Occasionally, hybrid owners express dissatisfaction with their vehicle's performance as it ages. Specifically, complaints tend to focus on a gradual decrease in fuel economy as the hybrid's battery pack slowly degrades. While it may be generally true that hybrid vehicles's performance deteriorates over time, that has not been the case with Anthony Frey's 2004 Toyota Prius.
When Frey, a Consumer Reports' subscriber, read CR's report on the fuel economy of a 2001 Prius with 206,000 miles on its odometer, he suggested that his second-generation 2004 model be put to the test. With 214,000-plus miles on its odometer, Frey's 2004 Prius returned an overall fuel economy of 42 miles per gallon, which is just shy of the 43.7 mpg that CR recorded when testing the same model back in 2004. Likewise, CR found that the aging Prius' acceleration numbers had dropped by less than one second for both the 0-60 miles per hour sprint and the quarter-mile run. These test results led CR to conclude that:
And as for repairs, Frey claims that his Prius has needed just one: a replacement fan belt.If you're looking for a low-cost hybrid, you could do worse than a used Prius – even one with 214,000 miles on it.
[Source: Consumer Reports – July 2011]