Is a Yaris cheaper to own and operate than a Prius?

Click above image for a gallery of the 5-door Yaris

With the soaring cost of fuel and an increased awareness of global warming, more and more people are looking at hybrids as a way of saving a buck and the environment at the same time. The king of all hybrids is the Toyota Prius, which comprises the lion's share of all hybrid sales. It'll net you 48 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway, and when you're done with your hybrid hatch, you can sell it with minimal depreciation. The Prius has a lot going for it, but does it have the lowest cost of ownership? It would, if not for another member of the Toyota lineup.

IntelliChoice figures total cost of ownership over a five-year period by balancing depreciation, insurance, financing, maintenance and repairs, and fuel costs. While the Prius delivers $2,000 in fuel savings over that period of time and very high residual value, the Yaris beat out the Prius in cost of ownership by a rather large $1,300. The reason? There are a few, really, including the Yaris' bargain basement starting price of $13,945, which is much lower than the $22,220 it takes to get you into a Prius. Then there is the fact that the Yaris also gets solid fuel economy, with city/highway numbers of 29/35. Financing $22k is also a lot tougher on the wallet then a meager $14k.

The Yaris may have won the cost of ownership battle, the Prius is still winning the war. Prius sales are killing Yaris sales, and while the Prius is no beauty queen, the Yaris is just as homely while also having far less interior room.

[Source: Automobile Mag]

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