Best & Worst Toyota Prius Years To Avoid

When we think of a full hybrid car, Toyota Prius is one of the names that come to our minds. It is a popular car, especially in this category. Who doesn’t want to have a vehicle that is eco-friendly; even though Toyota Prius is not completely green, it still is great for less pollution.

However, we know that Toyota is always a brand you should go for, especially the Prius series, yet not all the years are equally manufactured, and they do not perform at their best. Due to this, you need to know that there are some years you have to stay away from and avoid.

Accordingly, this is the right place where you can read for the years that should be avoided and also for the best Toyota Prius years that are worth purchasing. Read on!

Key Takeaways


  • The first Toyota Prius model was launched in 1997, and they are still available in the market with some excellent improvements.
  • Toyota Prius is a full-hybrid car that is eco-friendly, and this is the main reason many people prefer it.
  • Before making a purchase, you should check out which years you need to avoid since some particular years Toyota Prius is not worth buying.
  • The years you should avoid Toyota Prius, are 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
  • Cars launched in these years have many issues, such as engines, cracking windshields, brakes, and air conditioning problems.

Which Toyota Prius Years You Should Avoid?

Considering the fact that the Toyota Prius is always a great idea if you want to have a full hybrid car, yet again, some specific years of this model are better to be avoided since they come with various issues.

Even a brand like Toyota can have some periods when they are not able to provide the best for their customers. Basically, you should always pay attention to this and try to avoid those years such as 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

These years have many in common problems that Toyota wasn’t able to fix for extended periods, unfortunately. Many drivers that had Toyota Prius these years, complained about the same issues, which I will mention in detail.

Also Read: Which Years of  Acura RDX You Should  Avoid

Common Problems Found In Toyota Prius

Instead of discussing all the years you need to avoid one by one, I will mention what are the issues, that most people struggled with in these years since they share many common problems.

Most of the vehicles launched in these years, especially in 2010 and 2011, are listed as the worst of Toyota Prius. The Toyota Prius of 2011 had many serious engine problems, which is the worst case that can happen.

Excessive Fuel consumption

One thing that most people complained about when they had the Toyota Prius that was launched in those problematic years was the rapid fuel consumption. This was the biggest drawback of the vehicle since they needed to spend a lot of money on it, and it never was sufficient.

More exactly, the Toyota Prius had some issues with the pistol rings indicating excessive fuel consumption. Many people struggled with this lot, and Toyota wasn’t able to fix the issue for extended years. Sincerely nobody wants to have a car that has such a problem because it affects your budget.

Electrical Wiring Problems

Besides the rapid fuel consumption, Toyota Prius these years you need to avoid also had some electrical wiring issues, which were worth discussing. People complained most of the time, and there were only negative comments.

Because the Toyota Prius is an eco-friendly car, the manufacturer changed the wiring of the car. What I mean is; that instead of common plastic coating, they use soya-coated wires, which are prone to some rodents that might eat the coating.

Accordingly, soya coating refers to protective insulation, and when rodents eat that, the wires immediately become dangerous. Honestly, this was one of the main problems that people had to deal with.

Brake Issues

Brakes are the most crucial parts of a vehicle, and we always avoid purchasing cars that have some issues regarding brakes. However, Toyota Prius also had some brake problems that most people complained about.

The braking system wasn’t well built and after some period, let’s say after driving 100,000 miles, most drivers found out that the brake system was down.

Air Conditioner Problems

What is next? Some air conditioning issues that I must discuss. Surprisingly, a massive number of drivers complained about the air conditioning. They noticed that once they turned on the air conditioning, there was an unpleasant smell which most likely was caused due to the blocked drain pipes.

Cracked Windshield

Another significant issue with the Toyota Prius was the windshield. It wasn’t well built, indicating that it was prone to cracking.

There were many frustrated drivers that grumbled about this case lot, and they stated that besides the cracking, it also spread very quickly, and they needed to change the windshield completely.

Engine Issues

Engine issues were available almost in all the years you need to avoid, yet again it was specifically dominating in the 2010 model.

Overheating was one of the most common issues related to the engine, and this was the key reason why owners of the Toyota Prius had so much to complain about. Some other issues strongly related to the engine were stalling, blown head gasket, and so on.

Also Read: Which Years of  Toyota RAV4 You Should  Avoid

Best Toyota Prius Years

The issues I mentioned are only found in those years that you need to avoid. However, there are some specific years the Toyota Prius is at its top form and provides maximum quality.

So, when you are about to purchase a Toyota Prius better check out the years that promise a lot and come at their best form. The best years of Toyota Prius are 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. 

Even though some of them are older models, they are better than the new ones that come with the package of issues. Especially the years like 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 have all that you require, and they will perform perfectly, so you don’t have to deal with anything.

Also Read: Which Years of  GMC Acadia You Should  Avoid

Final Words

Toyota is worth considering the brand whenever you need a great car, especially if you want to have a full-hybrid vehicle, then the Toyota Prius is what you should go for. However, there are some aspects that you must pay attention to make the right choice.

Some years of the Toyota Prius suck; you have to avoid those years due to many reasons. This was all; I hope you liked what you read and it was clear enough!