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Toyota Prius
2017
Toyota Prius 2017 4-door hatchback Trim Shown: 2017 Four 4-door hatchback FWD CVT
In our tests the Prius returned 52 mpg overall, a significant improvement over the previous generation's 44 mpg. On top of that, the new car also handles more responsively and rides more comfortably. Colorful digital gauges dominate the dashboard with abundant fuel-economy information. The touch-screen infotainment system is fairly straightforward. The sensible Prius has always been about efficiency and low running costs. The car can drive solely on electric, up to about 25 mph typically, and the engine is now quieter when it kicks in. However, the seats are rather chintzy, tire noise is noticeable, and cabin access is not as easy because of the car's lower stance. A plug-in version, the Prius Prime, can go about 23 miles on electric power, and takes five hours to charge on 120V. For 2017 forward-collision warning with automatic braking is standard.
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2016
2016 Redesign Year
Toyota Prius 2016 Trim Shown: 2016 Three Tour/Four Tour
While the previous generation Prius was an evolution of the second-generation car it replaced, the fourth-generation Prius was a revolution. The biggest advance was an incredible 52 mpg overall, brought by a new, larger, and more efficient engine. Styling became much more controversial; its practical effect was that the Prius sits lower than before, sacrificing some access, visibility, and rear seat space. Still, this small hatchback can provide the family-hauling space of  most mid-sized sedans. Handling is more sure-footed and interior noise has been reduced. The interior doesn't feel as cheap as before, although some odd touches still remain, including some unconventional controls. 2017 brought standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2016 $19,775 - $19,775 $16,945 - $16,945
2010-2015
2010 Redesign Year
Toyota Prius 2015 Trim Shown: 2015 Plug-In
The 2010 redesign preserved all of the Prius virtues, while improving the driving position, making stability control standard,  and adding a larger engine. Although acceleration and the 44 mpg overall fuel economy remained the same, the car offered better crash protection and more available amenities. Typically, the car propels itself on electric power up to about 25 mph, and then the engine starts to provide motivation, as well as recharging the battery. Brake pedal feel is a bit touchy, but easy to get used to. The ride is firm and handling a bit reluctant. Still, the hatchback configuration, upright stance and roomy rear seat make the Prius one of the most sensible choices out there. Throw in bulletproof reliability and low running costs and you have an ideal transportation solution. Just be aware the car is mundane to drive, loud on rough pavement, buzzy when accelerating hard and the interior is rather cheap in look and feel. Don't bother with the plug-in version; it's more expensive and thanks to a very short battery-only range, brings little advantage over the regular Prius.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2015 $16,700 - $18,450 $13,920 - $15,620
2014 $15,275 - $15,350 $12,585 - $12,635
2013 $13,900 - $14,425 $11,185 - $11,660
2012 $12,025 - $12,900 $9,370 - $10,170
2011 $10,650 - $10,650 $8,000 - $8,000
2010 $9,750 - $9,750 $7,120 - $7,120
2004-2009
2004 Redesign Year
Toyota Prius 2009 Trim Shown: 2009 Sedan
The Prius is an ideal transportation solution for anyone purely interested in low running costs and practicality. It gets 44 mpg overall and doesn't need to be plugged in. This four-door hatchback automatically switches between its electric motor and gasoline engine, or uses both, as needed. It can also drive at low speeds on electric power alone. The ride is firm, but compliant enough, although road noise and engine drone are noticeable. Handling is secure, but the car does not have a sporty nature. Some controls are complicated and the interior feels basic. High-end versions came with leather seats, which spruced up the interior a bit. If budget permits, focus on a 2007 or later Prius since it had standard side curtain airbags, an available rear view camera, and Bluetooth connectivity. 
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2009 $7,750 - $7,750 $5,225 - $5,225
2008 $7,100 - $7,100 $4,595 - $4,595
2007 $6,250 - $6,250 $3,755 - $3,755
2006 $5,700 - $5,700 $3,225 - $3,225
2005 $5,225 - $5,225 $2,775 - $2,775
2004 $5,000 - $5,000 $2,570 - $2,570
2001-2003
2001 Redesign Year
Toyota Prius 2003 Trim Shown: 2003 Sedan
The first generation Prius hybrid was a quirky small sedan that gets 41 mpg. It uses electric power to augment its engine and switches unobtrusively between the two. The sedan can also propel itself on electric power alone at low speeds. This version of the Prius is slow and not particularly agile, but it rides reasonably. Odd-looking instruments and a column mounted gear selector make the car seem like a science experiment from the past. The cabin is narrow. Buying a Prius as a used car is a wise choice, but we suggest you opt for a 2004 or later build. The hatchback configuration makes it much more practical, it gets 44 mpg overall and has a peerless track record.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2003 $3,475 - $3,475 $1,290 - $1,290
2002 $3,375 - $3,375 $1,215 - $1,215
2001 N/A N/A