One of the big questions that consumers have when shopping for a hybrid on the new or used car market is “How long will the batteries last”. That question is the one that at times keeps people previously interested in a hybrid from buying due to the thought of an expensive battery replacement years down the road.
Consumer Reports Car Blog has answered the question of how well a used Prius performs recently. The blog got its hands on a 2002 Prius that has 206,000 miles on the clock, put the car on the test instruments, and pitted it against a 2001 Prius that they tested back when the car was new with 2,000 miles on the clock.
The results are very impressive. The 206,000-mile Prius performed nearly identically to the 2001 Prius. When the editors tested the 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles on the odometer, it racked up highway mpg of 48.6 and city mpg of 30.5. The 206,000-mile 2002 Prius on the same instruments coughed up 46.3 mpg on the highway and 32.1 mpg in the city. This brought the overall combined fuel economy number to 40.4 mpg compared to the new 2001 Prius combined rating of 40.6 mpg.
The 2002 Prius with 206,000 miles on the clock is also reportedly still on the original battery, engine, and transmission. The performance tests show that the car is just almost exactly dead on with the performance when new despite all the miles driven.
The editors at Consumer Reports note that replacement costs for the Prius battery could be as much as $2,600. However, they point out that a Prius owner could likely get a unit from a junkyard for about $500.
Toyota unveiled the latest hybrid called the Prius V back in January.
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