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2009 Toyota Prius

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 842 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10
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Excellent car.

By on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, great mileage, fun to drive"

Cons: "traction starting out from a stop in winter"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Overall, it's a wonderfully comfortable and economic car. A couple of things to keep in mind, however. Shortly after buying ours used, we had to replace the 12-volt battery, which was very expensive. It had a dead cell. So when taking a Prius for a test drive, try starting it by pressing the start button without putting your foot on the brake. If it has a battery with a dead cell, the battery will immediately drain and the car will shut down, and the dealership will have to jump it, and put in a new battery for you. The only other thing that we've experienced is the poor front-wheel traction when starting out on ice or significant snow. I'd recommend putting on snow tires in the winter, which has helped my wife a lot, and she no longer complains so it has helped me a lot as well. Last remark, the mileage depends greatly on the driver, driving habits, and on the outside temperature. In summer, I regularly get 50 mpg in town and 48 to 52 mpg on the highway; in Jan. and Feb. it goes down about 10 mpg."

30 people out of 30 found this review helpful

This is a great car.

By on Saturday, March 02, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economy, comfort, reliability, cargo room"

Cons: "Visibility, armrests hard, seating position"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car new skeptical about actual gas mileage, comfort, battery life, and performance. It has been top notch in all categories. It can easily pull into highways on entrance ramps, and has plenty of pull-away power for all occasions. It has plenty of room in the back seat - I have had five seniors in the car for a 200 mile trip with no complaints. My gas mileage, per the instrument panel, has been 48.7 mpg for the last 90,000 miles. Tire replacement at 50,000 miles was OK. Brakes are still going and have plenty of wear left. Our car is the base model, lowest cost, and is OK for us. Some friends paid almost $10,000 more for options. That is the consumer's choice. Be careful of reviews on this car. They invariably say the legroom in back is poor (it is not - try it), the battery is only good for 100,000 miles and is expensive to replace (ask your dealer how many batteries he has replaced), and lack of power (baloney). Three things I don't like are the right side visibility at intersections, the front armrests are hard and gave me a swollen elbow on a long trip, the grab bar above the front doors squeaked for the first 80,000 miles even after replacing one. One other thing is I wish the steering wheel had an in-out adjustment."

24 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Best Car You'll Ever Own

By on Saturday, July 14, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Low operating cost. Very high resale value."

Cons: "Rear visibility. Road noise at freeway speed."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Thinking about a Prius? You will not be disappointed. Let's start with economy. You know about the fuel savings, truthfully you'll get an amazing 44 mpg combined city/highway driving (with up to about 50 mpg highway), don't let anyone tell you more, it's not going to happen. Next up, ownership cost is where you'll really save. I have 2005 with 35k miles and the ONLY thing I've done is change oil and put on new tires. These cars are so reliable and maintenance free you won't believe it. No tuneups for 100k miles for instance. Then there's the real "biggie", resale value. Check out how well these cars hold their value and you won't take long to figure out how that seriously boosts the overall low cost of ownership. Dollar for dollar, you can't find a less expensive car, the Prius just has everything beat. Period. That said, you might ask, "What's the catch?" Well, there just isnt' one. These cars are an absolute JOY to drive. They're quiet (around town), handle well, ergonomics are phenominal, storage space is comparable to a mid-size wagon, and the car comes with a great stereo and other amenities. After about a month, you will fall in love with the keyless feature. You NEVER take the key out of your pocket. Ever. The car senses your presence and all you do is open the door (no key required), push the start button and drive off. To lock, you just push the button on the door, that's it! I also own a 2005 Corvette C5 convertible and while each of these cars is way, way different, they are both just as much fun to drive in their own individual ways. I'm 64 years old, have owned about 40 cars in my lifetime, and the 2005 Prius is honestly the BEST (all around) CAR I've ever owned. Don't worry about anything if you're considering a Prius. You'll be delighted and be saving serious money every mile you drive in this fantastic car."

21 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Crown jewel of hybrid vehicles

By on Monday, July 21, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"I purchased my Prius from a Toyota dealership back when you had to be on a waiting list and couldn't get one for under MSRP - some dealers were charging above MSRP - because of the demand. First of all, the special features: I'm no audiophile, but I prefer listening to music on the premium JBL sound system (9 speakers in 7 locations, 6-disc in-dash changer, cassette deck) to my home stereo. The integrated GPS system is excellent, automatically rerouting me when I miss a turn and giving instructions clearly enough and soon enough that I can easily follow them. The GPS map DVD is a bit out of date and doesn't know about newer neighborhoods. Bluetooth integration is built in, enabling the car to act as a speakerphone for your bluetooth-enabled cell phone. The controls and setup for this, however, are not easy to manage. If my phone allowed, I could send phonebook entries directly to the Prius for use with the touchscreen, however I have yet to figure out how to add phonebook entries manually. All the car's features are controlled through an integrated touchscreen, voice commands, and buttons located on the steering wheel. There are several ways to get to the most often used functions, enabling drivers to keep their attention on the road instead of all the "bells and whistles". The car's voice is pleasant and rarely annoys me as other rental cars and GPS units have. The steering wheel controls are well laid out, and voice commands are fairly intuitive and easy to remember, although in the presence of background noise it's hard for the car to recognize the words. Features are built-in to ensure that the touchscreen is not used while the car is in motion, but the "protection" on these items is inconsistent, allowing some things to be done at freeway speeds while denying access to others that are less distracting. It would be nice to have the ability to turn this feature off, especially when a passenger can operate the touchscreen while the driver remains focused. The car keeps track of gas mileage for you automatically, as well as maintenance intervals for oil changes, air filters, etc. When it's time for an oil change, the car lets you know every time you start it. The gearshift lever in this car takes the form of a small "stick" on the dashboard that snaps back into place as soon as it's released. The car is placed in "PARK" by use of a button separate from the lever where drive, reverse, engine braking, and neutral modes are selected. This can be confusing to valets and anyone borrowing the car, but Toyota thoughtfully included a pad of "valet cards" that can be handed to those unfamiliar with how the Prius operates. The smart key system enables the driver to unlock, lock, and drive the car without ever removing the keys from a pocket. This option is one of my favorite things about the car and comes in handy when loading and unloading the vehicle as well as driving - just walk up to the trunk and open it, then sit down and press the power button to drive. Driver controls such as the pedals are not mechanically linked to the car, but send electrical signals to the engine's computer, known as "fly-by-wire" technology. Despite this, the pedals still seem to provide good physical feedback, and the car does what you expect it to do in all cases. The vehicle stability control and anti-skid features of the vehicle are extremely well designed. In the few instances where I've skidded, the car is correcting my path before I've even realized what's happening; responsive, predictable control is provided to the driver during a "panic situation". I have noticed that hitting a pothole, speedbump, or even a slick spot in the road causes the traction control to react way too strongly. This seems to happen often when it's raining and I'm cutting across a corner while pulling into traffic - not a good time to have the car slow down in the middle of starting out. I've learned to add a little extra room to account for the occasional "false start". Considering that I've taken this car down mountain passes in heavy snow with regular tires, and the control was superb, I'm willing to live with an oversensitive traction control system despite the frustrations it causes during normal driving. I am comfortable attempting terrain in my car which would scare me in any other. The interior of the car is roomy and comfortable even on long distance drives, although not as quiet as I would like. There is a distinct lack of headroom in the rear passenger compartment. Although the rear seats fold down and allow for a great deal of cargo space, the slope of the hatchback and rear window could be improved to maximize the use of this space - apparently the car was built for aerodynamic performance at the expense of cargo room. Storage inside the passenger compartment is good; two glove compartments, a large open center console, a small storage area in the dash, and a drawer at the bottom of the center console are all available, as well as 2 front and 2 rear cupholders. An extra compartment underneath the trunk floor but above the spare tire is provided as well, along with two smaller side compartments under the trunk floor. A roller-type shade is provided to cover the trunk area from view and sunlight. Both this and the optional cargo net store away in the lower trunk compartments. I am surprised that the car was not equipped with power seats, given all the other automated functions. I also found the factory tint on the windows to be very light, appearing almost as if no tint is applied at all; however I live in Florida and the usual tint job here is generally as dark as limousines use. The Toyota Hybrid System is the most prominent and hyped feature of the Prius line, and is worth the hype. When the car starts, there is no starter motor and its associated sound. Instead, the electric motor brings the crankshaft up to speed and fuel is delivered to the cylinders like push-starting a manual transmission car. The engine is off at low speeds and stops unless the battery is low, and comes on when needed. The high-torque electric motor and the high-speed gas engine can both drive the wheels at the same time working together, giving the car a "peppy" feel that one wouldn't expect from so small an engine. The gear system also works without any shifting, so acceleration is smooth and even. At some times the car can feel a bit sluggish upon acceleration. Merging into a busy, fast-moving freeway with this car is not, however, a harrowing experience. Gas mileage is not anywhere near the EPA estimates - 60 in city driving, 51 highway (that's not a typo - hybrids do better at the lower speeds of city driving). With my driving habits, I get about 43-46MPG in about half/half driving, and 40MPG on long roadtrips at freeway speeds. I have talked to other owners whose gas mileage is in the 50s, but with more conservative driving habits. If you want to improve your driving habits to get better mileage, the touchscreen can show a real-time display of miles per gallon, as well as a graph of five-minute averages over the last half hour of driving. This information can be used at a glance to adjust driving for better mileage. Braking provides very good stopping distance, and the "brakes" used most often are actually bleeding energy off the wheels in order to recharge the battery. During a "panic stop" or under 8MPH standard disc brakes are engaged and regenerative braking is not used. It's possible while gradually stopping to feel the point at which disc brakes are engaged, but this doesn't interfere with driving and occurs seamlessly and naturally as needed. I often am asked how I charge the hybrid battery, or what I have to do differently when driving. The battery is charged in the same way the battery in any other car is charged - you drive it, and excess electrical energy is used to charge the battery as the alternator in a normal car would do. Since the smaller 12v battery only has to power a relay to bring the larger battery online instead of cranking a starter motor, the 12v battery is small like a marine or motorcycle battery and suffers no ill effects from extremely cold conditions. Another question that I hear a lot relates to repair and maintenance. Many systems in this car work just like conventional vehicles and can be serviced by any repair shop - radiator, brakes, and oil delivery systems, for example. The "special" systems for a hybrid vehicle - transmission, battery, electric motors, etc. - are covered by a 7-year warranty which should eliminate any concerns over additional repair expenses for most people. So far I've been party to two recalls, both of which were taken care of at the dealership during normal maintenance and did not affect my experience of the car before repair. I did have a warped dash panel due to an improperly installed glove box lid, which was replaced under warranty at no cost. The only other repair work which was done on the car outside of the normal scheduled maintenance was a burnt-out brake light bulb. Overall, the Toyota Prius is a hybrid that doesn't involve any sacrifices. Once you get used to your engine "dying" at every stoplight, you can drive this car just like any other and forget that under the hood everything is not so normal. Whenever I go to the dealership for maintenance, I walk around the lot and encourage anyone looking at the Prius to buy it. I prefer driving it to any other car. When I rent a car on business trips I always ask the person at the counter if they have a Prius."

19 people out of 19 found this review helpful

most reliable vehicle I've had

By on Monday, July 22, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 295,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "gas mileage, reliability"

Cons: "average quality interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've never had a car that had 295,000 miles on it and still has the original brake pads and spark plugs, as well as no other repairs except for two recalls. It's also great to go 500 miles on just over 10 gallons of gas."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Awesome and reliable

By on Sunday, April 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable, easy to drive, comfortable, safe"

Cons: "shaky in severely cold weather, loud on highway."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased my cousin's 2006 Prius a year ago, and I couldn't love it more! It has around 87,000 miles on it and it's reliable, and amazing in the Colorado weather. My cousin lived in a mountain/college town and used it in the snow, and I live in a bigger city here where they rarely plow the streets and I have had no problems in the snow (and I need new tires.) My only complaint is that when it gets really cold it sometimes needs a jump (which can be a pain) but that has only happened twice when it got below 0 degrees at night. It's reliable, easy to drive, has an awesome sound system, is great in any kind of weather and has a fantastic turning radius; it's also comfortable (but a little loud) on the highway and gets excellent gas mileage in the city. Typically in a Prius, in order to get the best mileage, you want to drive where there is very little stop and go (but not quite highway driving) and I was able to get it up to 65 mpg when I was commuting to work. However, I now drive a short distance in a completely stop and go route, and I still get over 50 mpg. It's had no problems and has never needed more than basic service. I would recommend this car to anyone who doesn't want an SUV, and wants a reliable and trusted vehicle that is eco friendly (not completely eco friendly, but at least making a difference.) It also holds its value extremely well because it's a Toyota (mine is still worth $11,500) Good luck!!"

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best car for the price

By on Saturday, March 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 369,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car in 2010 used with 61,235 miles. I work as independent contractor and so far i have 369,245 miles on the car. I hade couple of things fixed beside the wear and tear issues. The dashboard which was replaced because it was a recall and i didn't have to pay for, and the c converter which i found a small shop that did it for 800 dollars. I do all my maintenance like changing oil and rotate my tires at the dealer because its cheaper and they give you a report on whats wrong and i do any fixing at a shop I've have dealing with the past 10 years. I was told by the dealer this is the highest miles they have seen on a Prius. The car is amazing for the following reasons: 1. Great MPG (46-58) through the life of the car. Summer time you will get the highest and winter the lowest. you will lose 1/2 to 1 mile on average yearly. 2. Low maintenance. 3. Good space. 4. Good looking car. I find the only thing bad about the car is snow which we got a lot this year so I was forced to use my AWD."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

A really nice vehicle

By on Sunday, August 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 171,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "economy, comfort, reliability, very pleasant to dr"

Cons: "fuel gauge, tonneau cover"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has needed very little repair work except for routine maintenance. I have very little on parts and maintenance--an engine water pump, an ac fan, and a muffler. It has been extremely reliable and has never stranded me anywhere, except for running put of gas twice, I blame THAT on the truly terrible fuel gauge. The drive battery performs as it did when the car was new, and I still average 50+ MPG. It is also quite comfortable good front and rear legroom, headroom, and lateral space. The seats are comfortable and very durable, having carried my 215# frame for all these years with nary a sag. While it is not a sports car it certainly has enough power for usual driving. I have done interstate driving at 80 and have had no problems having enough passing power. Steering is tight and precise in any circumstance. Cornering is good."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

7 years old and still strong

By on Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "MPG, very reliable, spacious"

Cons: "rear window visibility, not the most fun to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I inherited my 2006 Prius from my parents about 1 year ago. My mom had put about 110k miles on it in 6 years, but it still runs very well despite her tendencies to have a lead foot. I average about 50 mpg overall, and I love that about this car, but fuel economy does dip quite a bit in the cold of winter. The drop in mpg can be as much as 15-20% if it's REALLY cold. But in the summer, I can average 51-53 mpg. There have been no major repairs or replacements in the vehicle since it was purchased, and that includes the brakes. At the 120,00 mile maintenance check,the mechanic said he has only replaced brakes on a Prius a few times, and that they don't need to be replaced until after 200,000 miles as long as we're not talking about excessive wear. I definitely plan to keep my Prius to 200,000 miles. There have been a couple recalls with this vehicle. One was a small piece in the steering column that Toyota decided wasn't up to par, and the other was part of the cooling system for the electric motor. Two recalls (Toyota paid for these recalls of course) and no major repairs in 7 years = great reliability to me. The only other issues we've had are with the electrical system in the car. The radio volume nob shorts out sometimes (but the steering wheel volume control still works so I just use that), and the headlights seem to die sooner than they normally should, but these are minor issues. If I have to replace one headlight ever year or so, that's $60 extra per year. No big deal. Also, the batteries in the car are the factory batteries. Needing to replace the batteries after just a few years of use was a concern when this 2nd generation Prius arrived, but those concerns haven't proved true. I don't see them needing replacement for a long time. Wind noise and tire noise can be pronounced at times, but it doesn't really bother me as a young person. Just putting on different tires can make a big difference in tire noise. Another negative about this vehicle is the visibility out the rear window. I am used to it, and the backup camera really helps. But still, even a Chevy Aveo hatchback (which I drove in high school) has much better rear visibility. This car is not the most fun to drive, but then again it is about as far from a sports car as possible. Acceleration isn't great with the 1.5L 4 cylinder gas engine, but that's ok for me. I like saving money on gas. Going up steep hills makes the small engine work decently hard, and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) makes lots of noise going uphill. I've become accustomed to it, so it's not a concern for me. I really like the amount of space I have in my Prius, especially considering its fuel efficiency. The trunk is roomy, and the rear seats fold down flat, so cargo space increases dramatically. Overall, I love this car for its efficiency and spaciousness. I plan to keep it for many more years."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

08 PRIUS, 04 Prius, 02 Prius

By on Friday, July 30, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"Our family first bought a 2002 Prius, and now have a 2004, and recently bought a 2008 Prius....We're hooked !!....(passed the 02 over to my son).....Owning and caring for these has made me pretty aware of the Prius and how to fix them. I'm a car guy to begin with, and have worked on them, and understand how they work...Never had any problems with the main large battery, in any of them. You do need to keep the regular small 12V battery for starting the gas engine, in good condition...some of the "quirkiness" in the electronics are a result of a weak 12V (small) battery. (I have installed the after market 12V higher amp batteries for about $150 ea., in the 02 and 04 cars, and don't use Toyota batteries)....never had issues since. .....The standard tires are designed for high gas mileage(low rolling resistance).....not going through snow, so I use "all weather" tires, and solved the "lack of traction in snow" issues.... ....These are small economy cars, not a BMW or Lexus, so you get what your buying...a small light weight car.... But there is excellent space in both front AND rear seating...love the rear hatch and fold down rear seats in the 04 and later Prius's....The trunk space in the 02 is OK, but not large....may sound weird but the 02 seems to have a little better ride, than later Prius's. ....The 02 (first generation Prius was actually sold in Japan for several years before ever coming to the US, so the 02 is not a "new design"...The 02 is more conventional in the design of the HVAC and radio controls, than later model that have gone to all electronic controls...but both work without any issues.... There isn't much difference in gas mileage in all three years...about 45 to 50 mpg in summer, near 39-40 in winter(because the gas engine runs more to provide hot water for the cars heater).... The 04 and 08 have a bit more road noise than the 02....Because of the open rear cab and hatch door...needs some insulation in rear axle area (which I will do when I have time)........ I don't feel there's any more wind or control at highway speed issues, and most other small cars. (had many)..... No problems with engine, transmission, brakes, suspensions, wipers, radio, air cond, or heater, etc..... in any of the three. The 08 recently purchased seems a little more "refined" and is a little smoother driving...the interior finishes are better (more durable) in the 08 than the 04. (but the 02 is better than the 04 too)....AND love the "smart" key !!! with automatic locks, and unlock...back up camera and navigation are fun toys...I could go on and on...will probably have a Prius for ever....."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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