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Which Toyota Prius Generation Lasts The Longest

There are now 4 generations of the Toyota Prius. Out of all of them, which one is lasting the longest? Here is what you need to know about which Prius lasts the longest.


I could wrap up this article quick and say that second-generation Toyota Prius is the best. I could leave it at that. Or, we could take a look at all four generations of Prius and see what one appears to hold value with the community the best.

Every generation has its pros and cons, so I think I should expose that and see what we can conclude. Here is what you need to know about which Toyota Prius generation is best.

First Generation Toyota Prius
Ah, the first generation of a long line of awesome automobiles. Gen 1 Prius started life right. It gave us a new way to look at the way we use transportation. Number one was not without fault, though. Starting in Japan only in 1997, this first edition ran through 2003.

2003 Toyota Prius First Generation

Gen 1 Prius did not have a boost converter, and it carried a larger 301.6v battery pack. It has a turtle mode, and this is the generation that gave the people idea Prius is slow. We also had problems with the prismatic battery modules leaking, and the stator for the motor-generator shorting out.

Gen 1 Prius did give us a reliable engine, though. The 1NZ-FXE proved itself worthy enough to be used in the next generation. We also had a car that many people loved and put hundreds of thousands of miles on over the years. The car was pretty darn reliable for being the first edition of something new.

Not as many first-generation Prius was built. Around 123,000 were sold between 1997 and 2003. As these cars age and go into the scrap heap, there will be less support as time goes on. Not a huge deal, but if you are in love with your Gen 1, you may want to consider stockpiling some parts.

Gen 1 is not my personal favorite, but I also have not owned one either. I think they are radical for what they are, but I do not believe they are the longest-lasting Prius.

Second Generation Toyota Prius
2004 through 2009. Gen 1 was the platform from which the Gen 2 Prius built the empire. Gen 2 cleaned up, got a new look, and ditched the glitches. Gen 2 Prius added a boost converter and better utilized a now smaller 201.6v battery pack. Turtle mode was gone, and the little car had some pep.

Gen 2 also has a few issues. The electric water pump which can generate a P0A93 trouble code went on recall. Hybrid batteries do fail just like all generations because no one wants to teach battery maintenance. Gen 2 also has been plagued with oil consumption problems and has been known to loose wheel bearings.

2006 Toyota Prius Red

The heater control valve is a common issue as well, along with mass airflow sensors getting debris in them. The MFD or multi-function display and the instrument cluster also have problems as well.

Despite these problems, and how common they are, the expense is not awful when repairing. Overall Gen 2 Prius is reliable and gave taxi companies a better vehicle to use. Hundreds of thousands of miles have been logged on these cars. I own three of them in my fleet.

Third Generation Toyota Prius
2010 through 2015. Gen three, the chosen one, the Prius that was to bring balance. I think that it has just not in the way that we think. Gen 3 has certainly been a prevalent model. Toyota had offered trim levels before, but this time there were other options. The Prius V was new and in 2012 the first plug-in model made its debut.

2012 Toyota Prius V Third Generation

Gen 3, in the early years, have been known to have some strong failure points, though. The inverter/converter was a new design for this year, along with the engine. Both of which have issues. The inverters are on safety recall and the head gaskets, well, they can fail. Not all of these Prius in this generation have the problem, but I hear about it quite a lot.

While these issues are in Gen 3, it would not deter me from owning one. The oil consumption issue is also a problem as well but is preventable with the proper fuel system and oil maintenance. Overall, the higher cost to repair these problems would make me look for the right Gen 3 Prius to buy before jumping on board.

Fourth Generation Toyota Prius
2016 through the present. We are currently in the fourth generation of Prius. As history shows, about every five years, we get a new generation. So, where is Gen 5? That is an excellent question. We could maybe see it in 2021, but so far, I have not heard of any announcement.

2017 Toyota Prius fourth generation

Fourth-generation supposedly has fewer problems, at the moment. There have been reports that some 2019 and 2020 models will have the display blackout. There are other reports that some 2016 models have a problem with the hybrid system as well. I have no exact information on what that is just yet.

Gen 4 seems to have all the bugs worked, and it could be the next Gen 2, but time will tell.

Here is the low down. Do your maintenance on your Prius. Do the required fluid changes, adjustments, filter replacements, and all the things in between. This will significantly increase your odds of having fewer issues. I have seen Gen 2 with 600,000 miles. I have seen Gen 3 with 350,000 miles, and I have seen Gen 1 with 700,000 miles. The common thread is doing your maintenance and staying on top of what the car needs.

Maintenance does not change factory defects, but it can help decrease the number of other problems that can come up because of it. My personal favorite so far of all generations is Gen 2. They are cheap to buy, and you can get an easy 100k out of them with minimal investment. I plan to add a Gen 3 and hopefully a Gen 4 this year to the Hybrid Guy fleet.

If you want to discuss anything further, drop me a line or shoot me a message on Twitter. I am always up for sharing what I know and learning from all of you. See you in the next story, Toyota Prius Slammed With Lawsuit Over Self Destructing Windshield.

Watch the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid Prime video presentation and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.

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 is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. 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


Larry Scott (not verified)    January 9, 2020 - 8:57PM

I have a 2012 Prius 90,000 miles..
new set of tires put on at 45,000
I had to put a new starter battery in,,,,
That it..
I’m 76 years old and I’ve own many vehicles..
Plus are used to be a used car sales person..
The Prius is probably the best vehicle I have ever own.

rAw by nature'… (not verified)    March 13, 2022 - 11:56AM

In reply to by Larry Scott (not verified)

I own a gen. 3 2012 Prius 79k miles only issue is road noise along with I personally do not care for the center console design. Replaced tires at around 60k and this week the auxiliary 12v battery ( 250 bucks bought at dealer) can't really complain about that knowing the original lasted 10 1/2 years; I did not purchase new I bought used 2017 I think it had 25k miles. I have NOT had any other issues at all. Everything works and I usually get high 50's like 58-61 mpg in the city! I live in Tampa Florida. Road trips to Nebraska and Iowa, Nebraska a summer trip and Iowa late fall early winter (had some snow) both averaged around 55 mpg. So how could one complain?? I know I can't! Yes I would like to have more bells and whistles as the newer cars have, though with the way my Prius is treating me I believe I would be a fool to give her up! I did get her with an upgraded interior get a load of this.. she is silver and sports a red leather interior! (Seats and door panels) which I find this adds some pizzazz in her otherwise a bit humdrum appearance. Which I admit gave an additional nudge in my purchase of her. At 56 years old, I believe this has been the wisest car purchase I have made. I purchased her from a Toyota dealership at the price of 12k. She is my "TP" and that is not to wipe your rear with or to sneeze into either! She has proven to me to be a Toyota Princess! I have faith that she will be with me many more years. ... If I can be so lucky she will last me the rest of my life! Who wants to have car payments??? Not me especially when there are still many places I'd like to see and explore!!! My TP affords this and has the space for not only me and my "stuff" she has the room for another one or three to come along... Well now maybe she is actually the Queen Bee!!

Jesse Quarrels (not verified)    March 14, 2022 - 4:18PM

In reply to by Larry Scott (not verified)

Bought a 2013 Prius in December of 2015. It had 54000miles. Since then we have put another 130,000 on it. Had to replace the water pump and timing chain cover seal. Only gets about 40 mpg now but hey it’s better than 20! Two sets of tires. Still drives good.

Joel (not verified)    January 16, 2020 - 3:44PM


Joel here, from Mexico.

Im just about to get a Prius 2015 with 37K milles. I just want to know if there is a way to check the battery health without extra gear. Cos I have never even been inside one before, probably I can get thin info in the screen? thanks!

Eric R (not verified)    June 14, 2020 - 9:50AM

I own a 2013 GEN three Prius trim level III that I bought in February 2013, just hit 180,000 miles absolutely no problems ever with this car. On third set of tires and still on original brakes. Almost 100% highway miles.

Ced (not verified)    August 12, 2021 - 10:46PM

In reply to by Eric R (not verified)

I too have a 2013 prius bought it @ 124000 miles it is my first owned hybrid but drove a Camry hybrid. I have only good things to say about the Prius. Will buy another after this vehicle..

Martin J (not verified)    July 14, 2020 - 4:32PM

Just came across this interesting item. My 2005 Gen 2, owned from new, has only done 180,000. The water pump was replaced under recall, and a rear spring broke. And that's it. The hybrid system still works perfectly and delivers the same fuel economy as it did 15 years ago. The interior is pretty much like new (the optional leather helped), and the build quality is Lexus-like. I suspect the Gen 2 was a little over-engineered, as the breakthrough Prius generation. I planned to keep the car for maybe 5 years, but I'm glad I hung onto it. If there's any justice in the automotive world, the Gen 2 will become a design icon alongside the Citroen DS or the Model T.

Michael Arthur (not verified)    July 23, 2021 - 3:30PM

In reply to by Martin J (not verified)

I'm the 2nd owner of my gen 2 130 thousand miles on it do 6 hundred miles a week for work average 62 mpg best car I have ever had then some and hope it never dies. Take care. Regard's Mike

Doug (not verified)    August 4, 2020 - 10:15AM

As a person who has done most of my own repairs on my cars, how would you rate the Prius to work on? I have had Corollas for years but want the economy and utility of a Prius.


H. (not verified)    August 6, 2020 - 10:32AM

I'm looking at a 2003 Prius tomorrow with 206k on it, the dealership is asking 2,990 for it, do you think this is something I should pick up or pass on? It's from an authorized Toyota dealer.

Steven Haas (not verified)    August 13, 2020 - 8:28PM

Peter, thanks for the Prius overview. Considering purchasing a used Prius. Asking which one is best seems fruitless. I like the 2015 model for its cargo carry. But am not hearing enough clear comments from owners about longer distance driving comfort level.....say San Francisco to Los Angeles or to Las Vegas. Any advice helps. I see plenty for sale with under 50 thousand miles.

Kevin (not verified)    September 5, 2020 - 4:13PM

Thanks for this article! One point that seems lacking is how long these Priuses last in terms of time, rather than miles. My experience (with Gen II) seems to be that the battery tends to fail after about 10 to 12 years, regardless of how many or how few miles you put on the car, and brand-new replacement batteries are hard to find or expensive. Have you seen batteries that last longer than that?

Dan (not verified)    October 3, 2021 - 7:18AM

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

I have a 2004 Prius with 413,000 km on it. It has been virtually repair free and I’ve regularly changed the oil. I had the battery checked last week and it is showing no issues. I am, however going through oil (2 litres between changes) Best car ever.

mechanics mt roskill (not verified)    September 14, 2020 - 2:25AM

It is one of the best write up on which toyota prius generation last longest. Before hitting on the other blogs I would request all to give a try here to get the best available content here. The article is much informative regarding work as well.

GERALD NERI (not verified)    October 11, 2020 - 11:14AM

Looking at a 2014, Gen 3 from a local dealer. He is asking $14K with 78K miles. Seems high, thoughts on a fair offer?

jerry Pasek (not verified)    May 17, 2021 - 12:02AM

In reply to by GERALD NERI (not verified)

I just picked up a 2014 Prius Gen 3 III fully loaded 168,000 miles $5400 I knew something was wrong with engine but other than that in was in good condition! Spent $588 for advanced diagnostics at Toyota dealer! Result blown head gasket plus some minor un-necessary bloated item they said I needed and they can replace head gasket plus other repairs for $6100, No thanks took to local repair they could do it for $3500 and they are reputable! Read about this problem on u-tube and found out how to fix head gasket I bought off Amazon Barr head gasket repair for $35 used half in coolant tank as directed followed easy instructions and in 15 minutes I have a great running car that I'm considering selling and buying gen2 Prius that I had before which is the best car I ever owned! Don't buy Prius from dealer they will rip you off1

tyre repair we… (not verified)    November 12, 2020 - 5:57AM

You would get to know about the Toyota Prius generation lasts longest. I enjoyed reading this article. It makes the work straight and easy for us. I like the way they have researched and presented it in front of us.Come across and hope you can visit this too to get more information.

Claudiu Budurescu (not verified)    November 15, 2020 - 12:14PM

I want to buy a third generation Prius...the guy who own the car said he changed the engine with one from forth generation that possible???

Lance (not verified)    March 5, 2021 - 5:40PM

Have a 4th generation had two rear defective struts that were replaced and some wiper issues and all were resolved by our Toyota dealer

Willie Garza (not verified)    March 12, 2021 - 1:23AM

Hello, I own a 2006 Prius, having issues with transmission slipping. Could we communicate soon? My number is: 612 205 3215 or email works if your too busy. I bought this Prius as is, would like get it going again! Thanks

Ronald Brandt (not verified)    November 13, 2021 - 2:41AM

In reply to by Willie Garza (not verified)

There is only one clutch. It is a slipper-damper unit attached to flywheel. It is used almost exclusively as a damper.

There is no clutches in the transmission. All power is transferred through two electric motors. If the electric motors or their inverter die your car won't move no matter how much lower you try to apply with the engine.

Barbara Kloeppel (not verified)    April 15, 2021 - 11:54AM

I would like to know a bit about the Prius V 2018.
I saw one I liked for sale in my neighborhood. I currently have a second generation Prius model 4 with the better suspension and leatherette seats. I would want the leatherette seats again. The paint is coming off on the roof and hood of my car and the suspension is starting to jump around a bit. I have 190,000 miles on my second generation. My biggest concern is suspension. I did not like the second gen base model because it had poorer suspension to the model four. If you compared a 2018 Prius V four and a 2018 Prius Four which would come out better? And why thanks for any feedback.

Brad Manning (not verified)    June 7, 2021 - 2:39PM

I have a 2003 Prius. Gen 1 with 300,000 Miles on it everything original except rear brakes front brakes and rotors front and rear shocks and front struts and 12 boot battery. Ever else on it is original. So there you go. I have 3 gen 1 Priusi. 2001 2002 And 2003 all have original hybrid battery. 2091 prius has 200,000 miles on it and the 2003 has 170,000 miles on it.

Diane (not verified)    July 4, 2021 - 2:21PM

We bought 2008/Prius, After 170,000 we gave it to our Granddaughter when she turned 16. She just turned 19 and it’s close to 200,000. We bought a Rava4 and every day, I miss the Prius. This weekend my husband drove it to see how it was running. The first thing he said when he came back, “I didn’t realize how much I miss that Prius.

springer (not verified)    July 25, 2021 - 10:53AM

Thanks for the nice comparison. You are right that gen 2 is more reliable then gen 3 prius. Gen 3 prius has history of blown head gaskets at around 100K+ miles. Check priuschat for lot of discussion on that topic. I also had prius 2013 which blew head gasket at 170K miles. Early warning was rough engine idling at start which then went away. Took it to Toyota dealership and they said EGR needed cleaning. Spent $!000. Then couple of weeks later, huge plumes of white smoke started coming out of tail pipe. Then I knew it was blown head gasket and worse. I checked dealership and they quoted $5K. There was no way I can pay that much, so I checked online and there was some videos about people doing 3rd gen prius head gasket replacement themselves. So I took a shot at doing myself - and problem was worse than just head gasket. Turns out that piston rod #1 was also severely bent after head gasket blew. Had to replace the piston rod, head gasket and two weeks later, prius was back in action. Third gen prius has a defect in that pvc valve is located too low in the engine and siphons oil to intake manifold which then winds up in piston #1. Also EGR cooler/valve has to be cleaned religiously. Also install oil catch can between pcv valve and air intake manifold to catch oil. Definitely worth the effort if you already have 3rd gen prius.

Sophia (not verified)    September 23, 2021 - 5:00PM

Hi, I'm in the market for a Prius V. Do you prefer the 2012 or 2013? I'm looking for as little problems as possible, so should I avoid the 2010-2012 years?

Jesse (not verified)    October 24, 2021 - 3:03PM

Bought a 2013 Prius iii in December 2015 with 54000 miles. This past January had to replace the water pump and cam chain cover seal. Also I am experiencing the oil consumption problem. It is less since replacing the cam chain cover seal. A quart every 2-2500 miles. Also mileage is only around 41 mpg now. Have 18000 miles on it now.