Toyota Prius Paves The Way Ahead | Part Six

Toyota Prius Competitor Price Comparision
  Toyota Prius T3 Vauxhall Vectra SXi 2.0 TDi Renault Laguna Dynamique 1.9 DCi Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.0 TDCi
On the road price £17,495 £16,845 £17,075 £17,300
PowerShift grant (£1,000) - - -
Adjusted price £16,495 £16.845 £17,075 £17,300
Low Maintenance And Repair Costs

Although the new Prius boasts more advanced technology features than any other car in its class, there is no penalty for owners in terms of its servicing schedule or the cost of maintenance and crash replacement parts.

Taking the price of like-for-like components, the new Prius is actually cheaper overall to maintain and repair than many of its key market rivals – its stablemate, the new Toyota Avensis, being the notable exception.

Calculating the collective price of front and rear body parts commonly replaced following a collision, such as wings, bonnet and bumpers, the bill for the new Prius is up to £762 cheaper than the most popular D-segment models. On maintenance items, such as filters and brake pads, the combined cost works at up to £35 less than the competition.

More than that, the Prius’s advanced powertrain does not call for more frequent servicing. In common with all contemporary Toyota passenger cars, the maintenance programme requires a major service only every 20,000 miles, with interim "health and safety" checks with oil change every 10,000 miles.

Further peace of mind is provided by the eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on all the Prius’s hybrid components.

Target Buyer Profile

Potential customers for the second generation Prius are seen as ‘early adopters’ rather than the ‘innovators’ who bought the original model.

Typical ‘early adopters’ are in their 40s, predominantly male, professionals or executives with a higher level of education and above average income, usually living and/or working in metropolitan areas. These are the same sort of individuals who would typically use Bluetooth technology and the latest electronic personal organisers as part of their daily working and social lives. They also have a socio-environmental conscience, but still want to enjoy their driving and might currently drive one of the sporty diesel cars in the D-segment or small-premium sector. They are interested in low fuel consumption and low emissions and are willing to pay extra for these benefits because of their reduced impact on the environment

Moreover, with congestion charging now a reality in London – and likely to spread to other cities in the UK and Europe – these ‘early adopters’ are looking for ways to avoid these fees. Cars like the Prius are currently exempt from London’s congestion charge. The new Toyota Prius goes on sale in the UK on 2 January 2004.

Published 3 December 2003 Melanie Carter

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