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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011


You may have wondered how well hybrids will hold up for the long haul. It’s been 10 years since the number one seller-Toyota Prius-hit the roads, and some are now hitting 200,000 miles.2002 prius

Consumer Reports put one such Prius through its paces and the results are pretty impressive.

Kate Houlihan drives 700 miles a week, so after buying a 2002 Prius from her mom, she’s easily pushed the odometer past 207,000 miles.

Houlihan says, “Fuel economy is the exact same as it has ever been. There’s just been no changes as far as, you know, any driving differences.”

Consumer Reports tested the car to see how Kate’s observations hold up to scientific scrutiny.

“We did our standard fuel economy tests. We also did accelerations on the car,” said Consumer Reports. Kate’s Prius measured up surprisingly well with a similar Prius Consumer Reports tested new 10 years ago. Her Prius got 40.4 miles per gallon. The Prius tested in 2000 got 40.6 miles per gallon.

Consumer Reports added, “Acceleration was virtually the same, too. It was less than half a second difference getting to 60 miles per hour.”

When the Prius first came out, a concern was battery life-as the hybrid technology was brand new.

Toyota says the battery is designed to last the life of the car.

As it turns out, Ms Houlihan hasn’t had any trouble with hers.

Consumer Repors went on to say, “The good news is the cost of replacing the battery has come down several hundred dollars since the Prius first came out. But it still costs more than $2,000.”

Toyota says 900,000 Priuses have been sold in the US so far, and at today’s prices even moderate drivers can save an average of $750 a year in gas.

Add to that the satisfaction of lowering your carbon footprint, and you may come to the same conclusion as Ms. Houlihan… “I would buy another Prius in a heartbeat.”

Ms. Houlihan added that she has not babied her Prius particularly, but she has done regular maintenance, including oil changes.