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Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: steveroberts
Date: December 28, 2020 02:50PM
Hi Friends,

Presently driving a 2008 Mazda5, which I love, but I've had it for 10 years and I'd like to replace it.

I've been thinking of looking for a Prius V 2015-2017 below $15k.

Never having owned a hybrid, can you please help me with important considerations for this purchase?

Thanks in advance,

SR
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: Rolando
Date: December 28, 2020 03:06PM
I really like both the Mazda5 and the PriusV! Too bad they are both discontinued.

How many miles do you drive annually and are they mostly city or hwy.

A hybrid will benefit from city driving the most.

That $15K price point will limit your choices, as Toy's keep their perceived value pretty well. Here is a quick search on cars.com. Prices in South Texas may be lower than your location. You might save thousands on a quick trip!

[www.cars.com]



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: December 28, 2020 03:12PM
1. Don't buy an earlier Prius--people are stealing the catalytic converters.

2. We own a 2015 Prius V, and totally love it. Our only regret is not buying a higher-end model. We bought a V-3, and now wish we'd bought a V-5.

3. It has more cargo space than we anticipated.

4. It's much quieter than the 1995 Honda Accord it replaced, but it's not quiet compared with other cars of the same vintage. It's enough that for multi-day drives, I use noise-cancelling headphones.

5. It's a little bit hard to see the front corners for parking, compared with the Honda.

6. There's an air filter for the high voltage battery that's hard to get at and needs to be replaced every 3 years or so. I spent an hour or so to vacuum it out instead.

7. Our car has 70K miles. Other than routine maintenance (oil and filters and alignment), the ONLY work it's needed has been windshield wiper replacements.

Hope that helps. We'd buy it again in a heartbeat, just with nicer accessories and trim.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: p8712
Date: December 28, 2020 03:30PM
I liked mine. Rear visibility is crap. Hybrid batt should give you 10 years. Pretty good reliability overall.

Hybrids are a nice step up from a pure ICE. You may want to consider a pure electric car, if that will work for your lifestyle.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 28, 2020 05:04PM
When we were car shopping a year ago, we could not find 2015-17 Priuses for under $20k.

We also looked at new PLHEV Prius models - the ones Toyota doesn't even advertise.

Based on feedback here, we ended up getting a used 2017 Volt, and we are very happy.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: December 28, 2020 05:28PM
Quote
sekker


We also looked at new PLHEV Prius models - the ones Toyota doesn't even advertise.
.

They must sell themselves pretty well. My wife LOVES her Subaru Crosstrek, but I can't
recall the last time I've seen an ad from them, but Subaru does lots of commercials
in snowy New England.

Dave



Welcome to Dave's BBQ!

Many have eaten here....

Few have died
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: December 28, 2020 06:05PM
The question is do you need a hybrid or can you go full electric?

There are some incredible deals on 2020 Chevrolet Bolts to be had right now...I've seen some going for $20-22K.

In the used range, there are a lot of 2017 Bolts that just came off lease. A month ago, they were selling for around $15-17K well equipped with 30k miles. Then there was a recall for a slight possibility of a battery fire if you charge to 100%, so Chevy dealers cannot sell them until a permanent fix is available. But you can score one from other used car dealers. As a temporary fix, dealers apply a patch to limit charging to 95% until they come up with a permanent fix. Theoretically the permanent fix will be a new battery.

Even at a 95% charge, you can probably get 250 miles range. I drive mine about 30 miles a day, so it is no problem to plug it into simple 110v and get recharged every two days. You want to make sure if you buy one that it has DCFC or DC Fast Charging. That allows you to use fast chargers that will give 80% in about an hour, enabling longer trips.

Once you start driving full electric, you really dont want the gas part any more.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 28, 2020 08:08PM
Depends on how much you drive each day. Mainly around town, less than 45 miles, go Volt or go home.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 28, 2020 08:59PM
We had a 2012 5, looked at the Vs, but wanted the sliding doors... wish it had them.

Assuming the V style is for kids?

Quote
Speedy
Depends on how much you drive each day. Mainly around town, less than 45 miles, go Volt or go home.

Kinda OT -- I get the appeal of a hybrid, but sometimes for super low miles... meh. I mean, using the same example above, my wife (before covid) prob drove 3 miles a day back and forth to work. Her Volvo S60 gets good mileage, and she loves everything about it. Its a nice car, sorry, way nicer than any prius. I think Ive tacked it at near 40 MPG on our last trip from Nor Cal to So Cal. Its got an 18 gallon tank, or near 600 miles @ 30 mpg/combined. 3 miles a day = 10 days to use 1 gallon. 18 gallons x 10 days = 180 days, but only 5 days a week = another 25 days. 6 months between fillups. Covid has been even better. I don't think its been to the gas station since early August. =)



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: AllGold
Date: December 28, 2020 09:18PM
If you get a Prius, you're getting a Toyota. So there's not really a lot to have to consider about having a hybrid. The hybrid system has pretty much the same Toyota reliability as the rest of the car.



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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 28, 2020 09:24PM
Quote
jdc
We had a 2012 5, looked at the Vs, but wanted the sliding doors... wish it had them.

Assuming the V style is for kids?

Quote
Speedy
Depends on how much you drive each day. Mainly around town, less than 45 miles, go Volt or go home.

Kinda OT -- I get the appeal of a hybrid, but sometimes for super low miles... meh. I mean, using the same example above, my wife (before covid) prob drove 3 miles a day back and forth to work. Her Volvo S60 gets good mileage, and she loves everything about it. Its a nice car, sorry, way nicer than any prius. I think Ive tacked it at near 40 MPG on our last trip from Nor Cal to So Cal. Its got an 18 gallon tank, or near 600 miles @ 30 mpg/combined. 3 miles a day = 10 days to use 1 gallon. 18 gallons x 10 days = 180 days, but only 5 days a week = another 25 days. 6 months between fillups. Covid has been even better. I don't think its been to the gas station since early August. =)

My wife drives her Volt much more than your wife does her a Volvo - but no long distances, almost always within the Volt’s all-electric range. She did burn one tank of gas last month because the Volt insisted that one tank of gas per year has to be burned (because gas gets old.) That was her only tank that year. If you don’t drive much, great, buy a gas hog and you’ll still never use much gas.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 28, 2020 10:05PM
Quote
jdc
We had a 2012 5, looked at the Vs, but wanted the sliding doors... wish it had them.

Assuming the V style is for kids?

Quote
Speedy
Depends on how much you drive each day. Mainly around town, less than 45 miles, go Volt or go home.

Kinda OT -- I get the appeal of a hybrid, but sometimes for super low miles... meh. I mean, using the same example above, my wife (before covid) prob drove 3 miles a day back and forth to work. Her Volvo S60 gets good mileage, and she loves everything about it. Its a nice car, sorry, way nicer than any prius. I think Ive tacked it at near 40 MPG on our last trip from Nor Cal to So Cal. Its got an 18 gallon tank, or near 600 miles @ 30 mpg/combined. 3 miles a day = 10 days to use 1 gallon. 18 gallons x 10 days = 180 days, but only 5 days a week = another 25 days. 6 months between fillups. Covid has been even better. I don't think its been to the gas station since early August. =)

the MPG is much worse for short drives before the engine warms up.

and the appeal of a plug in hybrid car is less wear and tear on the ICE, so oil, filters, etc require way less maintenance that for a car that runs 100% on ICE. Also break pads seems to last longer since you use regenerative braking most of the time.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 28, 2020 11:04PM
Quote
space-time
the MPG is much worse for short drives before the engine warms up.

Perhaps... but the last time it was below 32º here was a billion years ago... the other 10 months of of the year it neer gets below 50. Even if I cut my numbers in half... the cost vs hybrid is really small.

from USDOE:

Cold weather and winter driving conditions can reduce your fuel economy significantly.

Fuel economy tests show that, in city driving, a conventional gasoline car's gas mileage is roughly 15% lower at 20°F than it would be at 77°F. It can drop as much as 24% for short (3- to 4-mile) trips.

The effect on hybrids is typically greater. Their fuel economy can drop about 30% to 34% under these conditions.

For electric vehicles (EVs), fuel economy can drop roughly 39% in mixed city and highway driving, and range can drop by 41%. About two-thirds of the extra energy consumed is used to heat the cabin.




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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: steveroberts
Date: December 29, 2020 05:20AM
Thanks for all of your thoughtful replies.

More info:

As a musician, I've always driven a hatchback form of vehicle for the utility in loading gear. I love wagons, small vans, and hatches.

I'm not quite ready to ditch ICE yet. While I don't often take long trips, I do have range anxiety about going all electric.

I don't like spending a ton of money on cars, so the $15k cap is pretty firm.

I'd consider a Volt, but I've got a family of five and seating three in the rear appears dicey.

I will keep my eyes open for a good deal on a Prius V unless something else interesting comes up.

SR
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: December 29, 2020 10:33AM
Why do you want a Prius? If you're looking for Green bragging rights, there are better options. If you're looking for reliability...you can't get much better. The Prius always uses gas, but it sips it very frugally. plug in hybrids like the Chevy Volt travel 30-60 miles on electric only before burning any gas. So, if your normal travel is 30-60 miles, a Volt is more efficient. If you regularly travel 120miles, the Prius is the better option. FCA also makes the Pacifica van that is a plugin hybrid with about 25 miles of EV only range.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2020 10:34AM by ztirffritz.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 29, 2020 12:22PM
This might be against the grain -- but with a family of 5, and music stuff... Id go straight to an Odessey.

Why cram your family into another mazda 5 size car just to save a few bucks on gas. Seriosuly. sit in one if you can. Maybe carmax. The family dynamic is just better.

The reality is -- the functionality outweighs anything else, imho. Keeps the sliding doors of the 5, but way more room, drives great, reliable, resale, etc.

I get it, I loved my 5, but it had some big limitations. In Hindsight, we never should have bought it, and got a used Odessey instead. The 5 was too small & cramped, meh gas mileage, no power doors, felt cheap, and just missing all the features of a real minivan -- in the end its resale value was awful and we just kinda lost money.

I 100% understand the $15K cap, but consider a little extra to get the right model/miles/year. If you are financing, $1000 is about $20/mo... not a huge deal breaker? If paying cash, consider financing a few thousand?

Really, Ive been there. Wish I could have redone it. Id probably still be driving a 2012 odessey. Super clean low mileage EX-Ls still fetch a price close to what a new 5 cost.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2020 10:38PM by jdc.
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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: AllGold
Date: December 29, 2020 02:04PM
Hmmm, family of five means the Volt won't work. All Prii are hatchbacks and seat five (except maybe the tiny C model), but the V is definitely bigger than the others.

If you want to go for the ultimate cheap Prius, look at a 2008 or 2009 model (they changed the body style in 2010). Again, not as big as a V but it does seat five somewhat comfortably. It should be in the neighborhood of $5K-$8K and those cars will run for 400K miles.



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Re: Car Folks: Buying a Used Prius
Posted by: weapon
Date: December 30, 2020 11:13AM
I have 2 2010 prius(s). They are not cool looking cars so I suggest getting the windows tinted. But they do save a lot of money on gas and I have had no issues with them mechanically beyond general maintenance.

Since mine are out of warranty, I do my own work so that saves cash. Changing the spark plugs requires the windshield wiper assembly and upper motor shelf be completely removed from the engine compartment. Makes a 10 min job into an hour job.

If you are buying from a private party, just have them checked out at a stealership or your independent hybrid mechanic.
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