Buying a used Gen 3 questions

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by darkmagician2500, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. darkmagician2500

    darkmagician2500 New Member

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    Hi everyone! Newbie here, and future prius owner within the next week. I've done quite a lot of researching, but since I don't have a lot of free time, I decided to post a thread with some specific questions that I couldn't find the answer to. I'm looking at 2010-2012 models specifically because they're in my price range of $11k - $13k. I live in California btw, so I get the extended emissions warranty.

    1.) I know that the 2012 models got a refresh in exterior trim and options packages and all trim levels come with some kind of touch screen. However, I believe only trim levels III, IV, and V have the option of backup camera/navigation? Correct me if I'm wrong here.

    2.) As a recent college grad, I have to be budget minded in terms of finding the Prius that has the potential to last me at least another 7 or 8 years and up to (and past) 200,000 miles. From that point of view, is it better to buy a 2010 with all the options I want (trim level IV) and low-ish miles (70,000-80,000) or buy a 2012 with similar (maybe higher) miles but with less equipment (trim level II)? What I'm having a hard time figuring out is the year vs. mileage tradeoff for a Prius. If I buy a 2010 that means I only have about 5 years left on the HV battery warranty and most likely will not cross the 150,000 mile threshold either. However, if I buy a higher mileage 2012 I get another 7 years on the warranty and will finish paying it off before the warranty expires. I don't know which is a better option.

    3.) I'm well aware that the sound system sucks. If I get a trim level IV with JBL I'm not sure if that's even good enough for my tastes, my friend's Gen II with JBL sure wasn't. I listen to pretty bass-heavy music so I would probably get a subwoofer some time in the future. For this purpose (based on the threads I've read) It's better to not get a factory JBL equipped car? So I should lean towards base trim levels if I want to get a subwoofer?

    4.) I would hate to have to use a non-touch screen head-unit to listen to music through my iPod or my phone. For this reason, I don't want a base trim level 2010-2011 Prius. However, I can't afford a 2012+ Prius IV so I'm stuck with II's. Is there anyway to add the factory navigation system and backup camera to the 2012 II model?

    I plan on buying sometime this coming week (since there's going to be specials for Thanksgiving). I tried to post links to the specific cars I'm looking at but I got a message that said I have to post at least 4 times and whatnot. I hope to hear your responses!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! i would get the '12 with less equipment and lower miles.

    the thing is, a 2010, in 7-8 years, is going to be 13-14 years old. thats's older than any gen II, currently on the road.

    some say years are harder on the battery than miles. either way, you'll probably be able to afford a replacement battery by the time you're out of warranty. all the best!(y)
     
    #2 bisco, Nov 21, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  3. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    As far as the sound system goes, I would get the base system and swap in a touchscreen headunit.

    How many miles a year do you see yourself driving it? The fewer miles per year, the more likely a higher mileage car will last you for the amount of years you want.
     
  4. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    1. Navigation you'll need a Three-Solar, Four-Solar, or Five-Adv. Tech package.

    If money is tight you may want to reconsider your "needs" and your "wants".

    "If I buy a 2010 that means I only have about 5 years left on the HV battery warranty and most likely will not cross the 150,000 mile threshold either. However, if I buy a higher mileage 2012 I get another 7 years on the warranty and will finish paying it off before the warranty expires."

    Are you looking for a 5-7 year loan on a 5 year old car? If so, either you have assets you don't want to liquidate or they see you coming.

    Are you going to be ready & able to drop in a new battery after the warranty expires?

    Every used car is unique. You'll have to decide which cars are better deals as the opportunities present themselves. Happy hunting.
     
  5. darkmagician2500

    darkmagician2500 New Member

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    I'll probably be driving around 10-12,000 miles a year. So you're suggesting I look at 2012 Prius II's and III's and not pay extra for the JBL system? Do you know if the Prius III's come with a backup camera? According to Toyota's website, all Prius trims come with the backup camera but this is for the 2015 model year. I don't know about the 2012's.
     
  6. darkmagician2500

    darkmagician2500 New Member

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    Yea, I'll probably be going for a 5yr or 6yr loan to keep my monthly payments low and put away the saved money for a replacement battery.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    Funny how the grass is always green on the other side: I hate the dang things, feel they're a cheap cop-out over conventional, tactile controls, and the distraction factor is on par with using a cell phone.
     
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  8. darkmagician2500

    darkmagician2500 New Member

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    Yea I feel the same way about the distraction issue but the stock HU on the 2010-2011's look really cheap and outdated to me. Like it belongs on an older Corolla or something. Aesthetics alone makes me prefer the touch screen.
     
  9. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    I've never heard good things about the JBL systems used in Prii and they seem to make upgrading the sound system a little more difficult. If you're going to upgrade anyway, might as well get the base system and put the money saved towards upgrades. No idea about the backup camera, but you could add one fairly easily if you're planning on adding a touchscreen headunit.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    have you considered conventional cars like corolla, yaris, matrix, camry, civic, scion, accord, etc?
     
  11. darkmagician2500

    darkmagician2500 New Member

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    Drove a sentra and corolla back in my high school/early college days. Hated commuting with those. I only like the civic but the newer ones have CVT's and I hate CVT's. Don't want to commute with a manual either and die in traffic. I have my WRX for when I want to have some fun
     
  12. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    Let's see, you want to buy a 5year old car and need to get a 5 year loan, yet you have a second car (WRX), to me this does not compute. As my wise old Dad once said "Never buy stuff you don't need with money you don't have". Give it a thought, it will help you avoid lifetime of debt.
     
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  13. solrunner

    solrunner Member

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    The Prius uses a CVT.
     
  14. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Well, it emulates a CVT. No gear ratios ever change, no gears ever shift or clutches engage.

    It is a one speed with no clutch and 3 power sources.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it does sound likes it's slipping like a cvt, when you hit it.
     
  16. Ashlem

    Ashlem Senior Member

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    I've got to second this. If you want a Prius that badly, then sell your WRX first. No point having two cars that you will have to insure, and do maintenance on. Especially if your income is limited. The Prius uses a CVT transmission too, or something close to one as jimboPalmer pointed out, so you'll have to be okay with that before buying one.

    I suggest just driving the WRX for now, especially if it's already paid off. Whatever amount you were planning to pay monthly for the Prius, put it in a savings account instead. So instead of paying a car loan at $250-350 a month, put that in your savings instead.

    Then once the WRX starts to need a lot of expensive repairs, hopefully a few years from now, then use that money you were saving up as a down payment for another car. Saving $250 a month for 5 years adds up to $15k, which is enough to cover most 3-5 year old cars.

    At an absolute minimum, in case you want a Prius badly no matter what, wait until the Gen 4 starts hitting dealership sales floors in a few weeks/months. That should drop demand for the Gen 3 Prius some more. And if gas prices continue to stay "low", that should suppress demand for them, which can work heavily in your favor in terms of getting a better deal.

    Don't rush this. Buying a car is a huge commitment, and if you get bored with it 5 months from now, you're stuck with a loan you won't really want to pay.
     
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  17. dmullens

    dmullens New Member

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    I just bought a 2012 Prius and I'm pretty sure it is trim level ii. It has a backup camera and navigation system. But...looking at the trim levels I may have a level iii since I have bluetooth and handsfree phone operation.
     
  18. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    If it's a Toyota factory navigation system it's a 3
     
  19. JDW91479

    JDW91479 Junior Member

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    If you set up an account on the Toyota owners website and use your VIN, it'll tell you the trim level.
    I don't have enough posts to add the link. It's just the toyota website with /owners after it.

    I bought a 2012 a couple of months ago from a non-Toyota dealer. They had it listed as a Two when it's actually a Five. That kind of made up for the salesman not knowing anything about the car (which I expected) and him falling asleep twice during the test drive (which may have actually been better than him trying to talk about the car). Actually paying the price for a Two and getting a Five more than made up for the salesman not knowing anything about the car. I knew it wasn't a Two by the pictures on their website. I considered taking it straight across the street to the Toyota dealership to see what trade in value they might have given me.
     
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