To see whether an aging Toyota Prius has lost a step, we borrowed a 2002 model with 206,000 miles on the odometer. Then we put it through some of the same tests we ran almost exactly 10 years earlier on a nearly identical 2001 tested car with 2,000 miles. We checked whether the battery had worn down, which would be expensive to fix because a new one costs $2,300 to $2,600 from a dealer (more like $500 from a salvage yard). We timed acceleration. And we determined whether the mpg was as high in the aged car as it had been in the new one.
Gas mileage in the old Prius was virtually the same as it had been in the new. Acceleration was just slightly slower, which could have been due to weather or to the fact that the old car wasn't tuned up. Specifics are in the table below. Testers who drove the older car said it drove essentially identically to the one tested 10 years ago, and it had no squeaks or rattles.
The Prius that traveled 206,000 miles still acts like a youngster. Its expensive battery has not worn out, and its performance was similar to that of a new Prius tested 10 years ago.
|Prius at...||2,000 miles||206,000 miles|
|Fuel economy (mpg)|