Need help with buying my first Prius :)

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Candyfries, Dec 2, 2019 at 1:56 PM.

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  1. Candyfries

    Candyfries New Member

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    Hey all! I’m new here and have about 7k to spend, but I’d prefer to spend 4-5 on a gently used gen 2/3 if possible.

    Basically, my parameters are that I need:

    A car preferably under 100k miles, that will last throughout my undergrad and masters

    Will be able to camp in

    Obviously the Prius plug in has an advantage but I can’t find one on cargurus for my price range, even at 500 mile radius. I’m willing to go farther, though..

    What would you guys suggest? Should I go for gen 2 or 3? I hear that gen 2 is good for camping and has a battery you can plug stuff up to. But ofc the gen 3 has better gas mileage. I’m going to take it fly fishing and camping a lot in the NC mountains

    Glad to be here I used to have a Subaru Outback 2003, and while it’s hard to give up AWD I need a more reliable car that’s less expensive.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    stay away from gen 3, notjing but problems at 100k.

    i doubt you'll find a gently used gen 2 for that kind of money, and theres nothing you can plug stuff into.
    would you consider a non hybrid? prius are very expensive to maintain if you cant diy

    how many miles on your subie?
     
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  3. mikey_t

    mikey_t Member

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    I'd go for a prius C. They're like sportier, smaller gen 2's and seem to be very reliable.
     
  4. Candyfries

    Candyfries New Member

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    Need to be able to camp in it! and have... relations

    also climate control is a huge selling point for me

    Seriously? I've heard the opposite, that they are reliable as hell through and through, especially gen 3.
     
    #4 Candyfries, Dec 2, 2019 at 9:42 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2019 at 8:53 AM
  5. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    A used Gen 2/3 for $7,000 or less is not the car want/need for 8 reliable years of College. Speaking as the Mechanic/Dad who put his last through, get a low miles used Corolla or Civic. You don't need any more "preventable" high costs during this time in your life.
     
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  6. Candyfries

    Candyfries New Member

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    Ah dang, was hoping to be able to have it happen though. I found one with 103k miles, 2008, for 5k. Seems like a great deal, 1 owner, no accidents.. I'll pm you the link
     
  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    @Candyfries

    Where in the Southeast are you located?
     
  8. Candyfries

    Candyfries New Member

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    Irmo, South Carolina currently!

    Edit: Actually technically irmo
     
  9. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Shoot, we're neighbors. I'm about halfway between Lake Murray Dam and the Publix shopping center. If you find one you're interested in, I'd be happy to throw my laptop on it for you to make sure there's no hidden problems. Sometimes people like to disconnect batteries, etc to clear faults before a sale. Techstream will show things like that, along with being able to check the condition of the batteries, all 14-16 ecus and so on.
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    They were reliable. But by now most of them have had all of the easygoing reliable miles beaten out of them. The legend lasts longer than the metal.

    There are still some left that aren't all worn out, but be very careful. They mostly look the same as the used-up ones.

    I speak Subaru too- see if this sounds familiar: Outbacks had a reputation for legendary reliability, mostly rooted from the performance of the old EJ22 engine. Then they moved up to the EJ25 in 1998 and everybody got to buy a set of head gaskets. Many people still remember those first Outbacks with their unkillable engines, despite the fact that all the more-modern examples had more problems.

    The first 10 years of any given Prius' life are largely problem free. The property of "problem free" is much more associated with "first 10 years" than "Prius." Keep that in mind.

    If I were in your shoes I'd be looking for a simple car. Something with fewer features and less technology to break. Those have better outcomes when you are trying to use up an older car. Fuel is relatively inexpensive now; one Prius-grade hybrid powertrain repair could easily wipe out the gains made by 5 years of fuel savings. The odds aren't good.
     
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  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Greetings and Welcome Aboard!
    I lived in the Palmetto state for probably 8 years in total.

    Great state!

    Everyone has pretty much covered the basics.
    Starting out in a 10-year-old reliable car means than in a few years (or less...sometimes MUCH less!) you're going to enter the realm of UNreliable unless you are not afraid to DIY - and you SHOULD NOT be...btw.
    I personally would have NO reservations about buying a used G3 (2010-2015) Prius for $7k but I always do my own maintenance and I could probably spot a used lemon more accurately than the average buyer BUT more importantly...I can write a check with a comma in it if I'm wrong.

    More than once.

    While I do not agree with the article below you may want to use it to take your search in some other directions, and you're going to have to prioritize, and perhaps cast a wider net.
    Example:
    Camping.
    One of the better and cheaper used vehicles for this is either a small ute or?
    A minivan.
    Yeah. I know.....yuck!
    However (comma!) that's why they are CHEAP - and some (Sienna) are VERY VERY reliable.

    Don't overlook Korean makes.
    They are starting to overtake their rivals in terms of overall build quality and reliability, and $7k goes further in one of them than it will in a Yota or a Honda.

    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/most-reliable-used-cars-under-10000

    Good Luck!
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Just to clarify- there are obviously some aged 2nd & 3rd generation examples in phenomenal condition, giving no trouble at all- many operated by fellow readers of this site. But those qualities are exactly why everyone is keeping those cars.

    Understand that there is an over-representation of neglected cars available on small corner lots. People trade in their problems.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Yeah, in particular the DIY'rs, especially those who've been lagging the pack in putting miles on the odometer, reading about the pitfalls* experience by those piling on the miles faster.

    Bottom line, when a 3rd gen Prius for sale proudly proclaims "always dealer serviced", "full service record" or similar, that doesn't mean squat.

    * mostly Exhaust Gas Recirculation related, in one way or another
     
  14. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Usually the issues do not manifest until around 150K, so if he/she can miraculously find a decent one with 75-100K it can work out.

    But I agree with the others- for a college car, I would find something less complex. The 06-15 Civics are a much better option imo.


    iPhone ? Pro
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    not sure where you heard it, or if they were in general, or used ones with over 100k.

    either way, we see problems here, thats why people join. it could be that iverall, a gen3 is more reliable than any other car on the road. idk.
    what i do know is that if it does break, it can be more expensive than any other car on the road. except maybe german cars.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the problem here, is that you dont know anything about the car. i encouraged my daughter to sell her '08 with 130k for $4,500. even though it was in great condition and we owned it since new, before anything expensive happened.
    but she is post grad and could afford a new 18k suburu.
     
  18. MTN

    MTN Member

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    "camping" in compact cars isn't what instagram makes you think it is, also

    A good enough tent can be had from REI, onsale, for $150ish. Decent sleeping bag and pad will be way, way more room and comfort than the back of a Prius for one, let alone two people! Then you get to use your cargo area for.. cargo! Instead of having to empty out the contents of your vehicle to go to sleep each night, your tent is there already. If one night only, or always moving sites, I can see the argument for a van/car camper setup.

    Get something super reliable and cheap to operate - like a Civic/Fit/Corolla/... and buy some camping gear with the leftover cash.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Matrix (or Vibe, basically the same car) are good too, for completely flat floor with rear seat folded down. Essentially a little cargo van.

    Both discontinued now? I know the Matrix was for some time. What's with that anyway; don't we have enough land boat CUV options...
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    prius is the best for camping though, if you need hvac
     
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