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mojot

Prius Advice

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Hi all, I've been avidly reading all about the Prius for the last few weeks and have learnt a lot from you good folks. I've never had a hybrid before, in fact my previous cars (an MX5 and Cooper S) are pretty much the polar opposite! I'm hoping the Prius will keep me interested in driving, for very different reasons :)

So I plan to buy a second hand mark III model in the UK (I'm based in Dublin) in the coming months, as the selection and specs, on the other side of the Irish sea, are better. I'm based in an urban environment, doing <10k km per annum, so a hybrid makes a lot of sense for me.

I've got two criteria:

  1. T-Spirit model (for the gizmos)
  2. Post June 2010 (for the warranty)

A few questions which you experts might be able to help me with:

I'll buy a 2/3 year old car with between 40k and 60k miles on the clock, what should I be careful about, anything you'd advise me to look out for in particular?

How how much mileage can I expect from a set of tyres?

Is it worth finding a model with the Protection package for the rear parking sensors, or is your head and the camera sufficient?

Are the LED lights a gimmick?

Finally, the sat nav seems to be a contentious issue! However the idea of an integrated system, coupled with the HUD, really appeals to me. As Ireland has invested massively in the road network over the past few years, three year old data is not going to cut mustard over here. Does anyone know when the latest map for the HDD based system was released and what version number it is? Has Toyota seen the light or does it still cost 160GBP+ to have it updated?

Thanks in advance!

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I'll buy a 2/3 year old car with between 40k and 60k miles on the clock, what should I be careful about, anything you'd advise me to look out for in particular?

Hello Mojot. Welcome to the forum.

If the car still has two years to run on the warranty and you're buying from a Toyota dealer I wouldn't expect you have much to worry about. I would only check the cosmetic aspects plus wear items such as tyres. Maybe someone else has other ideas?

How how much mileage can I expect from a set of tyres?

Tyre wear very much depends on how it's driven but FWIW I've done 37k miles and still have 3mm on the front and 5mm on the back.

Is it worth finding a model with the Protection package for the rear parking sensors, or is your head and the camera sufficient?

I find the rear sensors a very useful addition and would definitely look for a car with them. Even with a camera the bleeps provide a warning when someone walks across you as you're reversing out of a parking space. I think people ignore what their eyes tell them and assume that if they can't hear an engine you're not moving. On the other hand, my son runs a T3 without camera or protection and seems to manage alright.

Are the LED lights a gimmick?

Don't have them myself but they have had a few enthusiastic comments on the forum.

Finally, the sat nav seems to be a contentious issue! However the idea

of an integrated system, coupled with the HUD, really appeals to me. As

Ireland has invested massively in the road network over the past few

years, three year old data is not going to cut mustard over here. Does

anyone know when the latest map for the HDD based system was released

and what version number it is? Has Toyota seen the light or does it

still cost 160GBP+ to have it updated?

Can't help much on this one. Some main roads are missing but I don't find this a problem as the new roads are well signed so I simply ignore the satnav and let her catch up when I'm back on a bit she recognises. What I find a lot more annoying is that I keep finding minor roads that have been there years are missing and the route chosen is sometimes a very long way round. I've no idea whether either of these problems would be solved by an update.

Good luck with the search.

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In terms of what to look for, I have to say when I was looking at similar cars to the ones you're after I didn't bother much about checking mechanicals and suchlike because I was only looking at Toyota approved cars with the post-June warranty. This may have been naive on my part, as an Approved car is hardly a cast-iron guarantee of it being mechanically sound but at least it gives you some comeback if you buy a dud. I'm sure others may be able to advise of particular issues that may be of concern.

One thing I would say is to be prepared to see some poor paintwork and shabby interiors. The Prius paint is made of hemp and lentils or some similar eco-friendly content which means it is particularly easy to scratch; I saw 20+ cars of similar vintage to the ones you're after and every single one was covered in scratches. It didn't bother me particularly as I rarely even wash my cars let alone polish them, but if you take more pride in your motor's appearance then it may be a concern. The inside also has a fair amount of easily-scratched plastic surfaces which don't really age very well. Again, if you're used to Germanic soft-touch plastics then prepare to be disappointed. Interior rattles are a lottery but may also be worth checking for; make sure you test the car on a rough surface (one of our many 'surface dressed' roads should do!). However even then the rattles may hide until later.

Tyre mileage will obviously vary according to how the car is driven. My wife's Auris HSD is well over 30,000 on its first tyres and they are all still in good order. I think my Prius was driven more enthusiastically in its past as it's just tipped 20k and the edges on both fronts are looking dubious. Do watch out for inappropriate replacements on the cars you're viewing; not just the usual mis-matches on axles and £30 ditchfinders but also 'high performance' tyres as these could have a detrimental impact on mpg.

The protection pack is pointless if you're getting the T-Spirit. There are enough annoying beeps in this car already; no point in adding even more! The camera has some genuinely useful lines on the display which help when backing into tight spaces. The IPA self-parking party piece also works but takes too long to set up for it to be really useful.

I don't think the LED lights are a gimmick; with no DRLs on pre-2012 cars it would be good to be able to run on dipped-beam with minimal energy usage (others may disagree with the concept of daytime lights but as a former owner of several apparently 'invisible' cars I'm all in favour). However finding a car with them fitted will be a challenge. The Technology pack which offers the LED lights is a great package to have, if only because of the radar cruise, but I failed to locate a suitable car when I was looking. It was a very expensive option, and therefore probably not too popular with cheapskates like us who buy Priuses.

The pre-2012 Sat Nav, like all built-in units, offers much but delivers little. I believe it still costs a ridiculous amount to update because of the need for the dealer to buy a unique cable or somesuch nonsense. You can't just stick a new DVD in as the map data is all on the 'hard drive' inside. However, I'd suggest that out-of-date maps are actually not the main problem; even with an accurate map you'll still be dealing with the frankly bizarre routing algorithms, laggy low-res display and pointless radio-based TMC traffic alerts. It would have been well behind the curve in 2009; now it's just archaic. If I need proper guidance then I run TomTom on my phone, which is mounted on the front quarterlight with a 12v cable routed under the doorframe and seat so it's pretty much invisible. That's one good thing about cheapo interior plastics - it's easy to pull bits off and run a cable underneath!

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How how much mileage can I expect from a set of tyres?

Pretty much the same as any other car although the Prius comes with low rolling resistance tyres when new. This helps to get the mpg up but they last just as long.

Is it worth finding a model with the Protection package for the rear parking sensors, or is your head and the camera sufficient?

You should be OK with the rear camera. The view out the back isn't good on a gen3 and the camera helps, but you will develop eyes and ears like a hawk because in a Prius, you become invisible ;)

Finally, the sat nav seems to be a contentious issue! However the idea of an integrated system, coupled with the HUD, really appeals to me.

The HDD based satnav was a good idea badly executed. You will be better off with a separate satnav which you can update yourself. Or if you need a vehicle mounted satnav, it isn't too hard to swap the built in unit for a double din unit. However, none of these will hook into the HUD.

Might be worth checking it has a space saver spare. Some Tspirits had a can of gunk instead. Also have a look at the brakes. They don't get a lot of use and can suffer from sticking or rusting/pitting.

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I ordered the Protection Pack with my new T spirit because the rear camera does not give a good assessment of distances, and for my wife, the wing mirrors and a rear sensor make better sense.....using the camera to reverse doesn't give any sideways assessment, although maybe it does on the expensive Technology Pack

there is a re-assuring rubber overlay for the carpeted boot too, which is surprisingly, very useful, as the boot carpet is not of Audi quality

if you buy from a Toy dealer, make sure that part of the Deal is an updated mapping done before purchase...a bargaining chip

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there is a re-assuring rubber overlay for the carpeted boot too, which is surprisingly, very useful, as the boot carpet is not of Audi quality

The rear boot liner is excellent and is available on its own if there isn't one already.

The official Toyota one is a bit pricey but you can get third party ones if you google for a prius boot liner.

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Hi all, I've been avidly reading all about the Prius for the last few weeks and have learnt a lot from you good folks. I've never had a hybrid before, in fact my previous cars (an MX5 and Cooper S) are pretty much the polar opposite! I'm hoping the Prius will keep me interested in driving, for very different reasons :)

My previous car was a Jaguar, I do like the Prius (I've had it three years) and it has been VERY wallet-friendly, but I must admit I hanker after some decent power sometimes. Don't expect anything like your MX5 (nice!) or Cooper S (nice!) the Prius will promote a much more relaxed and, dare I say it, mature driving style.

So I plan to buy a second hand mark III model in the UK (I'm based in Dublin) in the coming months, as the selection and specs, on the other side of the Irish sea, are better. I'm based in an urban environment, doing <10k km per annum, so a hybrid makes a lot of sense for me.

I've got two criteria:

  1. T-Spirit model (for the gizmos)
  2. Post June 2010 (for the warranty)

A few questions which you experts might be able to help me with:

I'll buy a 2/3 year old car with between 40k and 60k miles on the clock, what should I be careful about, anything you'd advise me to look out for in particular?

I think the other responders have nailed it. The points about the brakes and the test drive over a bumpy surface to look out for rattles are particularly good ones to bear in mind. Obviously, ensure the car has been fully serviced by Toyota and that the correct 0W20 Oil has been put into the car at each service. Otherwise your MPG will suffer. If you are going for a higher mileage car, do check out the tyres carefully. They should have all been changed at least once. And remember they need to be low rolling resistance tyres.

How how much mileage can I expect from a set of tyres?

I've done 30k so far on my first set. No problems.

Is it worth finding a model with the Protection package for the rear parking sensors, or is your head and the camera sufficient?

I would advise you to treat the Protection pack as a "nice to have" rather than a "must have" to be honest. Don't let the absence of a protection pack put you off buying an otherwise good car. I did consider getting it when I ordered my own Prius T4, which does not have a reversing camera, but after a test drive I decided not to bother, for several reasons:

(1) The car is a hatchback so it's pretty easy to judge the length and position of the rear of the car when reversing. (I am not a reversing sensor snob: I would not buy a saloon car without sensors!)

(2) Again, because it's a hatchback and has a big rear window, I find rear visibility is very good especially when I don't have the luggage cover in place.

I think I made the right choice. I've never had a problem reversing in three years of ownership. You do have to watch out for errant pedestrians, the silent movement of the car can catch them out. But sensors don't really help that problem anyway - the pedestrian would be walking quickly from the side so the sensor would not give you much warning. I just take reversing slow and steady and keep a good lookout.

The Prius has a handy concealed storage area underneath the floor of the boot. Very useful for storing valuables, rugs, umbrellas, shopping bags etc. I decided not to get the rubber luggage floor protector as I don't have any rubber luggage. (Just kidding!) I decided not to get the protector in case it made the concealed storage area more difficult to get into.

Are the LED lights a gimmick?

I can't comment on these as I have never driven a Prius with LEDs.

My wife had a stealth car (a Vauxhall Corsa, old shape) so I am familiar with the benefits of DRLs. However I've never had a problem in the Prius. In poorly lit underground garages I do tend to put the headlamps and foglamps on. This alerts pedestrians that I am coming: useful if the car is in stealth mode!

Finally, the sat nav seems to be a contentious issue! However the idea of an integrated system, coupled with the HUD, really appeals to me. As Ireland has invested massively in the road network over the past few years, three year old data is not going to cut mustard over here. Does anyone know when the latest map for the HDD based system was released and what version number it is? Has Toyota seen the light or does it still cost 160GBP+ to have it updated?

Thanks in advance!

I don't bother with Satnav nowadays, I find Google maps and GPS on my phone is far better than any SatNav I have ever used. I mount the phone in a holder on the dashboard and power it from the DC socket under the central console. But I really, really love the HUD so I can understand that a Satnav integrated with the HUD would be a very useful feature.

HTH

R04drunner1

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We've just replaced front tyres on a GenII after about 20k miles, at about 2-3mm, though this is probably 90% city driving which is hard on tyres.

Rears were hardly worn after same mileage.

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Thanks all, great advice.

@r04drunner1, I'm a car enthusiast, never imagined I'd want a hybrid, but I've got to say, I find it strangely appealing, as well as making a lot of sense for my day to day use.

Hadn't considered needing to be extra vigilant for pedestrians, but it makes a lot of sense when you've got no other sound coming from the car!

What I've picked up so far:

  • Paint work may be poor (maybe getting a Silver one would help)
  • Tyres are dependent on use, range anywhere from 20-40k miles, watch out for different brands, avoid the high-performance variety
  • The jury is out on rear-parking sensors (I'm going to make them a 'nice-to-have', the majority of cars I've seen don't seem to have them)
  • Generally favourable comments on the front LEDs (again, I think they'll be a nice-to-have)
  • Generally unfavourable comments on the factory Sat Nav, but a good tip on getting the dealer to upgrade it as part of the deal
  • Rattles are a lottery (can't be much worse than my Mini)
  • Boot liner is useful
  • Tech pack seems like Mecca for many on here! Seem to be rare as hen's teeth though, don't think I've seen a single car with it.

A few more questions:

  1. Has anyone figured out how to disable the reverse beep on European cars? (eg with an ODB II adaptor and matching App?)
  2. Does the service book generally state which Oil was used? Any other way I can tell?
  3. I'm looking on AutoTrader most of the time, any other decent sites I should consider?

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A few more questions:

  1. Has anyone figured out how to disable the reverse beep on European cars? (eg with an ODB II adaptor and matching App?)
  2. Does the service book generally state which oil was used? Any other way I can tell?
  3. I'm looking on AutoTrader most of the time, any other decent sites I should consider?

1. The Toyota dealer did it for me, it takes just a few minutes. I now get a single beep when I select reverse and not the annoying continuous beeping. You could ask the dealer to do it.

2. Service book is unlikely to have the information, you'd need to check the jobcards or receipts. If the car has been serviced by Toyota dealers they may have records on computer.

3. You could try www.pistonheads.com It has 116 Prii for sale when I last looked. Also www.eBay.co.uk has some. Here in NI, I use AutoTrader, UTVDrive, UsedcarsNI and Gumtree, in roughly that order.

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A few more questions:

Has anyone figured out how to disable the reverse beep on European cars? (eg with an ODB II adaptor and matching App?)

Yes - You can do it with a Scangauge II for gen2 and gen3 Prius using the X gauges. Details on Prius Chat.

http://priuschat.com/threads/scangaugeii-work-on-2010.64406/

Does the service book generally state which oil was used? Any other way I can tell?

Not in service book. Might be on service invoice.

I'm looking on AutoTrader most of the time, any other decent sites I should consider?

Toyota's own used cars website.

http://usedcars.toyota.co.uk/?id=used_cars

Exchange and Mart.

http://www.exchangeandmart.co.uk/used-cars-for-sale?awc=2980_1378112320_bed2165d99345630967bdac898e98d31

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Hi all!

I am doing a project for university centred around the Prius (based on my on fascination!)

I know why I went for a Prius, but I am trying to gather some other opinions.... what was your motivation to buy a Prius?

Would be great to hear your thoughts!

Thanks

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The cheap BIK.

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If you search this forum, you will find this has come up several times before.

Go forth and research!

Also, why limit it to a Prius? There are other hybrid vehicles.

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Thanks I will search.

I am not really limiting it to Prius, I just thought it would be a good place to start!

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why a hybrid? I have an aversion to paying tax for having to do something which I m forced to do----drive to work.The roads are cluttered with traffic and automated policing devices and so speed and power are no longer in the equation.Public transport to my place of work would triple my travelling time whilst costing a very excessive amount of money since there are no public transport direct links between my home in a rural area and place of work some 33 miles away (as the crow flies). My wife has banned me from motorcycling which was the cheaper and quicker mode of transport I used prior to buying a prius.

If I were to live close to my place of work or close to an efficient public transport system, I might own a car as a hobby, in which case, it would probably be something which consumes a disproportionately large amount of precious resources whilst bending the needle on the dB meter with a V8 soundtrack.

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