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Gen 2/Gen 3/Auris/CT200H - Which would you chose?


Otispunkmeyer
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Hi All

Been a bit cheeky as I don't own a Toyota, but perhaps I will soon. 

Currently, I drive an Abarth 595 Competizione. Its a great car, but sadly not cut out for the commute (30 miles each way over a mix of rural and motorway). Aside from being particularly uncomfortable for such jaunts (and it hates being driven slowly in a train of traffic), its also costing me about £10 a day in fuel. So I want to swap it for something more comfortable, relaxing and frugal. Ultimately an EV will be on the cards, but I think waiting 2-3 years will be the time to take the plunge. I don't want diesel (never have) and so that leaves something with a tiny engine like a VW UP! or something from the Toyota Hybrid stable.

Having done the maths for a 2 year ownership period (minimum), I believe any one of Gen2/Gen3/Auris Hybrid Gen 1 will see my daily fuel cost cut to around £6 a day. An immediate benefit of purchasing a Gen 2 Prius will be that I can knock a few grand off the personal loan I have on my current car. My Abarth is worth around £8500 in PX and there is a nice looking T4 Gen 2 Prius near me for just £4995. Thats around £3k I can hand straight back to the bank, not out of my own pocket.

Unfortunately Gen 3 Prius' for sale near me are more expensive; around £8.5 to £10k. I can buy these of course, it just means extra money. Ideally I want to swap without spending more.

Auris Hybrids seem like the best value. Unfortunately I missed out on a minter yesterday; 2011, 53k miles, clean as a whistle, T-Spirit for £7100. In hindsight I should have had it off them on first sight, but went off to look at a CT200H and when I came back it'd gone :( 

So, I won't post adverts to AT because I don't want to fall foul of advertising rules. But if you want to see the cars, Loughborough is the town to search around (up to 40 miles and under £10k).

My choices are:

1. 08 plate Prius Gen 2 T4 with 86k miles. Its red. It has cruise control (a must) and Aux in. Up for £4995.

2. Same place has a 10 plate Prius Gen 3 T-Spirit with 60k miles. It is grey. Up for £9495

3. 59 plate Prius Gen 3 T-Spirit. Grey. 67k miles up for £8495

4. 11 plate Auris T-Spirit. White. 35k miles. Up for £8495

5. 62 plate Lexus CT200H Luxury. Grey. 106k miles. Up for £7850

 

Now I have actually seen number 5. Not driven it because the guy who owned the second hand car lot wasn't around. The body work and interior looked in great shape, however it had 2 bald tyres (1 flat) and the brake discs looked horribly corroded. I really didn't get a good feeling about the place. So on balance, I don't think I'd go for it. 

I have driven Auris' before and they're ok and I know for fact what sort of MPG they can achieve on the type of drive I will be doing (50+ MPG). They seem to ride better than the equivalent Gen 3 Prius, but they do look dowdy in comparison. Certainly, it is the best value proposition here, but none can beat the Gen 2 Prius on the final bottom line @ 2 years purely due to the purchase cost.

The only issue is its now a 10 year old car and it has the most mileage. Am I risking significant bork factor here? 

 

If there are any good threads on here discussing/comparing these cars it would great if you could point me in the right direction. I am currently searching the site and google already, got a few tabs open, but would nice to find the more definitive discussions. 

 

Many thanks, 

 

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Not certain about the Gen 2, but you can certainly just buy the control stalk and plug it in with the Gen 3 - probably the same for the Auris Hybrid and CT200h too.

The Gen 3 Prius, Auris and CT200h share the same powertrain, but the Auris/CT200h have independent rear suspension.

With the Gen 2 you'd get worse fuel economy, and worse ride than all of the above. I'd be concerned about age more than anything else with the batteries, so any Gen 2 would be a higher risk there. Don't know about this part of the world but a lot of yanks are starting to see traction Battery failures on Gen 2's now, though it tends to be more at 12+ years. You should maybe take into account the potential cost of replacing the battery if going for one.

I went for the Gen 3 as it offered a bit more space the the Auris/CT, looks a hell of a lot better than the Gen 2 IMO, and then went specifically for a Plug-in as it suited my budget and short commute at the time I was buying. Some of the features like the HUD and LED headlights (2012 facelift only?) are great.

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Yes, the Gen 3 certainly looks better and T-Spirit models have some very nice toys (like the HUD!)

My concern is also age related, rather than mileage. I know they are good for the miles. I am trying to find out the service history of the Gen 2. It has apparently been looked after, but no mention of a full Toyota Service History. I'd want to get it in to have the traction Battery checked over. I think I will go see it and drive it, I will also drive the Gen 3 they have so I can compare... its just the price is a bit steep is all. The other gen 3 that is a grand cheaper will also be worth a look, but that really isn't much younger than the gen2!

 

The Lexus' are hard to find at this price. Its high miles or very high miles only and now that I missed the boat on that Auris yesterday the remaining Auris' are similarly priced to the Prius' albiet they are often newer by 1-2 years and have half the miles on them.

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You are in a bad way Alex, and most of the folk here would have had that experience at some time.

I’m glad to hear (sorry) the the Abarth is a bit of a pain in anything other than a single carriage open road, as it has always attracted me, but having myself come from a litany of fast and unfriendly cars, I can truly say that Toyota Hybrid ownership is like finally ‘coming home’

Personally I started with a Toyota IQ, similar in size to the 595 but that is about all, as it is a great London sized car, with easy CVT gearbox and a LOndon Cab turning circle.

This experience took me out of buying a Golf R Estate, and bought a Gen 3 Sprit instead.........wonderful choice.

so good that when the Gen 4 arrived, it was a no-brainer, but this of course has no relevance to your economics.

My feeling is to get the most current hybrid model available at the price, which means you have to swallow the stodgy Auris feelings, as that would give the most reliable cost friendly bangs for your buck.

but why trade in the Abarth when cleaned up well, and good pics, and full provenance  story, will be very  rewarding.

you only need one buyer, and it is a desirable little car

 

 

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Barry

I already tried to sell privately. Not a single bite (and it was considerably cheaper than other cars of the same type and age due to the mileage - 68k miles at only 3.5 years old). 

I may try again as I get good PX values. Yesterday Evans Halshaw offered 8500 as PX. Which I am happy with. I had it on AT for 9k a few months back. Yes I only need one buyer, but these cars are not for everyone so that one buyer has to either really want it and be prepared to come a distance to get it or they have to want it and be close by. Makes selling a bit more difficult.

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I would choose a Prius over any of the others, but that's partly because I hated old fashioned instruments.  The Prius is also the most streamlined, and generally top of the pile for mpg.

A couple of observations:

  • all trim levels of Gen 3 had HUD - it's now a must have for me.
  • fitting Cruise Control switch to a Gen 2 will also require a different brake light switch, which I understand is a right pain to swap - I always got my dealer to do the job (had it done on 2 Gen 1s, a Gen2 and a Gen 3).  I also love CC.
  • I wouldn't (and didn't!) rule out a T3 Gen 3 Prius, as the 15" tyres are generally quieter, give a more comfortable ride, cheaper to replace (but last more or less as long), better turnign circle, better mpg & CO2 figures.  T4s (both Gen 2 & 3) came with CC.

You may be interested in another post I've just made on another thread: 

 

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Quote

1. 08 plate Prius Gen 2 T4 with 86k miles. Its red. It has cruise control (a must) and Aux in. Up for £4995.

2. Same place has a 10 plate Prius Gen 3 T-Spirit with 60k miles. It is grey. Up for £9495

3. 59 plate Prius Gen 3 T-Spirit. Grey. 67k miles up for £8495

4. 11 plate Auris T-Spirit. White. 35k miles. Up for £8495

5. 62 plate Lexus CT200H Luxury. Grey. 106k miles. Up for £7850

Out of those 4, number 2 for me.

I guess it depends on your overall goal, the Gen3 will have the better fuel economy, the Lexus has (IMO) a terrible ride.

The Gen3 is just a better car than the Gen2 (much like the Gen4 being better than the Gen3) but two caveats, firstly, the T-Spirit (like mine) comes with 17" wheels, which ride worse, have more road noise and lower fuel economy than the 15"'s on the T3, and it's worth noting that the Gen3 refresh at 2012 might be worth bearing in mind, as it added a number of decent upgrades over the previous model.

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I think a 2012 will be out of reach financially... well, put it this way, more than I want to pay.

I shall have to see what ride and refinement is like because I am coming from an Abarth 595 Competizione which is very very stiff, very bouncy with its short wheel base and very noisy. I think most anything will be a step up on that front. Before that I had a 2006 Civic (8th Gen FN model) and if you've had one of those before you'll know the meaning of a harsh ride. To think that car was developed and built in the UK is very puzzling; perhaps they have glass-smooth roads in Swindon.

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The Gen 2 wasn't actually bad, just not great, and nowhere near as good as a Gen 1 (best seats and ride to date), Gen 3 was better (esp on 15"), Gen 4 almost as good as Gen 1.

A number of Gen 1 owners who upgraded to Gen 2 were shocked (literally!) at the firm seats and firm suspension, and a few sold them and bought second hand Gen 1's again!

I did over 50k in Gen 2s, and whilst I missed the superb comfort of the earlier model, I was ok with them.

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24 minutes ago, Otispunkmeyer said:

I think a 2012 will be out of reach financially... well, put it this way, more than I want to pay.

I shall have to see what ride and refinement is like because I am coming from an Abarth 595 Competizione which is very very stiff, very bouncy with its short wheel base and very noisy. I think most anything will be a step up on that front. Before that I had a 2006 Civic (8th Gen FN model) and if you've had one of those before you'll know the meaning of a harsh ride. To think that car was developed and built in the UK is very puzzling; perhaps they have glass-smooth roads in Swindon.

Have you driven a HSD equipped vehicle before?

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3 minutes ago, danowat said:

Have you driven a HSD equipped vehicle before?

Yes. Where I used to work, we had Auris Hybrids.

I didn't think it were too bad. Though I think one of them had been mistreated as it was always damp inside and it wandered all over the road despite holding the wheel steady. There is a knack to driving them and on my longer trips I could easily manage 50+ mpg according to the trip computer. Quite happy to have one, but the Prius definitely appeals to the geek inside with all its displays etc

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1 minute ago, Otispunkmeyer said:

... the Prius definitely appeals to the geek inside with all its displays etc

excellent!  -  I'm not alone!

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That's good then, personally, I think coming from a normal car to a hybrid, at least a HSD one, is quite a jarring experience.

Not that I'd ever want to go back to a normal car ever again! (I had one for a week in Croatia a couple of months ago, and that was bad enough!)

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In fact, all the Hybrids I've driven, feel remarkably similar in the way they drive.  Obvious difference in performance, styling, displays, size etc.

Off the top of my head, my experience includes (some only for a day, other for over 150k miles!):

  • Gen 1 "Classic" Prius (2 owned, plus demos)
  • Gen 2 Prius x3 (plus odd trips in lots of company cars)
  • Gen 2 plug-in conversion
  • Gen 3 (1 owned plus several demos/loans)
  • Gen 4 (1 owned plus 2 demos)
  • Honda Civic Hybrid (2 on long term loan to my former company)
  • Honda Insight Hybrid (2nd version) (2 on long term loan to my former company)
  • Lexus RX Hybrid (2 on loan)
  • Lexus LS Hybrid (1 on loan) (5 litre V8 + high power electric motors - 0-60 in about 5½ sec, top speed 155 mph limited, despite being 2½ tons!)
  • Lexus NX Hybrid (1 test drive)
  • Original Prius plug-in
  • Auris Hybrid (3 on loan)
  • Yaris Hybrid (2 on loan)
  • C-HR Hybrid (on loan)

I think that's it

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I've found a few more options... mostly Auris hybrids at some dealers that don't advertise on AT. 

There is one T-Spirit, though it appears on Motors.co.uk, but not on the dealer site, so I need to find out if it is still there. And the same place have a T4 with Nav, though the nav unit looks a little odd, less flush with the console, more aftermarket. But I've seen a number with the unit like this and at least one where they showed the reversing camera through it, so I presume it is a factory fit option. Presumably, CC can be added to the T4 for a few bob by the dealer. T'would be ideal, and its in a fetching orangey colour.

Both 2012's The former has done 59k (up for 7790 or something) and the T4 has done 88k (up for 7299). A little high, however I am not really one to be too concerned with mileage so long as the condition is good, its been serviced on time and, in the case of hybrids, the Battery is in good health. Actual age is probably the one to worry more about.

 

 

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5 hours ago, PeteB said:

excellent!  -  I'm not alone!

I work in automotive engineering so quite used to driving around in cars stuffed with telemetry and screens and readouts. The more data the better! makes driving interesting. 

Thats the thing about these cars. Many brush them off as cars for boring sandal wearers only interested in using no fuel to the detriment of everything else... they're not car enthusiasts cars. But they're wrong or not proper enthusiasts. Granted they are not going to be making exotic noises and setting the country lanes alight, but they're interesting cars to drive because you don't drive them like a normal car. They have their own curiosities for you to investigate and any enthusiast worth his salt should be able to respect that.

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I had my Prius Gen3 T-Spirit since February, done just under 5k miles - getting rid tomorrow, dont like it!

I don't like it...… I love it, so much so it is being traded in for a 66plate Gen4 Excel.  

The Gen 3 is a 58plate, now with 110,000, full service stamps, all but 2 at a Toyota dealer. Runs really well, and mpg showing at 66.0mpg over the last 2,400 miles. MPG does drop during colder weather, by up to 8mpg in my case. A drop in mpg is normal, petrol engine runs more in colder weather.

 

As stated by someone else, high miles not much a problem, service history is good to see at right intervals. Remember, a hybrid with 100,000 on the clock, engine may well have only done 80,000 or thereabouts..

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28 minutes ago, Catlover said:

...petrol engine runs more in colder weather.

...engine may well have only done 80,000 or thereabouts..

Also, colder air in the winter is denser, which means the car has to work harder to push it out of the way.  Various other things, like combustion can be more or less efficient depending on air density, temperature and humidity, Battery is less efficient when cold, and takes slightly longer to warm up.  But net results mean more fuel used, higher emissions, largely due to more engine running and denser air.

The Gen 4 reports % of time in EV mode (car choice, not just when EV button used), and can often exceed 50% of the time.  This can be seen for A & B trips, plus since start and since main ODO stats reset (I do this at each service).

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With regards high mileage longevity, the 1.8 HSD motor in the Prius (and Auris) does have a tendency to use oil at somewhere around 130k miles. This is being reported quite frequently on the PriusChat forum.

e.g. https://priuschat.com/threads/excessive-oil-consumption-on-2010-prius.169329/

The above might be down to the engine using low-friction piston rings with less spring loading, in an effort to improve overall engine efficiency. It doesn't seem to cause any catalyst problems, it's just that you have to keep an eye on the dipstick!  Changing the oil to a 5w/30 helps limit the oil consumption (0w/20 is standard), but then the fuel economy will drop off a little as a consequence (3-5 mpg, maybe more???). Although some report no change in mpg.

Also, just occasionally, head gaskets can go at similar mileages. This may be a function of a clogged EGR cooler causing lean/hot combustion. The EGR cooler and its plumbing is not too difficult to clean yourself, and worth doing as a preventative measure sometime near 100k miles.  I haven't done our car, but it looks reasonably easily accessible from above. Parts removed and cleaned are usually all reusable, so minimal cost.

The head gasket situation is thought to be aggravated (ref.  plenty of PriusChat posts) by owners starting their cold engines and turning them off before a warm-up cycle has occured. The condensation which can happen in the inlet manifold is drawn into the combustion chamber on the next start-up and causes (very audible!) detonation for a short while (13:1 compression ratio on these engines is quite high). This stresses the head gasket. So in cooler weather it is a good scheme to let the engine warm up a bit before you turn it off.

HTH

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5 hours ago, Gerg said:

With regards high mileage longevity, the 1.8 HSD motor in the Prius (and Auris) does have a tendency to use oil at somewhere around 130k miles. This is being reported quite frequently on the PriusChat forum.

My 1.5 Gen 1 started to use a bit of oil after 100k.  By the time time mileage passed 160k, it was close to MIN by about 7k after a service, and adding 1L of oil kept it above MIN until the next service.  As you say, there were no other symptoms.

That said, brand new cars used more than that back in my younger days (1970s-80s).

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10 hours ago, PeteB said:

Also, colder air in the winter is denser, which means the car has to work harder to push it out of the way.  Various other things, like combustion can be more or less efficient depending on air density, temperature and humidity, battery is less efficient when cold, and takes slightly longer to warm up.  But net results mean more fuel used, higher emissions, largely due to more engine running and denser air.

I found blocking the whole lower grill in winter seemed to reduce fuel consumption - it meant the ICE was running less for heating in EV mode (Plug-in), and at higher speeds should reduce drag. It can probably be left blocked all year round here, but I took it off for other reasons (diagnosing aircon issues, but it ended up being low on gas). It's not recommended blocking the upper grill (at least not all) in the Gen 3 as the inverter radiator is there, and there's no benefit in not keeping that cool. I believe the Gen 4 has an active grill shutter (like the AE86 Corolla Levin!).

10 hours ago, Gerg said:

The above might be down to the engine using low-friction piston rings with less spring loading, in an effort to improve overall engine efficiency. It doesn't seem to cause any catalyst problems, it's just that you have to keep an eye on the dipstick!  Changing the oil to a 5w/30 helps limit the oil consumption (0w/20 is standard), but then the fuel economy will drop off a little as a consequence (3-5 mpg, maybe more???). Although some report no change in mpg.

Also, just occasionally, head gaskets can go at similar mileages. This may be a function of a clogged EGR cooler causing lean/hot combustion. The EGR cooler and its plumbing is not too difficult to clean yourself, and worth doing as a preventative measure sometime near 100k miles.  I haven't done our car, but it looks reasonably easily accessible from above. Parts removed and cleaned are usually all reusable, so minimal cost.

The head gasket situation is thought to be aggravated (ref.  plenty of PriusChat posts) by owners starting their cold engines and turning them off before a warm-up cycle has occured. The condensation which can happen in the inlet manifold is drawn into the combustion chamber on the next start-up and causes (very audible!) detonation for a short while (13:1 compression ratio on these engines is quite high). This stresses the head gasket. So in cooler weather it is a good scheme to let the engine warm up a bit before you turn it off.

HTH

I've changed between 5W30 and 0W20 and have seen no notable difference in fuel consumption.

It seems relatively easy to get to the EGR cooler pipe (which can get clogged), but to get to the cooler/valve out seems like hassle! I'm using Dipetane fuel additive which claims to help keep the EGR valve clean, though I have no idea if it really works - I'll leave it till it gets closer to 100k miles before inspecting.

I also always wait for the cold start cycle to finish before turning off the car. I've also seen that discussed a lot on PriusChat.

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12 hours ago, Otispunkmeyer said:

There is one T-Spirit, though it appears on Motors.co.uk, but not on the dealer site, so I need to find out if it is still there. And the same place have a T4 with Nav, though the nav unit looks a little odd, less flush with the console, more aftermarket. But I've seen a number with the unit like this and at least one where they showed the reversing camera through it, so I presume it is a factory fit option.

Japanese imports are often fitted with replacement headunits (as Japanese satnav would be useless, and traditionally they used funny frequencies for FM radio), so watch out for that. Aftermarket headunits can usually be connected to the reversing camera with adaptors, so that's no guarantee it's OEM at all. If there's no HUD it's definitely an import, as they weren't standard in Japan.

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32 minutes ago, QuantumFireball said:

Japanese imports are often fitted with replacement headunits (as Japanese satnav would be useless, and traditionally they used funny frequencies for FM radio), so watch out for that. Aftermarket headunits can usually be connected to the reversing camera with adaptors, so that's no guarantee it's OEM at all. If there's no HUD it's definitely an import, as they weren't standard in Japan.

I'm talking about an Auris here.

This one: https://www.motors.co.uk/car-50027245/?i=2&m=srs

I've seen a number of T4 and T-Spirit like that and I presume they're not imports because they made the Auris Hybrid in Derby. The Auris I missed out on:

https://www.motors.co.uk/car-49554445/?i=0&m=srs

has a much more flush system and is the only one I've seen like that. 

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