Today Good price or no dice The Toyota Prius is the only generation to have a trunk rather than a hatch. That may not be a factor in its desirability, but we’ll have to decide if its price is.
Old people are a blessing. I mean, think of all the ways they make our lives better. One of them is having dinner at unholy hours, which saves us a lot of tables for the rest of us when it’s really time to eat. They also tend to have neat cars that they rarely drive, but which are usually kept in top condition “just in case”.
This was the apparent situation with the 1987 Nissan Sentra Sport Coupe we looked yesterday. The seller claimed it had long been owned by an “elderly woman who rarely drove”. As such, he appeared to be in amazing shape for his age and position in life, which probably makes him the 1987 Nissan Sentra Sport Coupe for anyone looking for such a vehicle. Unfortunately, that narrow audience didn’t translate to wider appeal for its $6,900 asking price. This ultimately condemned the Sentra to a 60% loss with no dice.
At its core, yesterday’s Sentra was a no-frills economy car with a bit of flair added so its owner wouldn’t feel like a total pikeman behind the wheel. It represented what was normal for the course of these cars until around the turn of the century. These days, however, super fuel-efficient economy cars are usually represented by petrol/electric hybrids and the first of these was Toyota’s wacky Prius.
Now the Prius, with the whole idea of hybrid cars, has been around for a long time, but when that 2002 first generation Prius debuted, it was deliberately designed to be unlike anything on the road. This was so that owners could brag about their eco-warrior bona fides when going through the hood.
These days, older Prius (Prii?) models are best known for being catalytic converter theft attractantsbut despite this drawback, they still offer both excellent fuel efficiency and the satisfaction enough for their owners to be better than all non-hybrid drivers.
The thing is, there are only a few of the first generation Prius models on the market. In fact, there have never been so many at the start. During the model year of this car, Toyota sold only about 20,000 cars. It wasn’t until the second generation of the model debuted in 2004 that Prius sales really started to take off, with the 2007 model year being the peak of Prius popularity with over 180,000 sales.
This makes this early model relatively rare and apparently not quite used with only 115,000 miles on the odometer. These first editions also don’t give up too much in the efficiency department to their later, more refined editions, given that the model was rated by the EPA at over 48 miles per gallon combined in the test cycle. then used. It’s still really good today.
It’s all made possible by the car’s combo, or hybrid powertrain, made up of a 70-hp 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a 44-hp permanent-magnet AC electric motor. . The pair are bolted to a CVT automatic, making up the rest of the FWD drivetrain.
The electric motor draws its juice from a 1.78 kWh nickel-metal hydride (Ni-Mh) battery, and it’s all controlled by smart electronics that switch between power and charging as needed. The current transmission status is shown on a dash-mounted display screen with graphics that look so dated today they could have come from a college science class film strip of the 1960s.
This one is dealer-offered and comes in a pretty nondescript silver over a gray cloth interior. It looks clean and was updated at some point with heavy tinting on all windows except the windshield. The interior is reasonably clean although the floor mats are a little stained, proof that they have done their job.
Everything looks stock inside, including the hysterically long shifter that, when turned on, makes the steering column feel like it’s fly-fishing. The car offers power windows and locks, but manual seat adjustment. And, of course, there is A/C.
From the brief but glaring ad description (does this dealership advertise all of their ads in CAPS?), the car runs and drives great. It also indicates that Wayne is waiting for our call, but not our texts. Geez, Wayne, have some flexibility.
Now it remains to be seen how flexible we will be about the price of this hybrid Toyota. The dealer is asking $4,995 for the car in its own right, which naturally will require the additional registration and paperwork fees that dealers always rack up.
What do you think? Is this clever and rare first-generation Prius worth that kind of cabbage? Or, for all that, would you leave this Prius parked?
H/T to Glemon for the hookup!
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