"The Prius is a great car. Gas mileage only improved with additional miles (get almost 55 mpg at times).
However, between the additional initial cost of the vehicle, and the incredible costs of repairing ANYTHING hybrid related, you will NEVER make back the extra cost in gas savings.
As you continue to drive more miles, the hybrid components that need to be repaired and/or replaced keep increasing.
Have 300k miles on this one, and needs over $15k in repairs (new hybrid battery, etc.).
Buy a comparable Corolla for $6-8k, and between lower initial cost, and lower repair costs, you will save significant $$$ in the long run.
It's a pretty nice car otherwise. Though the 2001 is somewhat anemic in the "pep" department."
"The car handles well, accelerates quickly, has plenty of room for passengers and luggage. Visibility is good, reliability is great EXCEPT that in desert driving I had to replace the main battery once already three years ago and the replacement is needing to be replaced. Fortunately it's covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
The seat is not the most comfortable for long road trips, but is more than adequate for commuting to work.
I've driven the newer wedge-shaped models and still prefer my original classic Prius.
I love this car and highly recommend it!"
"I currently have 191,000 plus miles and the car has been terrific. I drive 80 highway miles daily to work and it has never put me down. Didnt change brake pads until 110,000 miles. Changed small battery twice and once under warranty. It recently started cutting off every 20 minutes of driving and discovered it was the main hybrid battery after taking it to 2 toyota dealers. The first dealer could not figure out the problem and after letting the car sit for a year at home i took it to a second dealer in memphis, tn and they discovered the main hybrid battery was bad. Spent a total of $3500 for the battery and labor it is running like a new car. I also had to change the 4 spark plug coil wires and plugs when the car had a miss in the motor. I thought for a minute that it was the motor going bad after spending all that money on the hybrid battery.However, I have put another 900 miles since and have had no more problems. I purchase a 2011 Prius during the time i let the 2002 sit a year in the driveway. It is the package 4 with leather and all the extras. However, I enjoy driving the 2002 within the city and to work!!!"
Pros: "Durability, gas mileage, comfort, ease of use"
Cons: "Tire wear, stability at higher speed"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Our Prius is going on 10 years and we haven't had any major issue; on a new technology vehicle like first gen Priuses, it is pretty amazing.
Batteries were changed under warranty by Toyota and the car keeps on going with the same great gas mileage!"
"I wanted a comfortable, easy-to-own, high-mileage vehicle that made me feel good about my "carbon footprint." I bought this car in 2003 and have not had a minute's trouble with it. I have replaced only the battery and the tires (which I would do with any car) and it runs like a top. Still gets 46-48 miles/gallon. Great!"
"An excellent car all around. Get lower gas mileage than most since I live in SF and am always going up and down hills - range around 39 to 42 - if I do a lot of freeway driving it gets better mileage. The tires pick up nails easily. I figure it is a heavy car. I had a strange problem with the 'starter' battery as it lost juice when I left the car unused for over a week and a half. Other than these problems, it is a great car, easy to drive, good pickup, quiet. Can't work on it yourself. Low emissions. I have a 2003."
"I've driven my Prius 110,000 miles so far. I have not had a problem that required me to have any mechanic - be he the independent or Toyota dealer mechanic - look at my car. Now, that's good!
Normal maintenance is the same for this car as it is for any car; change transmission fluid, change coolant fluids (engine and inverter), brake fluid and that's it! Brake pads still have a long way to go before replacement.
The only thing that I have found odd: I have had to replace the tires twice. The original tires lasted 40k miles; the first replacements lasted 38k miles; the current tires have 29k miles and I estimate replacing them in another 20k miles.
My lifetime gas mileage is 46.5 mpg. This car is phenomenal! When the plug-in model is released, I plan to trade my 2002 Prius in for that model."
"I bought mine new in early 2003 and it has about 46,000 miles on it. Toyota recalled a computer and replaced mine for free, but I've never had a single problem with the car. Pickup is terrific and the turning radius is teeny. I also like having a sedan with a trunk. Plus I can get into the tiniest spaces that most other cars don't fit. The gas mileage isn't quite as good as the newer models. Around town I average about 39 to 42. I get better mileage on the highway - upper 40s. That's not what Toyata predicts, but it is what happens with mine. You'll never regret getting one!"
"I've been at the wheel of seven cars -- including an '04 Honda Civic and an '07 Acura TL -- and my '02 Prius is still my favorite car to drive! It's not fancy, but it doesn't have to be. It rides smoothly and comfortably at all speeds, handles tightly and stops on a dime when it has to. This car has had a couple of owners before me (according to Carfax) and it still looks like it just rolled out of the showroom. When people ask me what I dislike most about it, I say "the cup holders" because that's seriously my biggest complaint! (Be careful with your drinks...) I will probably drive this car until the wheels fall off, and even then, I'll just look forward to getting a brand new Prius."