Author Topic: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius  (Read 20128 times)

Kansaslover5

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Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:11:20 PM »
I'm debating between a used Toyota Corolla (2008-2010) or a used Prius (2006-2008)....the Prius for the same year/mileage tends to be about $2000 more than a corolla....but the gas savings is significant. I'm not sure which way to go. I care a great deal about reliability and mileage. If I get the Prius I'd likely go for one around $9,000 but that usually comes with well over 100K in miles...meanwhile a nice used Corolla can go for $8,000 and have about 80K on it. What do my fellow mustachians think?

Kansaslover5

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 12:56:31 PM »
Due to military moves, my mileage in the coming 12 months will be closer to 12,000 and yes I plan to keep the vehicle for 7-8 years if possible.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 01:40:32 PM »
Have you driven both?  For a few hundred, it's a pretty close call. 

thurston howell iv

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 01:51:08 PM »
Check out ecomodder.com.

I bet they can show you how to squeeze a few more mpg out of the Corolla!!
I think I'd lean toward the Corolla just because of the whole battery issues/excessive electronics on the Prius... (Not saying it's a bad car but I like to be able to work on my car without an advanced degree in electrical engineering) And, I'm not interested in being beholden to the stealerships for service.

MrsPotts

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 02:21:47 PM »
Three years ago I gave my 2002 Corolla (9 years old with 50K miles on it) to my daughter and I have missed it every day since.   

pucksr

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 02:25:22 PM »
All cars have advanced electronics nowadays.
A battery is perhaps the oldest electrical device in existence!! Can you replace a ceiling fan? Then you can probably handle dealing with a battery.

The one thing about electricity that always surprises me is how much people fear it. Something about electrons being invisible to the naked eye has the common person scared to death of electricity. Plumbing work is 10 times more difficult than electrical work, yet I know tons of people who have done their own plumbing.

Battery is simple. Don't touch the negative to the positive OR provide a path from the negative to the positive.
What does this mean in layman's terms? Don't stick your fingers between the negative and positive terminals.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 05:15:59 PM »
   I had the exact same quandary earlier this month. Was hankering for a Prius, looked around  about $6200 for one with 162K was the very best I could find. Decided that my 1998 Corolla with 191K should be good for a nice long time. 34 mpg is ok enough.

Emg03063

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 06:31:43 PM »
Ironically, I've been thinking about trading my used '06 corolla for a used Prius.  I'd only do it to do a plug in conversion, tho.  http://www.enginer.us/

Nords

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 08:12:11 PM »
Due to military moves, my mileage in the coming 12 months will be closer to 12,000 and yes I plan to keep the vehicle for 7-8 years if possible.
We've been so happy with our 2006 Prius that we bought a 2005 Prius to keep it company.

It's worth checking the maintenance/repair costs on both vehicles.  We've put very little money into the Prius.  While we had to recharge the air conditioning system once, we'll never have to buy a starter motor for it.  The regenerative braking also saves you a lot of brake shoe wear & tear, and frankly you might be happier with an inverter than an alternator.  Corollas are pretty good cars, but look at the numbers and do a test drive.

The tie-breaker question:  can you carry a 10'6" longboard in a Corolla, or would you have to spend extra on a roof rack?

DarinC

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 11:30:37 PM »
I'd get the Prius. You'll spend ~$4-6k less in gas over the next 7-8 years. I got a 2005 a couple years ago and my wife put ~60k miles on it w/ no issues.

Kansaslover5

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 11:35:01 PM »
Thanks everyone for the insightful advice. I think I do prefer the Prius but I really have to find one at the right price/mileage.

rmendpara

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 06:19:42 AM »
I'm debating between a used Toyota Corolla (2008-2010) or a used Prius (2006-2008)....the Prius for the same year/mileage tends to be about $2000 more than a corolla....but the gas savings is significant. I'm not sure which way to go. I care a great deal about reliability and mileage. If I get the Prius I'd likely go for one around $9,000 but that usually comes with well over 100K in miles...meanwhile a nice used Corolla can go for $8,000 and have about 80K on it. What do my fellow mustachians think?

As the Prius ages, I'm not sure if there's much history to know how expensive maintenance will become (may be very cheap, but who knows)?

Right now, you're looking at a Prius between 6-8 years old. That's getting up there for any car, but especially a very technologically involved car like that.

Corollas, on the other hand, seem to age with grace. Very cheap to maintain (oil, tires, transmission fluid, brakes, etc) and great gas mileage (40+ on highway).

Pure numbers, and only driving 12k miles/yr, you won't come out ahead by getting a Prius. If you do, it won't be by much.

However, if you value the hybrid cars, would enjoy it greatly, and plan to keep the car until it breaks down, it likely will not cost you much more...

Over the long term, insurance/maintenance/operating costs will be much more significant than the up front cost.

Perhaps go for a Prius in the 06-08 range (probably won't be much more than $10k), and then junk it in 5 years if it isn't meeting your standards. You live and learn.

CarDude

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 09:34:25 AM »
I'm debating between a used Toyota Corolla (2008-2010) or a used Prius (2006-2008)....the Prius for the same year/mileage tends to be about $2000 more than a corolla....but the gas savings is significant. I'm not sure which way to go. I care a great deal about reliability and mileage. If I get the Prius I'd likely go for one around $9,000 but that usually comes with well over 100K in miles...meanwhile a nice used Corolla can go for $8,000 and have about 80K on it. What do my fellow mustachians think?

I'm popping in to give the car safety perspective. Both cars are similar from a safety perspective, but be absolutely sure that whichever you choose, it has side airbags. Those weren' standard in the Corolla until 2009, while they became standard in the Prius in 2007. They were optional in many of the years you're discussing. For me, that factor would override anything else in the vehicles, as it literally makes a life vs. death difference if you get t-boned.

CarDude

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 09:37:32 AM »
Oh, and presuming both vehicles you were considering did have side airbags, I'd go with the Prius, not because of mpg, since you can hypermile a Corolla to 40 mpg if you pay attention, but because the hatchback is much more useful for hauling things than the sedan design.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 10:03:00 AM »
Oh, and presuming both vehicles you were considering did have side airbags, I'd go with the Prius, not because of mpg, since you can hypermile a Corolla to 40 mpg if you pay attention, but because the hatchback is much more useful for hauling things than the sedan design.

+1   See attached.

Plus, you can camp in it.  http://www.habitents.com/

Kansaslover5

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2014, 10:23:30 AM »
Wow. That is impressive. I didn't realize the Prius was that versatile. Great pictures. Thanks.

peppermint

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2014, 10:34:12 AM »
I was in the same boat -- newer Corolla vs. older Prius, I would have liked to get the Prius, but at my price point the car was getting a bit old for my preferences. I went with a Corolla and have been very happy with it.

If you are the type who likes to change your own oil - there's some change in newer Corollas - I think starting 2009 - that makes the oil filter really difficult to remove yourself which could be maddening if you like to DIY. There's more info on this online.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 10:36:04 AM by peppermint »

thurston howell iv

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2014, 10:50:51 AM »
All cars have advanced electronics nowadays.
A battery is perhaps the oldest electrical device in existence!! Can you replace a ceiling fan? Then you can probably handle dealing with a battery.

The one thing about electricity that always surprises me is how much people fear it. Something about electrons being invisible to the naked eye has the common person scared to death of electricity. Plumbing work is 10 times more difficult than electrical work, yet I know tons of people who have done their own plumbing.

Battery is simple. Don't touch the negative to the positive OR provide a path from the negative to the positive.
What does this mean in layman's terms? Don't stick your fingers between the negative and positive terminals.


I feel that maybe you misunderstood what I was talking about... The Prius has some fancy pants hybrid battery pack that dealers want over $4k to change!!!  Here's a quick article I found about doing it cheaper- only $800!!... http://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2014/04/09/replacing-a-dead-prius-hybrid-battery-doesnt-have-to-cost-thousands-of-dollars/

Nevertheless, while all newer cars have lots of electronics, the hybrids have more. Working on them is sadly, NOT as simple as replacing a ceiling fan... A Corolla, on the other hand, is just a simple combustion engine car that is cheap to maintain and operate.


Jmoody10

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2014, 11:53:56 AM »
I spent quite a bit of time debating between a prius and others like the corolla. Ultimately decided to go with the Prius and spent a few weeks searching everywhere for the right car at the right price. Eventually got a 2007 for $7501 with 95K in miles.

My advice is to set up automated search alerts on craigslist, autotrader, ebay, etc.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2014, 09:56:24 PM »
 From a safety perspective the Prius is 5 stars and highest rated from NHTSA for frontal collisions. It may well be one of the best ever for all I know. My former boss got hit by another car almost head on at 55 mph (other driver fell asleep and hit him almost dead on and he lived with no major injuries. Combined speed of about 100 mph and he was fine except for bruises after they cut him out of the car. The other car was a Dodge minivan of some sort and the driver was DOA. If you saw the Prius after the wreck you would be amazed that the driver was not killed. It surprised me. The Prius is a bad ass piece of engineering in my book.

greaper007

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2014, 11:01:11 PM »
All cars have advanced electronics nowadays.
A battery is perhaps the oldest electrical device in existence!! Can you replace a ceiling fan? Then you can probably handle dealing with a battery.

The one thing about electricity that always surprises me is how much people fear it. Something about electrons being invisible to the naked eye has the common person scared to death of electricity. Plumbing work is 10 times more difficult than electrical work, yet I know tons of people who have done their own plumbing.

Battery is simple. Don't touch the negative to the positive OR provide a path from the negative to the positive.
What does this mean in layman's terms? Don't stick your fingers between the negative and positive terminals.


I feel that maybe you misunderstood what I was talking about... The Prius has some fancy pants hybrid battery pack that dealers want over $4k to change!!!  Here's a quick article I found about doing it cheaper- only $800!!... http://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2014/04/09/replacing-a-dead-prius-hybrid-battery-doesnt-have-to-cost-thousands-of-dollars/

Nevertheless, while all newer cars have lots of electronics, the hybrids have more. Working on them is sadly, NOT as simple as replacing a ceiling fan... A Corolla, on the other hand, is just a simple combustion engine car that is cheap to maintain and operate.

Once you get into the hybrid battery department things start to get a little more complicated.    And considering the high voltage involved with hybrid batteries, I'd do lots of research before I monkeyed around with it.

That being said, I have an 07 Civic Hybrid and have done all the preventative maintenance on the car since we bought it mew.    For 90% of the things you do to the car, it's no different than a non-hybrid car.    Oil changes are straight forward.    The CVT has one drain bolt and you fill it up with the dipstick tube.   I just replaced the front brakes, a much simpler design than my VW and pretty much the same as any disc brake job.   Cabin air filters, engine air filters etc, all the same as a normal ICE.

I do farm out the the brake fluid exchange.   I have the service manual for the car and did a fluid change by myself a few years ago, it was overly complicated though and ran the risk of damaging some very expensive parts if you weren't careful.    I've since decided to pay $100 and let the dealership do it.

I also had the IMA (hybrid battery and brain) replaced under warranty at about 75,000.      If it breaks in the future I'm not sure what I'll decide to do.

DarinC

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2014, 11:39:55 PM »
The IMA battery sticks in Hondas are less robust and more of a pain than the cells in the Prius, but I wouldn't worry about either. Replacing a battery pack is about as hard as replacing an axle in a FWD car. There are a ton of things to fix in most cars that are much harder.

greaper007

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2014, 04:55:08 AM »
The IMA battery sticks in Hondas are less robust and more of a pain than the cells in the Prius, but I wouldn't worry about either. Replacing a battery pack is about as hard as replacing an axle in a FWD car. There are a ton of things to fix in most cars that are much harder.

Yes, but the most affordable option by far is to rebuild the IMA.    I think that comes out to like $500 last time I checked vs $2000+ to buy a rebuilt.   I'd consider doing it, but I'd want to do lots more research first.

pucksr

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2014, 06:52:37 AM »
I guess as someone who tells people how to rebuild batteries...I'm not too worried

FYI...batteries are made of cells. If the sub-unit generates less than 4-volts it is a cell. Tie some cells together and you have a battery.

Sent from my Moto X via Tapatalk
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:02:47 PM by pucksr »

kenmoremmm

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2018, 11:25:17 AM »
i'm reviving this thread to see the action taken by the OP and to see if opinions have changed on buying used priui vs corollas.

some interesting discussion on priuschat:
https://priuschat.com/threads/prius-or-corolla.194901/

i just test drove a 2008 prius 2 last night. 130k miles and $5000. seems like the right price for the mileage. dealer maintained. but, i am concerned with the big ticket repair items like battery and brakes for this kind of age. folks at priuschat are in that same boat, in general. so, not sure what to do just yet.

ematicic

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2018, 11:39:24 AM »
My wife drives her Prius like a rally car. We bought it new in 2010 and it has about 90K miles. The small starter battery needed replaced but no big ticket items. We got the extended warranty but never used it. The efficiency is about only 2mpgs less than when it was new.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2018, 01:24:39 PM »
If you need trunk space and little power go with Prius. Otherwise Corolla is a trouble free beater car.

Prius and Corolla are two different segment cars. I own Prius 2010 (3rd gen) and I love it.

kenmoremmm

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2018, 02:07:13 PM »
sounds like corolla might've had a low period of quality/performance between 2008-2013, yes? once you get to 2014 used, you're starting to pay a premium again for that car and then it's feeling like 2010-2012 prius would be better.

brett44ss

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Re: Used Toyota Corolla vs. Used Toyota Prius
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2018, 02:52:29 PM »


i'm reviving this thread to see the action taken by the OP and to see if opinions have changed on buying used priui vs corollas.

some interesting discussion on priuschat:
https://priuschat.com/threads/prius-or-corolla.194901/

i just test drove a 2008 prius 2 last night. 130k miles and $5000. seems like the right price for the mileage. dealer maintained. but, i am concerned with the big ticket repair items like battery and brakes for this kind of age. folks at priuschat are in that same boat, in general. so, not sure what to do just yet.

I was looking to upgrade from my 93 Corolla (needs some heavy repairs that I want to attempt myself but need a car while it's in the personal shop) and was looking at Prius too. The main battery thing and potential for dying was what turned me off. The fact that if the hybrid battery goes out you can't drive the car (will mess up engine) was a major turn off. Ended up getting a 2003 matrix with 97k miles for 4k :)