Potential 2012 v Level 5 Purchase

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by mahargekim, May 15, 2021.

  1. mahargekim

    mahargekim New Member

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    Hello,

    I am a potential Prius v newbie, so please excuse any missteps with terminology or facts around these vehicles. I am looking to buy a 2012 v Level 5 from a dealership and will be going to test drive on Monday morning. I have put a deposit down to ensure the vehicle will be there for me and talked the price down by ~$1000. I think that the price is fair as the km are low, the CarFax shows the maintenance has been good, and the previous owners were an older couple (info from dealership - taken w/ grain of salt...). This is in Canadian dollars. I would use it for casual driving and to head out of town on a semi-regular basis (~100 miles/150 km average trips). The only work I am aware that the shop will have done in servicing the vehicle is to replace the timing tensioner, oil/filter change, and fluid top up.

    All of that said, I have seen concerns in some posts around the challenges and $$$ that a 2012 v can force upon owners with regards to the piston rings, inverter, EGR/carbon buildup, battery, etc. I am interested in the v as a long term personal vehicle because of its size and cargo capacity, fuel economy, and (supposed) Toyota reliability. It seems like there are a number of ongoing concerns that the dealership is not going to share with me in talking to them. Would it be better to look elsewhere? I have also seen some newer Mazda 3 hatchbacks locally for the same/lower price as a potential alternative. It would be the largest purchase on a car I will have ever made, so I am hopeful to get some additional insight from members here as to whether or not it would be a sound purchase. I am not interested in financing a vehicle at this time.

    Thank you for your time and any advice you might be able to provide!
     
  2. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    We love our 2012 v Five, now at 45,000 miles, with zero nags.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gen 3 prius (2010-15) and all v models are subject to what you have read. especially the head gasket around 100k+
    it is definitely not typical toyota reliability, as we have known it, and they refuse to cover the issue, as have most all other mfgs.

    great car, just go in with your eyes open, dealerships are not going to be forthcoming about potential problems, although they are happy to sell extended warranties.
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Not a good idea for long term reliability, especially if it is stretching your budget. You could be looking at $2,000 - $5,000 worth of repairs at anytime. Sharing the miles would help. If you are diy skilled on car repairs I might pay $6k US. The dealer probably wants way more.

    This comes up often. People read the stories but love the car because it drives and looks good. Better to find a 2015-17 Prius v (still third generation) or a 2016-up regular Prius (all gen 4 engines). The early gen3 models had design flaws in the pistons and piston rings (the 2015-17 v revised rings), a very poor egr cooler design (completely redesigned in gen4s), a poorly designed brake by wire system (Toyota support in the US for a few months), an inverter flaw (similar short term support), all resulting in an excessive number of vehicles that burn oil, clog egrs, lose normal braking or strand you with a failed inverter. Usually but not always over 150k miles.

    Many get several failures before the expected "normal" high expense occurs, eg the hybrid battery replacement. Best advice for a reliable low operating cost car under $10k? A Corolla, Civic, Accord or Camry. Under $15k? A newer version of those four or possibly a 2015-17 Prius v or 2016 up Prius.
     
  5. mahargekim

    mahargekim New Member

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    Thank you all so much for your replies. I tried to include the link to the dealership website in the initial post, but I was not permitted to include it...The vehicle has just over 105,000 kms (65,000 mi), comes with a set of Pirelli Cinturato P7s and Michelin winters (both on wheels), and has the rear cover intact. It seems, in some ways, too good to be true?? The cost is significantly above $6k US (ie more than double).

    I live in a condo building and have limited mechanical skills, so the DIY is probably out of the question. My previous car was a 1982 Volvo wagon that I had to get rid of when too many consecutive issues and attempts to fix them resulted in a letter from the condo association...

    I appreciate the eyes open comments, and I am really glad to have posted here. You are all so passionate about the community and helping out with information that I would have never come across otherwise. Thank you for your time and providing me with some thoughts to carry through the weekend. I am still going to take the test drive. I will let you know how it goes!
     
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  6. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    My 2012 Prius v just turned over 25k miles. I went through and completed all of the recalls and am completely satisfied as it is probably the best vehicle I ever owned.

    I agree with Air Boss. If I need a new battery or any other service, a few thousand dollars will still be cheap compared to the cost of a new vehicle with higher taxes and insurance.
     
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  7. Cinco

    Cinco New Member

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    2013 Prius V 5. only issue was rear wheel bearing which I did myself for 115.00. Very reliable and no major issues. 67k miles and everyday driver for delivery service.
     
  8. wafwat

    wafwat Junior Member

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    In my quest to plan ahead for the day that my 2004 Sienna with almost 400K miles on it kicks the bucket, we started looking for something with enough space to take short trips with our two medium sized dogs. We chose the V as that platform and so I started doing my research. I poured through this forum and also read other items and made the decision that it would be a 2015-2017 model. It took over a year for us to find "the right one". In November 2020 we purchased a 2016 Prius V model 5 with ATP that had 56K miles on it. We absolutely love the car. And again thanks to this forum I put on the TRD rear sway bar a couple weekends ago and that made it even better. Doesn't seem as "floaty" on the interstate.

    Good luck with you search!!
     
  9. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    How many km/miles? Have all TSBs been accomplished?
     
  10. mahargekim

    mahargekim New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying - just over 65,000 miles.

    The TSBs are unclear - the CarFax shows regular maintenance and additional Toyota servicing, but it does not specify what took place. It is a question that I know to ask tomorrow when I test drive the vehicle. From the looks of it, there have been a tonne of TSBs for 2012 models...:(
     
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  11. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Yes, there have been, and the dealership should be able to determine completion status.

    65,000 miles is less than half-way to the potential for most of what you hear about, which seems to be a 150,000 mile threshold.
     
    #11 Air_Boss, May 16, 2021
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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  12. mahargekim

    mahargekim New Member

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    So it turns out the dealership just received a 2015 Prius v on trade two or three days ago. I'm hopeful I'll be able to have a look at that tomorrow -- 52,000km/32,000mi on the odometer. Asking $4k Canadian more than the 2012...

    Edited the price
     
  13. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    NO.........!!!!
     
  14. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    45,000 is not a long term car...... thats almost new..,..... you shouldn't have trouble with any car with that low miles.

    These cars are not for long term use unless you are prepared to
    Replace Head gasket
    New Engine
    New Traction Battery
    Inverter
    Water Pump
    Brake System Pump and Master Cylinder
    And you could be a long way from home when one of these complex systems goes out.
     
  15. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Likewise with the OP's 65,000 mile car to be driven low annual mileage.
     
  16. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    I don't see the benefit of a hybrid with low annual mileage. The traction battery just gets old....regardless of the miles.
    Just get a ICE vehicle. Way less trouble....
     
  17. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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  18. mahargekim

    mahargekim New Member

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    Thanks for all of your replies. I decided against purchasing the 2012 v. The dealership assured me that all of the TSBs had been taken care of, but were very evasive when it came to discussing the issues raised on this thread. They were also not willing to budge on the price.

    As mentioned, there are some other options for Prius v in my general area. One 2016 Luxury (116,182km/72,00mi - guessing Luxury means a Five trim) and a 2017 as well (108,364km/67,000mi.) They are more expensive than the 2012 by about $5k and $7k Canadian.

    I know the newer models have been suggested as better, but does anyone have thoughts on either of those?
     
  19. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    I would skip the gen 3 if you plan on keeping the car for a long time.
     
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