Dilemma: PowerBook vs. Toyota Prius

Discussion in 'Community' started by SiliconAddict, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    *sighs* So many toys so little money. My current vehicle is a 2002 Mercury Cougar XR edition with every feature that was available for the car at the time. As much as I've enjoyed owning the car the thing isn't exactly fuel efficient, to say the least. I've looked into various replacement cars but the mileage on most of them still sucks rocks. I've also look at VW's diesels. However what with me living and Minnesota and the amount of TLC that is needed to keep a diesel going in the cold I've all but discounted VW. (when I say cold I'm talking 10*-15* below.)
    That leads me to the new crop of hybrid electrics. Specifically the Insight and the Prius. (The civic is a little to bland for my tastes.) I got a chance to test drive the Insight. Decent enough car but the "personality" for lack of a better term, felt a little bland. Enter Prius. (Yes we will get to the PowerBook tie-in soon enough.) I got a chance to test drive one on Sunday and all I can say is MY GOD! I want one. The problem? The price of the model I'm looking at is $25,000. I can't handle 25,000 unless I get a fair trade-in on my cougar. Kelly's Blue Book estimates that my kitty is worth about $12,000 right now.

    Here is the problem as it stands. I still have about $11,000 on the car to pay off. Right now I'm at the halfway point in payments. A trade-in or even a carsoup sale right now would give me next to nothing because of this. Again I need a major down payment on a Prius to handle the monthly charges. That really leaves me with one option. Pay off the cougar as fast as possible (Time being of the essence due to depreciation on the value of the car.) to get a full trade-in on the car.
    Here is where the dilemma starts. I was psyched to get a new 17" PowerBook this year. I already have 3 grand saved up. This causes a problem because I can either get a PowerBook and lose the possibility of taking a large bite out of that $11,000 or I can bite the bullet and put that 3 grand towards my car payment, decrease the remaining amount, get closer to my goal, and possibly get more back on my car in the trade-in.

    I guess what it boils down to is I'm asking what you guys think. Take the sure deal and get the PowerBook or aim for the big prize and go for the Prius? Both are wants. I don't NEED a PowerBook and I don't NEED a Prius so in the end it is somewhat of a coin toss.

    Thoughts?

    PS- I love the fact that the Prius doesn't have a key yo start the car. You hit the POWER button. As long as you have the RF key fob on you, you don't need any keys. Coolness incarnate.
     
  2. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #2
    The Prius is slow and ugly while the PowerBook is fast and beautiful. I don't see the issue. :p Besides, the Cougar is a pretty sharp car and the gas mileage on them are about the same as any light car out there and better than most vehicles on the road.
     
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    well you could get the prius and start saving money since you will get 50-60 miles per gallon and use that money you save to buy the powerbook, plus this way you can wait for the next revision to the powerbook line which might or might not drop thier prices down.....in the end though its all up to what you want/need more right now, would a new car be more beneficial or a new computer? is your current computer outdatted? or will it last until you can get the powerbook? the car is the problem because of its depreciation rate......but still it boils down to what you would rather have now....
    good luck
     
  5. SiliconAddict thread starter macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    Sadly I have an automatic for the Cougar and I kid you not the 04 Prius could probably keep up with it. I'm more then a little amazed at how much power that car has for having only 78HP and 82-lbs of torque. The thing can move when it needs to. Its by no means fast but its not going to be sputtering along on the road. I agree on the styling. My biggest complaint is its fugly butt. They should be able to build something a littler sleeker.
     
  6. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #6
    With gas prices on the rise you would be smart to get the Prius. It's looks would grow on you, especially with saving money. Since the G5 PB isn't out yet, you might be happier if you wait.
     
  7. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #7
    My opinion is to make the decision that will serve u better for the future.

    Do u need a 17" PowerBook more than u need to settle your finances & get into a different vehicle?

    I'd forgo the computer personally, and handle the vehicle first. There's nothing fun about having a well maintained car that's worth squat. And I hate to ruffle anyone's feathers, but that Toyota will have a higher percentage value than your Cougar does after 2 years. ;)
     
  8. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #8
    Aw heck, just attach rockets to a pair of rollerblades and you'll be fine.
    Seriously, as aforementioned. You might do better with a fuel sipping Honda Civic and get the Powerbook much sooner.
    I know. The 'lust factor' can be painful.
     
  9. veedubdrew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Well you're off on the power figures a bit because you're ignoring motor/generator 2 that provides an additional 67hp and 295 lbs/ft of torque to the 78/82 of the gas engine. This electric motor is the reason the Prius has so much punch (relatively speaking).

    I'm thoroughly enjoying my '04 Prius but if you want one, I'd suggest getting on the list. Most dealers are sold out through at least August. It sounds like, based on the price you mentioned, that you're looking at a Package #9 car. Perhaps consider Package #7, which I got, that includes everything the #9 has except the GPS navigation, JBL stereo and the HomeLink mirror. That'll chop about $2500 off the price and still have a bunch of goodies on it.

    As for PowerBook money, consider the fuel economy savings (figure on about 45 MPG real-world) and insurance savings. The Prius is very cheap to insure and those savings may help justify the PowerBook purchase.

    FWIW, I also had an Insight for three years. It's a great car, but the hybrid system in the Prius is far more sophisticated. The air conditioner in the Insight runs off the gas engine, which means any time you want cold (or de-fogged) air, the engine must be running, killing your mileage. In the Prius, the A/C compressor is run by its own electric motor, so the engine can shut off whenever it wants. The value of my Insight dropped like a rock as well, as it's a specialty car (two seater, odd styling) and was a challenge to sell. Three year old Priuses are holding their value quite well and I expect this one will too.

    So my suggestion would be to get on the list for a Package #7 Prius. It'll be a few months before it arrives so that'll give you some time to pay down a bit more on your Cougar. In that time a PowerBook revision is likely, so you'll get a better laptop. When the Prius arrives, the fuel and insurance savings will help you afford the whole lot.

    How's that sound?

    Pics of my Prius...

    http://homepage.mac.com/mtndrew1/PhotoAlbum29.html

    Pics of my Insight...

    http://homepage.mac.com/mtndrew1/PhotoAlbum5.html

    -Drew
     
  10. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #10
    Personally, I think the newest Prius is amazing. Because you are having to make this decision, I'll assume you aren't on any wait lists. I was a the Chicago Auto Show recently and asked the salesmen by the Prius if they are currently available. The waitlist was obscene.

    The point I'm making is, you might be able to get a Powerbook now and by the time a Prius is available you will have earned enough cash to buy one.
     
  11. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #11
    -15 isn't really all that cold for a car. You should have no problems if you have a block heater and possibly an oil pan heater. Besides, at 15 below, you really should plug in any car, be it gas or diesel.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #12
    If you buy the hybrid you will be able to claim $2,000 in federal tax incentives as the original purchaser. Here in California the state is also offering a $1,000 incentive, for a total of $3,000 worth of tax incentives. Of course you won't be able to claim them until next year now, but here's some info.
    Link
     
  13. SiliconAddict thread starter macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #13

    You are aware of how a diesel engine works right? And the fact that additives are needed to keep the fuel from turning into a slush in the winter time. Also I'm not too keen on needing to use glow plugs to warm up the v6 cylinder prior to the initial combustion. Reading online it has been suggested a good 10-20 seconds for the glow plugs to heat the cylinder before you can start the engine. Again more work then its worth IMHO.
     
  14. SiliconAddict thread starter macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #14

    Yah I've considered that. I think starting next years its $1,500 and will be dropping by $500 each year from there. Something to think about....thanks.
     
  15. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #15
    Yup. I'm aware of all that. I personally don't find glow plugs and Power Service (fuel additive of choice) to be that big of a deal. YMMV.
     
  16. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #16
    Today's news was about Consumer Reports recommending the Prius...

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/08/pf/autos/CR_best_cars/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Also, AAA doesn't see gas prices coming down soon...

    Plus, this site's own buyer's guide says don't buy PB now... Earliest you'll see a PB G5 is probably WWDC, if then. You might want to decide based on what happens in late June.
     
  17. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #17
    i'd get a car over a laptop anyday for the simple reason technological advances and price drops occur much, much faster in the computing world.

    get the laptop now and car later -> laptop will be semi-obsolete by the time you get a car but the car won't be much better or cheaper than it is now.

    get the car now and laptop later -> car will run fine, won't be any less useful than new cars then, but the laptop will have some things we don't even know about right now...

    btw, i have VW golf with TDi. it has some fuel heater built in so no additives needed for me... (and i'm in Michigan - it does get cold here and i haven't had any problems...) waiting for the glow plug takes no more time than the standard time one should wait in any fuel injection car anyway... and i get 600 to 700 miles on a tank of 13 gallons!
     
  18. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #18
    fuel additives for winter ? never heard of that perhaps you need this because diesel is so unpopular in america
    here they are selling different diesel in winter than in summer you don't have to mix yourself
    it's recommend that you don't use the 'summer diesel' in winter because of the problems you said before..

    as far as i remember the difference is only because of octane numbers etc.
    in driving school the teacher said something about 'putting a little bit normal gasoline the the tank' if you still have a nearly full diesel tank....but perhaps that was something different (can't remember)
     
  19. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #19
    In Alaska (and possibly other states as well), #2 diesel is used in the summer and #1 diesel (aka fuel oil) is gradually mixed with #2 as winter approaches to improve flow in cold temperatures. However, #1 can still gel (i think it's 35 below?) so Power Service is still used since it's not uncommon to see 40 or 50 below (depending where in alaska you're at).
     
  20. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #20
    i forgot to mention that, at least here in michigan, diesel fuel price tends to stay stable and low, thanks to truckers' union or something...
     
  21. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #21
    That's what I was thinking...It could work out well to be patient on the powerbook.
     
  22. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #22
    I always aim for the big prize myself, but I wouldn't call the Prius a big prize by anymeans. I think you would have to pay me to drive that thing. How can you even consider it over a hybrid Civic??? Personal tastes I guess, but man the Prius sure has been beaten with an ugly stick.
     
  23. jtkellertx macrumors member

    jtkellertx

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    The Wooodlands, TX
    #23
    Here's my answer.....More from the Newb

    Get a car on a loan then get a PBook on loan. If you lose your job thats great, you can move to Canada. Seriously, I would get the car. I have a 867 TiBook and well it sucks (not the TiBook) I would have rather saved up for a car (I'm still 14). I bought the laptop about a year ago and its really unnessary, now I'm thinking why not iBook. The car will be worth SOMETHING in a couple of years, this TiBooks probably less than 1k because of the scratchs and the dying battery. The bad thing is as of today I own about 1k on it. Ohh, I have a low paying job from my parents of $50 USD a week. My final verdict car, decide which one (Civic, Insight, Prius).
     

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