Out of curiosity, I pulled up the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s safercar.gov web site to compare a 2001 Toyota Prius, a 2005 Toyota Prius, and a 2004 Subaru Forester side-by-side. The results are interesting — the 2005 Prius is only slightly less safe than the Forester and an obvious improvement over the 2001.
What brought this on? A 2001 Toyota Prius has been on eBay for the last couple weeks under a couple different item numbers, first listed at $11,980 (item #4555762203, Buy it Now price) and now listed at $11,480 (item #4557663223, Buy it Now price). The recommended MSRP is much higher — around $17,000 for that particular vehicle (the auction says $16,000, but I’m being a bit more generous and tagging on an extra thousand).
So here’s the question looking at those auctions inspires for me. The car has roughly 92,000 miles on it, but I’m curious whether that kind of mileage should be a negative when considering purchasing full hybrids like the Prius. On a normal ICE, I wouldn’t dare go anywhere near that car with a 25-foot pole. However, since Priuses are gasoline/electric, there isn’t as much wear and tear on the gas engine, so it seems like reliability would be just as good as if the car had roughly 50,000-60,000 miles on it. No proof to back up that wild guess, but it would be interesting to see data on this.