Low Budget - Early Gen 3 vs Gen 2?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by scsi, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. scsi

    scsi Junior Member

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    I'm a long time Prius fan and hoping to become a first time owner soon. We're also moving to a new area and want to keep the budget artificially as low as possible as we learn the area and focus our funds on some other priorities. Was thinking to find a 2nd gen, but noticed that the earlier 3rd gens are in a similar price range. I also have become acquainted w/ various issues with used Prii and as I'm shopping the pre-loved market, am wondering whether you all would prefer to roll the dice on an earlier 3rd gen or a 2nd gen, and why. Would really appreciate your insights!

    Thank you!
     
    #1 scsi, Jun 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  2. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    All other things being equal, I'd go for a gen2....
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    are you a serious diy'er?

    what's the budget?

    how many miles might it have in your price range?

    gen 3 has the egr problem, i'm sure you're familiar
     
  4. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    3rd generation is a lot better. EVERY car has problems.
    You have to decide if you want to deal with those problems.
    As bisco said, if you can do the labor, it's easy to fix, before you have a problem.
     
  5. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Have you looked at the prius "C" at all. not sure if you fancy.

    A bit more reliable than the liftback Prius, so just thought I would mention.
    Should be more budget friendly with price too. (and newer)

    GL with your search!
    and welcome to PC.....it took you 13 years to post?
     
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  6. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Waiting for the right moment;).

    Another time to consider in addition to the DIY abilities mentioned above is that the early gen3's are now over 10 years old, so hv battery issues won't be far off in either case:cool:.

    But good luck and keep us posted(y).
     
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  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    As always, my vote will be for the Toyota Tank, also known as the Gen 2.
     
  8. softdown

    softdown Junior Member

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    Any Prius that is over ~12 years old and/or over 200,000 miles is about due for a hybrid battery overhaul. A lot of people just replace the bad cells but I have noticed that the happy ones did it recently - within the past year. Old battery cells go bad due to age and usage. Some faster than others. Replacing bad cells in an old battery is just asking to do the same thing and fairly soon - with the other cells.

    Nice thing about a Prius Gen 3 is you may be able to pick up a factory hybrid battery with "low miles", My 2012 factory battery bit the dust at 234,000 miles. Replaced with a 2014 battery with 108,000 miles. Should go another 4-5 years.

    Prius 3 are also known for head gasket and EGR problems. The last owner paid $2300 for replacing the head gasket.

    I think installing an oil catch can helps the EGR issues a lot.

    I'm fairly new to Prius but own 11 cars and have driven over a million miles. I know more than some, less than others.

    Age wears out parts and so does miles. Everybody knows that. What many fail to recognize is that highway miles exact a far, far lower toll than city miles.

    Prius 3 will likely be worth more down the road - I would think.
     
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  9. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Since we know what the weak part of the Prius is, EGR system, it's easily taken care of before
    it becomes a problem.
    It appears that a clogged cooler creates back pressure and can cause the head gasket to fail,
    keeping it clear resolves the failing head gasket. Or maybe 95% of them???
    Hard to tell with the hybrid battery, or any battery. You have to make judgments on averages.
    My Prius was made in June 2009, 11 years old this month and the battery is still charging the
    same as it was when I got it 3 years ago. But it could still fail at any time.
    10 years is pretty good. And the transmission for the Prius seems to last forever.
    But in other cars, maybe not.
    The 3rd generation Prius is a good investment and should last a long time, if you take care of it.
     
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  10. softdown

    softdown Junior Member

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    Toyota has a 10 year or 150,000 mile hybrid battery warranty. Most people should get about 25-40% better than the warranty.
     
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  11. scsi

    scsi Junior Member

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    thanks so much everyone for the replies and great points!

    i'm typically a DIYer but will be looking for a car sooner than later and will be without my tools for several months. i'm also trying to focus on other priorities and am looking for something affordable and reliable, though i wouldn't be surprised if i end up getting my hands dirty anyway :p

    my budget is flexible. i can afford more, but wanting to spend just what i need to get the greatest value. one of my concerns is with regards to vandalism and/or theft which is one reason im leaning towards an efficient and reliable "beater" so to speak. i don't care if it's all dinged or scraped up as long as it is something that is worth keeping in top operating shape.

    i have honestly forgotten about the C, thanks for the reminder! i will look into that too

    have been a long time member for research on and off. ive been through many different cars over the years for various reasons. now is the time to finally pull the trigger as it seems to best fit my use case. "Waiting for the right moment" indeed hah!

    have definitely heard about the EGR and intake manifold cleaning, oil catch can, as well as potential for head gasket issues. i forget now if the gen 2 has the same issues, but does the C?

    as for the HV battery, i was looking at bumblebee's rebuilt battery at just over $1k, not too bad!
     
  12. softdown

    softdown Junior Member

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    Rebuilt battery? A lot of cells are somehow magically reconditioned. I've been an active member of a solar board for years. None of us have figured out the magic pixie dust used to "recondition" old cells.

    Recent Discussions — northernarizona-windandsun
     
    #12 softdown, Jun 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  13. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    What part of the country will you be in? How do you expect to use your Prius? lot's of highway or mostly around town? How many miles per year? Will the Prius be for a few years until you can get settled or long term.

    If long term. I'd recommend newpriusbatteries.com (at $1600) over bumblebee. For short term, a reliable shop in your new area might be able to just put in replacement cells for less than $1000.

    When buying, I'd suggest getting an OBDII bluetooth adapter and doing hybrid health test with apps Dr. Prius and Hybrid Assistant before committing to purchase.
     
  14. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    The Prius C seems like it would be a great solution:
    - newer battery than a Gen-2 (because it's a more recent MY vehicle)
    - 1.5 litre engine (same as Gen-2) so no EGR, head gasket, or oil consumption concerns associated with Gen-3
     
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  15. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Before I saw the Prius C, I thought it was a good idea. But it's a LOT smaller inside,
    and there's only 2 or 3 mpg's difference than the Prius.
    I guess they had left over parts from the Gen2? :)
     
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  16. softdown

    softdown Junior Member

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    24" shorter is a lot. 181" vs 157".
    By comparison the difference between a Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan is 10" - which still makes a pretty big difference.

    I would want more than 2-3 mpg if losing that much cargo capacity and a smaller engine.

    Also has less kWh battery capacity.
     
  17. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I agree. It's more of a city car. But with less weight, and space, I was certain the mpg would be
    at least 10mpg more. But for the cost, it's not worth it, at least not for me.
    The difference between the "V" and regular Prius is a big enough difference to understand
    less MPG. For the extra room 3 or 4 less is normal. But if you drive right, you can lessen that.
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Priuseses are vandalism magnets- they have those big luscious catalytic converters that now earn significant scrap value, and are trivial for a 2-person crew to harvest in 45 seconds.

    Most of what I don't like about these plans are the chance of HV battery failure. The Prius is an incredible machine in its youth and seems to be capable of absorbing almost unlimited mileage with little drama- until it is older.

    There is a 0% chance that an older RAV4 will demand that you sink ~$2k into a battery one morning.

    With an old Prius that is not a 0% chance.

    With a move and other big changes in flux?

    If I may be so bold, I suggest a reliable little hauler like a RAV, Matrix or a Scion xB for "a while" until you've worked out the other particulars and gathered your tools and DIY facilities, got your bearings on where to save money in the new town- then sell that for a local, carefully considered Prius and enjoy it.
     
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  19. scsi

    scsi Junior Member

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    thanks all for the additional feedback!

    will be moving to pnw. can't be sure what our usage will be like just yet, but i suspect itll be mostly short trips on the weekends and occasional road trips.

    really appreciate the heads up about the reconditioned cells as well as an alternative and good apps to check health, will definitely keep those in mind

    based on the prices i've seen for the C's locally and the pros and cons from above, i think a gen 2 or normal gen 3 would fit the bill better

    i've actually owned a matrix and xB (both first gen) and liked them both a lot. i have a 2011 leaf now that i need to sell. my "dream" prius (at least for now lol) is actually a sea glass pearl 2015 pip, but don't want to rush into that one. i would concede that a prius probably doesn't make the most sense for our situation. its more about the experience and less so about money :p
     
  20. softdown

    softdown Junior Member

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    OP joined in 2007 and has made three comments. That is interesting.
     
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