Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

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PeterSteele
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Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by PeterSteele » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:55 pm

I bought a single owner prius with 99000 miles and it's in very good condition. Standard options, new tires, no signs of collision damage when I looked at all of the panels and for signs of over-spray. Dealer wanted $8200 for it and I ended up paying $7000 in cash (minus taxes) after using the "walkout" method. This vehicle is strictly for my wife's daily commute and I plan on having her drive it till it literally falls apart (somewhere around 250k miles when the battery requires replacement).

Here's the problem.... I work from home and purchased a 2016 Acura MDX last month and thought I would be comfortable having one car so my wife could commute to work. I quickly started to feel trapped in our house and that's why we added the Prius. I will probably put 50 miles or less on the MDX each week and now I feel as if I have a vehicle just sitting in the garage depreciating with every day that passes. I owe 28k on the MDX and the car would probably sell for 38 or 40 depending on where I take it. Does it make more sense to keep the car for the occasional road trip or grocery run or should I take a loss, buy a used lexus or acura sedan for under 12k and erase the 28k in debt off the books?

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Raybo
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Raybo » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:58 pm

What about using public transportation or a bicycle?
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bloom2708
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:59 pm

Sell it. Buy a second Prius. Save gas and each will last twice as long. :moneybag :shock:
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bubbadog
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by bubbadog » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:23 pm

Would your wife prefer to commute in the MDX?

PeterSteele
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by PeterSteele » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:32 pm

She's very easy to please and she's ok driving the Prius. I only bought the MDX as I am incredibly sensitive to sound (i nearly have a mental breakdown if I hear a consistent rattle or wind noise) so I choose the MDX for its quiet cabin. The idea behind her commuting in the Prius is that mileage depreciation is much less on a used car already at 100k miles than a new one with 6k. We have no issues affording the MDX and are making triple payments on it each month..... but I still feel dirty for buying a new car when I could have done my research and bought something for under 15k that would have fit my criteria.

I live on an air force base and public transportation is not an option here. My social anxiety is crippling and I wouldn't handle being on a bike in public that well either.

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in_reality
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by in_reality » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:52 pm

PeterSteele wrote:I choose the MDX for its quiet cabin. ... We have no issues affording the MDX and are making triple payments on it each month.....
I'd keep the MDX, and enjoy the quiet. When the Prius breaks down, perhaps you can then make the MDX the main car and get something used and quiet for your purposes.

If there is a big difference on insurance for what you are paying for the MDX and what you'd pay on a 12k car, then I'd think about it. Otherwise, in time you'll run up the MDX miles.

How much driving does your wife do?

puma
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by puma » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:01 am

Age depreciation on a vehicle is much more than mileage depreciation. You may find when it times to sell the MDX that the ultra-low miles doesn't add as much as you think it would to the price. Spouse with the commute should drive the nicer car, and the spouse who needs a car just so that he doesn't feel trapped should keep the 100k mile Prius at home. Unless the commute miles is so large that mpg and miles based depreciation come into picture.

PeterSteele
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by PeterSteele » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:16 am

Her commute is 20 total every day. Not much.. I know. I should have mentioned that we tend to drive more than 15k miles each year on numerous vacations (which is what I want to use the MDX for given its comfortable ride). The only issue with me driving the Prius is that I don't actually fit in the car. I'm 6'4 and I look like a character from Mario Kart inside a small go-kart. I may cut a hole in the roof over the driver's side so my head can comfortably rest above the cabin.

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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by randomguy » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:41 am

PeterSteele wrote:Her commute is 20 total every day. Not much.. I know. I should have mentioned that we tend to drive more than 15k miles each year on numerous vacations (which is what I want to use the MDX for given its comfortable ride). The only issue with me driving the Prius is that I don't actually fit in the car. I'm 6'4 and I look like a character from Mario Kart inside a small go-kart. I may cut a hole in the roof over the driver's side so my head can comfortably rest above the cabin.
Have you sat in the acura or lexus sedan? The headroom between a prius and something like an TL/ES are within a fraction of an inch. The prius isn't exactly a small car and while I don't remember seeing any 6'4 people in one, I have seen numerous 6'2 guys without any problems. Obviously the exact details matter (leg length and preferred seating position). But it sounds like you fit just fine but don't like the look (i.e. your concern is looking like a mario kart character not hitting your head. Maybe driving a luxury car solves that concern). And before replacing the MDX, I would make sure that the sedan handles your needs for travel.

puma
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by puma » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:54 am

PeterSteele wrote:Her commute is 20 total every day. Not much.. I know. I should have mentioned that we tend to drive more than 15k miles each year on numerous vacations (which is what I want to use the MDX for given its comfortable ride). The only issue with me driving the Prius is that I don't actually fit in the car. I'm 6'4 and I look like a character from Mario Kart inside a small go-kart. I may cut a hole in the roof over the driver's side so my head can comfortably rest above the cabin.
Your original post made it sounds like MDX would just be sitting there not doing anything. If you are putting 15k miles a year on it, and Prius is fine for the 20 mile commute, I don't see why you need to make any changes.

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just frank
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by just frank » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:59 am

Clearly you need to sell the gaswagon and buy a nice, used LEAF EV for <$10k. It will be fine to noodle you around town as needed for a second, errand-only car.

It has the additional advantages of being one of the quietest cars on the road, and a LOT more fun to drive than the Prius. :beer

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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:34 am

in_reality wrote:
PeterSteele wrote:I choose the MDX for its quiet cabin. ... We have no issues affording the MDX and are making triple payments on it each month.....
The noise issue is key plus your other health points.

Keep the MDX unless you are sure you have found a quiet used vehicle.

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alpenglow
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by alpenglow » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:37 am

I'm 6'3" and fit very comfortably in my Prius. :confused

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Kosmo
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Kosmo » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:39 am

Keep them both.

Your subsequent posts keep adding more relevant information. It's tough to evaluate a decision without all the useful information. It's too late to go back in time (or to early), but next time you need to determine the vehicle requirements before you buy, not after.

wilked
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by wilked » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:44 am

My brother in law is 6'3/4 and Fite in his Prius just fine, in fact I remember him choosing it as one of his reasons for purchase?

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:41 pm

alpenglow wrote:I'm 6'3" and fit very comfortably in my Prius. :confused
If he has manual seats they can be moved back in two ways. There is the normal fore-aft adjustment. In addition the height adjustment moves the seat down and back. Try sliding both back as far as possible. If the seats too low add a cushion. The electric seats may be similar.

Sorry if that seems obvious, but I've been paid $200 to diagnose equipment that wasn't plugged in, so nothings obvious.

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dm200
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by dm200 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:57 pm

PeterSteele wrote:I bought a single owner prius with 99000 miles and it's in very good condition. Standard options, new tires, no signs of collision damage when I looked at all of the panels and for signs of over-spray. Dealer wanted $8200 for it and I ended up paying $7000 in cash (minus taxes) after using the "walkout" method. This vehicle is strictly for my wife's daily commute and I plan on having her drive it till it literally falls apart (somewhere around 250k miles when the battery requires replacement).
Here's the problem.... I work from home and purchased a 2016 Acura MDX last month and thought I would be comfortable having one car so my wife could commute to work. I quickly started to feel trapped in our house and that's why we added the Prius. I will probably put 50 miles or less on the MDX each week and now I feel as if I have a vehicle just sitting in the garage depreciating with every day that passes. I owe 28k on the MDX and the car would probably sell for 38 or 40 depending on where I take it. Does it make more sense to keep the car for the occasional road trip or grocery run or should I take a loss, buy a used lexus or acura sedan for under 12k and erase the 28k in debt off the books?
Seems to me you have a "sunk" cost in the Acura MDX, so why not alternate cars with your wife to get more useful mileage on the MDX - and even out the miles driven between the two cars. Sounds like you do not need to go out every day, and when she drove the MDX you would have the Prius just in case you needed to go out. Have the MDX when you know you will be driving.

PeterSteele
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by PeterSteele » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:30 pm

Well I feel silly. I was all but certain that the seat height could not be adjusted until Delta mentioned the method for changing it. Thankfully the steering wheel doesn't rub against my knees now. I am surprised the steering wheel doesn't telescope out though... I really can't complain too much as it's a simple point a to point b car.

Elysium
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Elysium » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:22 pm

If you are satisfied with the MDX otherwise, I recommend keeping it.

In a somewhat similar situation to yours, we bought a 2016 Lexus GX recently. I work from home and have very little commuting on weekdays, but we do a lot of weekend and holiday travel. Similar to you, I do not drive very much M-F. But the long trips will add up quickly and this is where the large and comfortable SUV is very valuable. We also have a Prius as our other car that my wife is driving now, and her commute is not very long either. In my case though I do not know long I will work from home, for the last 2 years I have done this and saved considerable amount of time and money. If I change jobs this situation will reverse and I may at that point need to have the wife drive Lexus and take the Prius back. We will still have the weekend and holiday trips for Lexus.

I too have had buyer's remorse after I paid for the car, thinking I could have paid $20K for a used SUV and still be very comfortable, but the Lexus is very comfortable on a long trip we went and we have one more coming up. The whole family felt very comfortable during long trips on the road even with heavy traffic, travel fatigue was nearly non-existent. That makes me think over the years, the utility value of traveling in comfort will make up for the added cost. I feel good knowing that I have a large SUV that can handle any situation any time sitting in the garage, even though it cost me extra money.

After all when we think about an extra $30K or so on a good comfortable and reliable family car is not that much when put in the context of how much we all on BH is doing to save for retirement. Sure, I could retire may be 6 months earlier by buying a cheaper car, but it's not a very good reason.

Once you pay off the MDX, it will keep paying you back for all those comfortable trips you make.

heyyou
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by heyyou » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:13 am

Keep them both. Store them indoors when they are at home. When you need another car in ten years, change something then. Patience is fullness.

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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:32 am

PeterSteele wrote: I owe 28k on the MDX and the car would probably sell for 38 or 40 depending on where I take it. Does it make more sense to keep the car for the occasional road trip or grocery run or should I take a loss, buy a used lexus or acura sedan for under 12k and erase the 28k in debt off the books?
I only bought the MDX as I am incredibly sensitive to sound (i nearly have a mental breakdown if I hear a consistent rattle or wind noise) so I choose the MDX for its quiet cabin.
That's an expensive sensitivity. I'd sell it, but I would have zero issues with wind noise.
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Trev H » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:34 am

My opinion... you are making payments.... on an expensive vehicle... that you obviously do not really need at this point.

Sell it, buy something reasonable (good / used)... that will meet your needs. Invest what is left over.

Good Luck !

Trev H

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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by knpstr » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:01 am

PeterSteele wrote:The only issue with me driving the Prius is that I don't actually fit in the car. I'm 6'4 and I look like a character from Mario Kart inside a small go-kart. I may cut a hole in the roof over the driver's side so my head can comfortably rest above the cabin.
As 2007 prius owner this is a rationalization for not wanting to drive it. More room cabin room inside a prius than my old SUV.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Angelus359 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:31 pm

I'd sell it an drive a cheaper but nice vehicle
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:13 pm

Asking Bogleheads gets you the best financial advice for your situation. It might not get you the best advice for life. If this noise issue is all encompassing and you're putting 15k miles on the nice vehicle, I see no reason to change your situation.

As much as I live below my means, we have a Subaru that my wife normally drives, a Jeep that I normally drive, a Lotus that mostly sits in the garage and a Ford Fusion that my mom drives in the summer when she's in New England and I drive in the winter when she's in Florida. I could easily sell the Lotus and downgrade the other vehicles, but they fit what I need (I plow the snow in our driveway to save $300 per storm charges from the plow guy.....very long with lots of area to clear and no place to put the snow). I can afford all this, pay for my son's college expenses ($60k per year) and max all of our tax advantaged space every year.

Good luck with your choice.
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wander
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by wander » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:06 pm

I don't know about you but I always have a backup car and my wife is always driving a newer, better car because my job is to take care of car problems, not hers.

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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by dbCooperAir » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:41 am

Not sure what state you live in but just paying for the state tabs every year on an expensive car gives me pause. Around here a 2015MY with a value of $50,000 will cost you $636 in tabs, not to mention the increase in insurance etc.
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by dubsem » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:10 pm

bloom2708 wrote:Sell it. Buy a second Prius. Save gas and each will last twice as long. :moneybag :shock:
Don't buy a second prius - no use in doubling up in cars when you don't have versatility (ie. sedan, SUV, minivan)
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PeterSteele
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Re: Bought a 2009 Prius and now....

Post by PeterSteele » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:16 pm

Dieharder wrote:If you are satisfied with the MDX otherwise, I recommend keeping it.

In a somewhat similar situation to yours, we bought a 2016 Lexus GX recently. I work from home and have very little commuting on weekdays, but we do a lot of weekend and holiday travel. Similar to you, I do not drive very much M-F. But the long trips will add up quickly and this is where the large and comfortable SUV is very valuable. We also have a Prius as our other car that my wife is driving now, and her commute is not very long either. In my case though I do not know long I will work from home, for the last 2 years I have done this and saved considerable amount of time and money. If I change jobs this situation will reverse and I may at that point need to have the wife drive Lexus and take the Prius back. We will still have the weekend and holiday trips for Lexus.

I too have had buyer's remorse after I paid for the car, thinking I could have paid $20K for a used SUV and still be very comfortable, but the Lexus is very comfortable on a long trip we went and we have one more coming up. The whole family felt very comfortable during long trips on the road even with heavy traffic, travel fatigue was nearly non-existent. That makes me think over the years, the utility value of traveling in comfort will make up for the added cost. I feel good knowing that I have a large SUV that can handle any situation any time sitting in the garage, even though it cost me extra money.

After all when we think about an extra $30K or so on a good comfortable and reliable family car is not that much when put in the context of how much we all on BH is doing to save for retirement. Sure, I could retire may be 6 months earlier by buying a cheaper car, but it's not a very good reason.

Once you pay off the MDX, it will keep paying you back for all those comfortable trips you make.

Spot-on summary of my predicament... I am feeling guilt for pampering myself. The ethical thing to do would be to use the Prius for my needs when I really feel like leaving the house and allow her full use of the SUV. I can tolerate the 20 different rattling components and the uncomfortable seating positions as I'm only driving at most ten miles every other day for grocery-store or "get out of the house" runs. Hopefully the MDX lasts 15 years.... at which point I won't feel like a idiot for having bought "the latest and greatest."

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