2012 Toyota Prius C: Compressed Carmax Closeout
June 18, 2013
I was aiming for a "three-peat" of selling long-term cars to employees (our Lexus ES300 and our Jeep Wrangler were the other two), but the 2012 Toyota Prius C broke the streak. Its private party True Market Value of $19,500 was a bit too close to the price of a new model. After a week, there were no takers among Edmunds employees and it was time to move on.
This meant it was time to take it to Carmax. The week prior, the trade-in TMV was $18,305. I re-ran the TMV appraisal to get a fresh number and was surprised to see that trade-in TMV had dropped by about $650. Edmunds adjusts its used TMV on a weekly basis to account for any changes in the market. In this case, the re-evaluation coincided with our selling process.
The new trade-in TMV was $17,649. Take a guess on what Carmax offered before you click over to the next page.
Carmax offered us $18,000, which was $351 above trade-in TMV. After a day of mulling it over, we decided to take the offer. The 18 grand that Carmax offered was about $1,000 less than the price of a new base model Prius C. Ours was a "Three" trim level with options, so it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison, but many people shopping for a car might not look at it that way. Unless we priced the car at $18,500 and held firmly to that price, it wouldn't be worth our time to handle this as a private party sale.
As far as depreciation goes, I would give the car a C+. Fitting isn't it? We paid $22,701 (plus tax and title) for the car, which means it depreciated about 21 percent. Our long-term fleet average is around 22 percent.
And so this compact city crawler leaves our fleet. It delivered on the promise of excellent fuel economy at a low price, but it never quite inspired our editors to take it out all that often. Consequently, we came up short on our 20,000 mileage goal.
Final Odometer: 16,664
Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor