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The prices that you quote are dealer prices and a dealer will always rip you off. I purchased my 2001 Prius in October 2003 at 17,000 miles. It now has almost 230,000 miles. I put 97,000 miles on it during an 18 month period when I was delivering drugs and medicine to nursing homes, rehab centers and hospices. The only major repair was a main battery replacement in January 2009 at a cost of around $2,000. As you say the battery life is about 8 years, but mileage is not a factor. My sister-in-law has an identical car. It needed a battery replacement in September 2009 at 126,000 miles. My Prius averages about 42 mpg city and highway driving. In optimum conditions it will go into the low 50s. During the time in 2008 when local gas prices exceed $4 gal it really paid off. Both cars have had catalytic converter replacements, but the cost did not exceed $1,000. The replacement was required because of ECM or Oxygen Sensor failure that caused the fuel mixture to be too rich. During the time I have had the Prius an ordinary car would have needed alternator, starter, transmission, and timing belt replacements. The Prius does not have those components. In my opinion, the Toyota Prius is wonderful technology. I do advise to always drive one that has warranty coverage for the hybrid system, 8 years or 100,000 miles.Report it
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