Should You Buy a 2005 Prius?

Stellar fuel economy and excellent resale value make the 2005 Prius a great investment, albeit the complaints of light problems.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The 2005
is part of Toyota’s second-generation Prius cars. While this model year has exceptional fuel economy, light problems are consistently reported as an issue across the 2005 Prius owners. 
Prius is the world’s first mass-produced hybrid and has become the industry leader since its first conception in 1997. A majority of Prius owners love the fuel economy that they get from this fuel-sipping car and would buy another Prius when the time comes.
Entering the hybrid vehicle market can be daunting where there are so many options—the Prius alone comes in many generations and trims! The 2005 model is the second rendition of the second-generation Prius, which also sports a larger body compared to the previous generation. 
To help you decide if this model year is for you, the
car insurance
super app
has put together a guide to the 2005 Prius. Learn more about the car's specs, the benefits and drawbacks of buying a used Prius, and tips on finding savings for your Prius insurance with the
expert help
of Jerry. 

Is the 2005 Prius worth it?

The Toyota Prius is top-of-mind when people think of hybrid cars—for good reason! It has the best-in-class fuel economy, futuristic looks, and practicality all in one car, making the Prius a top-selling hybrid hatchback since it was introduced in the US in 2001. 
The Prius also holds its value much better than
other green cars
, making even a used Prius a great investment. Let’s find out if the 2005 Prius is worth buying by taking a closer look at the details. 


The Prius is a very affordable hybrid car—even the 2022 model starts at $25,650, allowing this hybrid to be accessible to drivers looking to enter the electric vehicle market. Prius owners will be glad to know that the car can maintain its value, meaning an older 2005 model can fetch a higher price than some newer used cars. 
Unfortunately, there is no data on Kelly Blue Book for the current fair market range, and the typical prices that dealerships and private parties would sell them for. Looking at the listings on KBB, a used 2005 Toyota Prius can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000—depending on the condition of the car. In other words, the cost to buy a 2005 Prius can potentially be more than half of the price of buying a new one. If you don’t have a set budget, it may be wise to get the newest model so that you can minimize future repair costs that come with older cars.

Specs and performance

The 2005 Prius was the second model in the hybrid’s second generation. In this generation, the car body bulked up and became a mid-size car. The extra room gave way to adult-size back seats and larger cargo space. The redesign also featured a more futuristic look that stood out from the crowd.
This stylish hybrid is powered by a 1.5L L4 DOHC 16 valves and a 67 hp electric engine,giving a total output of 143 horsepower. While this isn’t anything to tout, the fuel saved makes up for any power it may be lacking.
The 2005 Prius was an incredible combined city/highway fuel economy of 46 mpg.Although this Prius was only offered with one trim option and basic features, people who have purchased it are still satisfied with their purchase—especially with the amount of fuel you can save during a time of soaring gas prices. 


The 2005 Prius isn’t without its flaws, according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
. The NHTSA has logged over 1,000 complaints,of which 343 complaints are related to light and engine problems. 
The most prominent complaint includes the headlights turning off suddenly and bulbs frequently burning out before their time. If these issues persist, it can cost Prius owners over $1,000 to fix annually, which would negate the savings from the low fuel consumption.

The bottom line: proceed with caution

Getting a Prius can be a great investment, considering the increasing gas prices. However, the frequent light problems associated with the 2005 Prius could increase your overall ownership costs even if the car has amazing fuel economy. While a used Prius can be a fantastic investment, the engine problems associated with the 2005 Prius make it a risky buy. If you're adamant about getting a used Prius, look for newer models, such as the 2017 or 2018 Prius
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Is it better to buy a used Prius or a new Prius?

Choosing between a new or used Prius will depend on several factors, including cost, customizability, and efficiency. The choice will depend on your personal preference and priorities. 
If you want to minimize upfront costs, a used Prius would be the better choice. Used 2005 Prius that are still in good condition can be found for as low as $5,000—which is a major discount from a brand-new Prius, which starts at $25,000. 
If you set aside a large budget, consider buying a new Prius. While the 2005 models still have amazing fuel efficiency, they may feel dated with the styling and lack of modern tech features such as the Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 tech.  
If you want a
customized Prius
, you will have more integrated options from buying a new Prius. However, if that exceeds your budget, you can still get it used and add your touch with
cheap and easy mods
If you’re only concerned with minimizing your fuel costs, getting a new or used Prius will be great. The 2022 Prius has a combined/city/highway mpg of 50/52/48 for the base model. While the numbers are impressive, it’s not significantly better than the 2005 Prius.
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Pros and cons of owning a Prius


The advantage of getting a Prius is its fuel economy, reliability, and affordability. It ranks high among the
most reliable vehicles to buy
with favorable ratings for new and used models.
J.D. Power
also awarded the 2005 Prius the Highest Quality compact vehicles award—further solidifying that this is a reliable model year. 


While the 2005 Prius has many improvements from the previous generation, including its size, style, and engine power, it can still fall short for some. The size may not meet the needs of larger families. The styling of the car may have been chic for its time, but has also become dated compared to the current model year. Finally, the speed may frustrate speedy drivers when driving on the highway, making the Prius not the best choice for them.  

How to find the best Prius insurance

Regardless of which Prius you are or will be driving, getting the right coverage is important to protect your hybrid car. This is especially important when repairs can be more costly. By using the licensed broker and comparison super app,
, you can find the perfect policy that fits your budget in under a minute! 
Just pick the policy you want and Jerry will handle the rest. You won’t need to fill in never-ending forms, deal with long phone calls, or wait on hold forever. Download the app so you can have annual savings of over $800! 
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