Welcome to my latest project...



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A 2007 Toyota Prius with package 7, which means all the works except leather seats.

This is basically the most advanced tech-filled car I've seen.   From integrated navigation to really effective hybrid technology.

On this page I'll try to keep track of my projects with the car, it's mileage, problems.   Some will be posts from mailing lists, some unique to this page.

I picked up my 2006 Prius on Friday. I thought some of you might be interested in the actual prices and fees. While I live in Miami, I bought from a dealer in Palm Beach, about a 2-hour train ride. It seems like Miami/Ft. Lauderdale dealerships act like they can charge anything and get away with it. Those in the know here go outside of the two county area to get a deal. I wonder if this works the same for other big cities. Can you save some money by going out to the smaller towns?

First the sticker:
MSRP                 21,725.00
NL Package 7          5,730.00
Del, Proc Handling      675.00
Dest Fuel                22.59
Total Sticker     28,152.59

That's right, NO dealer or distributor 'options' to drive up the price. I had to wait a few weeks, but I made it clear I wanted it as it came.  The invoice was left out on the table and I was able to calculate that MSRP gives the dealer just under 8% markup.

Now for the buyers order. Not sure why, but I came out $40.02 ahead when we got to this point:

Total                28,112.57
No trade                  0.00
Tire fee                  5.00
Battery fee               1.50
Fla Elect filing          9.50
Taxable subtotal     28,128.57
Sales tax             1,687.72
County tax               25.00
Tag Title               222.00

Refund from tag          48.65

Total Paid        30,014.64

I would like to hear how this all compares to other areas, other dealers.  I think the dealer was fair and didn't add anything out of the ordinary because the Prius is a fast seller. 

If you want a deal like this, and live in South Florida, please call my dealer:

bulletDewey Ball
bulletEarl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Beach
bullet1215 N. Federal Hwy
bulletLake Park, FL 33403
bullet561 844 3461
bulletdeweyb (at) earlstewartoyota (dot) com

Please let him know Ray Vaughan sent you.

First impressions, in no particular order.

All positive, but some things that are going to take some getting used to. It's going to take me a while to learn everything this car has to offer.

bulletThe R and D positions feel backwards. I push somewhat forward to go backwards. I'm coming from a steering column transmission, so maybe I would feel more at home if my other vehicle was on the floor.
bulletI keep hitting the windshield wiper control by accident.
bulletI see the car charges the battery when I coast and don't touch either pedal. I sort of feel like it should just roll. Why slow me down faster?
bulletAt first I didn't notice when the engine is going on and off, but now I feel it. Hard to explain, but when I accelerate, it almost feels like a split second of stall. I'm sure I'll get used to it.
bullet180 miles on my first tank and I'm still on F!
bulletThe "I agree" is already annoying. Glad to know there's a fix. Haven't tried it yet.
bulletThe rear view seems more obstructed than I was expecting. It feels like more blind spots when I'm driving. Especially the left side. I may need a fish eye mirror.

Again, this is just 2 days into it. But I am very happy.

Cargo size

I just bought a new Westinghouse 47" LCD TV.  When I mentioned to the salesman at BestBuy that I had to take it home in a Prius he said "No way".   When he brought out the box, I had a sinking feeling he was right.  But it fit!   I didn't even have to totally drop the back seats, which was good as I was on the way home from a short vacation and still had my bags on board.  While it looks like the hatch wouldn't close in these pictures, it did.  I didn't even need to force it closed.

Now mind you, a 47.1" TV would not have fit.  It was snug in all directions except maybe height.  But don't let anyone tell you that Hybrid cars lack cargo space.  Click on an image to see it full size.



This shows the most recent data for my car.  As I update the spreadsheet on my my laptop, the data below gets updated.   This is a fairly new feature in Microsoft FrontPage and Excel.  I enter data in the aqua fields from the gas receipts.  Everything else is calculated.   Missing data is really messing up my early calculations.   I'm also tracking how much I've saved over my last vehicle, a 1992 Mazda Navaho (really a Ford Explorer).  If the background looks too dark, either use IE or highlight the whole page (Alt-A) to see the digits.

Except for portions owned by others, Copyright: Ray Vaughan, 2008