The OG of hybrids, the Prius has now been around for two decades. In that time it's spawned some other variants such as the Prius C, Prius V, Prius Prime, and Prius Plug-in.

Over the years owners have made tons of headlight and brakes complaints. You can read up on its history of poor braking performance in the 3rd generation and headlights that flat out stink.

Most Common Prius Complaints

headlight randomly turns off while driving
This Lights problem has been made 135 times by 2007 model year owners.
excessive oil consumption
This Engine problem has been made 130 times by 2010 model year owners.
headlights malfunctioning
This Lights problem has been made 83 times by 2008 model year owners.
headlights go off occasionally
This Lights problem has been made 79 times by 2006 model year owners.
intermittent headlight failure
This Lights problem has been made 67 times by 2008 model year owners.
lights stopped working
This Lights problem has been made 43 times by 2010 model year owners.

Prius Generations

The Prius has 4 generations. Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, using similar engineering and shared features. Generation data isn't always cut-and-dry and is often different for different countries. When in doubt, we use North American generation data.

  1. 4 Generation Prius (2016—2019)

    This generation ranks 91 in reliability out of 103 generations.

  2. 3 Generation Prius (2010—2015)

    This generation ranks 100 in reliability out of 103 generations.

  3. 2 Generation Prius (2004—2009)

    This generation ranks 95 in reliability out of 103 generations.

  4. 1 Generation Prius (2000—2003)

    This generation ranks 70 in reliability out of 103 generations.

News About the Prius

Busted Parking Brakes in Prius

 — Toyota is being skimpy on the details, but they did announce a parking brake recall for the 2016 and 2017 Prius. Dealers will add some clips to the top of the brake cable dust boots to hold things in place. Owners should start getting notices in November 2016.

Prius Airbags Can Deploy At Any Time

 — 2016 has not been a favorable year for airbags. Some deploy with too much force. Some don't deploy during crashes. And then some, like those in the 2016 Prius, can deploy at any random time --- even if the car is parked, turned off, and unoccupied.

7 Hybrids to Avoid in 2016

 — A list of seven hybrids to avoid buying if you were in the market for a used car. They aren't necessarily hybrids from the 2016 model year (although they can be), but just the cars that were the biggest pains to own this year.

Prius Part of Seat Heater Recall

 — How hot do you like your seat heater in the winter? If you like it really toasty — as in, with an actual flame — you’ll probably love one of 7,700 Toyota vehicles, including the Prius, with seat heaters that catch on fire.

Toyota Prius Mileage Lawsuit Not Out of Gas

 — Toyota once said that the Prius is “harmony between man, nature and machine” but that all sounds a bit out of tune to Greg Reynante. Mr. Reynante filed a lawsuit alleging Toyota deliberately misled consumers about the fuel efficiency of the 2004–2007 Prius. The lawsuit says the manufacturer ignored factors such as weather, air conditioning and other things that can hurt MPGs. Toyota says it followed the EPA guidelines.

Prius Gas Tank Shrinkage

 — Does the the Toyota Prius have a 'shrinkage' problem? A class-action lawsuit claims the gas tank in the 2004-09 Prius can shrink when it gets cold outside.

Prius Recalled for Steering and Water Pump Issues

 — Two recalls for the price of one! That's what some of you lucky Prius owners from the 2004-2009 model years have to look forward to. Toyota recently announced the steering intermediate extension shafts in 670,000 Prius cars sold in then U.S. need to be inspected and possibly replaced. Of those 670,000 vehicles, 350,000 will also need to have an electric water pump replaced.