One of the big questions that consumers have
when shopping for a hybrid on the new or used car market is “How long will the
batteries last”. That question is the one that at times keeps people previously
interested in a hybrid from buying due to the thought of an expensive battery
replacement years down the road.
Consumer Reports Car Blog has
answered the question of how well a used Prius performs recently. The blog got its
hands on a 2002 Prius that has 206,000 miles on the clock, put the car on the
test instruments, and pitted it against a 2001 Prius that they tested back when
the car was new with 2,000 miles on the clock.
are very impressive. The 206,000-mile Prius performed nearly identically to
the 2001 Prius. When the editors tested the 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles on the
odometer, it racked up highway mpg of 48.6 and city mpg of 30.5. The 206,000-mile
2002 Prius on the same instruments coughed up 46.3 mpg on the highway and 32.1
mpg in the city. This brought the overall combined fuel economy number to 40.4 mpg
compared to the new 2001 Prius combined rating of 40.6 mpg.
The 2002 Prius with 206,000 miles on the clock is
also reportedly still on the original battery, engine, and transmission. The
performance tests show that the car is just almost exactly dead on with the
performance when new despite all the miles driven.
The editors at Consumer Reports note that replacement costs for the Prius battery could be as much
as $2,600. However, they point out that a Prius owner could likely get a unit
from a junkyard for about $500.
Toyota unveiled the latest hybrid called the Prius
V back in January.