Current Model
In our tests, the Prius returned 52 mpg overall, which is phenomenal. Plus, the car handles responsively and rides comfortably.
Colorful digital gauges dominate the dashboard with abundant fuel-economy information. The touch-screen infotainment system is fairly straightforward. The car can drive solely on electric, usually up to about 25 mph, but the engine tends to moan when it kicks in. The seats have mediocre support, tire noise is noticeable, and the car's low stance makes it a challenge to get in and out. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are standard. All-wheel drive is optional. Updates for 2020 include standard Apple CarPlay--but still no Android Auto.
Road Test
Predicted Reliability
Predicted Owner Satisfaction
2016-2019
2016 Redesign Year
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. All-wheel drive was added to 2019 models.
$20,000 - $25,200
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$19,025 - $23,175
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$17,475 - $21,200
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$17,300
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2010-2015
2010 Redesign Year
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.
$13,675 - $15,250
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$11,475 - $13,000
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$10,450 - $11,525
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$9,000 - $10,725
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$8,400
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$7,450
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2004-2009
2004 Redesign Year
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. 
$6,300
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$5,600
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$5,175
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,825
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,400
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,150
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2001-2003
2001 Redesign Year
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.
$2,900
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$2,725
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$2,600
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
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