Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (2023)

Josh Brown

May 31, 2021

What is the most reliable year for the Prius? There’s many, but we review the popular Toyota hybrid’s various generations and narrow it down to one definitive year.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (1)

In the age of the electric vehicle, it is hard to ignore the hybrid pioneers that paved the way for the all-electric options of the future. One of the most famous hybrids has to be the Toyota Prius. A leading brand in reliability, Toyota released the Prius Hybrid in 1997 for limited markets.

Going worldwide in 2000, the Prius became the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. By 2013 the Prius reached over one million cumulative sales, in the United States alone, according to Car Sales Base.

It is easy to see that the Toyota Prius is extremely popular, but here we are going to break down why they are and give you the best option for used and new when shopping.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (2)

First-gen. Toyota Prius (2000-2003)

Initially, in 1997, the Toyota Prius was launched in Japan and a few other markets. Bringing it worldwide in 2000 was a massive move for Toyota. Focusing on the 2000 to 2003 model years, the Prius looks like a standard four-door economy car.

Hiding underneath the rather bland exterior is a hybrid drivetrain that would be unrivaled for many years. The Toyota Prius housed a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder that produced 70 horsepower and 82 lb.-ft. of torque.

Its engine package was coupled to a three-phase AC permanent synchronous electric motor which put out 44 horsepower and an astonishing 258 lb.-ft. of torque.

Weighing just over 2,800 pounds makes the Prius very lackluster in terms of performance. However, the mindset of a Prius is never the performance but the excellent fuel economy.

A first-generation Toyota Prius has an EPA estimated 52 mpg city and 45 mpg highway. At the time, this sort of gas mileage was unheard of in anything that could still carry five passengers with room for groceries in the back.

With the Prius becoming such an ideal hybrid vehicle, it soon landed in the Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle category.

For buyers, this meant a $2,000 federal tax deduction just for owning the vehicle. The Prius is pretty bare-bones regarding creature comforts—coming standard with A/C, one-touch power windows, and power door locks. Options consisted of cruise control, rear cargo net, and navigation system.

With production only lasting for three years, it is hard to find one of these first-generation models for sale today. Not only were the production years limited, but the total number of cars sold during this time only topped just over 65,000 for the U.S.

Searching for recalls for the first-generation Prius only shows two main issues. One is a faulty sensor that causes an oil leak, and the other being worn out electronic assisted steering components making it harder to turn. While these first few years are harder to come by, they will still pop up for sale.

Many enthusiasts will hunt for them, as they are the most basic versions available. The hunt means that when they pop up for sale, they usually sit around $5,000 with mileage varying from 100,000 to over 200,000.

Even with Toyota selling a record amount of their new hybrid, they saw the need to adapt to the market. In the works during the successful first-generation, 2003 saw the release of Toyota’s updated second-generation Prius.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (3)

Second-gen. Toyota Prius (2003-2009)

A successful run of the first-generation Prius meant that Toyota was already hard at work with the redesign. Starting production in 2003, the second-generation Toyota Prius debuted as a compact liftback.

Sized between the Corolla and Camry, the Prius was restructured for more legroom along with more luggage capacity. When you hear the name Toyota Prius, many think of this generation as it took off in popularity in the U.S. Selling over 500,000 models in the span of six years, the Prius is easy to recognize on the road.

What made the second generation so great were the many innovations Toyota brought to the chassis. As an industry first, the Prius used an all-electric A/C compressor. This meant less parasitic draw on the gas motor, compounding in less fuel consumption.

The Prius utilizes a shallow cycle battery operation, meaning it keeps a state of charge between 40 and 80 percent. Using this sort of power cycle allows the battery to go through thousands of charges and results in over 200,000 miles of use.

Toyota redesigned the Prius from a sedan to a liftback allowed for a more aerodynamic shape. With its more aerodynamic nature, the Prius decreased drag allowing for more fuel efficiency.

An actual decrease over the previous generation, the new Toyota Prius had an EPA-rated 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway. Although disappointing for the hyper-mile enthusiasts, you have to consider the benefits the latest generation provides.

Being six inches longer overall, the Prius jumped from 11.8 cu. ft. of cargo space in the first generation to 16.1 cu. ft. in the second generation. Not only did you get more cargo room, but you also got a more excellent cabin with seven inch LCD, steering wheel controls, cruise control, and digital gauge cluster as standard.

Options for the second-generation Toyota Prius consisted of a JBL sound system, HID headlamps, vehicle skid control, and driver/passenger side-mounted airbags. Other safety features included a security alarm and front/rear curtain airbags. These added safety features over the previous generation resulted in a four-star overall crash test rating by NHTSA. Looking up recall information will yield a few concerning issues.

Of all recalls issued for the second-generation Prius, there are only a few limited cases of grave concern and a handful of nit-picky electrical problems. Impressively, the second-generation Toyota Prius won many coveted awards starting with Motor Trend’s 2004 Car of the Year, making Car and Driver’sTen Best List, and 2004 North American Car of the Year.

Although the second-generation Prius was a significant improvement over the first-generation, it isn’t as fought over by enthusiasts. This makes buying one on the used market a bit easier for regular customers as there are more available.

At the time of writing, you can find a 2007 Toyota Prius under 70,000 miles for around $8,000. This is a lot of car for the money, as many of these models can be seen to exceed 300,000 miles on the original drivetrain if adequately taken care of. As with any successful car model, it cannot last forever. Toyota kicked off 2010 with a new generation of Prius.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (4)

Third-gen. Toyota Prius (2010-2015)

Toyota brought on the third-generation Prius as an updated, face-lifted version of the previous generation. Keeping the overall body shape, the Prius improved its drag coefficient by shaping more of the bumpers, mirrors, headlights, taillights and utilizing a rear diffuser to help stabilize the car at higher speeds. The powertrain was largely carried over from the previous gen., with engine displacement increasing to 1.8-liters.

Another significant change, the Prius now carries the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) III. THS III improved the battery package by utilizing lithium-ion technology. These vast improvements over the previous generation faired well for Toyota as the third-gen. Prius has sold well over 1.5 million units worldwide.

Though the Prius was moving towards a more modern technology-packed vehicle, Toyota still found ways to decrease its impact on the environment outside of fuel mileage. Adding to the hybrid mindset, Toyota used a range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics throughout the vehicle.

Improving the safety of the Prius, Toyota now provided rear disc brakes, overhead airbags, and electronic braking assist. Safety ratings benefitted from these upgrades, as the previous-gen. scored a four star overall NHTSA, the third-gen. scored a five-star overall. Scoring an EPA fuel mileage of 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway, the third-generation Toyota Prius was the most efficient car powered purely by liquid fuel in the US market that you could still purchase new.

Packages for the Toyota Prius were broken down into simple models. Offered packages were the Prius two, three, four, or five. Each package had an increasing number of options, with the Prius two being its most basic form.

Standard equipment incorporated 15-inch alloy wheels, stability control, and interior features like keyless entry/start. Premium package Prius V (Five) models were given four distinct packages.

The Navigation package consisted of a voice-activated touch-screen navigation system connected to an eight-speaker JBL sound system. Most interestingly available is the Solar Roof package which adds a power tilt/slide moonroof along with a solar-powered ventilation system keeping the vehicle cooler when parked under direct sunlight.

As for gadgetry, Toyota has you covered with the Advanced Technology package. This technology package gives the Prius a Heads-up display, Dynamic Rader Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane-Keep Assist.

A new standard feature for all Prius models included three driving modes. EV mode, for electric-only low-speed operation. Eco mode for optimized fuel efficiency. Power mode for optimized performance.

A button provides availability to swap between modes on the center console. Although EV mode can only be activated at low speeds, changing between Eco or Power can be done at any time.

Unlike the generations before it, the third-gen. Prius still sits over the $10,000 threshold even for a base model with 100,000 miles. This doesn’t make it a bad option, considering current models are over double that cost without much-added benefit.

After two consecutive years of sales decreasing for the Prius, Toyota decided to facelift the third-gen. for the 2012 model year. Exterior changes consisted of new headlights, taillights, and a distinct front bumper. Interior changes included a new 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and the option for an upgraded infotainment system.

New models have a Vehicle Proximity Notification System activated under 15 mph, designed to alert the blind and other pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence when the Prius is in all-electric mode. The warning device was mandated by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. Needing to move on from this awkward era of older styling but adding technology, Toyota decided to release a completely fresh Prius model.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (5)

Toyota Prius Prime (2012-Present)

As time went on with their famous hybrid, Toyota realized the need to develop a plug-in version to compete with other manufacturers’ delving into hybrid technology. The first-generation Prius Prime was released in 2012 with a larger battery, charging port, and a few different styling cues.

Although based mainly around the conventional third-generation Prius, the Prius Prime focused more heavily on its all-electric mode. Giving a total range of 11 miles in all-electric mode, the Prime showed that Toyota could switch focus to their electric car development without worry. Selling over 75,000 Prius Primes’ in the first four years, the market wasn’t as large as Toyota had hoped.

Toyota released the second generation Prius Prime in 2016, this time having a completely redesigned style from its conventional Prius platform. Given a more angular, eye-shaped tail light that wraps around the hatch made it stand out.

An entirely new front fascia design also set itself apart from the regular Prius. Interior-wise, the Prius Prime was given smooth white plastic accents to provide a cleaner look.

The all-electric range was boosted to 25 miles, more than double the previous generation. Sales for the new generation Prime lacked for the new generation as the competitors like the Hyundai Ioniq provide more range for a lower price.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (6)

Fourth-gen. Toyota Prius (2016-Present)

Toyota’s goal with the newest generation of Prius is to provide a more fuel-efficient, compact car that is lighter weight and lower in cost. They achieved this by developing a new drivetrain with improvements in battery, electric motor, and gasoline engine technologies.

This is the first vehicle to utilize the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform, which provides a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity. TNGA’s design philosophy offers better handling, ride quality, and aerodynamics.

Improved aerodynamic capability contributes to the all-new exterior design. Distinctly different from the previous generations, the new Prius has an angular bodyline starting at the rear doors and wrapping around onto the hatch.

Continuing improvements in handling, the Prius now has double-wishbone rear suspension to replace the torsion beam from all previous models. Smaller size but higher density electric motors improve space, allowing for a roomier interior. New lithium-ion battery packs provide even more space but allow for Toyota to continue the 10% fuel economy improvement with each generation.

The 2016 model year Prius has an EPA rating of 65 mpg city and 60 mpg highway. A new Prius Eco rids of the spare tire, rear wiper, and trunk lid lining achieve 70 mpg city and 64 mpg highway. The Eco model surpassed the first-generation Honda Insight as the most efficient vehicle without plug-in capability.

Trim packages stay relatively similar to the previous generation, adding some extra name differences like “Touring” to the lineup. Available new Prius models are the L Eco, LE, and LE AWD-e. Toyota introduced the new Prius AWD in 2019 for the U.S. market.

The AWD-e model makes use of a secondary electric motor attached to the rear axle. Toyota also gave the AWD Prius the older style Nickel-metal hybrid battery as it fairs better in colder climates, where the AWD model would be favored. For the 2021 model year, Toyota introduced a special edition “2020 Prius,” which was given black badging, wheels, trim, and carpet with embroidered “2020 Prius” logos.

(Video) Why the 2023 Prius Looks Like the Best Version Yet

Over the years, Toyota has made the Prius very affordable for its base models so anyone can hop on the hybrid wave. A 2021 Toyota Prius base model can be purchased for just $24,525, which is phenomenal for a brand new car.

Comparatively, the 2021 Honda Insight is slightly cheaper, but the Toyota Prius holds 15 plus more years of innovation over the competitors for the few hundred dollar difference.

Toyota has made it clear that the Prius is here to stay as the world’s favorite hybrid vehicle. With more than 10 million units of the Prius sold worldwide as of 2017, it has established itself and Toyota as a leader in hybrid innovation.

What’s next for the Prius as a non-plug-in hybrid is pretty alarming as the world shifts towards fully electric vehicles. You can feel safe knowing the Prius will outlast a strictly gas-powered vehicle, however, so you’ll know when the end is near.

Best Year for the Toyota Prius - VehicleHistory (7)

Which Toyota Prius is the Best for Me?

There is an incredible range of different Prius models to choose from. Spanning 20 years of production, with four to five models and other packages, it can be challenging to find which one will be best for you.

We decided that the best used option has to be a 2013 Toyota Prius V. We chose this model because of its incredible technology package and the fact you get new hybrid tech like THS III without having to break the bank for a brand-new model.

As mentioned before, these models overall sit just above $10,000, but we’ve looked around and found a few examples under 100,000 miles for $9,000.

If you genuinely want a brand-new version of the Toyota Prius, we suggest a Prius XLE, so you get some of the lovely new tech but aren’t overspending for features you’ll never use. The Prius XLE can be had for $28,575, keeping it just under $30,000 territory and leaves you room for some extra options.

Photos: Toyota

Frequently Asked Questions

Apr 9, 2022

Which generation Prius is the best?

The best generation for a Toyota Prius is the current fourth-generation which was introduced in 2015. This generation generally is considered to have the fewest problems. The third generation was known to have many issues that led to them having a higher cost of ownership than average.

The second generation comes in second place in terms of overall quality. If you are looking to save some money and do not want to get something as new as 2015 then the second generation is a good option. These were produced from 2003 through 2009. Due to their age, they often will need to get a new hybrid battery pack installed in them. Fortunately, there is an aftermarket community for these Prius and it is easy to find a third-party battery pack that is much cheaper than buying an OEM Toyota one.

The Prius has been a very popular vehicle over the years and it seems like Toyota continues to improve the quality over time on them.

How long will a Toyota Prius last?

The lifespan of a Toyota Prius is somewhat different than the lifespan of a regular car that only has a combustion engine. The Prius has a hybrid battery pack that powers the electric motors, and usually, this is the first component that fails on them. The Prius battery pack typically will last 100,000 to 150,000 miles which should be able to get you 8 to 12 years if you average 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year.

The battery pack on a Prius is replaceable, it just can cost about $4,000 to replace. There are cheaper options that are available on the market for a third-party battery though and that could save you money if you change it yourself.

If you decide to change the battery then the actual gasoline engine in the vehicle should have no problem going well over 250,000 miles. These vehicles are used a lot as taxis around the world and get hundreds of thousands of miles on them and the engines keep ongoing.

Are Prius expensive to fix?

Even though a Toyota Prius is a hybrid vehicle it generally is not much more expensive to fix than any other car on the market. The only component that can get expensive to replace is the hybrid drive system which includes the batteries and electric motors. Usually, the batteries are able to last about 150,000 miles and the motors are typically good for over 300,000 miles.

The average annual cost of maintenance on a Prius is around $400 and that is pretty close to average in terms of the overall cost of ownership. The Prius still needs the regular services that you would get on any car such as oil changes, brake fluid changes, and suspension component replacements.

The Prius is definitely a good vehicle to look at if you are looking for a car that can last a long time and is not too expensive to repair. The Prius still has the legendary Toyota reliability with the increased fuel economy of a hybrid.

Owner Reviews

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Patrick B on May 4, 2021

2018 Toyota Prius Two Eco is reliable, smooth driving, strong performance, very safe, and also comfortable.

The performance option is very quick, has a normal option for smooth coasting and has an ECO mode to save lots of fuel. I get about 61-64 mpg, fill it up every 2.5-3 weeks. Very reliable, it's 2018 so now problems yet. It has a plethora for sensors as well lane change, radar cruise control which is amazing on long trips (slows and accelerates based on car distance), it also has a nice display area for speedometer and radio. The seats are comfy, the front right passenger seat is about short on leg room. The automatic bright headlights are a nice option for road visibility on dark streets. The Bluetooth speaker is very reliable and clear sounds. The A/C is very cold, perfect for warm climates. It has automatic breaking for accident avoidance.

Louisa B on May 27, 2021

The simplicity, reliability, and durability of a 2005Prius

I love driving a Prius because I live in a city. The Drivability is great, for example the turn radius is very sharp so it makes for easy maneuvering around the city. The gas mileage is stellar, and it tells you how many mpg you're getting depending on how you're driving. I also love how smooth it drives, how easy it is to operate (there's a screen where you can control everything from the audio to the temperature at just the tap of a button), and it fits 5 people very comfortably. The trunk is also very spacious. The car itself is very reliable and durable (it's 14 years old and I've never had a problem with it).

Tamara T on May 24, 2021

2012 Prius -- economical plugin is fun to drive, reliable, and features-rich.

No problems, great performance and mileage, extremely reliable, very comfortable front seats and comfortable back seats with good legroom. Love the air-conditioning system, defrosters, and ability to control/target airflow. Left and right rear corners can be blind spots if you are not careful. Rear wiper blade should cover more glass than it does (Imho). Needs more USB connection. Excellent cup holder sizes. All buttons well located. Need a glare control or screen shade for front navigation window, cannot read it on a sunny day. It would be nice to know how much mileage loss is incurred by certain options.

Abigail K on May 20, 2021

2010 Prius gets great gas mileage!

My car is comfortable and reliable. It gets great gas mileage. It has a really nice sunroof. One problem is the headlight was faulty and it had to be replaced a lot and than the recall to have it fixed was time consuming. Another problem is it bottoms out really easily and gets paint scratches in parking areas because Its so low to the ground. The wind shield wipers have never been that great. Satellite radio doesn't come in well either. My biggest complaint is the back window is difficult to see out of. The window is slanted and theres 2 windows making it challenging to see when Its night time or snowing.

Alyssa W on May 7, 2021

The 2016 Prius is the car of the future.

I absolutely love my Prius! It drives smooth, is reliable, safe, and comfortable. I especially love the it let’s me know when I am ready for an oil change or I am getting close to needing gas and will map local gas stations if needed. It has built in GPS, a wireless phone charger, built in apps on my touch screen display. It really is the car of the future! I can even track how much I have spent on gas every month and every time I fill up. It is also surprisingly roomy! We can fit our huge mountain dog and our two golden retrievers in the back without them being cramped.

(Video) Old = Better? Toyota Prius 2017 Review

Carolyn W on May 27, 2021

Reliable 2013 Prius - still running strong after 5 years.

I have not had any problems so far with this car. I do take it in every 5000 miles for inspection and tire rotation and 10, 000 miles for oil change. In 5 years I have changed the tires once and only performed the suggested maintenance. The seats are hard for me to keep clean unless I pay someone to detail them. They “circle” when I use any kind of cleaners. The only thing that has semi-worked it suede cleaner. I got about 55mpg when I first got the car. I get a little less now, but with 135, 000 miles I have never even had to change the brake pads, or turn the rotors.

Jackie S on May 24, 2021

The 2015 Prius is the perfect ride for me! Gas mileage is awesome.

I love my car! The gas mileage was the main concern when looking to purchase. It has been very dependable. Love driving it as it has enough power when I need it, such as passing on the interstate. I love the backup camera and the Bluetooth features. I also like the shifter position. I looked at some newer models of Prius but was really turned off by the relocation of the shifter. Like my 2015 much better. Also no complaints with the hatchback storage and those fold down seats are awesome. No complaints at all. I love driving my car.

Lawrence Mar on February 8, 2022

1st time Prius owner, long-time Prius driver

2019 Prius Prime. Got the larger screen. Only bad thing? The angle of the screen reflects a lot of sunlight. Makes screen unreadable. But it's a great car! I work just outside of the battery range, so I burn a little gas both ways... I can plug-in at work,fully charged in rive 2-hrs! 110v charging at home, 6-hrs. I fill up the tank every 2 months! Usually drive about 2100-2300 miles between refueling. My odometer/fuel economy is over 212.5 mpg! This is the best car that I have ever owned! I just LOVE this plug-in Prius Prime!

Catherine P on May 4, 2021

Why 2019 Prius Plus is the perfect car for me.

I have had absolutely no problems with this vehicle, although I haven't had it even a year. It handles well, is very comfortable, gets unbelievable gas mileage and is really the perfect car for me. It is peppy, manages corners well, and I feel like I never have to worry about getting to where I need to be, the gauges keep me completely informed about what I need to know and do to keep my car in great running order. I imagine this car will safely take me to 100k miles and beyond. Plus, it is sporty and good looking!

Stacy R on May 15, 2021

2013 Prius Three has great mileage, storage, and very comfortable

It's really comfortable for driving hours at a time. You really can't beat the gas mileage, I haven't clocked it since I bought it but it really did get 50 mpg with moderate driving. With the rear folding seats I can fit a ton of stuff in it including table saw, miter saw, air compressor, n other tools. Only issue so far is I had to pay a few hundred last year to get a new battery, not the main battery but another one that starts the car. It was having issues starting.

Thane Morgan on December 21, 2021

2010 Prius - 230,000 miles, 1 major repair.

And that major repair was just an EGR valve ,. I never had to replace the battery. The 2010 model did have an issue with easily worn pistons that used more oil and reduced gas mileage, but I was still getting 45 mpg on the highway driving the speed limits. The only other repair in that distance was a failed power door lock, which was surprising expensive at the dealership. Otherwise, it was just tires, oil and windshields.

Stephanie W on May 7, 2021

The 2004 Prius is a great vehicle to own. It has great gas mileage and runs smooth.

The Prius has never let me down. I have kept up with the usual maintenance such as new tires and oil changes and my car runs great. It has great gas mileage. I fill up about once a week and cost less than $20. The only problem I have is the headlight get a foggy film that I have to clean every few months with a little buffing it comes off. I am not sure why this happens. I would definitely get another Prius in the future!

Cassie B on May 5, 2021

Even after 10 years 2008 Prius is better than most cars on the market

(Video) Toyota Prius hatchback review - CarBuyer

I bought my car second hand certified and it was in excellent condition. For the first year there was a few problems the hybrid battery went completely out and had to be replaced. Luckily it was under warranty and all the cost to replace it were covered by Toyota. Since then nothing had happened except normal repairs like new tires, windshield wiper blades, oil changes, filter changes.

Mary B on May 18, 2021

My 2017 Prius: safe and economical.

I love my Prius. My gas mileage is usually about 60 miles per gallon. It took a little while to adjust to the best ways to optimize the gas mileage. Once you have it down it is easy. We got the hatchback which has really helped as we recently moved to a new home. The safety options are wonderful. It helps me feel safe. The Prius has been reliable, comfortable and performed well.

Elaine K on June 2, 2021

2009 Prius. Great car that gets good mileage. Easy and fun to drive.

I get great mileage. Save money on gas. It is easy to drive. Responds well to the road, has good pick up even though only 4 cylinders. No major problem except for maintenance, brakes and tires. I have over 105,000 miles. Hatch back is great for moving objects. Lots of room for packages. Even though the car is a 2009, it has a backup camera for safety while backing up.

Mary P on May 8, 2021

2014 is the best Prius of the 4 I have owned! The solar cooling system is amazing.

Love the gas mileage, of course, but I especially love the solar panel that makes a fan run to cool the car while it is parked. I live in Alabama and getting into a car that is not scorching in the summer is wonderful. It is a reliable car; the "power" feature gives it plenty of speed if I need it (rarely). It is my favorite car ever.

Anne L on May 17, 2021

2020 Toyota Prius LE is a great car to have for commute however it is not the most spacious vehicle.

It is a great car, it is reliable comfortable and great on gas. I commute over 100 miles a day the gas consumption it is important to me. So far I have no problems with it. It is will be better if you get all the upgrades. It is hybrid I had a 2007 one before that it is gave me a lot of problem. But this is new model it is run great.

Kellie W on May 28, 2021

2016 Prius Four is reliable but not good in snow.

My heated seats do not sometimes. The miles per gallon fluctuates a lot which is annoying. My car does not do too well in the snow. Seats are comfortable and I haven't had any major problems. Except it is so quiet that I can hear rattling all the time and the dealership always says it is something else.

Lori G on May 30, 2021

Enjoying my 2020 Prius prime, it is reliable and good looking family friendly car.

I really enjoy this car drive on short and long distances it is comfortable and reliable. I recommend it for families and single people. The mileage is great but charging is inconvenient at times. Overall I recommend this car the price was fair and as I stated it is my favorite vehicle at this time.

Nicole P on May 17, 2021

2003 Prius is an overall comfortable ride.

We've had a few problems with the stick getting stuck and electronics, but it is 15 years old at this point. However, overall it is a comfortable ride. It is a nice size - not too small, not big. It has a roomy trunk and easy gold down back seats. Overall an enjoyable car.

Elle G on May 22, 2021

AWD should be standard 2019 Prius feature.

I have absolutely no complaint about performance, reliability, comfort, or the features in the 2019 Toyota Prius. The all wheel drive should be standard on all Prius models. All wheel drive is useful in rain as well as snow. Good in inclement weather overall.

Kris N on May 30, 2021

2014 Prius Five is the best and most reliable vehicle.

Most reliable vehicle I have ever had. It is wonderful gas mileage. Low maintenance. Very comfortable on long trips and does not leave the body aching. It was a basic model and still feels like a spaceship with high safety standards that make me feel safe.

(Video) Toyota Prius Hybrid in-depth review - Carbuyer

Ced G on August 2, 2021

Purchased a 2013 prius

Even though I had to do a few minor repairs on the car,this prius runs like a champ. I cannot believe how reliable this car is & I haven't even had it 6 months yet from this point. No gripes whatsoever. Will purchase another prius if need be.

Ced G on March 13, 2022

2013 prius was heaven sent

I now had this vehicle for a year & haven't had any issues . I changed the oil regularly do simple maintenance.great gas mileage no complaints whatsoever. Does have inside noise cabin but I can deal with that.

Andy H on May 12, 2021

The Dutiful 2017 Prius Won't Let You Down

The gas efficiency is unbeatable. Its extremely ergonomic in that its not to fancy but is very comfortable and meets all of my needs. It is a very reliable vehicle and I never doubt its dependability.

John P on May 12, 2021

150K miles and still love my 2011 Prius.

Very reliable and comfortable. Gas mileage not quite as good as advertised. More like 42-44 MPG than the 50 they claim. Have over 150,000 miles and no major problems.

Lydia P on May 21, 2021

2006 Toyota Prius Review!

I have had my Prius for 6 years and put 230,000 miles on it and have had almost no maintenance issues! The amount you save on gas by driving a Prius is unreal.

Alice W on May 3, 2021

2015 Prius has the best gas mileage and has been a very dependable car.

I like that my vehicle gets great gas mileage. It has been very dependable. It is not very comfortable for long distance and the interior shows spots.

Jonathan E on June 2, 2021

2001 Prius is cheap and it looks shabby but is actually decent.

There are not too many problems, but it is not spectacular either. The seats are good, the clutch and handling are good, and it is a good car.

Josh Brown

A longtime auto enthusiast as well as an automotive journalist for nearly five years, Josh was initially influenced by Japanese automotive culture, which is reflected in his vehicle choices today. Josh can usually be found tinkering with his home-garage projects and collecting rare automotive memorabilia.

  • Articles
  • Best Year for the Toyota Prius


What year is the most reliable Toyota Prius? ›

The best Toyota Prius model years are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, and 2003. The worst model years of the Prius are 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What is the most common problems with Toyota Prius? ›

According to some owners, their vehicles have experienced a wide variety of engine-related issues, such as a blown head gasket, engine hesitation, engine failure, overheating, and stalling. Toyota has issued recalls for this model year to address multiple engine problems.

How many miles is too many for a Prius? ›

How Long Does a Toyota Prius Last? With regular maintenance, a Toyota Prius owner can expect to get between 200,000 and 250,000 miles out of their Prius, with some owners topping the 300,000-mile mark and going strong.

What are common problems with 2007 Toyota Prius? ›

Problems found on the 2007 Prius are fairly minor compared to other cars and include headlight issues, excessive oil consumption, and dash lights turning off.
  • Headlight problems are the most common complaint from owners at about 100,000 miles. ...
  • Excessive oil consumption shows up on many models at roughly 150,000 miles.
7 May 2022

What year Prius has problems? ›

The 2007, 2008, and 2010 year models are the least reliable, with each having a plethora of reports of headlights malfunctioning or blowing out and over-consumption of oil. These you should avoid at all costs. However, the 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2016 Toyota Prius year models aren't much better either.

What does it cost to replace the batteries in a Prius? ›

Batteries for hybrids and electric cars usually cost more than batteries for gas-powered vehicles—and the Prius battery is no exception. It can cost between $2,200 and $4,100 to replace a Toyota Prius battery. When you're breaking down the price, keep in mind that even a used Prius battery costs around $1,500.

How many years do Prius batteries last? ›

On average, you may need to replace your hybrid car battery every five years if you drive it for long periods of time. Yet if you don't, the battery will likely last between 100,000-150,000 miles or between eight to ten years.

What is the downside of owning a Prius? ›

Cramped Rear Seats

The 33.4 inches of legroom may be enough for kids and teens, but full-grown adults will not likely have a relaxing time. This drawback will only matter if you regularly have back seat passengers; otherwise, it's the biggest issue with the Prius.

Is buying a Prius worth it? ›

As long as driving enjoyment or a high-end interior aren't top considerations, the 2022 Toyota Prius is a solid hybrid car . It's a fuel-efficient, value-laden, and spacious vehicle, resulting in a pretty good overall package.

How much is a 10 year old Prius worth? ›

2010 Toyota Prius Value - $3,798-$10,737 | Edmunds.

Will a Prius run without the hybrid battery? ›

In some cases, like with the Prius, the vehicle works off a parallel system. This means the two power sources work beside each other instead of depending on each other. In the case of a dead Prius battery, your vehicle could still run off gasoline, but it would be weak and not very smooth driving.

Can a Prius battery last 200000 miles? ›

Some Toyota hybrid car owners have reported batteries lasting up to 200,000 miles and more. That means you could buy a used 10-year-old hybrid car with a battery that could potentially still have up to 100,000 miles of life in it. So, in many cases, the battery could last for the expected lifetime of the vehicle.

What years did Prius have head gasket problems? ›

The head gasket on the Gen3 Prius is more likely to fail than on most other Toyota models. The affected years are 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. I've never seen a problem with the generations before, and so far there have been no issues with the Gen4 (2016 and newer).

How long does a Prius battery last 2007? ›

How long do Toyota Prius batteries last? The general estimation is that it will run effectively for 8 to 10 years or anywhere between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, but there are factors that will help determine which end of the spectrum your battery life falls on.

Can you drive a 2007 Prius without the hybrid battery? ›

The short answer to this question is yes,the Toyota Prius can still drive if the hybrid battery fails. You will get poor fuel economy and a rougher drive from it though.

Why is Prius insurance so high? ›

The main reason why insurance companies charge you more to insure a hybrid is that they are worth more. Buyers still pay a high premium for buying the latest hybrid technology. If your car gets stolen or totaled, your insurance will have to cover a higher cost.

What year Prius are catalytic converters stolen? ›

The second-generation Prius, sold from 2004 to 2009, has become a prime target for catalytic converter theft in California. The car's shoebox-sized anti-pollution device contains trace amounts of precious metals and can fetch several hundred dollars from scrap yards and recyclers.

Are Prius expensive to fix? ›

Toyota Prius Maintenance Costs

A Toyota Prius will cost about $4,008 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This beats the industry average for popular hatchback models by $2,756. There is also a 11.22% chance that a Prius will require a major repair during that time.

Is it worth replacing a Prius hybrid battery? ›

If you buy a new Prius HV battery (assuming that's what they sell you), it will last longer than the rest of your car will – unless, of course, you have a very low mileage Prius that's in great shape and might last for 20 total years – for these Prius and Camry's, we do recommend just spending more money and getting a ...

What happens if you don't replace Prius battery? ›

If A Hybrid Battery Dies, Can You Still Drive The Car? Unfortunately, no. If your hybrid battery dies, you cannot drive the car anymore. You would have to replace the battery in order to keep driving the vehicle, even if it's a hybrid and it still has gasoline.

Can you replace a Prius battery yourself? ›

For starters, it's exceptionally dangerous. There is high voltage involved, so if you don't have the right expertise and experience dealing with such a replacement job, you could be putting yourself at risk. Plus, trying to perform the replacement without the proper diagnostic equipment can lead to problems.

How much does it cost to replace a Prius 12v battery? ›

We know we won't make everyone happy, but for those who are overjoyed at the thought of spending time reading disclaimers, we can say that as of September 2022, the retail price on this battery before tax is $279.99.

How do you tell if a Prius battery is going bad? ›

5 Signs Your Hybrid Needs a New Battery
  1. Fewer Miles to the Gallon. As a cost-conscious driver, you probably keep an eye on your gas mileage. ...
  2. Erratic Engine Input. If your ICE runs erratically, it's another indication of a battery problem. ...
  3. State of Charge. ...
  4. Charging Problems. ...
  5. Strange Noises.
25 Oct 2019

Are Prius more expensive to insure? ›

A Toyota Prius is inexpensive to insure. Compared to other car models, you'll generally spend less on an insurance policy for this car. On average, the cost of insurance for a Toyota Prius is $1,237 per year, which is roughly $190 less than the average across all other car models.

Is Prius good for long drives? ›

The Toyota Prius is one of the most dependable vehicles for long drives available. With its high fuel economy, interior comfort, the engine performance and quiet powertrain, you're guaranteed a hassle-free journey.

Does mileage matter on a used Prius? ›

There should be little wear to critical components such as the engine and transmission with regularly scheduled maintenance. If these services have been completed, a higher mileage Prius can be a good buy. However, higher mileage cars can have weak points. They have seen more use and can develop more issues.

What you should know before buying a Prius? ›

10 Things To Know Before Buying The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime
  • 10/10 Performance Is Nothing To Be Excited About.
  • 9/10 Driving Dynamics Are A Bit Dull.
  • 8/10 Impressive Range And Fuel Efficiency.
  • 7/10 Jittery Ride Quality.
  • 6/10 Not Very Spacious.
  • 5/10 Long List Of Safety Features Are Standard.
  • 4/10 Interior Feels Well Put Together.
9 Mar 2022

Is Prius better than Corolla? ›

The main differences are the vehicle's performance capabilities and the price. While the Prius offers an electric powertrain, it is limited on engine and transmission options. Whereas the Corolla offers a variety of options to choose from. On top of that, the Prius is slightly more expensive.

How much does a used Prius battery cost? ›

You must consider the labor costs because they will always be an inflating factor. Including labor charges, the price of a used Prius battery ranges between $1,700-$3,600. For a refurbished Prius battery, you should expect to pay between $1,600-$5,000, including labor costs.

Are old hybrids worth it? ›

Top Reasons for Buying a Used Hybrid

Get a hybrid for the price of a newer gas-only model. Avoid a huge initial depreciation hit on a new hybrid. Deal with less wear on brake pads and transmission than gas-only models because of the electrical drive. Battery pack usually has a warranty of 100,000 to 150,000 miles.

Whats high miles on an older Prius last? ›

With routine service appointments, Toyota Prius owners report that it's easy to pass 200,000 miles with no major issues. There are even a few Prius owners who still drive their cars with over 300,000 miles on the odometer.

Is it worth replacing hybrid battery? ›

The once-in-a-while price you have to pay for a new battery pales in comparison to the alternative options you might think of instead of a replacement. So, if you've come to this page wondering whether it's worth it to replace your hybrid battery when it dies, the answer is an easy yes.

What is the disadvantage of a hybrid car? ›

Poor handling: Hybrids have more machinery than conventional cars, which adds extra weight and reduces fuel efficiency. So, hybrid car manufacturers have had to make smaller engines and batteries to cut down on weight. But this results in reduced power for the vehicle and support in the body and suspension.

What is the biggest problem with hybrid cars? ›

One of the typical hybrid car issues is problems with the evaporative emissions system. Usually, problems occur in the form of system failure or leaks. If valves or lines fail, you have to replace the system, but scheduling regular hybrid car maintenance can prevent this issue.

How often do Prius hybrid batteries need to be replaced? ›

Hybrid car battery replacement should be performed every 150,000 miles or 15 years (whichever comes first). Bear in mind that this is not a guarantee, but an average figure for how often hybrid battery replacement should be performed.

How often does a Prius battery need to be replaced? ›

A Toyota Prius is a prime example of why hybrid cars work. Toyota boasts that the battery should last the lifetime of the car. Regardless, it should last for at least ten years or more than 150,000 miles. Best of all, you have options when you replace a Prius battery.

How do I extend the battery life on my Prius? ›

One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of hybrid vehicles' batteries is to coast to a stop instead of coming to hard stop. Coasting generates kinetic energy that charges and consequentially extends the battery's life, so coast to stops as much as is possible. You can also coast when going down big hills, too.

Which year of Prius is best? ›

The best Toyota Prius model years are 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, and 2003. The worst model years of the Prius are 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What year Prius is being recalled? ›

2022 Toyota Prius Recall

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2022 Prius and Prius Prime vehicles. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) software may falsely detect an error and shut down the hybrid system, causing a loss of drive power.

How much does it cost to replace a head gasket in a Prius? ›

The average cost for a Toyota Prius head gasket replacement is between $1,920 and $2,286. Labor costs are estimated between $1,371 and $1,729 while parts are priced between $549 and $557.

How much does it cost to replace a battery in a 2007 Prius? ›

Generally, you'll be looking at about $2,400 - $2,700 for a new Prius battery pack excluding labor costs. With parts and labor costs included, you should expect price ranges going as high as $5,000 or more. Before you conclude that your Prius battery needs replacement, it might just need to be reconditioned.

Can a Prius battery last 20 years? ›

And second, Toyota says a Prius battery will last between 100,000-150,000 miles or between 8-10 years.

How far can Prius go on battery only? ›

The battery has been optimized for daily commutes, providing more interior room for your rear passengers and an EPA-estimated 25 miles of driving range in EV Mode.

How much does it cost to replace Toyota Prius hybrid battery? ›

Batteries for hybrids and electric cars usually cost more than batteries for gas-powered vehicles—and the Prius battery is no exception. It can cost between $2,200 and $4,100 to replace a Toyota Prius battery.

What happens if you don't replace your hybrid battery? ›

Now, without a good hybrid battery to share the load, the gas engine will run more often and your fuel economy will decrease. Your hybrid vehicle's overall performance and efficiency (the reason you bought the car in the first place) will steadily decline until the battery fails completely.

How much does it cost to replace a Toyota hybrid battery? ›

Generally, a hybrid battery replacement cost can range from $2,000 to $8,000.

Can a Prius last 300k miles? ›

Toyota Prius

From that sales sample, a staggering 19.8 percent of them were listed with over 200,000 miles on the clock while five of them were above 300,000 miles. Love it or hate it, the Toyota Prius is easily one of the most reliable and fuel-efficient cars that you can buy, and this list proves it even more.

Which is better Prius or Corolla? ›

The main differences are the vehicle's performance capabilities and the price. While the Prius offers an electric powertrain, it is limited on engine and transmission options. Whereas the Corolla offers a variety of options to choose from. On top of that, the Prius is slightly more expensive.

Is insurance cheaper on a Prius? ›

A Toyota Prius is inexpensive to insure. Compared to other car models, you'll generally spend less on an insurance policy for this car. On average, the cost of insurance for a Toyota Prius is $1,237 per year, which is roughly $190 less than the average across all other car models.

How often does a Prius need an oil change? ›

An oil change is one of the most basic and critical services for your vehicle. Synthetic oil normally should be changed each 7,500 - 10,000 miles. Toyota advises getting your 2020 Toyota Prius oil & filter changed each 3,000-5,000 miles for conventional oil.

How do I make my Prius last longer? ›

Make sure that you have the HEV Battery Pack Cooling System checked, cleaned and certified every year. Every 12 – 15 months (or 15,000 miles / 24,000 km) locate the Cabin Air Filter (a component that is in every motor vehicle, hybrid, electric or traditional) and have it serviced or replaced.


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