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."
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."
"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."
"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....."
"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."
"I am 63 years old and parked a Harley Softtail for this car. I am a meachanic by trade and this review is for my 2007 Prius touring. I have put 33,000 trouble free miles on this car. My average MPG has been an impresssive 45.7. I know some say they are getting 50 and better. To get the good gas milage you do have to change your driving style. I have found that a crawling start does not do as well as if you get it up to speed and put on the cruise control. It also helps to let off the gas as soon as you know you are going to have to stop. Anyway the pros for this car are the obvious great gas milage. As I have said I have had no problems with my car. The quality of the way it is put together is goodl The standard features such as the power door locks and windows ect. is good. The technical side of this car is outstanding and will not go into that here. When I wear this one out I will get another one. On the con side. This is an ugly car. The interior looks cheap and has alot of plastic that scratches way to easily. But there are ways to overcome this. I've added stainless trim pieces around the side windows and wheel wells. I've got the touring package so I had 16" wheels which by the way helps alot for the cars driveability. The 15 inch wheels gives the car that baby buggy ride and feel. The touring package also has a better suspension for handling. My steering is very quick and handling is precise. Although my wife says it rides to hard for her I find it to be smooth and quiet. Also there are wood trim kits for the dash and door panels that help to cover up the cheap look of the interior. I did alot of research and drove alot of hybrids before I bought this car. Toyota is way ahead of everyone in this field. As I said I will buy another one if something better doesn't come along. I hope this has helped you in some way. Thanks for reading this."
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!!"
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."
"We've had our Prius for over 2 yrs now. We had a bum battery upon delivery, which was correctly quickly. Since then, absolutely reliable. I tend to drive longer distances, and got on a recent business trip about 55.6 from Western PA to New York area. Probably in the high 40's on the return (it's uphill that way, isn't it?)
My wife can get around 40mpg around the neighborhood, which is quite hilly. But it averages about 20mpg up a long hill near home - which is better than our Jeep Cherokee did on the downhill. ;)
We did not go for the upgraded electronics in 2005 so miss the gps features, etc. I'm 6'4" and am quite comfortable. And the back seat has WAY more leg room than aforementioned Jeep Grand Cherokee. We've now got a sister and a nephew who have Priusized, trying to emulate us."