2012 Prius V Five vs 2014 Prius V Three, same miles, 4k price difference. which should I get?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by SSyzygy, May 26, 2021.

  1. SSyzygy

    SSyzygy New Member

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    Please don't flame me, I'm a first time poster and just asking general advice. Before I start I'm already leaning toward going with the one that costs 4k less.

    2012 Prius v Five, 80k miles, no moonroof, no tech package.

    2014 Prius v Three, 79k miles, moonroof, no tech package.

    The 2012, according to Toyota website had its service done at a Toyota dealer until about 50k miles, then the Carfax doesn't have anything additional to report after that. I get that people can get their maintenance done at places that don't report to Carmax and I'm really not too worried about it considering the reliability but I digress.

    The 2014 has an absolutely stellar service history according to the toyota website. every single recommended maintenance service has been done to it about 1k miles prior to it being due (e.g. 50k mile service done at 49k).

    the 2014 is almost 4k more than the 2012. The moonroof would be nice and frankly I prefer cloth seats over the fake leather, but those two factors don't make me even consider spending the extra money on the '14. Are there any legitimate reasons to choose the 14 over the 12? I do like the meticulous history the previous owner did on the 14 but I'm confident enough in toyota products, plus I'm getting a pre purchase inspection either way and frankly the 4k isn't going to break the bank for me. I'm just curious if the 2 year age difference should be a factor, or any differences between the two. I am new to the Prius scene and don't know a whole lot about them.
     
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  2. Cinco

    Cinco New Member

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    I'm an old dude and had to look up "flaming someone" and can say wholeheartedly that I am neither a "Karen" or giant D-Bag that would insult someone looking for advice. Frankly, anyone that does that is a POS. I own the 2013 V-5 and it does have some stuff the dealer had no clue about, like your aforementioned leather (feels real, I've had both), fog lights, and a headlight washer system like I'm driving this in a Baja race. Since apparently, you have all the "tech" after the 3 (Navigation) then I would go with my gut and get the best. Carfax (screw CarMax) has everything turned over to insurance so go with what is there and find it using the VIN. Welcome to the Chat and moonroofs suck. I have one on my 4Runner and although we wanted one we hardly ever use it.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    no worries, not a lot of flaming going on around here, bunch of good people. maybe a sarcastic post now and then, all in good fun :)

    the 2012 might need a head gasket or engine soon. the 2014 may have a bit better chance with upgraded pistons, rings or both. not sure, i would look into it further.

    all the best!(y)
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Good news and bad news

    Good news:
    My choice would be the 2014, no contest, if the vin is higher than JTDKN3DU#E1791355 (the last eight). All others from 2010-2104 had the very real possibility of excessive oil consumption caused by a design flaw. Head gasket and engine failures are increasingly common in the earlier group.

    Bad news:
    Gen3 Prii with the 1.8L engine from 2010-2014 (until vin JTDKN3DU#E1791355) have bad pistons and rings, often causing excessive oil consumption around 150k-200k.

    2010-15 models also have a flawed Brake Actuator. This is a $2300 failure in the same mileage time frame. The Inverter is slightly less likely to fail but was also a defective design from the factory. When it fails it can strand you without warning.

    The brake actuator and inverter have a special replacement warranty ("customer support program") that expires ten years from date of first use. On a 2012 that could be Sept 2021. I would take the vin to Toyota and find out if any of these parts have been updated. Changed is arguably better as either failure will be costly after the ten years. The 2014 would add two years as long as the miles stayed under 150k.

    The gen3 egr system is prone to clogging and head gaskets are failing at an alarming rate, especially in the 2010-2014 models pre-revised pistons and rings.

    The Hybrid Battery is good to 180k-220k and the only long lasting repair is new from $1600 diy to $3000.

    My view:
    The 2014 with a later vin is the smart choice. Batteries and systems age with time as well as miles. A better choice would be a 2016 or newer gen4 where significant changes improved reliability.

    2016 Prius Powertrain Improvements (several pages) Gen4
    4th-Generation Toyota Prius Teardown (Part 1) - MarkLines Automotive Industry Portal
     
    #4 rjparker, May 27, 2021
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
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  5. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    No on both.......................if your going to keep them after they get 175,000 on the clock.
     
  6. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    Both the 2012 and 2014 Prius v were rated "Poor" in IIHS crash tests. The redesigned 2015 Prius v jumped up all the way to the highest "Good" rating.

    The quad low beam LED headlights of the 2012 Prius v Five are infinitely better and safer than the halogen low beam headlights of the 2014 Prius v Three. The 2012 does not have DRL but the 2014 does.

    Even if those 2012 and 2014 cars had the tech package, the automatic emergency braking was rated so poorly by the IIHS that it was considered ineffective. The adaptive cruise control is still nice to have through.

    I'd suggest looking for a 2015-up Prius v Five with the Advanced Technology Package. The AEB on the 2015-up is effective per the IIHS, the bi-LED headlights are even better and have auto high beam. An 8-way power adjustable driver seat is standard on the 2015-up Prius v Five..

    All that said, we have had absolutely zero problems with my wife's 2012 Prius v Five with ATP but it's covered less than 46,000 miles and has been mainly used as a "city car". My wife absolutely loves it - especially the panoramic roof. I think I could get comfortable in the front seats if they had the 8-way power adjustments. The first thing I did was to install an aftermarket DRL kit.
     
  7. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    That traction battery is getting pretty old......probably be gone before it has 65,000 miles. And yes the seats are very uncomfortable...
    From Houston to Dallas is like a torture chamber.
     
  8. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I hope the posters above haven't scared you off. They have told you about major problems that MIGHT go wrong. Forums like this get people who are enthusiasts &/or people who are having problems looking for help. There are lots of people who just drive the vehicle and go 200,000+ miles with no problems. I would go with the cheaper one. The cost difference would cover a failure such as brake actuator with plenty to spare.

    As an example, I have a 2010 Prius that people here will tell you to avoid at all costs. It is at 102,000 miles and has been flawless with only scheduled maintenance. Yes, I will start doing more preventative maintenance going forward.

    That said, it would help if you have the tools and a place to do some maintenance yourself. There is a great series of maintenance videos here: Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos | PriusChat

    How many years do you hope to keep it and how many miles might you put on it?
     
  9. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Sorry Tim, I think that is bad advice. My battery is 2 or 4 years older and has 37,000 more miles than what you are describing. I test it regularly and it always shows as healthy. My neighbor has a Lexus hybrid with a 14 Y.O. battery, runs perfectly. Many, many people like us. Yes, battery failure can and does happen but likely soon in his case, NO.
     
  10. tashaviaf

    tashaviaf New Member

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    If you don't mind sharing, what are the prices for each and what market/city are they in?
    (I ask not only to help decide but because I'm collecting data points on pricing in my own search lol)...

    I'd start by looking up the official brochures for each year and comparing what the trim levels provide, tho I doubt there's much difference of real dealbreaker importance. In my research, I'd lean towards the 2014 simply because of the possible head gasket issues being better plus the moonroof, unless the 2012 is the cheaper option in which case if you do end up with HG issues (& you don't care about the moonroof) you'd have that unspent $4k for it..

    BTW the moonroof doesn't slide open or even tilt up at all from what I understand, it's just an extra stationary window.... I was super disappointed about that.
     
  11. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    Ok.... guess I'll forget that my battery went out.............
    And disregard the three other prius batteries that I help replace.... guess it was all just an illusion
    And of course the oil burning never really happened to any prius
    and none have blown a head gasket..... or had the braking system or inverter go out..... or a totally plugged egr system.
     
    #11 Tim Jones, May 29, 2021
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  12. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    No illusion.Take out probably and put in may and we can agree. I guess we are both biased by personal experience.
     
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  13. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    The prius is ok till they get past 150,000 then the expensive hard stuff starts to happen.... much harder and costly than a ICE.....
    Especially if you can't do the repairs yourself....
     
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  14. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I would say the advice is right on.
     
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