Buying a Used 2008 Prius II

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Kathryn P Sweeney, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Kathryn P Sweeney

    Kathryn P Sweeney New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    3
    3
    0
    Location:
    cambridge, ma
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Hi all,
    I'm new to this forum, and about to potentially buy a used 2008 black Toyota Prius II with 108K miles. I took it to a mechanic. Mechanic told me the car has been well maintained, no accident history, but does need new tires and brakes. I live in MA and this car has been in both California and MA the last 10 years. The dealership where I am going to buy it will put new brakes and new tires on it, at no extra cost. The price is $6,500. Any thoughts/insight? I have looked at the battery life, safety, fuel economy, comparable price, etc and the main concern is the battery life. But, I know I will have no way of knowing if the battery will die soon or much later down the road. The car drove very well, and the battery bars were always blue. I'll be using it to commute 5-7 miles to work and for short drives, so will not be putting large amount of miles on it. Thanks for the insight!
     
  2. egg_salad

    egg_salad Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    460
    346
    17
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    Hi Kathryn, and welcome!

    Having just bought an '08 with 88k miles last October, here is the advice I can give you. (FWIW, I paid $7200 for my car, so the pricing you're getting is right in the ballpark.)

    Based on anecdotal and empirical evidence, the HV battery has a 95% chance of failing somewhere in the 13-15 year range. The car you're looking at is 9-10 years old, depending on build date. What that means in your (and my) case is that there is a 95% chance that you are looking at a $2000-3000 repair bill in the next 3-6 years.

    Given that information, there are two possible responses:

    A] OMG! Run away, run away! Go spend the same money on the nicest Corolla you can find for the same money! Given your low annual mileage, the added gas a Corolla will use is cheaper than the cost of a replacement battery for a Prius.

    or

    B] Buy the Prius, but with a complete understanding that in the next 3-6 years you will be spending $2-3k on a new HV battery. Then the question becomes, "Is an '08 Prius with a new battery worth about 9 grand?" You will also spend the next 3-6 years wondering when you will need to buy that battery.

    In my case, I (obviously) took the risk and went with B. But I can't and won't tell you which to choose. Only you know your brain, and which choice makes you more comfortable.
     
    m.wynn likes this.
  3. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    1,061
    1,172
    0
    Location:
    Laughlin, Nevada
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    If you are seriously going to primarily use the car as a 5-7 mile commuter and other short drives the Prius is probably not for you. Other, cheaper cars (Corolla, Yaris, Honda Civic or Fit) will get the same gas mileage you will using a Prius like that. The car will never get warmed up enough to be efficient.

    The tanks where ours has been used the way yours will be have yielded us multiple tanks of 33 (2), 34 (4) and 35 (3). The car really shines when it is used for longer drives.
     
    m.wynn, dolj and edthefox5 like this.
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    7,449
    3,165
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Bad car for that commute. Te Hybrid battery and especially the little agm 12 volt battery needs to run free everyday. The prius is much better for a long commute daily than a very short commute daily. The seats will kill you but the batteries will love you. It will be a headache and totally negate all gas savings with that commute. So yeah..the Corolla.


    Pulls bomb proof cover over my head.
     
  5. Kathryn P Sweeney

    Kathryn P Sweeney New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    3
    3
    0
    Location:
    cambridge, ma
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Thanks for all the insight. I'm deciding to hold off for now, as I may decide to invest in a newer model/gen3 or get something different like suggested. I really do not want to think about a 2-3K bill in the next few years. My commute may change to more of a 40-50 mile drive per day but I'm not sure when that is going to happen (could be in 3 months, could be next year). Thanks again- super helpful!
     
    edthefox5, bisco and srellim234 like this.
  6. gatorglenn

    gatorglenn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    129
    40
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    If the car has been in California it might need a battery way before 13-15 years. My 2007 battery lasted 9 years. I live in the south. Heat, time, and mileage are big factors for the hybrid battery life.

    As for the original post, I would not recommend a 2008 Prius for that short of a commute.

    Glenn
     
    edthefox5 likes this.
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    83,689
    36,597
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    my daughter has an '08 package 2 in good condition, similar miles. your commute is a little short, and if it get s longer, maybe too long?
    great car, but at 10 years and counting, i'm encouraging her to buy a suburu. all wheel drive and under 20k for a new one.
     
    srellim234 and edthefox5 like this.
Loading...