Seems like buying a used Gen3 Prius is not recommended

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by trimore7, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. kingman

    kingman New Member

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    i have a gen 3 and they are nice
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Hah, takes me back, mid-nineties, our kids had rented a videogame, and I was elected to return it. The guy at the counter asked me how I'd liked it, and I (having NO clue) replied: "it was nice...".
     
  3. tonycd

    tonycd Member

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    Seconding what some have already said here, Consumer Reports, the foremost neutral source of auto reliability data, affirms that Priuses of all vintages, specifically including 2010, are among the most trouble-free cars you can buy – more reliable today than some NEW cars now for sale. It's regrettable that a few hysterical posters amplify their individual problems to the point where it sounds otherwise as a statistical average.

    Combine that reliability with 50 mpg economy and the price discount of a depreciated used car, and it's very hard to beat the cost of ownership of a 2010 Prius (all the better a value because it's the oldest and therefore most depreciated year of the 2010-15 generation). All of which is why I put my money where my mouth is and bought one. Sum total of problems in 15 months of ownership: zero.
     
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  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Agreed:).

    Our 2010 has not been a problem child either;).

    • Some oil consumption: yes
    • Some preventative maintenance:yes
    • Major issues like I had with previous American made vehicles: Nope
    It’s all about perspective (y).
     
  5. stephensprius

    stephensprius Active Member

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    My wife and I have a 2013 Prius with 80,000 miles. It has been with us since new, zero miles. It has been (knock on wood!!!) the most reliable vehicle we have ever had and most fuel efficient. It's one of the best vehicles and would not be concerned.
     
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  6. Martaybirdie

    Martaybirdie New Member

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    $5000 transaxle? I found several 15-25k for $2-400 on Car-parts who would ever buy new? And replacement hybrid batteries are not over $1500 if you know where to look..... heck even the inverters used with less than 30k are less than $300
     
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  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Friend to those who want no friends

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    Yep, you clipped the part where I mentioned mechanics, if you are skilled enough to do it your self, the economics change. Few college students will have those skills. perhaps their parents do.
     
    #27 JimboPalmer, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  8. Lucifer

    Lucifer Senior Member

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    Now that traction bateries are below 1500$, even gen2 used prius are a great buy, but if the OP want's to believe Toyota's are terrible, it's the op's right, to be wrong.
     
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  9. evilchargerfan

    evilchargerfan Junior Member

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    interestingly, down here in San Diego it would seem 3rd gen prius's appear to sell for less than what 2nd gen's go for

    I started looking at a back up plan, due to my lexus ct200h being plagued with issues like oil consumption, and engine shakes, and what not. I strongly considered a 2nd gen, as it would appear those owners have less issue when 3rd gen owners have
     
  10. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    I'm also amazed at the number of Gen2's on the road around here...and have also noticed that they sell for somewhat of a premium.
     
  11. GFO

    GFO Member

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    Have to agree with the above statement. On my first Prius, bought it with 27xxx miles; now at 55xxx miles. By far the most trouble free and low cost 28k miles of any car I've owned and I've owned at least 15 (mostly all used) cars.
     
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  12. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Every model has weak points, including Prius.

    I bought mine with about 41k miles, and it now has about 87k. Zero repairs needed so far, except replacing the degraded rubber window seal strips on the sunny side.
     
  13. eliteconcept

    eliteconcept 700 mile club, top tank mpg 69.5

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    It all depends on the situation. But largely when buying a used car one should always have a reserve fund of money set aside for unexpected repairs plus just normal maintenance. You could go on the civic forums and you'll see people saying simliar things about common issues the civic has as well. Mechanical things break, its just what they do. And when you buy a used mechanical thing that you don't know the history of what has or hasn't been done or if or if it hasn't been abused you just don't know what to expect. I wouldn't pinpoint a specific car for your situation but rather a set of cars you identified as good options. Know they're pros and cons. And seek to find one that you can know the most about its service history as possible. For example if and when I sell my prius the buyer will know exactly what they are getting. I have logged every service record of the car on toyota.com/owners and have kept a hard copy of every receipt for parts and service that I will be able to hand the owner to verify my toyota.com/owners log. In addition to tracking every fill up in fuelly app where I can show my MPG log, they'll see that the car was meticulously maintained. So my suggestion is don't zero in on one specific car model, know what ones you are looking for know the pros and cons and find one that you can know the most about.
     
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  14. mysticeyes

    mysticeyes Junior Member

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    What should be most important to you, once you've decided on a used car to buy, is how it's been cared for by the previous owner(s), and that's something that you cannot know for sure. So you're always taking at least a bit of a chance. However, assuming that you want the least possible risk, go with the Corolla; it's less complex that a hybrid and doesn't have the pieces that may cost a lot to replace (inverter, hybrid battery), and it's made by the company whose production methods are emulated by other companies and other industries. And I do have something to add regarding the other cars you are considering. Ford, the maker of such models as the Towus, F*kus, Exploder, Mercury Mistake, Disable....you may want to steer clear of. About the Honda hybrids, I have had experience with two of them, a 2010 Insight and a 2004 Civic. I think that 2nd and 3rd generation Prii are both clearly better than those, meaning better cars and better hybrids. The Honda hybrids definitely handle better than Toyotas and actually work quite well for me, because I am a very gentle driver when I drive hybrids, evidenced by the fact that I got between 46 to 51 mpg, on cars that had EPA ratings of 40-42 mpg. It's the Honda transmission designs that are suspect, and especially the CVT's. In my Insight, the transmission always had a little bit of shudder when taking off from 0-15 mph; thankfully, it never just flat died. I got the Civic Hybrid really cheap at an auction, with only 21k miles on it; it has a much more disturbing shudder and I'm just hoping to make it to 100k miles, and then I'm simply going to junk it. Another anecdote: my dad had a high-end 1999 Acura TL with two transmission failures in 140k miles; his had a conventional automatic. Search for information online or in Honda forums; those transmission problems are well known. It seems that Honda made great cars until the 1990s but since then has lost some ground to competitors such as Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, etc.
     
    #34 mysticeyes, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  15. misstenacity

    misstenacity New Member

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    Exactly. Buy into the experience. Really truly own it. (This is what I'm hoping for with selling my MINI, as well - if someone buys my 'old' car thinking they are just getting a cheap daily driver.... well, they're not really expecting what my MINI is going to deliver, for better and for worse.)
     
  16. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Also, if you like to work on cars...you can buy a 'project car' that needs maintenance and do the stuff yourself. That is what I did with our Prius v (wagon). However, I'd wager that few have the patience to do this.
     
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  17. trimore7

    trimore7 New Member

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    I appreciate everyone's responses. We have looked at Prius, Prius C, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa Note, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus/Fiesta and I have done very detailed calculations to compare these based on price, maintenance, repairs, initial cost, etc.

    In the end, generally, the Prius seems to win on the 3 or 5 years Total Cost of Ownership but it largely depends on the initial cost and factors such as large repairs that could happen to any of them if our luck is bad. There are a number of educated assumptions that have to be considered as well. I was expecting to have the Prius come out much on top but it still has a price premium since it is a hybrid and the other cars would be new and less miles, after the price premium it make it more equal to the others. Compared to all of the above-listed cars, the Prius has the win for space, drivers appeal and monthly cost. My wife does not much like any of the other cars in style and interior compared to the Prius unless it is one of the sporty versions. I surely get that but that drives the price up and availability down.

    After consideration, the vehicle will really be my wifes primary get around car and a car for the kids until they get their own. We don't need to take 7 kids most of the time since there is usually someone old enough at home to babysit. Right now, we are putting about 18k miles on the van a year, that will probably drop to 5-7k a year and the rest on the new car.

    So, with all of that, we are moving forward in the next few weeks with a serious look for a 2012 or newer Prius, less than 100k miles and all in price of less than $12k. Probably a model 3 or 4. Would like leather for sure and it will have to be a excellent condition.
     
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  18. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    trimore7, you have a recommended hybrid shop in your town, so that's a plus. Try to find a Prius with miles low enough for you to take advantage of the traction battery warranty for the full 8 years.
     
  19. BurkPhoto@aol.com

    [email protected] Junior Member

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    I'm with you. We are a FOUR PRIUS family. My twins are 19 and drive 2009s. One is at 153K and the other is at 166K. I drive a 2010 I bought two weeks ago with 53K on it. My wife drives a 2015v she bought two weeks ago with 49K on it.

    We service our cars regularly, according to the owner's manual. I have a local independent garage that has some guys who used to work at a Toyota dealer. The folks at the used car dealership where I bought the 2010 sell more used Prii than any other car, and they all drive Toyotas of one sort or another. That dealership is also a repair shop for foreign brands. So they know what to do to used cars when they come in.

    Any purchase of a used item presents some degree of risk. The reward is the lower price. Depreciation usually costs far more than repairs. Our 2009 Prii are the most reliable, least costly cars we have ever owned. Just put some money in a savings account as insurance against a major repair.
     
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  20. WhiteShadow

    WhiteShadow Junior Member

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    Wow. I was unaware that 2010 Prii have gotten a bad rap.

    I am the proud owner of a 2010 Prius 5 for 3 years now. I bought it with about 112k miles and it now sits at 150k. It has been absolutely reliable, and in that time it only needed typical maintenance items (tires, 12v battery, wipers, oil, filters, and a few bulbs.) I elected to change the plugs recently and since I wasn’t sure if/when they were ever replaced. Oh, and I did replace a leaky oil sending unit, which was a $14 part that I was able to change at home fairly easy.

    I always chuckle when reading this forum. Sadly, it’s one of the best sources of general information about the Prius. I would never pay prices quoted above for parts or service.

    I highly recommend you seek out a local salvage yard for parts. I have one locally that happens to mostly buy Prii, and it has saved me a lot of money. I even bought my 12v battery and wipers from him (yes they are used, but they are factory…and that is far superior to most aftermarket items.) My “used 12v” battery is on year two now for $60. I bought wipers from him because someone had replaced my factory wipers with crappy aftermarket (stock Prius wipers are the best…just buy inserts!)

    I agree with the advice above about choosing wisely, but it goes for any used vehicle. Service records are golden, and show an interested and responsible owner. After you buy, check the oil regularly as Prii seem to be prone to burning a bit of oil. I think a half quart between change intervals is ok, but I wouldn’t want any more than that. Best of luck.
     
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