price. So with all the cheaper better looking more fuel efficiant gas cars on the road they have to pull the plunger just to sell them. 68060
        graphikzking
        • 2 Years Ago
        @fairfireman21
        $32,000 is asking price. You can negotiate PLUS get the rebate just like I'm sure you did with the Cruze. Also, the Cruze doesn't have the same versatility as the Prius with a hatchback design. Some people the hatchback is needed and very much loved/appreciated. I regularly buy 8' plywood, have lowes/HD cut it 24" wide by 8' long and slide it into the car and drive it home. I basically bought a piece or 2 each time I went there for little things to put a complete floor in my attic without making unnecessary trips. I could also have just put them on the roof but it's fun when I can put them in the car and close the hatch and keep it dry the entire time.
          fairfireman21
          • 2 Years Ago
          @graphikzking
          The cruze was bought because it was not a hatchback, the son did not want one. I too regularly haul, but that is a job left for my pick-up. But then again if anyone would want a hatchback then why not buy a much cheaper hatchback than a Prius? If that is the case why not just get a Matrix for $21K with all wheel drive, they can haul alot, or a Honda fit. Both way cheaper and both with great fuel mileage.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      Considering that the PIP Advanced is $40k, they definitely need to reduce the price by $5k.
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