Never thought of the Toyota Prius as a sports car? Toyota wants to change your mind. New reports show that Toyota customers can start ordering next month for a PLUS performance package that will add pizzazz to the 2011 model year for this favorite hybrid. The PLUS performance package was first presented at last year’s 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. The 2011 package will start at about $3,000 for the Prius Five, with a slightly higher cost for other trims.
What do you get with this add-on? Buyers get to customize the color of their car, while adding a ground effects kit and body style additions such as front and rear spoilers. Airflow on equipped cars gets expertly handled by a rear diffuser, and the vehicle is balanced for optimal performance without compromising the fuel-efficiency that makes most customers buy one of these cars in the first place. Other benefits of this kit include suspension changes and a tuned sway bar for better handling and stability.
The new performance package is exciting for already committed buyers who want to add style and performance to their Prius, while other consumers are just beginning to think about the possibility of owning something that doesn’t leave them emptying their wallets at the gas pump. If you think a Prius is out of your price range, think again: since this hybrid has been on the market for years, many shoppers with less cash are finding pre-owned values on these cars, buying earlier Prius vehicles that still have years left to run. A creative approach to price shopping and auto financing can help you get one of these low-fuel cars for less. You can get all sorts of deals on a used Prius at a local dealership based on everything from less popular colors to an equitable trade-in arrangement (since trade-in values have gone up across the board lately) – another way to maximize your buy is to take care of financing details before you visit the lot. Of course, the most effective way is to pay cash, but even if you have to finance a new or used car purchase, other common tips can help you keep interest to a minimum. Make a big down payment, and keep the remaining debt cheap by knowing your credit and current competitive interest rates. Do your homework before going to the dealer, and anticipate all of the ways that local reps might try to leverage current market conditions to raise sticker price. With hard work and a little luck, you’ll be able to find one of these top-selling Toyota Prius cars in your price range.