Gen 3 vs 4?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by NBSD2022, Sep 22, 2022 at 5:43 PM.

  1. NBSD2022

    NBSD2022 New Member

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    I'm thinking of purchasing a used Prius and wondering if anyone has advice on whether to go for a 2015 or would it be better to go for 2016 since it's the first of the Gen 4s? Are there issues unique to either of these generations which would make you choose one over the other? Looking for lower mileage cars so not too worried about battery life unless one year is better than the other. Thank you in advance! :)
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If you can stand the looks of the 4th Generation, then go for that. Many like myself dislike the turd generation for it's many problems, but also hate the 4th generation for it's awful design. So holding out for the 5th generation......
     
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  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Hello and welcome to PriusChat!

    It depends on what you're looking for in a vehicle. Here are some pros/cons.

    Gen 3 (2015)
    Pros:
    • Last year of the generation (typically the most reliable. There is the head gasket issue but I think it's more prevalent in 2010-2011 models)
    • More cabin storage space (two gloveboxes, larger front storage bin under flying buttress, underfloor cargo storage bin and underfloor cargo side storage bin)
    • Temporary spare tire in all trim levels
    • Available solar roof option (for ventilation while parked as well as remote A/C capability)
    • Soft-touch steering wheel controls with "Touch Tracer"
    • Variable speed rear power windows (or "soft close" if you prefer)
    • Available PHEV model (could be cheaper than the regular Prius and you still have a larger battery for more regen but note replacement will be costlier than the regular Prius)
    Cons:
    • Basic rear torsion beam suspension
    • No door pockets (just water bottle holders)
    • Lots of hard plastics on the door panels and dashboard and gloveboxes - easily scratchable
    • Heated seats are only available in one heat level (unless you get the Plug-in version)
    • Rear door armrests are too low (and some found the front ones too low)
    • Need to look for a rare Prius Five w/ AT Package if you want radar cruise control and Pre-Collision System (autonomous emergency braking)
    • Noisy on the highway (The 2009-2013 Corolla is quieter)
    Gen 4 (2016)
    Pros:
    • Much improved handling and ride comfort (and additional of a double wishbone rear suspension)
    • Much stiffer chassis
    • Lower centre of gravity with the hybrid battery relocated from the cargo area to below the rear seats
    • Larger cargo area (at the expense of hidden storage bins)
    • Much nicer interior (more soft-touch materials on all trims except the base Two/Two Eco. Touring models have contrasting stitching and contrasting vent surround trim pieces)
    • Quieter interior (Four/Four Touring include acoustic driver's and front passenger windows)
    • Much improved seat comfort (though check it out as some still found it uncomfortable)
    • Much improved LED headlights
    • More suitable for taller drivers (lower seating position plus taller ceiling for driver and front passenger)
    • Much easier to attain higher mpg (50-52mpg on the highway with our 2016 Touring and 57mpg city) compared to Gen 3 (50-55mpg city, 47 mpg highway)
    • Darker green tint for better solar insolation (might not matter if you intend to dark tint your windows but from the factory, the green tint is darker and there's better heat absorption and reflection with the Gen 4 windows than the Gen 3).
    • Slightly improved forward visibility around A-pillars compared to Gen 3

    Cons:
    • Upper trim levels (Four/Four Touring) have no spare tire
    • Lower seating position (if you prefer sitting higher up)
    • Few cost cutting measures (no upper glovebox, no door scuff plates)
    • No TSS-P on Two/Two Eco trim levels
    • Small glovebox

    That's all I can think of for now.
     
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  4. NBSD2022

    NBSD2022 New Member

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    I take it turd generation being the 3rd? Did it have that many problems? Not in love with the looks of 4th Gen, but at some point need to get over it (speaking for myself) if it makes more sense given everything else. I owned a 2005 (no longer have it) and had the battery die at 150k and the issues with the lights going out and so expensive to replace. But I did have it until it had almost 200k and overall it was a great car!
     
  5. NBSD2022

    NBSD2022 New Member

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    WOW, thank you! That is definitely a ton of info.
     
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  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Yeah the early Turd generation cars are the worse offenders. The later 2014 to 2015 ones are better. But still not good when they reach high mileage.

    If you have to get a Turd generation, look for a 2014 or 2015 (the last year is the best).

    They almost all suffer the dreaded head gasket failure at high mileage. Just a matter of time.
    The item that "probably" leads to the head gasket failure is overheating from a bad EGR design and/or clogged intake manifold passages. To clean this out, it takes an entire day or you can fork out $500+ to get someone to do it.

    Then they have an inverter problem which can leave you stranded (but this still may be covered under warranty)
    Then you have to deal with the bad brake booster at over $2000
    Then comes the HV battery when it fails (but this applies to all hybrids after 10 years)
    and these engines burn lots of oil when they get old.
    And the list goes on and on and on
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gen 4 has been pretty solid so far. maybe some leaky exhaust coolant loops?
     
  8. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Almost at 280,100 miles on mine. Original brake booster and pump, inverter, head gasket.....
     
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  9. NBSD2022

    NBSD2022 New Member

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    I see you have a Rav4 Hybrid? How do those measure up to a Prius?
     
  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well the Rav4 hybrid is really nice, nice tall ride, no scraping on dips, lots of room. I'm in the process of trying to buy a Venza (which is basically a Rav4 with a few luxury bits), moving away from the smaller Prius platform and getting similar gas mileage compared to 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen Prius.

    The bad part about these great Rav4/Venza cars, everyone wants one and they are very hard to find without added dealer markup.