new car search, looking into gen 3

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by maybelaughter, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. maybelaughter

    maybelaughter New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
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    Location:
    Missouri
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Hello!
    Newly in the market for a new to us car, and I was hoping I could get some advice from the pros!
    I was driving a 2012 maxda3 hatchback and loved her, but unfortunately she was totaled last week. We are looking for a new car and have narrowed our options down to three: finding another 2012/13 maxda3 hatchback, a 2012/23 Volkswagen Jetta sportwagen TDI, or a Gen 3 Prius.
    My husband drives 40-50k miles/year for work. Although this will be my car (and I drive very short distances) he will most likely end up driving it a lot, depending on how his car is doing (currently rebuilding the engine on his super old Vibe). My last car ended up with 80k miles in 3 years.
    Our budget is $12k max, would like to spend closer to $10k, and ideally finding a car with less than 80k miles on it as we will be adding plenty.
    Is this reasonable? Or if we find a higher mileage car, will the Prius last long enough with our high yearly mileage to make it through a 4-5 year loan?
    My husband likes to be do all vehicle maintenance himself if at all possible, and is a little bit leery of the Prius because he’s not sure if that’s something that will be possible - is it? Or do you always take to a dealer?
    It seems like there aren’t a ton of used Prius in our area that fit the bill, so we may need to travel for one (same goes if we replace with another mazda3). We’ve test drove gen 3s with 100k miles locally, so I know we like this gen. Not sure about trim levels, but we can worry about that if we decide to go this route. The biggest thing is a dark interior (husband is in industrial sales and that tan interior that I see on 90% of the Prius for sale locally would get ruined in a day!), but that’s something I can figure out!
    Would love feedback, or if I’m looking for something that isn’t a good fit please let me know! We aren’t that familiar with hybrids in general, and have always had older cars. If anyone has experience/comparison to the other cars we are looking at that would be super helpful too, but I know that’s asking a lot!
    I’m getting very overwhelmed with car shopping - my husband is also 6’7” and all legs and doesn’t really fit in most hatchbacks, and I’m super picky, so our options are limited. Happy with the three we’ve narrowed down to, but I don’t know enough about diesel or hybrids to make an informed decision yet.
    Thank you in advance for ANY advice/feedback!!!
     
  2. spiralhelix

    spiralhelix Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2019
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    Location:
    Illinois
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    The Gen3 Prius is a fine car. If you spend some time looking through the threads here, you will see a recurring theme of EGR.... It's is a known issue here on the forums and if left unchecked can be less than ideal. But if properly maintained, a Gen3 will LAST. If that is something that you don't want to deal with, be on the lookout for a Gen4 instead. I just made a big post with lots of information on the clublexus forum ( Rough engine start? Misfires? Low Coolant? Check here for EGR and Head Gasket Info! - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion).

    The car is actually quite easy to maintain yourself, so no worries there. Might be one of the easiest cars to work on imo. When it comes to the hybrid battery, if your comfortable working on cars, this is also pretty straight forward (plenty of youtube vids out there) to replace. Good thread here (Best price on new hybrid battery? | PriusChat) on replacement batteries and 2k1Toaster has them for a decent price at high quality.

    Other than the odd duck EGR and expected lifespan of the hybrid battery, the rest of the car holds up very well. Since i am not a tall man I can't comment on his comfort level, though he definitely won't fit if you have a child seat in the car. The only way to know is to have him drive it ;)

    Another option to look at is a Subaru Impreza Hatchback. It has a bit more leg room, but not as good fuel economy as its strictly a gas engine...but still not bad (38-45 mpg). The benefit is the AWD during winter (if you're in northern MO).
     
  3. maybelaughter

    maybelaughter New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
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    Location:
    Missouri
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Thank you so much!
    My husband is very comfortable working on cars / watching you tube vids to figure things out (he just removed his engine, and has replaced his clutch, so I’d say competence level is high). I’ll show him the EGR and battery replacement info to see if he feels comfortable with it.
    We did test drive one and surprisingly he fits! That plus he gas mileage are why it’s in our top three. The backseat would only be used in storage capacity 95% of the time, so no worries there. He looked at the Impreza too, there aren’t many available used in our area/low mileage/price range, but it’s on the short list for when he replaces his car.

    We’re in SW MO, Springfield - but drive a lot in the Ozarks/AR/up to KCMO, so although snow isn’t as big of a concern, hills definitely are!
    We haven’t had a chance to test drive on hillier areas - we live in town and the dealer here is a “let me ride with you and take this route I want you to drive on” type so we will definitely be dining other places to test drive before purchasing anything.

    Can anyone shed light on how well a Prius handles very hilly/curvy drives?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
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    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    welcome!
    depends on speed, weather and tires, but it's pretty average, and can be improved with suspension work if desired.

    as for reliability, there are some issues with blown head gaskets, inverter failure and brake actuator failure.
    you can learn a lot by searching here and doing some reading. it sounds like your husband could handle just about anything.it's a bit different from regular gas cars, but a toyota code reader and a subscription to the on line service manual are very helpful.
     
  5. Vivi

    Vivi Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
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    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Five
     
  6. Vivi

    Vivi Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
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    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    My husband is 6'7" as well and he was the one who wanted me to get the Gen3. We had a Gen2 that was a little snug for him. Long legs but skinny. He rented a Gen3 on a basketball trip and found that he fit in it so much better. Your husband should be fine.
     
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