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Should i trade in a clunker for a prius

I have a 1990 Lexus 400 sedan with 135K+ and an upcoming struts and brake job. I paid my lousy brother $5K for it (he got it from my mom after my dad died). i then put over 10K into it from a rip-off repair place here.

Now it qualifies for cash fr clunkers and I’m thinking of getting a 2010 prius. Two questions: 1) am I crazy - trading a big luxury vehicle - evev if it is going to need another 2k of repair and only run two ore more additional years - for a little tin can? and 2) what is more environmentally correct - to keep driving the old boat, rather then sending it to the landfill - or pick up a new hybrid?

Why are you set on a hybrid. Unless you do a lot of town driving, you may prefer a second hand Camry/Accord/Corolla/Civic. Prius is last on my list as a really economical car w/o sacrifices. Best over all economy and value still comes from the tried and true Corolla. The repair jobs on friend’s old Lexus was killing him too in cost…it may be time for a change, I agree. But to Prius ? I think not.

Are you sure a Lexus 400 sedan qualifies for this program?

I think you should drive a Prius before you decide you want one. From what I’ve read it’s more of an appliance than a car, and the fun factor is about ZERO.

There are other vehicles that get decent gas mileage but are still fun to drive.

Your question is difficult to answer as there are too many variables. How many miles do you drive per year? What type of driving? What road/weather conditions? How many people do you carry? etc.? If you drive 12,000+ miles per year fuel economy could be important, but depreciation, insurance, registration, etc. may outweigh any fuel cost savings over the life of the car. This is especially true when buying a new car. Used cars will always be cheaper per mile.

If you enjoyed driving your Lexus 400 (when it was running) you may be disappointed driving a Prius (it’s a bean can). If you like Lexus style, size and luxury features you may want to look for a 3 - 4 year-old Mercedes E320 CDI. A $60,000 new car which can be bought for around $25,000, will get 40+ MPG, comfortably carry four people cross country, cruise all day at 130 MPH and have all the cool toys. I’d venture to guess the total five-year per mile cost would be the same as (or less than) the Prius. A used VW diesel Passat would be another consideration.


Don’t Let The Lexus Know That You Are Considering Euthanizing It For A Prius.

It could turn on you and the result could be a suicide or homicide/suicide. Don’t be concerned about the environment. It will always be here and besides your driving a Prius wouldn’t make a hill of beans worth of difference.


It will when that battery dies and goes to the landfill…

Now is as good a time as any. But make sure the program actually starts before trading in your car. You will be entitled to $4500 if you buy the Prius, plus whatever trade-in value there is for the Lexus. Just remember that the trade-in value is the scrap value, since the car must be scrapped.

Here are a couple of sites to look at:

I must add though as much as it pains me, CUs satisfaction index among Prius owners is higher than for ANY other car. It may be just the “snob” factor…but for what it’s worth, it’s there.

It will when that battery dies and goes to the landfill…

I will take a little issue with this statement as the nickel metal hydride in the Prius is among the most recoverable batteries used…if my reading comp. serves me.

Look into the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

My mom bought one recently and I’ve driven it quite a few times, and I really think it’s a hoot to drive…handles real well.

In addition to an honest 40 MPG, it’ll seat four adults comfortably.

Plus, folks don’t (yet?) seem to make the annoying “hipper-than-thou” connotation of the Prius.

It seems that a certain group of people have high satisfaction with whatever they buy. I have tried their taste and have not been impressed for the most part. On the Prius I took a pass; it is just too much money for me.

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I drive mostly around town only and may, in the next two years inherit another older Lexus (my mother’s) - which is a 1994 sedan with < 70 K on it. This is making me think I should just avoid any car expense and drive the 1990 until the next big repair bill. By the way, I also have a 1990 SAAB turbo convert as a back up.

I’ve just been feeling concerned about the costs of maintaining the Lexus as the local Toyota/Lexus dealership charges exorbitant rates and always finds something to “fix”. I now take it to a local garage where they seem much more in tune with keeping the repair expenses to a minimum. I also have been wanting to “do my part” environmentally - and when the Gov. offers me $4500 for the old boat, it is rather tempting.

Guess I wanted a hybrid because I do a lot of town driving and am an eco-freak…any other hybrid besides Prius seem reasonable to you?

Thanks so much for the specific suggestions. I do drive mostly in town, mostly alone, and mostly in good weather, although the little bit of snow we get in central Virginia is death to the Lexus with its rear wheel drive.

Nope - the $4500 is IN PLACE of the trade in, you don’t get both! So it’s much less of a deal that it looks.

The $4500 is a little over one year’s depreciation on any new car you buy. If you are going to “inherit” another Lexus, just nurse this one along till that time.

If you want to be environmentally responible, keep your cars in good tune, drive only when necessary, and insulate your house further. Throw out those old inefficient appliances; 40% of the US greenhouse gasses are generated by coal fired electricity!!!

The well-being of the car industry is not your concern.

Yeah, it doesn’t make sense if the dealership has to crush the car (sob) that they would also be held to paying a trade in value.

Yes, there is a residual value for the traded car. It is the scrap value, as I said above. NHTSA requires the dealer to inform you of the scrap value; it is what you get for the trade. And that is in addition to the $4500 for the Prius.

I’d junk the Lexus. You’ll get a good deal on a new car. Though honestly I’d go for a TDI Jetta over a Prius. Those diesel VWs will run forever.

You haven’t actually said if there is anything mechanically wrong with the Lexus.
I would have to assume that the drivetrain is long lasting and reliable in that car, so it should be able to last a lot longer than 135k miles.

If it just needs struts and brakes at this point, shop around to get a better price, or learn how to replace them yourself, and save yourself probably $1500. Cars are held together by nuts, bolts and screws, not by magic, you know.


With a hybrid, you get a double kiss, right? the $4500 cash for clunkers and a tax credit for buying the hybrid. And yes, the Fusion is the hot set-up…