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The Toyota Prius is the most popular green car. It outsells a variety of electric vehicles in the U.S., making it a pretty compelling option to buy new and used. However, what do you need to be concerned about when purchasing a used Toyota Prius

Is buying a Used Toyota Prius a good idea? 

the AWDe is a great example of why knowing what drivetrain and powertrain mean is important
AWDe Toyota Prius | Toyota

First of all, you should know that there are a ton of used Toyota Prius models in circulation, proving tons of options. However, the Toyota Prius holds its value well, with the lowest depreciation value out of all green cars. 

This means that you might not find the best bargain on a used Prius, but it’s also less of a risky investment. If you discover that the Prius isn’t for you, then it should be easy to flip to get your money back. 

Used Prius model buying tips 

Before signing for your new to you Toyota Prius, give it a lengthy test drive to see if you like how a hybrid vehicle feels. Some people are thrown off by how quiet the motor is and the disconnect between the engine speed and road speed. 

Then consider the battery warranty. You’ll need to know this information according to your home state. The Prius battery warranty could be for eight years or the first 100k miles, or in California, it’s 10 years or the first 150k miles. 

The warranty protects you against a failing battery pack, which could cost between $2,500 to $3,000 to replace. But it doesn’t protect against the slow decline of power, so your Prius may use more gas as the battery stores less power. 

But, this isn’t a significant concern. The nickel-metal-hydride battery pack is one of the less frequently replaced parts of the Toyota Prius. One owner of a 2004 Toyota Prius racked up over 100k miles and still manages to receive 42 mpg after 10 years. 

Then you need to decide which generation you want and to watch for problem years:

  • The first-generation Toyota Prius, from 2000 to 2003 is smaller and slower. 
  • The second-generation Prius from 2004 to 2009 are a better bet, depending on which model year you choose.  
  • And the third-generation Toyota Prius that began in 2010 has a better fuel economy. 

Based on CarComplaints, we can see which used Toyota Prius models have the most issues. Actual drivers use the site to report problems that have occurred with their vehicles. So, let’s look at the worst used Toyota Prius years. 

The worst used Prius years 

The 2019 Toyota Prius with all-wheel drive is shown at the auto trade show, AutoMobility LA
The Toyota Prius | David McNew/Getty Images

The 2010 Toyota Prius looks like it has received the most complaints in recent years. It’s the most concerning used Toyota Prius model. Wow, 150 drivers reported engine problems with this model.

One major engine problem includes the excessive consumption of oil, and another involves speed control issues. 

The 2016 Toyota Prius has significantly fewer issues, but more problems have been reported compared to other recent years. Several drivers reported windshield issues.

Apparently, the windshields in the 2016 Toyota Prius are prone to easily cracking. Interior accessory issues were reported as well.

The 2011 Prius is another corning model year. It has over 214 complaints about brake problems. There are reports of brake failure on bumpy roads or after hitting potholes. There are also complaints of hitting the brakes causing the vehicle to lurch forward.


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