Should You Buy a 2002 Prius?

The 2002 Prius maintains many of the features of the 2001 model but with a bit more pep in its step.
Written by Brad Marley
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 16, 2022
The 2002 Prius is an extension of the previous year’s model, albeit with a little more giddy-up. Two decades after its release, it still delivers on fuel efficiency, just like it did when it emerged on the scene. And with an average price tag of around $3,600, it’s a worthy investment.
The 2002
Toyota Prius
picks up where the 2001 model left off the year before. After debuting in Japan in 1997, Toyota brought the Prius to America, where it sold 41,300 first-generation models. The next version was positioned to build upon that success.
Just like its predecessor, it doesn’t come with much in the looks department. A Prius is for the eco-conscious who want to spend less money on fuel. In this case, the Prius delivers again.
If you’re in the market for a used Prius, you might be looking at the 2002 model year, which was part of the first generation of Prius. To give you the deets on one of the first hybrids to hit American shores,
car insurance
super app
Jerry
has created a guide to the 2002 Prius. 
We’ll cover all the important specs, the benefits and drawbacks of buying used, and some simple hacks for saving on Prius insurance with Jerry’s
expert help

Is the 2002 Prius worth it?

It is.
It’s an affordable car with a fair market price range coming in at anywhere from $2,800 to $4,600. While it doesn’t turn heads, it gets the job done on the road with its excellent fuel economy, which is without a doubt the top trait possible Prius buyers are looking for. 
It also has low depreciation rates when it comes to
green cars
, making it a good choice for a used hybrid. But is the 2002 Prius worth buying used? Let’s take a closer look at that model year. 

Cost

It’s not going to cost an arm and a leg to get behind the wheel of the 2002 Prius. Used models run anywhere from $2,800 to $4,600, depending on the car’s condition, mileage, and location, among other factors. 
For a hybrid-electric that’s been on the market for two decades and still holds up, that’s quite affordable. The Prius value holds well and should continue to do so, even as newer models get introduced and hit the market.
Here’s how Kelley Blue Book predicted the fair market range for the 2002 Prius sedan:
Trim level
Fair market range (dealership)
Typical dealership listing
Private party
2002 Toyota Prius
$2,800-$4,600
$4,100
$3,700
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The cost to buy a 2002 Toyota Prius sedan is just about one-fifth of the cost of a new 2022 Toyota Prius. If a new version isn’t in your budget, this used version can suffice. You can put the money you save at the pump in your piggy bank for a new car down the road.

Specs and performance

You won’t see the 2002 Prius entering any drag races behind the old middle school. The 4-cylinder hybrid engine was designed to emit 1,400 horsepower and go from zero to 60 in about 13 seconds, the same time as the previous year’s version.
The 2002 Prius also gets 41-42 mpg combined, which is nothing to sneeze at. This efficiency was great for its time, and it still is. 
Even though the exterior remained largely the same from the 2001 model, and the interior wasn’t much in the way of creature comforts, it will still get you from point A to point B and save you money in fuel along the way.

Complaints

According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
and
CarComplaints.com
, there have only been 192 official complaints about the Prius. Most of them revolved around steering and brake problems
The most significant issue that arose with the 2002 Prius had to do with steering issues where the power steering failed or the wheel locked up while driving. These events happened often enough that it’s worth noting.

The bottom line: a reliable choice

Two decades on, the 2002 Prius is still a decent choice if you’re looking for an electric hybrid that will help you save money on gas. Combined with an affordable price tag, it’s a solid option while you work your way toward buying something brand new down the road.

Is it better to buy a used Prius or a new Prius?

The right choice for you will depend on your priorities. What’s most important to you? Cost? Efficiency? Safety?
If you’re most concerned with saving money, then you’ll probably want to buy used. You can find a used 2002 Prius in good condition for $2,800 to $4,600—a significantly better deal than the $25,000 2022 Prius. 
If you can afford a nicer car, you might want to look into buying a new Prius. The 2002 models pale in comparison to the models of today. USB ports, heads-up driving displays, and a touchscreen monitor are just a few of the advancements.
If you want to
customize your Prius
, then buying a new model is your best bet, although you can still test out some
cheap and easy mods
to help personalize your used Prius. 
If your lone goal is to cut down on fuel costs, the 2002 Toyota Prius is going to do that for you at a low cost of entry. It gets 42 mpg in the city/41 on the highway and 42 mpg combined, just like the 2001 model.

Pros and cons of owning a Prius

Pros 

Prius models are generally considered to be reliable, efficient, and affordable. They earn solid reliability ratings, and you can find both new and used Prius models on several
most reliable vehicle
lists. 

Cons 

The downsides mostly relate to styling, speed, and comfort—but that’s a driver’s preference. If you’re not concerned with jamming a large family into the Prius, then aesthetics might not matter.
If you want to set land speed records, look elsewhere. It takes nearly 13 seconds to go from zero to sixty, so no one is buying a Prius as the next step to becoming a race car driver. If you think a slow car is going to frustrate you, check out quicker hybrids like the
Honda Insight
.  

How to find the best Prius insurance

No matter which Prius you choose, a car this unique deserves a car insurance policy that matches its benefits.
Jerry
, the car insurance comparison super app, can help you shop for a policy in just 45 seconds. 
Jerry contacts your insurance company to get the details of your current coverage so you don’t have to scale a mountain of questions. You get all the best prices and coverage with none of the legwork. And if that isn’t enough for you, Jerry can even help cancel your old policy.
The average user saves over $800 on car insurance every year!
“I just had to buy a new car, and I needed quick help to get insurance before I could get my plates. Because I work so many hours,
Jerry
was the ideal choice for getting things done without long phone calls and waiting periods.”  —Rosa G.
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