In 1997, Toyota launched the world’s first-ever mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, and that vehicle was what we now know as the first-generation Prius. As the new millennium approached, Toyota shifted its attention to creating a car for the 21st century, and in doing so, they tackled two major problems at once—fuel efficiency and the economic crisis.
With over 15 million hybrid vehicles sold worldwide, it is highly likely that you will come across an older Prius, but before you buy one used, you might want to know how many miles a Prius will last?
Although the total lifespan of a vehicle will depend on many factors, a well-maintained Prius should last drivers anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 miles, which averages out to about 12 to 16 years.
However, when trying to determine the overall lifespan of a vehicle, there are several factors that you will need to take into consideration. Continue reading to learn more about this hybrid car and how long you could expect one to last!
What Is a Toyota Prius?
Launched in 1997, the Toyota Prius was the world’s first hybrid passenger vehicle to be mass-produced. Although the car has gone through several changes since its launch date, it has consistently remained one of the best-selling cars on the market.
One of the reasons the Prius became popular among drivers so quickly was due to its hybrid drivetrain. By combining an internal combustion engine with an electric motor, Toyota was able to appeal to the growing awareness and push to become “green” while also saving people money at the gas pump.
However, despite its loyal following, Toyota recently decided to stop manufacturing two of the leading Prius models. While we are not entirely sure what Toyota has up its sleeve for the future, we know that the company that gave the world its first passenger hybrid vehicle likely has something exciting planned.
Is The Toyota Prius a Reliable Vehicle?
According to RepairPal, the Prius has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, which places it 10th out of 24 in the midsize car category. Additionally, they report that the number of trips to a garage that a Prius owner can expect to make each year is around 0.5 times a year (with an 11% chance that the vehicle will need a major repair), which is a bit higher than the 0.3 times per year for the average midsize car.
While RepairPal rates vehicles based on the cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs. J. D. Power bases its reliability on reviews from drivers. Below you can find their reliability ratings for the Toyota Prius by year.
|2022 #5 In Compact Car||76/100||2015 #1 In Compact Car||85/100|
|2021 #7 In Compact Car||76/100||2014 #2 In Compact Car||84/100|
|2020 #8 In Compact Car||71/100||2013 #2 In Compact Car||84/100|
|2019 #5 In Compact Car||79/100||2012 #1 In Compact Car||85/100|
|2018 #1 In Compact Car||85/100||2011 #3 In Compact Car||84/100|
|2017 #1 In Compact Car||86/100||2010 #1 In Compact Car||86/100|
|2016 #1 In Compact Car||87/100||2009 #1 In Compact Car||87/100|
Is A Prius Hard to Maintain?
According to CAREDGE, a Toyota Prius will cost owners about $4,008 for maintenance and repairs during the first 10 years of service, which is $2,503 less than the average maintenance cost for other cars in its class. Additionally, the 11% chance that a Prius will need a major repair during this time is 10.28% better than other comparable vehicles.
Although the actual cost of maintenance repairs will vary depending on your location and the year of your vehicle, you can find a list of common services and the average price of those services for a Toyota Prius below.
|Oil Change||This will need to be done within the first 10,000 miles and every 3,000 – 7,500 miles after that (depending on the type of oil that you use).||Parts: $66 |
Labor: $44 – $56
|Cabin Air Filter||This should be done every 30,000 miles or as needed.||Parts: $25 – $41 Labor: $35 – $45|
|Spark Plugs||This should be done every 30,000 miles after the first initial replacement.||Parts: $45 – $58 Labor: $97 – $123|
|Tire Rotation||This should be done every 10,000 miles (but will depend on your tires) or every six months.||Parts: N/A |
Labor: $35 – $44
|Coolant Flush||This should be done initially at 100,000 miles and again at every 50,000 miles after that.||Parts: N/A |
Labor: $70 – $88
|Hybrid Inverter Coolant Drain, Flush and Refill||This should be checked and filled every 5,000 miles and replaced at 100,000 miles.||Parts: N/A |
Labor: $97 – $122
|Brake Bleed||This should be done when brakes are replaced, which is typically between 40,000 and 60,000 miles.||Parts: N/A |
Labor: $138- $174
What Are the Most Common Problems with A Toyota Prius?
Knowing what problems are common for a certain vehicle is important when trying to determine how long a car will last you. Below you will find a list of the most reported problems for a Toyota Prius, along with the average price to repair those problems.
Please keep in mind that the actual price will depend on your location and the year of your vehicle.
|Common Problem||Average Mileage It Occurs||Average Price to Repair|
|Bluetooth―Problems with Echoing||Any||N/A Experts have suggested that users turn the volume on their phones up. However, the issue has not been reported in vehicles after 2019.|
|Center Multi-Function Display Fails||Occurs around 105,939 miles. Affected 16 models from 2001 – 2016||Repair may need to be done by a service professional and the price varies.|
|Stalling Due to Debris in Mass Air Flow Sensor||Occurs on average around 88,300 miles. Affected 11 models from 2001 – 2012||Air Filter Replacement: $44 – $54 Mass Air Flow Sensor Replacement: $175 – $259|
|Premature Transmission Failure||Occurs on average around 113,900 miles. Affected 11 models from 2001 – 2012||Recommended that people change their transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. Fluid Change: $133 – $132 Transmission Repair: $3,700 – $4,200|
|Hard Starting When Car Sits Several Days||Occurs on average around 45,087 miles. Affects 7 models from 2001 – 2008||No Start Diagnosis: $88 – $111|
|Head Gasket Failure||Occurs on average around 100,000 miles.||Parts: $457 – $472 Labor: $1,358 – $1,713|
|Crankshaft Position Sensor||Occurs on average after 100,000 miles.||Parts: $59 – $75 Labor: $124 – $132|
How Long Do Toyota Prius Engines Last?
Toyota built the Prius to last and tried to design the engine with durability in mind. Luckily, they succeeded, and the Prius is now one of the longest-running cars on the market. Furthermore, because it takes less engine oil and transmission fluid, it does not need as much maintenance as a typical engine might.
However, these engines are not without problems and many owners have reported issues with their batteries and head gasket. If kept maintained and cared for, a Prius engine will have no trouble lasting over 200,000 miles, with many owners reporting that their Prius has easily surpassed 300,000 miles.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.