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Old 01-12-2013, 03:13 AM   #1
insomniac
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Mom wants a used Prius, any suggestions or advice?

So my mom mentioned to me today that she wanted a used Prius and asked for my advice. I know the basic about cars, but not keen on Prius so I thought if I could ask some of you guys here that might have any good advice to please share with me. I'm also reading up at Priuschat, but I figure since I frequent the BMW boards more I'll also post here.

common issues
certain years to get used or stay away from
how much is it for service
how much are the batteries for older model Prius (2004-2009)

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:14 AM   #2
v8 5
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to be honest I would just get the cheapest prius and put in a 2jz
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:16 AM   #3
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v8 - hahaha that's funny, I can picture my mom's face when I tear it down and try to shoehorn the 2jz in. then my other car buddies will say, go LSx
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
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v8 - hahaha that's funny, I can picture my mom's face when I tear it down and try to shoehorn the 2jz in. then my other car buddies will say, go LSx
In the form of twin sequential turbo chargers perhaps the biggest innovative feature of the 2JZ-GTE compared to the LS2 is its use of forced induction. Due to the 2JZ-GTE having a low compression ratio, it allows turbo chargers to be run. A turbo charger is a device that compresses the air flowing into the engine. The advantage of compressing the air is that it lets the engine squeeze more air into a cylinder, and more air means that more fuel can be added. Therefore, you get more power from each explosion in each cylinder. Turbo charging is perhaps the most efficient way to get power out of an engine - both small and large.

By using turbo chargers on smaller capacity engines Japan has been able to create extremely light, high-revving engines that are easily modified and have excellent fuel economy. Simple modifications on turbo cars allow for huge performance gains, especially in comparison to naturally aspirated engines. As an example, the 2JZ-GTE with an aftermarket exhaust, front mount intercooler and running a higher boost setting puts out significantly more power than the LS2. If one spends more money, the gains can be enormous. To extract power from a naturally aspirated engine is significantly more work. Firstly, if you are chasing big power, you really need to open the engine and do internal modifications for extra power, unlike a turbo engine that can be modified effortlessly, without opening up the engine. Power is often extracted from naturally aspirated engines by modifying the camshafts and doing work to the head of the engine. These modifications are both expensive and significantly alter the 'street friendliness' of your car. That is, produce a rough idle, have a tendency to stall and poor fuel economy.


With all the praise I have been giving the 2JZ-GTE it may seem that the LS2 engine is a poor performance engine. This is certainly not the case, one only needs to look at the stock power figures to realise that straight out of the car dealership this engine is seriously fast, with neck-snapping torque. Its design may be old-fashioned and its fuel economy poor but there is no doubt about it. If you are after the V8 rumble many Australians long after, then you will definitely be happy with the LS2. The LS2 is very 'street friendly' with 90% of its torque available just off idle. This equates to effortless towing, overtaking and a pure adrenalin rush every time you tap the throttle. Furthermore, the LS2 does have some advantages over the more advanced 2JZ-GTE engine. The LS2 is a far less complex engine, and as such, when something goes wrong it is much easier to identify the cause and solve the problem. More so, because the LS2 is naturally aspirated (unlike the 2JZ-GTE) there is far less stress placed on the internal components of the engine and thus, you would expect a longer engine life than the 2JZ-GTE.

Currently with fuel prices reaching an all time high, it is important to make sure your engine has the optimum balance between performance and fuel economy. Yet again the 2JZ-GTE outperforms the LS2. This is due to the capacity of the engine, with the Toyota being 3 litres and the GM engine being 6 litres in capacity. With exactly twice the displacement, unsurprisingly the LS2 uses more petrol. However, this is not by any means saying the 2JZ-GTE has good fuel economy. Unfortunately, power does come at a cost and both engines discussed are not economical.

The 2JZ-GTE has numerous features of intelligent design, which contribute to its strength and robustness as a motor. Two of its most advanced features are the use of sequential turbos and VVT. VVT stands for Variable Valve Timing and it is an advanced technology in overhead cam engines where, a mechanical device is used to swap over between a 'small' cam for low and medium revs and a 'big' cam for high revs. This allows good drivability at low revs and excellent high-powered acceleration at high revs. However, the 2JZ-GTE's prime feat of engineering is its use of sequential turbos. Having twin turbo chargers allows a small primary turbocharger to spool up early and give excellent boost response at low revs and then a secondary turbocharger to be phased in further up in the rev range for incredible top-end power. By having this setup, it allowed Toyota to create an engine with phenomenal response anywhere in the rev range and also leave the way open for serious modification potential.

To conclude, size definitely does not matter as far as performance car engines are concerned. Japanese performance engines are using new technologies such as turbo charging and VVT to obtain phenomenal power and torque figures similar to that of engines double their size. The 2JZ-GTE from a technical and engineering design perspective is far superior in every aspect than the outdated technology featured in the LS2.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:03 AM   #5
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Priuschat.com
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:16 AM   #6
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kill it with fire.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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kill it with fire.
The mom or the Prius?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #8
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The prius.
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here today, gone tomm

i spend it while i can, if i run out i'll swallow all my meds
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
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You should definitely watch the battery. They are expensive to replace, and being a used prius, they may have had their lives shortened considerably. The best thing you can do for your mom is to talk her out of a prius, and into something like a Fit, Civic, Corolla, etc.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #10
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Every year of the Prius should be fine(2009 was the face lift of the vehicle). Batteries last 10 years and then need replacement which usually runs $6000-8000. My GF who daily drives her Prius(2010 LVL 4) just replaced her 1st set of tires @ 40k miles(brakes are still fine).
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #11
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I wouldn't be against having a Prius as a second car
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
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You're not gonna get any good info on a bmw board. Go to priuschat.com/forum. I was on there a lot when I was shopping for my wife's prius. Never ended buying one but I gained A LOT of knowledge about the car. They have aftermarket batteries and they are cheap.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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My wife's car is 2010 Prius. It has 57k absolutely trouble free miles. Only been back to the dealer for oil changes and normal service. Maintenance is easier too. No transmission fluid and filter to replace, no rear end fluid to replace. The car has plenty of power for normal driving. The 50 mpg is real too. In fact at a steady 50-55 mph we get right at 65 mpg according to the DIC. By 75 mph it's down to the upper 40 mpg.

By the way, the battery is guaranteed for 8 years. Will probably trade it before that. And too there are companies that sell remanufactured batteries for way less than $6K. I've heard they are virtually as good as new.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #14
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In California, the battery has a 10 year 150k mile warranty so few people have anything to worry about. If for some reason you buy one thats out of this warranty, you can always buy a battery from a wreck on ebay for about $1000. A new battery pack is only ~$2800. I doubt you will ever have to replace the battery honestly, most people just dont have cars for that long anymore.

We currently have 3 Prius' in stock, and they are great cars. Lots of space and a consistent 44+ mpg even going 85 down the freeway. No particular year has any known trouble spots, and all of the hybrid components are covered under either a 10 year or 15 year 150k warranty, depending on the part.

The only year I would avoid I guess is a 2009 unless its priced right. Last year of the old body style. Whats her budget?

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:05 PM   #15
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My neighbor has a 2011 Prius and a Chevy volt and says he likes the volt a lot more than the Prius. You can try looking into those.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #16
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They are 2 different cars in 2 different price brackets though! The volt is almost 1.5x more expensive and im sorry to say I would not trust GM in the hybrid division given their shaky past in the area. I would lease a volt, but definitely not buy until there are millions on the road like a prius.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #17
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why buy used? you can get a new one around low 20's.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:38 PM   #18
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You should definitely watch the battery. They are expensive to replace, and being a used prius, they may have had their lives shortened considerably. The best thing you can do for your mom is to talk her out of a prius, and into something like a Fit, Civic, Corolla, etc.
This x100.


Get her something inexpensive to buy/maintain, safe, and good on gas.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:39 PM   #19
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Batteries last 10 years and then need replacement which usually runs $6000-8000.
What a stupid ass car
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:13 PM   #20
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I'm not going to spend $6000+ to replace a damn battery. Not worth it, this alone should be a reason not to buy it.

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