- Helping you drive happy

2004-2009 Toyota Prius Pre-owned

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Justin Pritchard
Last-generation Prius suffered mainly minor problems
Regardless of what the average Canadian driver or internal combustion aficionado thinks of hybrid cars, Toyota’s success selling hybrid models like the Camry, Highlander and Prius has been exceptional.

2005 Toyota Prius (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota has sold over a million hybrid models to date-- largely led by their hybrid flagship, the Prius. Said flagship has been updated recently for its third generation on sale in Canada with more features and power-- meaning the second-generation Prius, which arguably put the nameplate on the map, has now transitioned fully into the used car marketplace.The last-generation Prius was on sale from 2004 to 2009 and available solely as a hybrid five-door, front-wheel drive hatchback.

Prius owners are mainly a happy crowd of folks who don’t spend a whole lot of money on gas. Most say their ride offers exceptional fuel economy, great manoeuvrability, a quiet and comfortable ride in the city, and plenty of available high-tech features. Prius owners also benefit from relatively generous interior storage facilities and a set of folding rear seats. Conversely, common complaints include backup visibility, modest-at-best power output and uncomfortable seats.

In all, despite its green intentions, Prius isn’t hugely different to drive than a similarly-sized conventional car.

Not familiar with hybrids but considering one anyhow? Here’s how they work in a nutshell. A Hybrid is driven by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The two help each other out to boost power or improve fuel economy-- depending on the situation. An on-board battery is recharged by a generator that’s driven by the gas engine, so there’s no need to plug the vehicle in. Electric power is stored in the battery pack, and used to propel the vehicle at lower speeds, as well as to assist the small gas engine in providing acceleration when required. Combined output is rated at 110 horsepower.

Prius can also turn its gas engine off when it comes to rest at a traffic light, and can even drive solely on battery power at low speeds. Conversely, when drivers need to accelerate quickly, the electric drive system boosts vehicle performance by adding to the output of the gas engine. Owners report that this unique and fully automatic ‘Hybrid Synergy Drive’ system enables excellent fuel economy and operates smoothly in most any situation.

2006 Toyota Prius (Photo: Toyota)
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert