Author Topic: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010  (Read 7169 times)

Pixelshot

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Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« on: July 18, 2014, 05:15:29 AM »
Fellow Mustachians, lend me your advice...

My wife and I have been "car free" for 7 months now (in DC) after our former beloved truck went up in flames. With a new baby coming, and a son who now needs a daily drive to school (out of bike range), we've decided to go back in the world of the 4-wheeled.

We like the Prius for it's fuel efficiency and space. Two car seats will fit easily plus room to spare. In my research, I have narrowed it down to two models:

- 2006 with 75k miles in a color we like - $10,500
- 2010 with probably around 45k miles for about $15,000

(the 2006 is already available - I'm going to look at it this weekend; still hunting for the best 2010 model)

the 2010 is the first version of a redesigned model with some substantial improvements.  I will probably finance part of the purchase with the intent in paying it off quickly. Note that since we will park it on the streets of Washington DC I expect it to get dented or scratched eventually, so a "cheaper" car does have an advantage. On the other hand, we may move in the next couple of years.

The big question is this: is the newer model worth paying the extra $5k?  I plan to keep the car for a long time (had the last car for 15 years) and I'm very good with maintenance so I expect to treat it well and stretch out the mileage.

Thoughts?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 05:38:23 AM by Pixelshot »

StashDaddy

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 08:20:04 AM »
That is a good question.  I think the true Mustachian decision based on finances alone would be to buy the older model.  BUT the Gen III Prius looks way better, has more cargo room, and gets slightly better mpg.  We have a 2012 Prius V that we bought used, and we love it.  In fact, I love it so much, I want to trade in our 2nd car (2004 Acura TSX) for a Gen II Prius, since they are worth about the same.

Here's some more info to help you decide:
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1088952_buying-a-used-toyota-prius-hybrid-5-quick-pieces-of-advice

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1065557_buying-a-used-toyota-prius-heres-what-you-need-to-know

dandarc

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 08:28:18 AM »
My wife has a 2010 and I know at least some of the maintenance is easier than on the 2009 - we had to replace a headlight and I about had a heart attack when the guy at the shop (we were in a hurry - road trip the next day, and I had to work or I would have tried to do this myself) said they had to spend several hours of labor on this because you had to take the bumper off to get to the headlight.  Luckily that changed from the 2009 to the 2010, and I had incorrectly told him the car was a 2009.  Still not cheap to have the shop do this, but a heck of a lot better.

Not sure this is worth the extra 5K, but something to consider.

blackomen

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 08:29:13 AM »
Fellow Mustachians, lend me your advice...

My wife and I have been "car free" for 7 months now (in DC) after our former beloved truck went up in flames. With a new baby coming, and a son who now needs a daily drive to school (out of bike range), we've decided to go back in the world of the 4-wheeled.

We like the Prius for it's fuel efficiency and space. Two car seats will fit easily plus room to spare. In my research, I have narrowed it down to two models:

- 2006 with 75k miles in a color we like - $10,500
- 2010 with probably around 45k miles for about $15,000

(the 2006 is already available - I'm going to look at it this weekend; still hunting for the best 2010 model)

the 2010 is the first version of a redesigned model with some substantial improvements.  I will probably finance part of the purchase with the intent in paying it off quickly. Note that since we will park it on the streets of Washington DC I expect it to get dented or scratched eventually, so a "cheaper" car does have an advantage. On the other hand, we may move in the next couple of years.

The big question is this: is the newer model worth paying the extra $5k?  I plan to keep the car for a long time (had the last car for 15 years) and I'm very good with maintenance so I expect to treat it well and stretch out the mileage.

Thoughts?  Thanks.

You'll probably be looking at an HV battery replacement at around 200K miles (I've seen it fail at only 160K although it was a 2001).  The 2006 sounds a bit pricey unless it's in pristine condition for its age.. if you can negotiate it down another $1000 or so, I'd buy that in a heartbeat.

ivyhedge

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 08:34:00 AM »
That is a good question.  I think the true Mustachian decision based on finances alone would be to buy the older model.  BUT the Gen III Prius looks way better, has more cargo room, and gets slightly better mpg.  We have a 2012 Prius V that we bought used, and we love it.  In fact, I love it so much, I want to trade in our 2nd car (2004 Acura TSX) for a Gen II Prius, since they are worth about the same.


Agree with jt: both are good cars, but the genIII is quite a bit more advanced, more capacious, and has considerably more refined road manners. If you plan on keeping the car for 10+ years, the 2010 might work to your advantage in many more ways than would a 2006. Contrary to popular belief on this site, I don't consider anything built in the 1990s "luxurious" or "new". And if safety is a top priority, keep to within a timeframe when side airbags, skid control, etc define it the standard equipment list - especially with a kid and (what will likely be, at times, distracted driving).


As an aide, your target mileage range and price are very close (for the 2010) to what they are here (Boston). Yeah, we left your high priced area...for another.

slowdive

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2014, 09:03:02 AM »
I own a 2010 prius. I bought it new (way before I found this blog, unfortunately - I won't buy a new car ever again - but at least it's somewhat practical).

I can highly reccommend the 2010. It's been fantastic. I've averaged 46-50 MPG lifetime. Mine has only needed basic maintenance items - a 12v battery, tires, light bulbs, etc.

Is it worth the extra money to buy the 2010? I'm not sure - but I'm not sure you can go wrong either way.

jpo

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2014, 09:15:43 AM »
My wife has a 2010 and I know at least some of the maintenance is easier than on the 2009 - we had to replace a headlight and I about had a heart attack when the guy at the shop (we were in a hurry - road trip the next day, and I had to work or I would have tried to do this myself) said they had to spend several hours of labor on this because you had to take the bumper off to get to the headlight.  Luckily that changed from the 2009 to the 2010, and I had incorrectly told him the car was a 2009.  Still not cheap to have the shop do this, but a heck of a lot better.
Find a new mechanic, I replaced a headlight on my 2008 Prius in 20 minutes with info from the internet.  You don't have to take off the bumper at all.

Quark

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 09:18:23 AM »
I feel like $10K for a 2006 is too expensive. I just paid $5K for my 2005 Prius. I wish it had bluetooth or some sort of ability to play media. (other than cd) Even an AUX jack would be nice. But I wouldn't spent 5K more just for that, I can put that in for a few hundred.

ivyhedge

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 10:34:24 AM »
I can highly reccommend the 2010. It's been fantastic. I've averaged 46-50 MPG lifetime. Mine has only needed basic maintenance items - a 12v battery, tires, light bulbs, etc.


An interesting anecdote: Priuses in my area sport a disproportionately high number of headlamp failures - more than VWs and nearly as many as large GM SUVs.

AssetGrinder

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 10:40:08 AM »
Just watch out the prius you are looking at was not a previous taxi in its former life. When I was used prius shopping all I could find were former taxis which is not ideal. For a prius i would get the newer one because of the longer warranty on it. No doubt hybrids will cost more to repair when out of warranty which is a cause of concern with relatively new hybrid tech

ketchup

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2014, 10:53:43 AM »
I'd go with the '06 barring other information.  30k miles is not worth $4500.  But do your due diligence.  Plenty of things besides model year and miles matter far more.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2014, 11:24:50 AM »
Some people have mentioned that the newer Prius has more room. That may be true, but I have found our 2004 Prius to be large enough for most cargo, and all of the seats (back included) have ample leg room for me (I'm 6'0" tall).

rmendpara

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2014, 11:26:39 AM »
Fellow Mustachians, lend me your advice...

My wife and I have been "car free" for 7 months now (in DC) after our former beloved truck went up in flames. With a new baby coming, and a son who now needs a daily drive to school (out of bike range), we've decided to go back in the world of the 4-wheeled.

We like the Prius for it's fuel efficiency and space. Two car seats will fit easily plus room to spare. In my research, I have narrowed it down to two models:

- 2006 with 75k miles in a color we like - $10,500
- 2010 with probably around 45k miles for about $15,000

(the 2006 is already available - I'm going to look at it this weekend; still hunting for the best 2010 model)

the 2010 is the first version of a redesigned model with some substantial improvements.  I will probably finance part of the purchase with the intent in paying it off quickly. Note that since we will park it on the streets of Washington DC I expect it to get dented or scratched eventually, so a "cheaper" car does have an advantage. On the other hand, we may move in the next couple of years.

The big question is this: is the newer model worth paying the extra $5k?  I plan to keep the car for a long time (had the last car for 15 years) and I'm very good with maintenance so I expect to treat it well and stretch out the mileage.

Thoughts?  Thanks.

2010 is a better deal, hands down (assuming they are the same trim level).

Think of it this way, $4.5k price difference which is in theory the "depreciation" for 4 model years... barely over $1k/yr. Plus, 30k miles less.

FOUR model years is huge. If it was 1-2, I would probably change my opinion, but especially in such a technologically advanced car as a Prius, I personally would feel better with a somewhat new-ish car. 2010 model for $15k isn't breaking anyone's budget, and you'll get a lot of use out of it with a few kids on the way.

2010 will also serve your needs, but you're 30k miles close to the low 100s... where more expensive things start to creep up.

Pixelshot

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2014, 11:52:41 AM »
Thank you all. I drove a zip car for a couple of hours today, which was a 2013 Prius. I'm not sure the major differences between 2010 and 2013, but I assume they are minor (research pending). I have to say I was pleased. I am now leaning toward the 2010 since that seems to be the sweet spot between new-ish and still frugal. I'll still look at the 2006 but as was pointed out, it needs to be a bit cheaper and very well taken care of (looks clean from the pictures). It does have one previous owner so that's a little bit of an unknown.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2014, 12:57:47 PM »
My wife has a 2010 and I know at least some of the maintenance is easier than on the 2009 - we had to replace a headlight and I about had a heart attack when the guy at the shop (we were in a hurry - road trip the next day, and I had to work or I would have tried to do this myself) said they had to spend several hours of labor on this because you had to take the bumper off to get to the headlight.  Luckily that changed from the 2009 to the 2010, and I had incorrectly told him the car was a 2009.  Still not cheap to have the shop do this, but a heck of a lot better.
Find a new mechanic, I replaced a headlight on my 2008 Prius in 20 minutes with info from the internet.  You don't have to take off the bumper at all.

This. The nonsense about taking the bumper off is just a racket.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2014, 01:17:06 PM »
My wife has a 2010 and I know at least some of the maintenance is easier than on the 2009 - we had to replace a headlight and I about had a heart attack when the guy at the shop (we were in a hurry - road trip the next day, and I had to work or I would have tried to do this myself) said they had to spend several hours of labor on this because you had to take the bumper off to get to the headlight.  Luckily that changed from the 2009 to the 2010, and I had incorrectly told him the car was a 2009.  Still not cheap to have the shop do this, but a heck of a lot better.
Find a new mechanic, I replaced a headlight on my 2008 Prius in 20 minutes with info from the internet.  You don't have to take off the bumper at all.

This. The nonsense about taking the bumper off is just a racket.

The headlights on a 2006 can be a problem. I have had to replace them twice already and both times was an incredible pain in the ass. Luckily, no one had to remove the bumper, but both times the person who stepped in to replace them (I couldn't do it after a lot of trying) scratched their hands up pretty badly. If the mechanic has big hands, he's not going to be able to replace at least one of them without taking the bumper off. The Haynes Manual for the Prius recommends that if you can't get your hands in there. 

That said, we have a 2006 Prius with significantly higher mileage (115k) and we're perfectly happy with it. Do I think we'll get 10 more years out of it? Probably not. But we have no plans to replace it any time soon. We've always been able to fit all our baby gear into it for long vacations and have consistently gotten 40 MPGs. The back seats do have a surprising amount of legroom.

I think $10k for an 06 Prius is an ambitious price for the seller to get. We paid $12,500 for ours in 2009 and it had 68k miles on it at the time. I has a backup camera, so I think the trim level is a step up from basic.

Nords

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2014, 12:01:57 AM »
Thank you all. I drove a zip car for a couple of hours today, which was a 2013 Prius. I'm not sure the major differences between 2010 and 2013, but I assume they are minor (research pending). I have to say I was pleased. I am now leaning toward the 2010 since that seems to be the sweet spot between new-ish and still frugal. I'll still look at the 2006 but as was pointed out, it needs to be a bit cheaper and very well taken care of (looks clean from the pictures). It does have one previous owner so that's a little bit of an unknown.
We own a 2006 Prius with about 75K on it (I'd have to check but that's ballpark) and it's doing just fine.  We've never had any headlight problems, and I routinely rack up 58+ MPG. 

You'll want to replace the 12v battery when it's four years old.  If that battery dies, then the car's hatchback will not open (it's an electric latch).  We've learned (the hard way) to keep our jumper cables under one of the front seats.

Make sure the owner has done the recalls on the water pump and the inverter cooling pump.  There's also a recall to fasten the driver-side floormats in place so that they don't cause fears of inadvertent acceleration, but that was a "feel good" recall and just a potential issue.  If they don't have the documents then you should absolutely drive the price down!

CO Tree Dude

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2014, 06:30:18 PM »
I know it isn't one of your two choices, but I recently (3 months ago) bought a 2013 Prius C (bought new from dealer, I know not a very mustachian thing to do). I paid $17,300, as it was an 'old' model.  Assuming you could still find a 2013, I think you could find a similar deal.  The C variant of the Prius is a bit smaller, it has a 1.5l vs the 1.8 in the regular prius.  I have hand calculated my mpg every tank for the past 5,000 miles, the total average is 61.3. The best has been 64, and the worst, 57.5.  Also, with a new vehicle you have the added benefit of a longer warranty, and knowing that some jackass didn't forget to change the oil.

Emg03063

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Re: Prius - choosing between a 2006 and 2010
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2014, 02:34:29 AM »
Not a response to your question, but if you will be parking within extension cord distance of a 120v outlet, consider getting a plug in retrofit:  http://www.enginer.us

I'm not familiar with the differences between the '06 and the '10.  Unless it's something that is expected to reduce your operating cost, or something you're interested in paying up for on the feature basis alone, I'd lean towards the '06.