2009 Toyota Prius


Pros: The 2009 is more recognizably a hybrid

Cons: The 2009 seems to get the same mileage as our 2001

I have friends with Priuses (Prions?) up to 2007 and all report about the same mileage as our old recycled 2001 model. We get 50 to 55 mpg in the summer, far less in the winter, and average about 43-44 mpg year-round here in the frigid midwest, burning 10% mileage-robbing ethanol. If it's not a plug-in yet, what's the big deal?


Pros: Excellent gas mileage, cool technology, it's a Toyota, green cred

Cons: People don't respect you in traffic, it's not a plug-in

First of all, we bought this car in 10/2008, at just about the wrong time.

Gas was still $3.50 per gallon, the waiting lists were still four months out, and we were happy to find a loaded Prius that someone had decided not to buy. We paid MSRP. The following week, all the news about bank failures and credit default swap obligations came out. A month later, gas was below $2 a gallon and all of a sudden, you could get a Prius for thousands less. To add insult to injury, the state of Utah introduced a $2500 tax credit for hybrids, but only for vehicles purchased after 1/1/09.

That said, we love the car. My wife is a Realtor who specializes in green and energy efficient homes, so it's almost a requirement that we have a Prius.

We get around 50 mpg when the weather is warm, and average closer to 43 mpg during the coldest part of the Salt Lake winter. I'll be curious to see what happens during the hot months still to come.

I'm amazed at how much torque the electric motor adds when driving up our steep mountain roads. Little Cottonwood Canyon is the road to Alta and Snowbird and I got about 37 mpg round trip when driving that road in the winter. I was able to drive the Prius up that canyon as fast as I wished to (and I do like to drive fast). I-80, the road to Park City, runs up Parleys Canyon - and I can keep a sustained 75 mph up the steepest part of that freeway, with bursts of power for passing, as long as the battery still has some charge in it.

That's not normally the way I drive - I usually like to make a game of keeping the average MPG as high as possible, to the point of infuriating my passengers sometimes.

We only have 7,000 miles on the car so far, so we can't judge reliability, but we did wait to buy the Prius for a long time. We wanted to see how they would perform after 200-300K miles and 10+ years, and the results looked really good, so we jumped in. We also chose the 2009 because the model was in its sixth year of production. I expect there will be some bugs in the 2010 model, even though it is a Toyota.

My wife actually *hated* the Prius the first time we rented one on a trip, back in 2004. I'm a technophile, so I thought it was the height of cool. We both liked the gas mileage, so we kept renting them on trips. Eventually, she grew to love the car, and she was the one who ended up making the big push for the Prius when it came time to buy a new car.

I think now is an ideal time to buy a 2009 Prius!


Pros: Good Mileage, Extremely Practical, Lots of Storage, Smart Key System

Cons: Vague Steering, Could use an electric only mode


This is my second Prius.  The first was a 2008 that I had for about 14 months and 26K miles before it was totaled.  A pickup t-boned us doing irreparable damage to the car.  Luckily all of the safety features worked great.  The side curtain airbags did their job.  My wife was in the passenger seat and my daughter in a carseat in the back.  We all walked away without a scratch.


I traded in a sporty 30mpg '99 Honda Civic Si for the Prius and can definitely say that the Prius is not a sports car.  Of course, I knew that going in.  I don't understand why a lot of professional reviewers can't figure that out.  I have no problem with the performance of the Prius.  I have never felt that it was under powered but that could be because I have adjusted my driving to compensate.  Instead of trying to beat that semi on the on-ramp to the freeway, I'll go easy and merge after it.  Conveniently, that leads to better mileage as well.

Handling isn't spectacular.  I can't say the car is confidence inspiring while going around a fast corner.  What I do know is slow down.  Problem solved!  Every once-in-awhile, I miss the sporty handling, but giving it up is a small price to pay for great mileage.  Braking is good.  I can kind of feel where the line between regenerative braking and traditional braking is and try to keep the braking easy to maximize the regenerative energy capture. The only real complaint I have is the steering is vague which makes it kind of hard to keep from wandering around your lane on the freeway.


Highest possible marks here.  I've now had two different Priuses and not a single problem with either one.


My primary reason for getting this car in the first place was the mileage.  At the time, nothing else on the market came close.  I have studied my mileage extensively and learned a few things.  Temperature has a big impact on mileage.  In Winter (temperatures around and below freezing) I get about 45 mpg on my usual commute (90% freeway with some occasional stop and go).  Mileage seems to peak when the outside temperature gets to about 70F, where I routinely get about 55 mpg on the same route.  Occasionally I'll get a good week with a lot of miles behind a semi that pushes the milage up to about 57 or so.  Around town mileage seems to suffer a lot.  Making trips to the grocery store and the like always seems to drop the average.  Similary, how you drive does make a big impact on mileage.  I tend to get about 3 or 4 MPG better than my wife does.  She hates it when I point this out!   I think the mileage could be improved a lot if the car would stay in pure electric mode during acceleration unless you really got on the gas hard.  It is kind of tough to accelerate without having the gas engine kick on.


Next to the mileage, this was the second most important factor in my purchasing decision.  The hatchback configuration very convenient.  The back seat is plenty roomy for adults, though fitting 3 in the back is a little tight.  The 60/40 split folding seats are very useful.  I can fit my bike in the back with the 60% side folded down and leave my daughter's car seat installed on the 40% side.  There is also a huge amount of storage space in the car.  The center console between the seats is huge and has a convenient accessory outlet and auxillary audio input to the stereo.  There is a secret slide out drawer at the front of the console,  a storage slot in the dash beneath the display, two glove boxes, side pockets, and a sunglass holder.  The only thing missing is cupholders in the back.

The smart key system deserves special mention here.  I love it and don't think I can have a car without it again.  You don't have to take the key out of your pocket to get in the car or drive it.  Just grab the door handle and it unlocks.  I guess the one downside is it makes for a big key fob.  

I do wish the car had a telescoping steering wheel.  I must have either short arms or long legs.  If I get the seat adjusted so my feet are comfortable on the pedals, the steering wheel is too far away.


This is not just a high mileage hybrid, this is a very polished car.  You really don't have to compromise to get good mileage AND a nice car.  Its got a very reasonable price to boot.


Pros: Great mileage! Nice appointments

Cons: None

This is an '09 with the level 4 package.  The car was delivered with the tires 15# over inflated which made the handling bad, but once that was rectified, it has been great.  I actually paid my '03 C230 MB coupe plus $17,000.  I have been getting about 48 mpg even on freeway trips of 400 miles at 72 mph.  There is plenty of room for four people.  You can fit 3 in the back, but one should be a child.  The center is less comfortable.  Most of the controls are located on the steering wheel, which is convenient.


Pros: Dependable, lots of room, economical to drive

Cons: Rough to take on a long trip with full passenger seats

I purchased a used 2005 Prius with package 6 from milan on ebay. I can highly recommend his vehicles even though they have salvage titles. I was able to purchase this Prius with 9,500 miles for $18,500 in 2006. I flew to Houston to take delivery and was very impressed with the quality of the vehicle. I could not see any visible repair and body parts were nicely fitted. I later noticed a wheel about 1/4" bent when tires were replaced and metal screws in the inner body panels of the front fenders and bumper areas. This was noted when I had a halogen headlight replaced at a local dealer. The vehicle definitely had been repaired due to accident damage. I did have to have the Prius checked by a State Inspection officer here in WI and he did a complete inspection of the vehicle even to the point of putting it on a hoist to inspect the underside and watch it drive down the street for proper tracking of the wheel alignment. We now have 75,000 miles on the Prius and have had no problems other than the headlamp which is expensive when halogen headlamps are involved. A bulb costs $320 and if the automatic leveling device needs adjustment the cost at a dealer can approach $1,000 for headlight repair!
  I had purchased the salvage title vehicle with the intention of converting to a PHEV sometime in the future. The $9,500 price of an upgrade has prevented us attempting that, but lower priced options in the $3,500 range are available if I would do much of the work myself. I am not so inclined at the present time although I am a mechanic. The Prius is being used constantly so it does not stand still long enough to lay it up for doing the upgrade.
  My children took it on a trip to Niagra Falls & New York last year and were disappointed with the firm ride on a long distance trip with luggage and 5 persons on board. Their behinds got very sore several hundred miles down the road, but the fuel mileage was great.
   I had driven 1 of the original Prius models before the hatchback with fold down rear seat was an option and decided to wait for that feature. It is amazing what the Prius can haul with that arrangement. It is a larger car than many people realize and we have enjoyed driving it. The GPS system is not as good as the Garmin portable we use and would like to upgrade that if possible.


Pros: gas mileage, quiet, roomy interior, performance

Cons: uncomfortable front seat

I really like my Prius, I have package 2.  would recommend to anyone. Love that the seats go down for more room in back. Of course the camera in the back is also a great convience.
Toyota service is excellent also.
2009 Toyota Prius

The 2009 Prius is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in 3 trims, ranging from the Base to the Touring.... read more Upon introduction, both trims are equipped with a standard 1.5-liter, I4, 110-horsepower, hybrid engine that achieves 48-mpg in the city and 45-mpg on the highway. A variable speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard. The 2009 Prius is a carryover from 2008. The ‘09 Prius debuted at the January, 2009 Detroit Auto Show. It's not a plug-in version just yet - the first plug-in Prius is anticipated in the 2010 model year. Accordingly, the '09 version uses nickel metal hydride (NiMh) batteries.

Engine1.8 liter gasoline, electric motor
Additional FeaturesNiMh batteries
Fuel Economy Hwy (MPG)50+ mpg
Fuel TypeGas/Electric Hybrid
Fuel Economy City (MPG)50+ mpg
Body TypeHatchback
Top Speed100+ mph
Release DateJanuary 2009
Release StatusAvailable
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

2009 Prius


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 2009 Toyota Prius Performance Review


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