Clearing up Hybrid Cost Analysis Myths
It seems that there's been a little confusion out there regarding the price/value equation between the 2010 Insight and the Prius that I'd like to clear up. Recently, I saw a post claiming the price difference between the two cars equipped "as customers want" is only 700 dollars more for the Prius. This was based on an MSRP of 21,300 for an Insight EX, and of $22,000 for a 2010 Prius II, which currently is the least expensive 2010 Prius available.
According to the Power Information Network (PIN), an affiliate of J.D. Power and Associates, the average transaction price of the 2010 Insight in June* was $21,526, while it was $26,436 for the 2010 Prius. "Average transaction price" is the average price paid for a car, including, transportation charges, options and accessories, but not including taxes or fees. So, in this case Prius buyers are paying $4,910 more for the keys to a Prius equipped "as customers want." Generally speaking, the difference will grow even bigger when sales tax is applied. In the world of entry-level vehicles, hybrids or otherwise, $5000 is a big gap, and while it's inevitable that there will be cross shopping between the two cars, we think this suggests that they will continue to attract different buyers.
Like the numbers above provided by PIN, third-party evaluations are a very helpful tool for car shoppers. All car consumers should research sources like J.D. Power, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) to help make the right choice. In the case of the Insight's price, the numbers speak for themselves.
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