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Richard34

Tips On Buying A Second Gen Prius?

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Hi,

I'm brand new to the forum and my apologies if these questions have been answered already. I've done a little searching but can't seem to find answers.

I'm thinking of buying a 2nd gen Prius with around 80-90k on the clock. My criteria for my next car are as follows and in order of importance:

1. Reliability

2. Practicality

3. Economy (I know the official Toyota figures are nonsense but 45-50 average mpg is ok with me)

4. Decent level of kit

The questions I have relating to these points are:

1. Are the rumours about batteries going on the Prius nothing more than myth?

2. If not, how much are they to replace?

3. Is it worth getting an independent RAC inspection done on the car?

4. What should I look for that an Inspector might miss?

5. Am I right in saying that for a T4/T-Spirit with that sort of mileage, I should be paying about £4.5-£5k?

6. Are the back seats spacious enough to fit 2 x baby seats and a skinny adult?

I think that's about it really. Thanks for reading and posting any comments if you do, really appreciate it.

Hopefully I'll be getting one if the answer aren't too depressing (!) and I'll be enjoying some cheap and trouble-free motoring!

Richard

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Grumpy cabbie has reported that Gen 2 prius traction batteries will last over half a million miles and for this reason a lot of european cabbies are sticking to rtheir old gen 2 instead of buying new gen 3s. I couldnt tell you what the final bill would be to replace a traction Battery. I am guessing at somewhere beyond £1000. However, there is a lot of post about the 'conventional' 12v Battery failing . This is true because the 12 v Battery is light duty and doesnt actually have to start the engine and therefore doesnt have a lot of capacity.

Its always worth getting an independant report if you are unsure about what you may be purchasing.The inspector might miss anything but with an independant report you are just getting another set of eyes looking at your proposed purchase.

You price estimate seems about right.

Back seat space is just about ok for the occupants you describe. We did it with our grandchildren and their mother; however I wouldnt have liked to make a regular thing it since those child seats do take up a full adults space and our daughter ( who isnt big) was very well wedged in between the child seats. Also, getting in and out with the child seats in place was torturous.

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Thanks for the reponse, much appreciated. I'm still to feel confident about buying a Prius again (I've been round and round the loop in my head from a Prius -> Passat -> Octavia -> Avensis -> V50 ->......). It's been a fairly long and arduous journey for my wife who's had to put up with 'what d'ya think of THAT car?' every time we drive somewhere! I think the reason that the Prii (Prius plural ? ;)) are relatively cheap on the second hand market given their decent economy and excellent reliability, is that people like me have heard horror stories of Battery failures. But if this is the stuff of myth and legend, I'm game for a try and I'm sure the Stealth Mode will be a fun novelty factor that will stick for a month or two.

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The Gen 2 Prius is an excellent car. My son used his T Spirit in UK and in Europe for business he did 70,000 miles approx and the only parts needed in that time was brake parts. His 57 plate Gen 2 sold for £6,500. I also had a gen 2 Prius T Spirit and never had any problems. The Gen 2 is reliable and very practical. I never got less than 59MPG on my Prius. The T Spirit has the best spec. Batteries according to all reports are reliable as previously stated. The 12v Battery has a life of about 4 years. ( Always remember to close the rear hatch firmly or the 12v Battery will go flat in a short time). I would suggest getting an RAC inspection unless you buy from a reputable Toyota dealer who gives you a decent second hand warranty. Back seats are OK but check out your baby seats fit OK and there is still room for the slim person. ( Do not block the Battery vent on the RH side of the rear seat). The Prius cars are the best cars I have ever owned. If you do get one make sure it is complete with spare wheel tools etc. and it has a full Toyota service history. Never let any other dealer other than Toyota service or repair it. Hope this helps.

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Thanks Chris, some useful pointers to add to my checklist! Looks like I'll be getting RAC to look at a car for me...I just hope they're clued up on Hybrids and don't gloss over the finer points too much. I think it would be tricky to find an independent inspector who specialises in hybrids....

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The only extra thing I would check would be the condition of the brakes- they can suffer from corrosion as most braking is regenerative, so need putting into neutral and braking hard every so often to clean them off.

There was a recall on some GenII for the hybrid coolant pump to be replaced (for a fault which only shows up in very hot temperatures, something about possible airlocks) which should have been done if serviced at a main dealer.

There's nothing to service on the hybrid side until a big fluids change at 100k miles - could factor that in as a negotiation point - not sure how much extra that costs but looks like you might need it soon.

We have run with two booster seats and an adult in the rear - very cosy - but space all depends how big the seats are at the side edges. Pretty much like most cars in this class though.

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Two points for me:

In terms of choice of other vehicles for 3 in the back, there arnt many out there with a flat rear floor.

So although they may have the room for 3 bums, they only realy cater for 2 pairs of legs.

So if you dont want to go the mini MPV route then the best alternative to the Prius would be a Honda Civic. (IMHO).

Secondly don't get over worried on the price of a traction Battery (the big one), think more about the total cost of keeping the car on the road.

If you are looking at Diesel V50's Passats etc, with 80 to 120K miles on them these may all need new brakes, turbos, clutches, alternators, £150+ year car tax etc in your first year or two of ownership.

The Prius either doesn't have these parts, or is much easier on them, example is most Prius owners have there brake disks replaced for corrosion not over use :=)

Have a quick look at this:

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Note, thats US mpg, so in UK that would be average of 50mpg on a test track with a 200,000 mile car!

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Yet another video that makes a point about the 0-60 time in a Hybrid, what is it with these people?? Customers with Hybrids dont generally give a XXXX for 0-60 times :angry:

The HV Battery is not as expensive as everyone says, they have come down a lot over the years, just over 1K

Kingo :thumbsup:

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Yet another video that makes a point about the 0-60 time in a Hybrid, what is it with these people?? Customers with Hybrids dont generally give a XXXX for 0-60 times :angry:

To be fair to the testers i think it just an easy way of showing the car is not too much different to a new one.

As it's a cheap and easy test to conduct.

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No, its what testers THINK we want to hear and to the average car buyer of any description it is not a real world figure, nobody driving a family car gives a toss. If I was buying a GT86 I might want to know, but a family car? come on car journalists, give us a break! It's just like ragging the Prius around a race track and telling the world it only did 35 MPG, nonsense!

Kingo :thumbsup:

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Yep good points, lets say they get rid of the mph, mpg and 0 60 time and just add them up and compare them between new and old and then say the 200,000 mile car has 95% the performance of the new car, maybe a better way of getting the information across.

For me the noise from the drivers seat at 70mph would be a better indicator of build quality.

But i guess that would be very difficult to measure accurately.

The main points i think we should take from the clip are that over the course of 200,000 miles the efficiency / performance of the car didn't deteriorate very much and it not much went wrong :clap:

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Yes good point too, journalists have it all rrr's about face, they think people want to know all that guff about 0-60, when journalists learn to drive a car properly they can then come and teach me to suck eggs :D: Rant over .............. :lol:

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I am in the motor trade and the only diesel I would buy would be a Toyota one. Soon to end as they are getting BMW to manufacture diesel engines for them so looks like we have bought our last diesel.

With a diesel you have to be prepared for big bills for the failures of DPF, EGR valve, Turbo charger, Fuel pump, Injectors. I know as I am doing this sort of work all the time on BMWs VWs and of course the usual french junk.

The prius has none of these issues and as far as I am aware HV Battery failures are very rare indeed.

I have had my gen2 Tspirit about six months now and can honestly say its the best car I have ever had. Do not worry about the mileage it will go forever.

When my wifes Auris diesel is due for change a hybrid will replace it.

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I wouldn't touch a BMW based diesel - a family member recently had a 320d turbo fail at < 60K miles, and it cost a fortune to fix.

Then again, I would never buy a diesel full stop! ;-)

BTW, when looking at 2nd hand Gen 2s watch out for the tyres fitted - they often seem to have been changed to cheap versions that will no doubt affect economy!

The Gen 2 is a very well built car IMHO and I still get a buzz out of driving it after a year of ownership! It's so easy to drive and so relaxing.

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