Want to buy a first gen prius with 83 000km : good or bad?

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by James Sutton, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. James Sutton

    James Sutton Junior Member

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    First hi,im new to priuschat it seem to be a great community here...I was looking for the first gen prius section but didnt find it...so I post my question here.So,i just saw this guy selling his 2002 first gen prius with only 83 000 km on it...I asked im why the car have a low km like this he said he bought it from a car reseller who bought it from the gouvernement (city utility car)...

    He said the reseller told him that the car was mainly stored in garage and only getting some time (gouvernement worker :) )...He said he changed the 12 v battery last year but had to sell the car because he use a trailer and need a truck instead ...He is only selling it 4600$ and I was wondering if it is a good buy considering the age of the car...Even if it has low mileage...It is a good buy?
     
  2. Scallywag

    Scallywag Member

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    The battery on the first gen is a lot more failure-prone than second gen. You will probably be looking at a replacement relatively soon (I believe you can get packs with Gen II cells in them), ~$2000. Based on the age and mileage, that would be my biggest concern. The price is a lot lower than for an old Gen II of the same mileage, but I'm not sure how the Gen I value stacks up. Have you actually checked into the history of the car yourself?

    Beyond that someone with more knowledge about the Gen Is will have to chime in.
     
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  3. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    The car is 12 years old. I would not buy it. You could get a lot of money tied up in that car fast. I would pass on it and buy something else. Just my opinion. You will get other opinions and you can decide for yourself.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat james! first, you need to shoppe around to see what $4600. will buy you. it is difficult for us to know if it's a good deal, because that is determined by your market area. second, it will be difficult for you (i think) to get the complete maintenance records because of the multiple owners. but if you can, that would be helpful to determine if it has been taken care of, as well as any accidents/repairs. otherwise, it is an unknown quantity, and could be a good deal, or could be nothing but a wallet emptier. all the best!(y)
     
  5. James Sutton

    James Sutton Junior Member

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    Thank for all the advices it is really apprecied...I wrote to the seller and told him that buys a first gen prius of this age is risky so I would buy it but not over 3500$...(I think he will not recontact me hehe) For the market price of second gen prius here the second gen prius i saw were between 6500-10 000$ but most of them have over 150 000 km...I have another question...Is it better to buy a second gen prius at 150 000 km or buy a third gen prius 2010 at 255 000 10 300$ ?
     
  6. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Hi James, I love my Gen1 and it is giving good service, but I think you're right, that there is no need to pay a lot for a Gen 1, I am starting to see Gen2's in the $3500 range and members here are posting 5-10 mpg more on their Gen 2's than we get on the Gen1's, and that's why we are all here, isn't it? Parts and service will come more readily for the Gen 2 also.
    On the plus side, gov't vehicles are fleet maintained, oil changed on time and whatever else they needed, money is no object. 83000 km is super low mileage, but bear in mind miles is not so much of a factor on Toyotas as on other brands, and 500000 km is now common on these motors.
    If you already owned a Gen1 I'd recommend holding on to it, but as you have the option, Bisco and Okinawa's advice above is sound....the newer model has eclipsed the old, and can be had for the same money by a shrewd buyer on a lucky day.
     
    #6 robert mencl, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    honestly, i think your money would go further on a non hybrid like a yaris or matrix.
     
  8. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    Where are you? Finding good mechanics for this car is a real challenge - you could find yourself at a dealership in two months being handed a $4,000+ estimate for repairs. If you are a DIY and aren't afraid to tinker and learn or there is a really competent independent shop nearby then maybe its worth considering if the price is right. Otherwise I agree with bisco - buy an old Yaris or Civic.
     
  9. kutcht1

    kutcht1 Member

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    An older Pontiac Vibe with the automatic transmission (they are more reliable) are the same as the Toyota Matrix and I see them going for less money. Should be able to find a lower milage one easily for around $4000. May also a good option if the Prius does not work for you.
    I bought mine 2002 Prius for $2300 with 138,000 miles about a year ago and I thought that was a risk. It however has turned out to be good so far and I am at almost 160,000 miles. Only repair has been an inverter pump and a full change of fluids.
    TomK
     
  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    I tried to to collect good answers from similar questions:
    Who should and should NOT buy a 2001-03 Prius | PriusChat

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
     
  11. Scallywag

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    The 2010 @ 255k miles is likely a bit stronger than the Gen IIs, though the difference isn't too great. The market price similarity suggests that they are of similar value. I'd honestly expect the battery to last longer on that Gen III than the 150k+ Gen IIs. I'd expect the gas engine itself to go sooner, but that is cheaper. The Gen III has to have been driven every day, high mileage per day, and I would bet on being mostly highway speeds.

    But like others have said, none of the above are good options if you can't also afford to keep ~$2k lying around for a battery repair.
     
  12. James Sutton

    James Sutton Junior Member

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    Thank all fo your advices.Don't know if matrix is a good idea thought...Im doing over 120km a day for my work (mainly highway) I think the car will refund itself in 5-6 year...true that I checked some matrix and they seem far less expensive...But I want give prius a try...Id like to get better fuel economy than my car now (old corolla 98)...

    The 2010 matrix is 255 oooKM it is 158 449 miles
     
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  13. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    James, you seem like the best prepared of all pre-prius owners.
    Prius acts differently for different owners. Well not really, but for different commutes.
    On long highway drives at speed, the gas mileage on these things is no different from a Corolla, because the car is not taking much advantage from the hybrid system. But on short intown hops they shine, especially if the motor is kept warm between hops...a busy pizza delivery guy or an intown courier would be pushing 60mpg as they aren't fighting wind resistance and they are dipping heavily into the battery feature of the car. Here's my screen from Wednesday. 153_6233.JPG
    But then there are the owners who simply like the Prius for the the wonder that it is.
     

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  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    A used Prius is an excellent way to get into the technology:
    [​IMG]
    The gray line is the best predictor of NHW11 (2001-03 model) MPG as it incorporates the vehicle overhead along with drag functions. You'll notice the green diamonds, my earliest mpg vs MPG chart, shows a knee that starts at 65 mph (104 km/h) giving 52 MPG (4.52 L/100 km.) Best of all, with the accumulated experience here, we can help you keep that car running as long as you're willing. Just understand a used car will have unplanned, maintenance and repairs instead of high, initial purchase price.

    I continue to use our 165,000 mile (264,000 km), 2003 Prius as the experimental test article instead of my wife's 57,000 mile (91,000 km) 2010 Prius. But it was the 2003 Prius that led us to buying the 2010 Prius secure in the knowledge that it would be a great ride. Here are my favorite pictures of both cars:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    That is 1,700 lbs (773 kg) of trailer and airplane, my other hobby.

    If (when) you get the Prius, please update your profile with your location. The reason is we have a lot of knowledge about climate and terrain effects on older Prius. Most of all, we want to help you catch up on maintenance items that might have been missed.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  15. James Sutton

    James Sutton Junior Member

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    I've checked on the website fueleconomy and comparing my 98 corolla with a 2004 prius save me minimal 600$ with 95% highway and 5% city a year (not a lot but i will be happy with all the gas I will not pay) .I have checked for matrix but it will cost more gas money than my car as it is the same motor but in a heavier car...

    I have checked chevrolet volt too but they are really too expensive at the moment...I found out yesterday that a acr seller near me is selling a 2005 prius with 128 miles for 5500$ with a one year warranty ... maybe it will enough to give me some peace of mind...The only thing that i would like is fog lights...but this car has none...It is really useful here in heavy fog and snowstorm...
     
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  16. LEVE

    LEVE Member

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    I've owned Prii for only about 5 years. I have two 2002 models and a 2005. The Gen 2 does get a little better fuel mileage than the Gen1 models. But I have to admit I really like driving my "stealth Prius". Most people think it's a Corolla and are very surprised to find it's a Prius.

    The cost of the Prius you're looking at, in my opinion, is fair. The car is low mileage, which I'd think would mean there is little battery wear. The batteries will decline with age and use, but mostly with usage. This car you're looking at is a mere puppy.

    My only worry about my two Gen 1's are MG failures, so I'm going to stock pile a couple of MG's when the budget allows.

    Were I you, I'd buy that car and not look back. It should give you some good service over the next few years.
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    saving gas is good. buying a car and potential repairs can negate the savings.
     
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I see that said a lot, but it hasn't been my experience - the highway figures would probably be closer if you could compare to a Corolla with an Atkinson-cycle engine, if there were such a thing.

    Unlike Bob Wilson, I pretty much just get in my car and drive, so I don't get mileage numbers as high as he does, but on my long state-to-state trips I've usually posted 46 to 52 MPG or so. Do people routinely get that in a Corolla?

    My long-drive numbers are actually better than my in-town numbers, because my in-town commute is so short. In the Gen 1, it's the first 5 minutes of cold driving that kills the average. (That's where a lot of Bob's driving optimizations come in, but I'm usually not thinking that hard before coffee.)

    -Chap
     
  19. robert mencl

    robert mencl Member

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    Lancair?
     
  20. YOLOsoBuyaPrius

    YOLOsoBuyaPrius Junior Member

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    I would go with the 2005 it's more space with more mpg


    iPad ?
     
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