Fourth Generation Toyota Prius Prime Silver
Peter Neilson's picture

Is the Fourth Generation Toyota Prius Reliable?

After four generations of revisions, is the Toyota Prius still reliable or are there more problems? Here is my take on Prius and why I think gen 4 is the best one yet.
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Toyota Prius is the most recognized name in hybrid history. Therefore, if you want a hybrid, you will most likely have Prius populate above all others unless your search is specific.

What makes the Toyota Prius the number one hybrid? Is it the name? The reliability? Or is it that Toyota built the best hybrid amongst all others. I think that is true, and to answer the question, is generation 4 Prius reliable? The answer is a resounding yes.

Why Is Gen 4 Prius The Most Reliable?
Every car company gets something right. For Toyota they have gotten it right on quite a few things, one of them being Prius.

The first iteration of Prius was a hit, and Toyota knew they were on to something good. However, the second iteration is where Prius hit home to many people and where the name became solidified as the hybrid to own.

2020 Toyota Prius AWD-e Silver  Energy Monitor

Gen 2 Prius had many of the components of the first but with massive improvements. The "buck" converter allowed for a smaller battery but better boosting power. A better steering setup and modern advances gave Prius a cult following.

Gen 3 Prius started out looking like a champion, but time has told us 2010-2013 Prius and Prius V are vehicles that ended up with massive issues, including failing head gaskets.

Now Gen 4 is here, and what do we have to show for it? Quite a lot. The gasoline engine is now dialed in. The motor-generators are refined and more efficient than ever, and the inverter now has SiC transistors that are more efficient for less energy loss.

Gen 4 Prius also has a Lithium-Ion hybrid battery option for the first time and a refined "plug-in" or Prime that gives you 25 ish miles of EV-only range.

The body style is refined, reducing the drag coefficient, and has sharp lines that add quite a lot of character. While the body does not have much to do with reliability, it affects how the vehicle sells and overall efficiency. Every little bit counts.

All the refinements Toyota made over the years are now rolled into one sleek package. That is why it is better.

Conclusion
So is the Gen 4 Prius the best Prius yet? If you are looking for a new Prius, yes, it is. If you care about best-in-class fuel economy, long-term reliability, resale value, and cost of ownership, a Gen 4 Prius is undoubtedly a win.

I love my Gen 2. It is a trooper, but I think it is time for me to upgrade and get into a newer model. Gen 4 is my Prime target, and now I need to get one.

Thank you all for reading. Remember Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story, and I look forward to seeing you in the following article.

Do you know how to keep your hybrid battery cool in the summer?

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.


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