Gen2 or Gen3?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by born2pdl, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. born2pdl

    born2pdl Junior Member

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    I'm wondering about buying a used Prius while they're cheap, as insurance against gas prices going up in a couple of years. If gas doesn't go up, nothing lost. I had a 2005 a few years ago so I'm familiar, and I do my own repairs whenever possible.

    So I was thinking 2008 or newer, $8k target, $9k max. I would consider rebuilt title as I have done body repair and can inspect and evaluate the repair quality.

    What are pros and cons of owning gen 2 versus a gen 3 for a few years? I'm also weighing this Prius against a 2012 Hyundai elantra (30+ mpg). Thanks.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Gen 2 Pro:
    • Familiarity as you've owned a 2005 before
    • Slightly better visibility and higher seating position for the driver
    • Spacious rear legroom (more than Gen 3)
    • Potentially cheaper on the used market (<$10k) as people get rid of it once the hybrid warranty ends (mostly for 2009 models)
    • If the car (body, mechanics and interior) are in good condition, putting in a new HV battery essentially results in a new car
    • 2007+ models all had side airbags (which fared better in side impact tests)
    • The later model years of the 2nd gen = less bugs typically.
    • Still reasonably modern with bluetooth handsfree calling, backup camera, high resolution 7" MFD (if equipped with backup camera)
    • Gen 2 seems to be fairly bulletproof aside from a few niggling issues (like MFD failure and HID headlight failures)
    • L-shaped foldable rear headrests (some new FVSS rule resulted in larger rear headrests mounted in all newer cars)

    Gen 2 Con:
    • Dealing with the finicky rubber bladder in the fuel tank
    • Expensive HID replacement costs (and higher failure rates... so pick one with halogens)
    • No heated seats with leather seats
    • No height adjustable driver's seat
    • Cloth tends to show a lot of wear at the door armrest and centre console lid

    Gen 3 Pro:
    • Newer design with updated hybrid system (Cooled EGR, exhaust heat recovery system, no rubber bladder, more power/torque, lighter components, 1.8 litre engine, better mpg)
    • Engine warms up 1 minute faster at 0°C/32°F due to EHRS
    • Toyota added a larger underbody brace for better rigidity
    • Taller and wider cargo area (under the tonneau cover)
    • Available LED headlights (so far, fairly reliable) but the projector halogen lights are pretty good
    • Slightly quieter (aerodynamic wipers, acoustic windshield)
    • LED taillights
    • Newer safety structure (and additional driver's knee airbag)
    • Potentially still under warranty for hybrid components

    Gen 3 Con:
    • More expensive
    • Potential oil burning issue (there's a thread on it for 2010 models but mine hasn't started yet *knock on wood*). It's the most commonly reported problem and starts around 100,000 miles
    • Potentially more claustrophobic because of the tighter front quarters due to the flying bridge design (some like it, some don't)
    • Reduced climate control functions on the steering wheel (just temp up/down and recirc)
    • Unknown issue with cooled EGR (but so far not many complaints/issues reported)
     
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  3. born2pdl

    born2pdl Junior Member

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    Nice list, thanks! Any idea if gen 3 is easier or harder to work on for diy-ers?

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  4. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Depends on what you want to do. Get the car you want foremost.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Starting with third gen, there's a full plastic shield under the engine. It has a small flap at the oil pan, and that's all the dealerships and a lot of DIY'rs open up, for oil changes, and maybe also for a transaxle fluid change. I see a couple of problems with that:

    1. It restricts your view of the engine bay underside, CV joints, etcetera.
    2. The plastic used in this panel is relatively thin and brittle, and this flap has been breaking at the hinge.

    I prefer to remove the panel completely. That adds maybe 10 minutes fuss, taking it off or re-installing.

    There's a somewhat quirky oil filter, consisting of a plastic (reused) housing, and a (disposable) paper cartridge. It's a little different, but no big deal. The ONE issue some DIY'rs encounter: if they get a car that's been serviced by "professionals", sometimes they encounter a grossly overtorqued filter housing. A secondary issue, same scenario, more scary: they take off the housing and find there's no filter cartridge.

    I believe the coolant changes, both engine and inverter circuits, are easier than second gen. Look at the @NutzAboutBolts videos, pinned at top of 3rd gen maintenance forum.

    Brakes, rule number one: disconnect the 12 volt battery negative cable before starting, and tromp the brake pedal, build up pressure, before reconnection of the 12 volt. And do not open the bleed bolts without first watching the above mentioned videos, the one on brake bleeding. You don not want to bleed brakes without putting the car in a special "mode".

    The 3rd has hydraulic valve clearance adjustment, no intervention needed. Second gen has shim system, terrifically involved to adjust. Best approach seems to be: don't.

    Third gen sparkplug access is very involved: you need to pull off a lot of stuff to accomplish it. Again, see the above mentioned videos.
     
    #5 Mendel Leisk, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I'll let the DIY-ers chime in :)

    Yeah that flap was suppose to make it easier to drain the oil because the Gen 2 didn't have it and you had to remove the whole panel every time. Didn't know that flap would wear out (I suppose it would if the hinges were plastic).
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I didn't realize: second gen has a undercover?

    The third gen repair manual makes no mention of the flap, says to remove the panel. Actually says to remove the smaller panel ahead of it too. I'm surprised it doesn't say to remove the front bumper, that would be completely in character, lol.
     
  8. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The underbody panels for aerodynamic purposes aren't as extensive as the Gen 3 but it's there (certainly no rear fins or air channels).

    But yeah I do recall the flap being an improvement over the Gen 2 when the new owners were doing their first oil change.
     
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  9. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ^^^what they said.
    It's a hard choice.
    • Gen3 has +3-4 ft3 overall. and that is concentrated in the cargo and rear seat roof which is higher.
    • Gen3 I heard the front seats go back further, whereas almost a design flaw on Gen2. This in turn makes Gen2 a Cabbie's dream with so much rear seat space.
    • Some Cabbies say Gen2 was better for a cab heavy use (ie battery) but as Gen3 are approaching 8-years, I am *starting* to think for normal USA consumers looks like very few Gen3 dead HV batts possibly better batt life.
    • Gen3 you can get back end of 8-yr 100000 mile warranty
    • Gen3 you can choose Liftback or c or v wagon or Plug-in PiP
     
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That's correct. There's an additional 1" of travel space for the driver's seat.
     
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  11. born2pdl

    born2pdl Junior Member

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    I was approaching this as a business decision. But then I drove an 11. The seats fit so well! I has forgotten how badly the 05 seats fit me. Decision made.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did you buy it?
     
  13. born2pdl

    born2pdl Junior Member

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    No, it had body damage that he hadn't mentioned, and he couldn't lower the price to make that work. But the test drive was worth the trip.

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  14. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    I too liked the comfort of the gen 3 over the 2, but the DIY friendliness of the Gen 2 over the 3.
     
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