Used 2002 Toyota Prius Consumer Reviews
Bought it new in June 2003. I'm amazed the car it still gives me 42-46 mpg each fill up in mixed city/highway driving in busy Miami traffic. This has been the most reliable car I have owned in 40 years of driving. Repairs so far: full brake job at 100,000 miles, replaced replaced rear wheel bearings at 155,000 miles, replaced ABS brake module and engine belt at 165,000 miles, replaced steering rack at 175,000 miles, added refrigerant gas to AC at 190,000 miles for the 1st time. As a preventive measure I also replace the small 12V battery every 3 years. The car is still running fine on the original high voltage battery. Everything thing else is original. I love it!
We've had the 02 Prius for about 2 years (our first Prius), and our experience has been great. In fact we bought an 08 Prius and gave the 02 to our son to drive to school. I expect we will always have Prius for the foreseeable future. Gas mileage is lower in winter (35-39), and as high as 48 mpg in summer on a 700 mile road trip. It's still weird when the engine shuts down when at a stop light....but that's just money in my pocket ! There have been zero-nada problems with anything. It just purrs along all the time. We like the 08 even better because Toyota updated many things like a a fold down rear seat, better stereo radio, and even more room in back seat.
I have owned Prii all my life and have learned to work on them myself. The cars are immaculate in terms of just about everything. But do remember- this is a car from 2002 and will have different interior and what not from cars today. The first generation Prii are just about as good as you can get. Over the 2 I have had, I constantly average about 48 MPG. 44 @ 70+, 55 @ 55+, 55 @ 30-55 MPH. The headlights do SUCK on these! But that is nothing that cannot be fixed with about $30, Amazon, and something called XENON headlights that will light up the road. Costs $30 and takes about 20 minutes to set up. I want to make something clear to those who say the repair costs are tremendous: you are wrong! If the main hybrid battery were to fail, the cost is NOT $2000+. I repair 2000-2009 Prius hybrid batteries as a side job all the time. I personally buy working used batteries with less than 120k miles on the for between $200 and $500 and it takes less than an HOUR to replace yourself or if you find a shop, or if you chose to have someone replace it, then expect around $300 to install. On average I charge $700 to replace the hybrid battery completely- that's the cost of EVERYTHING. If you want a new battery and want Toyota to install it personally, then of course expect a couple thousand- what did you expect for a car that was $20,000 when it first came out? That's like buying a brand new engine from GMC when your head gasket goes out. I mean seriously? Use your brain! Not only this, but the hybrid battery almost never fails entirely- it is usually a couple of cells which cost less than $40 and I charge less than $70 each to replace. Shop around at your local shop, replacing the battery is actually simple. For those of you who are willing to learn, look a video on youtube of how to change a prius hybrid battery. My first time took me 50 minutes. Takes about a full hour after you put extra features that will protect the newly installed battery. Not only this, but you can RECYCLE the bad battery for about $150 and that's the price I buy the bad batteries at(which can be repaired by simply replacing cells). I also drive this car on average around 40,000 miles a year because I travel so often. This is a review from someone who not only has 3 total cars that are 1st-3rd generation Prii and not a single other type of car and who works on them and learned by himself. For those who do not know, 1st generation= 1997-2003(1997-1999 Japan only), 2nd generation= 2004-200, 3rd generation= 2010-2015 :). And an extra note- I buy my Prii on Craigslist and generally get them with less than 140k miles for under $1,900.
I bought this car used at a dealership and they checked everything else EXCEPT for the hybrid battery. Being a hybrid, and having 2 batteries could be a nightmare waiting to happen. I used it for 2 days and the 2nd day, on the way home from work on the freeway my car had stopped accelerating. The main battery light came up and I had to stop on the side of the road to start it up again. This happened 3 times, and I only live 10 mins away from my work. The cost to replace an old hybrid battery is 3000 for parts and 2000 for labor. BEWARE. Only the new Prius' are reliable considering this is the earliest of models.
Bought this car used. Wonderful first year. Very happy and proud to drive this car. Saved a lot of money in gas. Only averaged 37 mpg, less than I thought. Then check engine light came on. Cost $1200 to replace 12 volt battery and brakes. 2 weeks later light came on again. Dealer service said codes indicated I need new main battery cost is $3600.00. Called back 2 days later was told problem wasn't battery but transaxle, new cost $4600.00. All the money I saved in gas is shot to hell in one repair. It is outrageously expensive to repair this car. No more Prius for me. I no longer have faith in the car or the techs ability to diagnose and solve problems.