19 Best & Worst Toyota Prius Years | 2023 Rated

Source: Carbodydesign

The Toyota Prius has become an icon for all hybrid vehicles. It is widely believed that it paved the way for today’s widespread adoption of hybrid and electric automobiles. Bloomberg reports that with sales of 247,230 units, the Toyota Prius has become the third best-selling hybrid car.

So, which Prius model year is the worst and which is best? Data from famous websites highlights a few different Toyota Prius model years as the most reliable options.

The model years from 2005-2008 and 2010-2012 are the worst Toyota Prius years. The best model years of Toyota Prius include 2003, 2004, 2009, 2015-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book reviews.

What Are The Worst Years Of Toyota Prius?

Even though the Toyota Prius is a great car, it has also been the target of several complaints and problems over the years. The following production years should be avoided at all costs.

#7 Worst Year: 2008 Toyota Prius (4.01 Rating)

Source: Motortrend

2008 Toyota Prius is ranked as the least worst model year due to a number of electronic problems, while the most common ones were the headlights suddenly turning out or flickering.

One owner said that the Prius’s gauge cluster was broken, so the vehicle could never show the speedometer, fuel meter, headlight indicators, warning indications, or any other status updates.

Common problems:

  • Faulty Headlights
  • Intermittent headlight failure
  • High oil consumption

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#6 Worst Year: 2011 Toyota Prius (3.96 Rating)

Source: my-car-pictures

CarComplaints.com gave the 2011 Toyota Prius the notorious “Avoid like the plague” title because of numerous complaints about the vehicle’s service brakes, electrical system, and outside lights. According to reports, there was a higher rate of accidents, traced to the conventional brakes’ inability to activate.

Common problems:

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#5 Worst Year: 2005 Toyota Prius (3.91 Rating)

Source: Toyota

The 2005 Toyota Prius had many problems with its headlights. Several people complained that even after they switched out the bulbs, the vehicle’s headlights still wouldn’t always turn on.

Some drivers have even reported that their lights began to flicker during a trip, making for a terrifying ordeal behind the wheel.

Common problems:

  • Headlights turn off automatically
  • Hybrid battery died
  • Headlights burn out repeatedly

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#4 Worst Year: 2012 Toyota Prius (3.88 Rating)

Source: Caricos

Even though the 2012 model had fewer issues upon release than its forerunners, you should still avoid it. Several reports at the time said that applying the brakes on a 2012 Toyota Prius caused severe vibrations and triggered various warning lights.

While most Toyota Prius models developed issues after 100,000 miles, this vehicle started having issues before 15,000 miles. That’s a huge red flag for anyone hoping to use this car in the long run.

Common problems:

  • Brake failure
  • The car will not start
  • Faulty Entune (application) system

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#3 Worst Year: 2006 Toyota Prius (3.87 Rating)

Source: iihs

The 2006 Toyota Prius shared the same issues as the models before and after it. The vehicle’s headlights frequently fail due to burnout or ballast failure. It is one of the Pirus models you should avoid.

Owners complained that this was both a legal and safety issue because it is against the law to operate a vehicle with defective headlights.

Common problems:

  • Faulty headlights
  • High oil consumption
  • Faulty computers

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#2 Worst Year: 2007 Toyota Prius (3.79 Rating)

Source: Cars.com

The 2007 Prius is widely considered to be one of the least reliable examples of Toyota’s hybrid car. This vehicle’s primary flaw is its intermittent headlamp failure. Some reports claimed that the headlight and taillight bulbs in the 2007 Toyota Prius burnt out unexpectedly quickly.

It was determined that this posed a serious threat to public safety because it would reduce the driver’s visibility, especially at night.

Common problems:

  • Headlight randomly turns off
  • Headlights burn out prematurely
  • Check the engine light on 

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#1 Worst Year: 2010 Toyota Prius (3.12 Rating)

Source: The car connection

The 2010 Prius is statistically the worst Prius model year ever produced, with excessive faults and complaints from the entire lineup. CarComplaints.com strongly recommends that you stay away from this model year. It is just like a plague.

Consumers are highly recommended to avoid the 2010 Toyota Prius due to excessive oil consumption and master cylinder failure. These issues can be frustrating and costly for car owners, leading to engine damage, decreased performance, and potentially dangerous brake failure.

The most severe mechanical problem was the brakes’ chronic inability to activate, which posed an extreme risk to the driver and passengers.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Paint peeling
  • Master cylinder failed 

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

What Are The Best Years Of Toyota Prius?

We’ve compiled a list of the top Prius model years. These years of Toyota Pirus deserve the title of best of the best.

#12 Best Year: 2004 Toyota Prius (4.07 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2004 Toyota Prius has many positive features, making it a great choice for car buyers. With outstanding gas mileage and ultralow emissions, the Prius is an eco-friendly option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

In addition to its environmental benefits, the 2004 Prius also offers a reasonable price point and excellent build quality. Its hybrid powertrain is reliable and responsive, providing a smooth driving experience.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#11 Best Year: 2009 Toyota Prius (4.08 Rating)

Source: freeremoteinstructions

The 2009 Toyota Prius is an excellent car with many positive attributes. Its outstanding fuel economy is one of its most vital points, making it a practical choice for those looking to save money at the pump.

The cabin of this car is roomy enough to accommodate the driver and any passengers. Because of its diminutive stature, you’ll have no trouble navigating narrow streets and parking garages.

It offers high-tech and luxury features like a navigation system and leather upholstery.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#10 Best Year: 2016 Toyota Prius (4.18 Rating)

Source: Carwow

There are many positive things about the 2016 Toyota Prius. Its excellent gas mileage is a major selling factor, making it a smart purchase for budget-conscious consumers.

The 2016 Prius is much faster and more refined than previous models, making even long trips enjoyable. Furthermore, the 2016 Prius’ driving position is much more relaxed and open, making it more accessible to drivers of different heights.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#9 Best Year: 2015 Toyota Prius (4.25 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2015 Prius is known for its good gas mileage, spacious rear seats, and relaxing drive. The 2015 model is already a few years old, but it is still a good option for most people and has been met with a few significant complaints.

Adding a rearview camera as standard equipment across all trim levels significantly improves this model.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#8 Best Year: 2019 Toyota Prius (4.27 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2019 Prius is well-received by professional automotive reviewers and average car buyers. The 2019 model year brought a slightly updated exterior and a new all-wheel-drive variant to appeal to a broader audience.

Changes to the front and back bumpers, new color options, and upgraded wheel styles are just some of the aesthetic enhancements.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#7 Best Year: 2017 Toyota Prius (4.32 Rating)

Source: meinauto.de

The 2016 Toyota Prius underwent the most significant redesign, but it has not been without its hiccups. On the other hand, the redesigned design, enhanced ride quality, and roomy cabin of the 2017 Toyota Prius solved these problems.

It delivers impressive fuel economy, with 50-plus miles per gallon capability. It also provides a comfortable and safe driving experience with a quiet cabin, easy maneuverability, and high-tech safety features.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#6 Best Year: 2003 Toyota Prius (4.45 Rating)

Source: Toyota

No substantial changes were made to the 2003 Toyota Prius from prior model years, yet the model year 2003 makes the cut due to high consumer ratings and a notably low amount of complaints and recalls.

Even though it’s an older model, the 2003 Toyota Prius is still a top pick because of its low gas use. This car has the potential for gas mileage comparable to a marathon, which can add to significant cost savings over time. The interior of the 2003 Prius is spacious and pleasant.

Related: 25 Best Gas Mileage Cars For 2023 (Economical & Efficient)

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#5 Best Year: 2022 Toyota Prius (4.54 Rating)

Source: Motor.es

It’s to be expected that the most recent Prius models would also be among the best vehicles. These Prius models offer the highest technological sophistication, with cutting-edge driver aids and safety equipment.

Solver, midnight black, and super white were the three metallic color options for the 2022 Prius’s new Nightshade trim inspired by other Toyota vehicles.

The front-wheel-drive variants of this vehicle ride on alloy wheels measuring 17 inches in diameter, while the all-wheel-drive variants ride on wheels measuring 15 inches in diameter.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#4 Best Year: 2020 Toyota Prius (4.56 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2020 Toyota Prius is a continuation of the fourth generation of the Prius that began in 2016. Aside from a standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the 2020 Toyota Prius looked and felt very similar to the 2019 model year.

However, the touchscreen size was increased to 11.6 inches for the special edition models. Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay were integrated into the infotainment system as well, expanding the system’s reach and functionality.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#3 Best Year: 2021 Toyota Prius (4.67 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2021 Prius continues the tradition of providing a trustworthy and economical vehicle. The new Prius has a 1.8-liter inline-four petrol engine and two electric motors that together generate 121 horsepower.

Automatic high-beam headlights and pedestrian/bicycle detection systems are now standard on all vehicles of this model year.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#2 Best Year: 2023 Toyota Prius (4.73 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2023 Toyota Prius is a game-changer, proving that efficiency doesn’t have to come at the expense of style. This car turns heads on the road with a redesigned exterior and sleek new features.

It’s not just a pretty face – the 2023 Prius packs a punch with sturdy acceleration and easy handling for highway driving. The driver aids in the 2023 Prius are also top-notch, with intuitive technology that keeps you safe and secure on the road.

With all these impressive features, it’s no wonder that the 2023 Toyota Prius has been named the #1 Best Hatchback of 2023.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

#1 Best Year: 2018 Toyota Prius (4.82 Rating)

Source: autoevolution

The 2018 Toyota Prius is a testament to the quality and reliability that Toyota is known for, and it’s no wonder that it’s considered the number one best Prius model. With a near-perfect track record of zero recalls and only one complaint, this car has set the standard for what a hybrid vehicle should be.

This car’s most significant selling point is its impressive fuel efficiency. Capable of returning 50-plus miles per gallon, this car is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.

The 2018 Prius also boasts a quiet cabin, even when the gas engine is engaged. This car is easy to see out of and maneuver around town, making it a breeze to park and navigate through traffic.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:


1. What Are The Common Problems Of Toyota Prius?

Although some of the worst models of Toyota Prius have numerous problems. Some of the highest observed ones are displayed below:

  • High oil consumption
  • Headlights flickering
  • Brake failure
  • Paint peeling
  • Windshield cracks easily

2. What Are The Closest Competitors Of Toyota Prius?

The closest competitors of Toyota Prius are:

  • Honda Insight
  • Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
  • Toyota Avalon Hybrid
  • Toyota Corolla Hybrid
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid

Related: Toyota Camry Problems (Common Issues And Fixes)

3. How Long Will Toyota Prius Last?

How long your car lasts is directly proportional to the amount of care you give it. Still, a Prius is a Toyota, so it should outlast any other vehicle in terms of mileage. The average lifespan of a Toyota Prius ranges from 200,000 to 250,000 miles.

4. Toyota Prius Vs. Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Which Is Better?

Despite its electric drivetrain, the Prius has few engine and transmission choices. Alternatively, the Corolla has a wide range of customization choices. Moreover, the Prius is a little more costly. In the end, a Toyota Corolla wins over Toyota Prius.


After comparing and assessing 19 different years of Toyota Prius, we’ve settled on the 2018 model as the best overall because of its excellent fuel economy, responsive handling, and a suite of included safety equipment.

However, the 2010 Prius has been singled out as the worst model year due to complaints about excessive oil consumption, paint peeling, and unreliability.

If you’re thinking about buying a Toyota Prius, it’s recommended to do some research and take a few test drives of different model years before making a final decision.

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