Prius V buying advice

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by danielac86, Oct 5, 2022.

  1. danielac86

    danielac86 Junior Member

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    I've been on the lookout for a Prius V on a budget and have been looking at some options. Wanted to get some input. I'm a light driver. mostly ride my bike to work, but I live in Florida and it seems like the perfect camping car for me. I've got a few options I've come across and wanted some input.

    2012 Prius V, red, 149k miles, leather interior but otherwise nothing fancy, $8k

    2015 Prius V, red, 189k miles, leather interior, panoramic sunroof, $10k

    2013 Prius V, gray, 202k miles, leather interior, panoramic sunroof, $6500

    I know those miles are up there, and I believe each one is still on the original battery so likely will have to replace that soon which I'm budgeting about $1500 for. Per owners cars are well-maintained and seem to be in good condition.

    What are your thoughts on these choices?
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    The 2015 is the only choice. It has improved crash test results and has improved pistons and rings over the earlier models.

    There are multiple expensive repairs on a gen3 Prius, which is arguably the worst Prius ever made. These include brake booster ($2,500) and head gasket (possibly improved with the revised 2015 pistons but $2,000-$7,500 if it fails). The inverter, egr and pcv designs are also weak. The inverter is still covered on an "extended warranty" for 15 years which may extend to 20 years in January.

    A $1500 hv battery is actually a reconditioned used battery and may fail again within months or a few years. New cells are the smart solution for another 150,000 miles of battery life. However I would not preemptively change a hv battery until it fails.
     
    #2 rjparker, Oct 5, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2022
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  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I would go with the 2015, Early model years had head gasket issues, and supposedly Toyota used different piston rings in later years.

    No battery likes being idle, so high mileage may be best for battery life
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Hit and miss on reliability, so be prepared for possible major expenses
     
  5. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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  6. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    NO...........NO..............NO................NO.................NO.........get a non hybrid...........thees are terrible cares when they get over 150,000 miles
     
  7. Zradub

    Zradub Junior Member

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    I’m looking at one today. 2012 with 180k but all records and minty. Is it a timebomb or are some ‘good’ and some ‘bad’. Built in 9/2012. Thanks.
     
  8. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    Highly recommend if you like
    Financial and Mental Pain.
    But you might enjoy a
    Blown inverter
    Blown Headgasket
    New Traction Battery
    New Master Cylinder and Accumulator
    Oil Burning and a few more.
     
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  9. Zradub

    Zradub Junior Member

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    So only 2015 acceptable in a 3rd gen engine either reg Prius or V?

    Fwiw
    My 2010 with 160k has been perfect other than an alarm issue and front suspension, but is pain awaiting me there?
    My 2012 C with 200k has been perfect except for some water that sneaks in from time to time after a heavy storm. Is the 1.5 a good engine?
     
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  10. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    If you pay $5k-$7k and are willing to throw a similar amount into it over the next two or three years, you will have a nice car with a "rebuilty" engine, new brake booster and hybrid battery. Assuming you shop for good prices on those repairs.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    I would say some definitely do better than others, but how to know?
     
  12. Zradub

    Zradub Junior Member

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    Are any V’s good? When were they made through? I really like the extra space the V has.
     
  13. Zradub

    Zradub Junior Member

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    Right.
     
  14. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    The 15-17 v's have better piston and rings and normally would have lower miles. I would want lower than hundred thousand miles so the brake booster extended warranty would still be in effect plus the Hybrid Battery would be unlikely to fail for at least 50,000 miles. While not certain, the improved rings, which are not low tension, may reduce the potential for head gasket failure.

    However, the gen4 engine redesign is far preferable but was not available in a Prius v.

    The downside of the 15 through 17 models is Toyota sold very few because the hybrid RAV4 largely provided v mileage and increased room while selling for approximately the same price when new.

    By the way, the 2012 through 2014 Prius v failed its crash test ratings in the front left. The refresh in 2015 resolved that serious safety issue.

    Again, if the price is right on the 2012, there are increasing options to replace a failed GEN three engine with a GEN four. So the right price on an old Prius can be justified if you accommodate for future repairs.
     
    #14 rjparker, Oct 26, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    180k, anything that could go wrong already has?
     
  16. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    The older they are the harder they fall.
     
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  17. Zradub

    Zradub Junior Member

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    Saw car. Incredibly clean. Drove well. How much is a gen4 swap typically?
     
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  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    My take, the piston ring revision helps with oil consumption, but it's the EGR system that's toasting the head gaskets. There was a minor tweak to the EGR IIRC, the valve was revised, and earlier the intake manifold as well, but I doubt any of the 3rd gen years can dodge head gasket failure, without a periodic clean out of the EGR carbon accumulations.
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    depneds on who is doing it. engines aren't too costly usually, but labor can be all over the board.
    and it's not a straight swap, so you need to finagle a few things. some mechs balk at that.
     
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  20. Zradub

    Zradub Junior Member

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    I bought it.
    I’ll assume I have to do an engine swap. It’ll be a gen 4.
    I’m not on the site often, pls list erg diy link that fully covers procedure. And any other maintenance I should do.
    Thank you for the caution and help. Fwiw I pumped up the warm tires to just 42/40 and got with no drafting 49.4 going 60mph (96kmh) for 74miles (120km) going home. Not much wind today either. I’m happy enough. Thanks again.
     
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