Will Toyota Cut Prius’ Price or Let Honda Insight Be Cheapest Hybrid?

2010 Honda Insight

2010 Honda Insight

Looks like Honda is changing the dynamics of the hybrid wars.

The new Honda Insight, priced in the States at just over $19K, comes in well below the Toyota Prius’ starting price of nearly $23K.

Rumors are beginning to circulate that Toyota will cut the price on the current Prius to match the Insight’s, but there has been no confirmation of that from the bigwigs at Toyota.

Is a lower price on the way for Prius?

Is a lower price on the way for Prius?

A price reduction sure makes sense to me, as the Prius’ reign as king of the hybrids is being challenged by the Insight and the new Ford Fusion hybrid. The other option Toyota has is to stuff all the technology it can into the Prius and hope buyers see the value and fork over more money for it.

That’s a tactic we know will happen, as the third-generation Prius is expected to offer, among other things, a solar panel on the roof that will power fans to keep the car cool when parked in the sun. I’m guessing that’ll be a popular feature among celebs in Los Angeles! (You can check out the third-generation Prius here.)

It’s also possible that Toyota will offer the Prius in two versions: one that is essentially the current model with a lower price that matches the Insight’s, and one with technology and safety upgrades priced at a premium.

One thing is for sure: Selling hybrids is going to become more difficult as competition stiffens and more diesels enter the market.

What do you think: Buy a hybrid or skip the hype?

-tgriffith

4 Comments

  1. Another example of how important it is to have COMPETITION. The price of the Prius has steadily declined as more hybrids come on the market. This is one prime example of the thoughtless and self-defeating (and a bit un-American)nature of the anti-domestic auto industry rants and put downs which are often repeated on this blog. I pity the America where buyers have little choice other than the overpriced foreign nameplates.

  2. I think Andrew is right, I think it was more than just a rumor that they would be lowering prices. I vaguely recall reading about it on Autoblog.

  3. did toyota not already say they would be producing a cheaper variant to better compete.. i know i read that, LLN i believe it was.

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