Even after the "wow factor" of the Prius's hybrid design wears off, the car is still an inviting, well-designed, functionally useful car. Its remarkably high fuel economy makes this a cost-effective commuting car, but the Prius is also practical on longer trips. The gas/electric drivetrain works flawlessly and doesn't call attention to itself.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2007. ESC standard from 2010. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2010, standard from 2017.
Road Test

Even after the "wow factor" of the Prius's hybrid design wears off, the car is still an inviting, well-designed, functionally useful car. Its remarkably high fuel economy makes this a cost-effective commuting car, but the Prius is also practical on longer trips. The gas/electric drivetrain works flawlessly and doesn't call attention to itself.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 1.5-liter 4 hybrid (103 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Toyota Prius owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"Had to replace front struts and sway bar links. An expensive repair but more of a wear-and-tear item (140,000+ miles) than a mechanical failure"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"First time service on front struts; rear struts replaced in 2012"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Springs or torsion bars

"At 105,000 miles I figure it's just normal wear"

Roger H., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Sway bar links needed to be replaced. This is a wear-and-tear item (140,000+ miles)"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"One rear wheel bearing failed at 100000 miles. Probably to be expected with age/mileage on car, but I still consider it a serious problem"

Edward A., AZ (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Bushings

"noise on turning"

Anonymous, MN (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"SLIGHT LEFT PULL"

Leonard G., CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Steering wheel vibration

"Power steering drops out because of a problem with the electronics. Dealer indicated $3000 to repair, but mostly not a problem"

Alan V., WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tie rods

"front left tie rod and ball joints failed, had to be replaced. Again, not a surprise after 150,000 miles"

Mic J., IN (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tire wear is uneven

"I have had uneven tire wire since I bought the car, and have had to replace the tires every 20-30K for the life of the car. It is my only complaint about the car. Most recently when the tires were replaced, there was something in the back tire that"

Anonymous, CO (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Replaced by aftermarket converter"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Cost me 1,700 for a new catalytic converter"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Had to replace cat converter"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Red problem light came on. Computer found cat. at fault. Cat. replaced; light went out"

R F., NJ (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Failed emissions test"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Had to replace the whole system"

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Muffler

"Had to replace exhaust system which was connected to the catalytic converter"

Donald H., NJ (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"some signal that the entire gas tank needed to be replaced (~$1700) and if not, the emission control devices would not pass state emission test. Engine warning light subsequently went off for a couple months and recently reappeared. No action taken, yet"

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Replaced catalytic convertor"

Robert O., OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"The exhaust pipe and catalytic converter come a single $1600 unit. What I have leaks a bit and is slightly noisy but the car will still pass inspection so I haven't replaced the exhaust system"

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"replaced charcoal canister"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Fuel pump

"Fuel pump got flaky. Upon ignition, all the warning lights would go on and the engine would stop. Then, it would work just fine, although with warning lights still on"

N B., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"CO2 sensor faulty, so Check Engine light is always on"

N B., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric battery replacement

"August of 2015, required a new hybrid battery at a cost that was was the approximate value of the car ($2,850.00). However the auto was in very good shape and I believed I could extend the auto's useful life for at least another three years for the cost of the new battery. Time will tell. So far, so good"

Ralph T., UT (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Battery needed to be replaced this year for $2800. Almost bought a new car but couldn't swing the cost. Otherwise the 15-yo car is in great shape"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Dead cell meant battery had to be replaced. First done with aftermarket battery (without my knowledge) which also failed in first 300 miles. Replaced under replacement battery warranty with new Toyota battery, by dealer"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

"Check engine light came on, as well as Hybrid system warning light"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"water pump for motor and hybrid system"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Needed a tune up"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"Main hybrid battery went bad and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"The hybrid battery needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Battery Assembly HV had to be replaced"

G R., CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Inverter Coolant Pump/Valve Failed and was replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Warning lights indicated a problem. Was told the high voltage cabling need replaced. After replacement was told it was now the high voltage batteries needed replaced. I continue to run the car without difficulty and the warning lights come on inter"

Daryl D., WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Driveshaft or axle

"Rear axle hub very noisy, had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"Rotor was extremely rusty. Mechanic said it needed to be replaced"

Robert J., NY (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Antilock system (ABS)

"had to replace entire system"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Calipers

"Frozen guide pin caused caliper to lock to one side"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Front brake calipers were replaced in the past year. Again, this seemed to be normal wear, not anything unusual. (The car now has 250,000 miles on it)"

Randall G., NY (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Normal routine brake wear

"Parking brake cable seized up, which caused wear on the rear brakes and required replacement of the rear brakes. At the same time, I had to replace a rear wheel bearing. While expensive, none of this seemed out of line given the age and mileage"

Randall G., NY (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Refrigerant leaks

"A/C stopped working, mechanic refilled last July (2016) costing about $370, it stopped working again recently, mechanic recharged again, this time charging me only about $30"

Lea D., CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Unable to repAir leaks"

Jim L., MA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Leak found in interior/labor intensive repair that required disassembly of entire dash area"

K S., TX (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
A/C compressor

"The compressor failed -- it had to be replaced. Not surprising after 150,000 miles"

Mic J., IN (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Failed and over $1000 to replace"

Anonymous, CT (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Stopped working and we were told it could not be fixed. Cost of replacement was $300+ so we decided to return to paper maps instead"

David B., DC (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
CD player

"not working"

Anonymous, WA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Headligt is relatively inexpensive, but requires removing a lot of parts to access it. It's a 5 minute job that takes several hours with a total price of around $300"

Roger H., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Had to replace entire assembly in order to replace severely fogged plastic cover lens"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Warning lights

"light stays on. no problem with car"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"The Prius is apparently NOT a car for the hot desert climate of Las Vegas, or similar climate (Phoenix, etc)... The Hybrid Engine Cooler Inverter failed abruptly. Cost over $4,000 to replace. Service man said I was not alone with this problem!!!"

Betty C., NV (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

"Just a spot of rust on the drivers side fender"

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"three areas - anti-locking brake system had to be replaced, trans-axle replaced, and finally, battery replaced!"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

"no warning of problem. need gauges to see tempatures"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

"A warning light & noise came on. I took it in. Estimated $2200. 3 days later I came back, paid $2300 and on the way home (less than 7 miles) the same light and noise occurred. Returned to dealer. 2 or 3 days. $2400 more. The problem was solved"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"There is a constant annoying buzz which can only be stopped(till we brake) by pressing and holding the odometer button before turning on the car. It is the ABS buzzer according to my husband"

Priscilla H., MI (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

"The rear windows had to have the track replaced because they kept slipping off and/or out and slipping down into the door. I live in a very wet area (Oregon) and park outside. That may have something to do with it"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

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