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For many potential buyers, $12,000 is a perfect line to draw for reliability, fuel efficiency, and budget. While most vehicles under this price point are older and typically have higher mileage, there are a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is the 2010 Toyota Prius. The hybrid from the legendary automaker is known for extreme dependability, looks that stand the test of time, and fuel efficiency that peaks over 50 mpg. However, even though the Prius is the most famous hybrid car, some risks still exist with older batteries.

Is 2010 a good year for Toyota Prius?

2010 Toyota Prius car lot
2010 Toyota Prius | Getty Images

The redesign of the 2010 Toyota Prius brought top fuel economy and an interior that was hard to beat at the time of release. It has a polarizing style you either love or hate, but the aerodynamic shape boosts fuel efficiency even more. A 98-horsepower four-cylinder engine and two electric motors run through the continuously variable transmission. Acceleration for a hybrid vehicle is slow, and you can not expect performance from the Prius. However, this drivetrain provides 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway. The mpg ratings top all others in its category.

The standard features of the simple but clean interior are a push-button start and a four-speaker audio system. Upper trim levels and option packages add features such as Bluetooth, an upgraded head unit, and leather, heated front seats. Safety features include a seven-airbag system and electronic stability control.

How many miles can a 2010 Toyota Prius last?

2010 Toyota Prius Silver
2010 Toyota Prius | Getty Images

Being one of the most famous Toyota models, the Prius hybrid is known for reliability and longevity as much as the Toyota Tundra. J.D. Power rates the 2010 Prius 87 out of 100 in quality and reliability. Over the different generations, the hybrid sedan has stayed consistently at the top of its class. The Prius has almost no major trouble spots or recalls, but the brakes on the 2010 Toyota Prius and 2011 models have had a handful of reported issues.

Many owners will report their Prius models easily reaching 200,000 miles. Achieving this mileage is incredible for any vehicle, but some even report driving close to over 300,000 miles with the original engine. Battery issues are one of the most common concerns. However, some companies specialize in Prius battery replacements. Most of these replacements cost under $1500, potentially saving thousands over buying another vehicle.

What are the most common problems with Toyota Prius?

There are a few other issues to look out for when shopping for a Prius. Specific to the 2010 model year, one of the most common problems is the center multi-function display failing. The screen in the middle of the dashboard shows everything from accurate mpg readings to what is playing on the radio. However, the 2010 model years may have a poorly soldered connection that causes the screen to fade and become unusable.

Should you buy a 2010 Toyota Prius?

The 2010 model year is easily one of the best options for a hybrid under $12,000. If you can find an example under 150,000 miles, you will be set up for years to come. All that is needed is regular maintenance, and the Prius will rack up miles without worry. As these generations age, it is best to watch for regular maintenance to prevent future issues. For potential buyers, pay close attention to battery life expectancy. Aside from that, the Prius is a fantastic choice.