The Toyota Prius Best and Worst Years

The Toyota Prius was the first of its kind, and the hybrid technology it introduced began the green revolution that eventually made internal combustion engines obsolete.

The Prius had the best gas mileage of any car in its class. It also had a lot of helpful technology and a nice interior. Although generally acknowledged as one of Toyota’s most dependable offerings, the popular hatchback has racked up over a thousand customer complaints.

This article will discuss the best and worst model years of the Toyota Prius so that people can make an informed choice when buying a used car version.

The Toyota Prius Best and Worst Years

Popular American cars include the Toyota Prius. It’s one of the best-selling hybrids, so it’s been around for a while. Which years of the Toyota Prius did the best, and which did the worst? Let us look at each year, in turn, to see what it had in store for us.

The years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2016-2020 are considered the best for Toyota Prius, while 2010-2015 are considered the worst.

Before buying a Toyota Prius, check out these years, especially the ones that bother you. Let us begin with the years that have the highest degree of accuracy.

What Toyota Prius Years Are the Most Reliable?

Toyota Prius years are surprisingly reliable. It was more reliable in some years than others. If you want a used car, you must know which years of your favorite models are reliable.

These models are listed below:

1.     2000 Toyota Prius

The 2000 Toyota Prius’ hybrid engine, spacious seats, and fuel economy are notable. What a fantastic year for the Toyota Prius! This model of the Toyota Prius is one of the most dependable of all of them, even though it is not considered to have a particularly pleasing appearance to the eye.

2000 Toyota Prius roaming in the city.

On Car Complaints, the model year 2000 Toyota Prius only received four reports of customer dissatisfaction.

2.     2001 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Model 2001 is basking in its predecessor’s glory. This model shows that we worked hard on the first-generation Toyota Prius. This generation prioritized fuel and electric engines, usability, and cargo space.

There were nine formal complaints about the 2001 Toyota Prius’ excessive oil consumption.

3.     2002 Toyota Prius

The first-generation Toyota Prius was made carefully. The dashboard design received special attention during the upgrade in the model’s interior year 2002.

Only three complaints about this model were ever recorded, all about the headlights not working correctly.

4.     2003 Toyota Prius

The 2003 Toyota Prius, the last model in the first generation of this car’s awesomeness and durability, continues to bask in the glory of its successors.

This model year’s highlights included a steering wheel that is firm to the touch, seats that fold down to create additional space in the trunk, and an extremely fuel-efficient engine.

The 2003 Toyota Prius was the subject of four official complaints. This first-generation model has the highest reliability rating of all the other generations, coming in at 35 out of 81.

5.     2004 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius from 2004 distinguishes itself from the many mistakes made in the vehicle’s second generation. Another successful year for the Prius!

This model was first offered in the hatchback edition and the midsize class when it was first introduced. It gets 60/51 mpg, making it the most fuel-efficient five-seater in the US and one of the cleanest cars on the road.

6.     2013-2021 Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius models produced between 2013 and 2021 are the next generation that is regarded as reliable, according to 118 complaints. No complaints about brakes or engines were reported for 2013, 2014, or 2015.

2021 Toyota Prius.

There were very few reports of rodents eating coated electrical wires in the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 or of any external fixtures breaking.

What Is The Best Toyota Prius?

A Toyota Prius produced between 2000 and 2003 is a great used car option. First-generation cars got little negative feedback. Fuel efficiency makes up for the car’s less-than-attractive design. These models are known for their dependability and have responsive steering and foldable seats.

The 2004 Prius hatchback was one of the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly cars available.

Motor and Wheels recommend any 2013–2020 Prius. Minor grievances were uncommon. The price of repairs will range from $1,500 to $3,000. Engine and brake issues were rare from 2013 to 2015.

What Are The Worst Years For Toyota Prius?

Over the years, several grievances and problems with the Toyota Prius have also been.

The following model years should be avoided.

1.     2012 Toyota Prius

The 2012 Toyota Prius had many issues, including reports that braking while driving caused intense vibrations and warning lights to illuminate.

On, there have been 59 complaints overall about the 2012 Prius and 637 problems.

Car mechanic repairing brake pads in the vehicle.

Common issues:

  • Brake malfunction.
  • The vehicle will not start.
  • Entune, an issue with connecting a mobile device to a vehicle.

2.     2011 Toyota Prius

The 2011 Toyota Prius was awarded‘s “Avoid Like the Plague” award for problems with its service brakes, electrical system, and exterior lighting.

Because the standard brakes did not engage properly while the vehicle was moving, the likelihood of an accident was increased.

2011 Prius owners filed 114 complaints and 515 problems on

Common issues:

  • Oil waste.
  • Brakes not working.

3.     2010 Toyota Prius

This model year should be avoided at all costs, according to, and with good reason. Because it had a total of approximately 3,500 problems and customer complaints, the Prius model year 2010 is statistically the worst year to date.

The brakes’ persistent inability to engage was deemed the most significant mechanical problem and a serious safety hazard. and recorded three hundred thirteen complaints and 3,232 problems involving the 2010 Prius.

Common issues:

  • Failing to brake.
  • A lot of oil consumption.
  • Peeling paint.

3.     2009 Toyota Prius

The 2009 Toyota Prius suffered from braking issues due to a faulty brake actuator. Due to this, braking became uneven or ineffective, resulting in safety problems and lower fuel efficiency ratings.

Total complaints for the 2009 Prius were 104 on and 596 on

Common issues:

  • Failure of the brake actuator HID light.
  • Headlight briefly flashes before going out.
  • On are the emergency brake and anti-skid lights.

4.     2008 Toyota Prius

The 2008 Toyota Prius had several electronic problems, but the most common complaints were faulty headlights that would flicker or go out.

One of the owners claimed that the Prius failed to show information from the gauge cluster, including the fuel gauge, headlight indicators, warning indicators, and other status updates, making every journey risky and unpredictable.

There were 258 complaints about the 2008 Prius on and 1,825 issues on

Common issues:

  • Headlights that aren’t working.
  • Sporadic headlight failure.
  • A lot of oil consumption

5.     2007 Toyota Prius

There were significant headlight problems with the 2007 Toyota Prius; according to some reports, the headlight and taillight bulbs prematurely burned out. It was determined that this posed a clear safety risk because it would reduce the driver’s visibility, especially at night.

There were 250 complaints about the 2007 Prius on and 2,394 issues on

Common issues:

  • Headlights intermittently go out while driving.

6.     2006 Toyota Prius

Similar issues plagued the 2006 Toyota Prius as they did its predecessors and successors. Burnout and ballast failure were the two leading causes of frequent headlight failure. Owners claimed that this was both a safety and a legal issue because it is against the law for cars to be driven with damaged headlights. has 127 complaints about the 2006 Prius, and has 1,652.

Common issues:

  • Sometimes, headlights fail to turn on.
  • A lot of oil consumption.
  • Faulty computer systems

7.     2005 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius from 2005 also had issues with the headlights. Several reports claim that the headlights occasionally stopped working even after changing the bulbs. Some owners even claimed that their lamps began to flicker mid-drive, which made for a very hazardous driving situation.

There were 70 complaints about the 2005 Prius on and 1,271 issues reported on

Common issues:

  • Headlights automatically turn off due to a dead hybrid battery.
  • Repeatedly burn out headlights.

8.     2004 Toyota Prius

The 2004 Toyota Prius had issues with electronics, especially the headlights, like many earlier entries. Even worse, a report claimed that headlight flickering happened more than once in a single trip, with one estimate placing the frequency at three times every 15 minutes.

Total complaints for the 2004 Prius were 22 at and 732 at

Common issues:

  • Shuts off erratically while driving
  • Headlights operate sporadically
  • While driving, the engine stops

The Years with Lesser Complaints

The years 2012 and 2016 models of the Toyota Prius were the ones that received the fewest number of customer complaints.

Among the issues brought to light were that the automobiles would not start, even though there were no electrical faults, and that the windshield would crack even when there was no sign of a collision.

In contrast to the other years, which experienced issues at high mileage, problems with these models (2012 and 2016) were reported even when they had low mileage.

What Are Some Problems That Toyota Prius Cars Usually Have?

When it comes to the efficient management of power, the models of Toyota Prius are among the best options. The car is perfect for people looking for a fuel-efficient daily driver due to its hybrid powertrain and spacious interior space.

Here are some common Toyota Prius issues:

1.     Cracking Windshield

The windshields of Toyota Prius vehicles are notorious for cracking for no discernible reason, which is one of the model’s most persistent and pervasive issues. When one of these cracks appears in the windshield, it must replace entirely. The cost to do so is typically somewhere in the neighborhood of $800.

A cracked windshield is a common complaint among owners of Toyota Prius models, and some of those owners have stated that the problem begins to arise at approximately 18,000 miles or more.

2.     Excessive Oil Consumption

The Toyota Prius model years 2010 and 2011 are at the top of the list for excessively high oil consumption rates; owners have reported that this is a significant problem. The piston rings and cover gasket can be replaced to stop oil consumption.

As the problem worsened, owners had to replace the entire engine, which cost $3,000 to $4,000.

Replacing piston rings of a car engine.

3.     Headlight Issues

The 2007 model year of the Toyota Prius receives the most customer complaints regarding headlight problems. The most common complaint is that the lights turn off unexpectedly. Toyota Prius owners must replace the bulbs or lighting module to fix the headlights.

In less serious situations, they might be the issue by repeatedly turning the headlight on and off.

4.     Dashboard and Other Interior Issues

According to customer complaints, Toyota Prius 2007 owners frequently complained about the instrument panel. It was abundant, proving this.

The dashboard caused the warning system, backup camera, and infotainment system’s epileptic display to malfunction.


We have compiled a list of the characteristics that set this model apart from those of previous generations. In addition, it details any significant changes made from one model to the next, as well as our general impression of the product based on our first-hand experience and hands-on testing.

It will help Toyota Prius owners considering buying a pre-owned model make an informed decision.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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