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Hybrid vehicles have been around long enough that some of them are proving just how reliable they can be. When the website ranked the most reliable 10-year-old cars you can buy, both Toyota’s Prius hybrid and Camry hybrid made its list.

The most reliable decade-old sedans

Toyota Prius hybrid sedan parked on concrete, bamboo plants visible in the background.
2012 Toyota Prius | Toyota

The website periodically ranks the most reliable decade-old cars. It completed its most recent roundup in 2021, and included the following makes and models (ranked from #10 to #1)

  • 2011 Lexus ES
  • 2011 Toyota Avalon
  • 2011 Honda Accord
  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2011 Toyota Camry
  • 2011 Scion xD
  • 2011 Toyota Corolla
  • 2011 Buick LaCrosse
  • 2011 Toyota Prius
  • 2011 Chevrolet Impala

Glancing over this list, a few things are obvious. Firstly, Toyota/Lexus/Scion dominates the most reliable decade-old sedans. Secondly, both the Toyota Camry and Toyota Prius were available as hybrid. In fact, the Prius only comes as a hybrid and editors call out the Camry’s available hybrid drivetrain as a reliable option.

You might be asking yourself: “Don’t hybrid vehicles have more moving parts than regular vehicles?” It might seem counterintuitive, but many hybrids actually require less maintenance.

Read more about these most reliable sedans.

Can a Toyota hybrid actually be reliable?

Toyota Prius hybrid driving in front of ivy plants for a promo photo.
2012 Toyota Prius | Toyota

Most gasoline hybrid vehicles feature an electric motor/generator sandwiched between a traditional gasoline engine and an automatic transmission. When you stomp the brakes, this unit helps slow the vehicle–charging the high-voltage “traction” battery in the process. Then when you tap the gas, this motor launches the car. At a certain speed the vehicle finally fires up the gasoline engine to help.

This electric motor/generator actually prevents wear-and-tear on the traditional gasoline engine and the standard brakes. Many hybrid vehicles need fewer brake services and have less issues with their gasoline engines. All of this in addition to burning less gasoline.

The experts at J.D. Power agree. The 2010 Toyota Prius earned an 87/100 for quality and reliability from J.D. Power. In 2011 and 2012, it got an 86/100. In 2013 this rose to an 87/100 again, and in 2014 it bumped back down to an 86/100. But for 2015, it shot back up to 88/100.

Eventually, a hybrid car’s high-voltage traction battery does wear out. Toyota has been able to engineer Prius batteries that last nearly as long as the rest of the vehicle’s drivetrain. If you do need to replace them, you can often upgrade your Prius battery and further improve your fuel mileage.

Find out how much it costs to replace a hybrid battery.

2010-2015 Toyota Prius offered great features

This red Toyota Prius hybrid has proven to be one of the most reliable decade-old sedan cars available.
2012 Toyota Prius | Toyota

For its third generation, the Toyota Prius was a reliable and luxurious hybrid sedan. Toyota started building the Prius in 2001. But at first the hybrid was a barebones compact that stressed fuel efficiency above all else. It was mechanically reliable, but still fairly spartan.

For the 2010 model year, Toyota added oodles of features to push its Prius upmarket. Toyota endowed the Prius with a power moonroof, remote keyless entry, push-button start, LED lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, voice-activated navigation, hands-free calling, 4-disc CD player, selectable drive modes, and air conditioning.

You could even order a second-generation Prius with the hardware/software package for dynamic cruise control, lane-keep, and parking assist. This hybrid holds its own in the used car market.


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