Old Prius

Feb 7, 2013
st louis, mo
My oldest son just bought his first car, got a 2005 Prius with around 140k miles on it.

I didn't know that much about them, but it's looking like we dodged some potential issues. The date code on the HV battery is 2017 and the Dr. Prius test shows 85%+ capacity. So that looks good for potential long life. Here's hoping. I know there are still a few other potential problem spots (AC compressor, brake actuator) but these are supposed to be overall reliable cars and they did make a ton of them.

For myself, I was always curious about hybrids but the math didn't ever seem like it worked out -- it would take a lot of miles to recoup the few thousand I could save buying an equivalent 4-cyl gas car. And any big repairs would make the savings evaporate.

I've never owned a Toyota, and I have to say I kind of like this car and might end up trying to pick one up for myself, although I think I'd want to try grabbing a cheap dead one and putting in a new battery. It's cool to see some of the design decisions that Toyota made, has a very 90s feel to the interior in my opinion. Really weird to me to have no physical A/C controls or display on the radio and only the minimal HUD in front of you.

How about you? Any experience with an old hybrid? Heck, the Chevrolet Volts are starting to look affordable (although a battery replacement in one of them would be BIG bucks)
How about you? Any experience with an old hybrid?
Not yet. Am not sure if we will keep ours into the "old" category. Undecided at this time.

Outside the rustbelt, they seem like decent buys... they have some bad years with headgaskets, and the battery is always a looming issue, but the rest seems reasonable, if point A to point B is all you are after. Although I think they also had some LCD issues?

Personally, at the moment, I'm still avoiding, too much risk for me at this time. But won't say no forever.
My 2007 Prius has 260k miles on it. They're very reliable and most maintenance items are well documented on the PriusChat forums or Youtube. The only "repairs" I've had to do are both front hub assemblies, refurbished my own HV battery in 2020, and the three way valve. Total for all four is less than $500. Everything else I've ever done to the car has been preventative maintenance.
When I purchased my 2012 Honda Civic I was going to buy a Prius of the same year. The Prius was about $4000 extra and I thought it wouldn't be worth it. My BIL has a 2007 Prius and I drove it around quite a lot. I have to say I really liked driving the Prius and it went forever on a tank of gas. I think I will buy one next instead of a Civic however that extra price up front hurts. I am retired now and drive double the miles on my gas saver than I did when I was working. My brother in law is still on the original main battery (the expensive one) and it's still working ok. The 2007 Prius has about 100,000 miles or less on it. I think the Prius is fun to drive and I do not understand why so many people make fun of them.
I've had over thirty of the OG hybrid. Replacement batteries aren't ridiculously priced, and even if it does give out, the car can still be driven without one and get over 60 mpg.

My son always liked those. And my sister in law's brother has/had one that he drives without the battery. I remember when they came out.

Something I didn't know is that the Prius actually came first in Japan (1997), but it was released in the US after the Insight (2000?).
I've had over thirty of the OG hybrid. Replacement batteries aren't ridiculously priced, and even if it does give out, the car can still be driven without one and get over 60 mpg.

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I came across one the other day but it sold in hours. I don’t know where you find them all but I’d love to know cause I only see them for sale once or twice a year.
Aside from the battery, watch for high oil consumption and ABS actuator ($$$$) issues. Failed combo meter is common, but nowadays, very inexpensive to remedy. Overall, very good cars.
Heh, I saw one locally for sale for $3000 earlier this week, needed the brake actuator.

Now it's been re-listed for $5400 by a flipper, no mention of the brake problems that the original seller disclosed in his ad...
Well loved by millions of cab drivers over the years.

It was the de facto car for Uber and Lyft, now replaced by the Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata/Kia Forte(K5). However, the Prius is still the only car you can come out ahead with as an Uber driver.

My reasoning for why so many Ubers and Lyfts are now Nissans or HyunKias (and increasingly, Teslas) - credit. Lyft has Express Drive and Uber has Hertz leasing - $200-300/week to lease a car, all inclusive. No credit check required, and many rideshare drivers have shot credit - which means they’re at the mercy of subprime lending or a BHPH lot. And cars from a BHPH lot more than likely won’t pass Uber or Lyft’s “inspection”.