Used Toyota Prius Hatchback 2003 - 2009 review

Category: Family car

Proves that going green doesn't have to be dull

Toyota Prius Hatchback (03 - 09)
  • Toyota Prius Hatchback (03 - 09)
  • Toyota Prius Hatchback (03 - 09)
Used Toyota Prius Hatchback 2003 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Toyota Prius hatchback like?

The second-generation Prius is more practical with the four-door saloon body of the previous car ditched in favour of this five-door hatchback. True, the boot is not massive, but it can be expanded by folding down the rear seats. And, when those seats are upright, they provide plenty of room for six footers.

As with the previous Prius, you can go green without having to make any sacrifices. The car's low emissions will help you do your bit for the environment and the hybrid electric/petrol powerplant is easy to live with.


Proves that going green doesn't have to be dull

  • Safe, practical family car with high-tech interior and low emissions
  • You'll struggle to match the claimed mpg

The performance is lively enough and fine on A-roads. Unlike its predecessor, this Prius copes well enough with motorway hills, and the ride and handling are on a par with conventional-engined rivals.

Inside, it's all suitably high-tech, which some people will love, but others may take a while to figure out. For instance, there are a total of 16 controls for the stereo, air-con and other functions on the steering wheel.

Ownership cost

What used Toyota Prius hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Toyota Prius hatchback?

The Prius's official 65.7mpg fuel economy looks fantastic and compares very favourably with rivals. Toyota's excellent 2.0 D-4D turbodiesel, found in the Corolla, returns 49.6mpg while Honda's 1.3i-VTEC petrol/electric hybrid Civic claims 61.4mpg.

However, it's not all quite as sweet as it sounds. As with any car, obtaining the official claimed mpg is near to impossible and if you can get mid-50s mpg you'll be doing very well indeed. Also disappointing is the fact that insurance, at group 8, is pricier than what you'll pay to cover the Corolla or the Civic. However, the big drawback as the miles begin to mount will be the cost of replacing the Prius's very expensive battery. At least you have the assurances of the 100,000 mile, eight-year powertrain warranty.

At least, the Prius will prove cheaper to service than its aforementioned rivals, although remember you will have to take it to an official Toyota dealer.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota Prius hatchback should I buy?

There are three diferent trim levels to choose from, and even the base T3 comes with excellent safety kit. Eight airbags are standard, as are anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and Toyota's vehicle stability control. Climate control, all-round electric windows, a CD player and electric windows are also part of the standard package.

Step up to T4 and you get cruise control, front foglamps and a six-disc CD autochanger. The T-Spirit is the top version and gets a sophisticated sat-nav system complete with voice control and a Bluetooth interface to hook up to your mobile phone.

We'd go for the entry-level spec. The used car section of your local dealer is a good place to start looking.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota Prius hatchback?