Buying a used hybrid

Discussion in 'General' started by MT bucket, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Hi everyone
    my old ranger is on its last days, and my elbow is spent from over a million miles of working a floor shifter, so i am ready to looks for another vehicle, with an automatic transmission. I am a courier and put on over 200 miles a day. I am ready to make the jump to a hybrid, don't want a truck though a car would be better, but not one of those two seaters. I cannot afford a newer one. Any tips on what the best buys are, and what to look for when checking them out?
    Thanks
     
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    For pure cargo space, the Prius V would be the winner. Seats folded it would likely rival your Ranger for space. They're still fairly new so price will be tricky. More likely a classic Prius, Gen II, would be good for you. It's a hatch for good space, they've been around from 2004 so you can find a good price on one. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one with higher miles, they've proven to be durable.
     
  3. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Thanks Andrew, those are the ones I was thinking about. What do you mean by higher miles? I have had a few people warn me about the batteries after so many miles, but that is coming from people with no experience owning one, so I doubt it is a concern, but is there any reports of battery problems in older cars? Also, just curious, could it pull a small snowmobile trailer? it wouldn't be often, just a couple ice fishing outings, I can always rent a truck those weekends so it wouldnt matter too much
     
  4. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Lots of Prius cabs are still on the road with over 500,000 miles on them and many with the same pack. The pack is really not that pricey anyway. Probably one of the most dependable auto on the road! Gen 3 would be my choice. H
     
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    The Honda hybrids are the ones with battery trouble. Unfortunate. I liked their simple design philosophy, but Toyota contracted with the best NiMH battery maker and shut out Honda. They also put too much load on their battery pack which degraded it early. Toyota's design actively seeks 50% charge all the time, so the battery is rarely fully charged or discharged, both of which shorten its life. Honda's design allows it to be anywhere in a range, say 20% to 80%.

    Gen 3 would be my choice as well, but price...
     
  6. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Don't forget about the Ford Escape Hybrid. They're durable and a favorite of taxi fleets in my area. If you're going for new, look at the Ford Cmax. The Cmax isn't available in 4wd though, so if you're towing snowmobiles, you may want the FEH. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is also a nice vehicle.
     
  7. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That's a good one. I'm not sure about the Cmax, with the epa vs real mileage mess. If you get one, realize the mileage will be lower than expected compared to other hybrids.
     
  8. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I would buy the newest Toyota I could afford without being afraid of higher mileage provided that it's in good mechanical shape. The two biggest drivers of battery ageing are time and use. (Temperature accelerates wear, but I somehow doubt that's going to be an issue here. ;) ) Toyota hybrids don't seem to be too sensitive to use, which is what the 300,000mi cab stories tell us. My wife flogged hers for over 160k miles and the battery was still acting healthy at the end. In terms of time, 10 years seems to be roughly when you should start thinking about what to do if the battery fails.
     
  9. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Thanks for the tips everyone! Is the Gen 3 starting from 2010? I am looking at a 2010 maybe tomorrow for 14,000. also saw a V model not sure the year, wow they look roomy, but i wonder if at cost to fuel economy and or performance. the regular one looks pretty roomy though with the hatchback and the seats folded down, I don't want it too big anyways, i am getting to old for the heavy loads haha. Escape or Cmax, no thanks, I was just curious about trailering my sled, but it would be much cheaper to rent a truck when I need one for a weekend. I am hoping to get at least 50 mpg. I am paying 8-900 clams a month on fuel in my ranger, and that would be cut in half, so I could afford the payments on a newer one I think. I am a courier and spend around 10 hours a day in my vehicle, so I want a decent one. is 2010 a good model year, or should I go newer? Why is the gen 3 better than the 2? So many questions, but i want to make sure I make the right choice this time, since i almost live in the thing lol ;)
     
  10. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Yes
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    The Prius v (lower case) does have lower mpg, though still very good, from what I read. The engine and hybrid system is very similar to a regular Prius, but it's a heavier, somewhat less aerodynamic vehicle. Some folks on PriusChat are reporting 50~ mpg, regularly:

    http://priuschat.com/threads/we-get-50-52-mpg.112354/

    It depends a lot on the sort of driving. That said, doing the same sort of driving in the v or regular Prius...

    The regular Prius is very roomy/versatile in it's own right, it's worked well for us as an occasional cargo carrier: trips to Ikea, some pretty dang big flat screen tv's, nothing's phased it yet. Obviously there are limits, but it's done pretty good.

    Please post what level of 2010 Prius you're test driving (if/when you can); they're deignated with numbers 2 through 5. There's also a stripped-down level 1, but it's mainly in fleet sales, cabs etc, I believe.
     
  12. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Mendel, I think it was a 4, since it had leather seats, i didn't look though. Should i be looking for a certain level?

    Well, that didn't go too good at all. I called the salesman (a young kid) up and told him what one i was looking at, he said to come on out and he will have it ready to try out. Well, i get there on time, and he comes out and says, it was sold this morning (face palm #1) But he has another just like it, only it is 7000 dollars more! (facepalm#2) I don't bite on that one, though it really was nice, then he says, what I really need to do was lease a new one, thats the best way to go. I told him how many miles I drive a year (60,000 or more) and it just flew over his head, so he gets a manager over to answer any questions I have, i tell him my situation, and he says that leasing a new car or buying an expensive used car would not be a good idea with the miles I put on, i should get this 2006, it would be perfect for what I do, and much cheaper. So i say ok i will give it a look, so he goes to get the car, i wait ten Minutes, then the salesman comes back out and tells me that one is gone too, and starts showing me numbers for a new car lease (facepalm#3) i'm outta there! so no Prius for me :( Maybe I will try somewhere else next week.
     
  13. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Sounds like a dealer that I would not return to. If they don't even know what's on their own lot, I'd go somewhere else.
     
  14. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I can't confirm, but I've heard the Gen 3's are better ergonomically - the seat and the seat-steering wheel arrangement. With the hours you're spending, I'd take the time to sit in both to see the difference.
     
  15. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    The model year changes are initial release to '03. The Gen II started in 04, but didn't receive any updates until '06. In '06 they started making the various airbags standard, where '04/05 required the higher end trim line. In '06 (and at various times throughout the run) they also sometimes included an audio jack input as standard ('07 was kinda an anomaly there). '06 also introduced a small change in rear seat height for better comfort. They also tuned the traction control in '06 to help with issues from an overly aggressive to much more friendly. '06/07/(08?) had issues with the HID burning out prematurely. I stopped following along in '10 as... well, I just couldn't afford one and there were too many little changes over the Gen III run.

    In the end, the Gen II is easier to aggressively squeeze mileage out of over the Gen III. BUT, the Gen III is supposed to be a more comfortable fit and ride... especially for the tall drivers or those with longer legs.
     
  16. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Andrew, good idea! Matthew, are you saying a genII can get better fuel economy than a genIII? that is not what most of the dealers are saying, though maybe they just want to sell the more expensive newer models...
     
  17. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Of course, if they can steer you into a more profitable vehicle, they make more money.
     
  18. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    The Gen 2 is capable of more mpg in the right hands. Gen 3 is better for the "average" driver. There's more overhead available in the 2. It depends how far you want to push it, which one is better for you. With the miles you put on, I imagine your driving has to be more "normal".
     
  19. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    They're probably referring to the EPA mileage numbers, on which the 3rd generation scores better. It may also be better at high speeds. However if your thing is "to aggressively squeeze mileage out," (as Ophbalance put it), that's another story, and the 2nd generation has higher potential, as I understand.
     
  20. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Bingo! that is why I want a hybrid, let the car do most of the work :) I will still put more effort into it that the average driver, so hopefully I can at least get 50 or so MPG with either. If i wanted to go all out, I would just get a sub compact with a manual transmission and beat a prius, that is what I would do if I was just doing a short commute, but yeah, 200 plus miles day, and mostly highway... I got the skill but not the will! ;)
     

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