Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius
19 Oct, 2010 4:50pm

A car to depend on

A number of high-profile recalls, including one for the Prius hybrid, kept Toyota in the headlines earlier this year. But don’t let that put you off. Speak to any existing owner, and the debacle hasn’t dented their faith in its products.

The brand came fourth in our Driver Power dealer standings this year, and its previous Prius was crowned Britain’s most reliable car as it stormed to ninth overall. The new model is sure to build on this, as it’s even more efficient. Its petrol-electric drivetrain delivers 70mpg-plus economy and CO2 emissions as low as 89g/km – which means free road tax and congestion charge exemption.

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I'm attracted to the idea of a second hand Prius, perhaps 4 years old with 40,000 on the clock. However, the Toyota salesman tells me that a new set of batteries will cost £7,000! How will that affect the resale value as time goes on? Any experts out there?

Last I heard a full replacement battery was only about £2k, but it's not a consumable item. The battery is not like the one in your laptop - it's designed to last the whole life of the car. In the US the battery carries a 10 year warranty, which shows you that Toyota have faith in that design.

From what I hear there are occasionally electrical faults in the individual cells (nothing on any car is immune from faults) but it's a modular battery so you can replace individual cells.

There are batteries out there with 200k or even 300k on them. Mine's on 75k and it's all working fine - the fuel economy keeps on improving.

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