Excellent fuel efficiency and optional all-wheel-drive capability make the 2020
Priusdesirable. However, because a 2020 Prius costs almost as much as a 2022 model, you might be better off buying one new.
When you think of hybrid vehicles, chances are you think of the Prius. It’s been a mainstay of the hybrid vehicle market since its debut in 1997. But some Prius model years are better than others. So, should you buy a 2020 Prius? How does it stack up?
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Is the 2020 Prius worth it?
Priusis reliable, fuel-efficient, and has an approachable price tag, beginning at around $24,000.
Not to mention, the Prius has the lowest depreciation of any
green vehicle, meaning it retains its value well over time. And this is true for all Priuses, not just the 2020 edition.
How does the 2020 model compare to a new Prius? Let’s take a look.
As mentioned, the Prius is reasonably priced. The 2022 model starts at just $25,650, which is a huge selling point. That said, since these vehicles retain value so well over time, a used Prius will likely cost more than other used cars. Below are the four2020 Prius trim levels, along with Kelley Blue Book’s predicted fair market range, average dealership price, and what you can expect to pay through a private seller.
Fair market range (dealership)
Typical dealership listing
Prius Limited Hatchback 4D
Prius XLE Hatchback 4D
Prius LE Hatchback 4D
Prius L Eco Hatchback 4D
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As you can see, a new Prius won’t cost you much more than a used one. So if it’s within your budget, you might consider splurging on a 2022 model!
Specs and performance
The 2020 model’s appearance is very similar to the 2019, which got a major makeover compared to past editions. But the 2020 does boast some differentiating standard features.
In particular, Apple CarPlay and Alexa connectivity was added, along with a 7-inch touchscreen console (the 2019 model’s was 6.1 inches). If you splurge on the Limited trim, the console is upgraded to an 11.6-inch screen, and if you want the best sound quality, there is an optional premium speaker system from JBL.
Additionally, integrated navigation comes standard in every Prius, along with Toyota's Safety Connect, which offers automatic emergency response.
Okay, the infotainment and safety features are great, but how’s the Prius’s performance?
The Prius isn’t known for its power. The 2020 model’s hybrid powertrain doesn’t provide much oomph—its 1.8L 4-cylinder engine and 90kW motor system generate only about 91 to 121 horsepower.
But it’s not all bad. As of 2019, all-wheel drive is available, which is optimal for all-weather capability. And the fuel efficiency is pretty sweet! The 2020 Prius has a combined city/highway fuel economy of 56 mpg.
There are 19 complaints filed on
CarComplaints.comabout the 2020 Prius, which is eight more than the 2019 model. However, of the complaints filed, two are about rodents eating the electrical wiring—seems like a personal problem to us!
There are nine complaints logged by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) and one safety recall. Of the complaints filed, problems with the electrical system stand out. The recall is for the deactivation of stability control and/or brake assist, which potentially affected up to 7,000 vehicles.
On the whole, the complaints filed against the 2020 Prius do not stand out as being worse than other Prius years.
The bottom line: you may be better off buying new
With a price tag of around $24,325, buying a 2020 Prius may not be worth it since a brand new model will only cost you a couple of thousand dollars more. If you can swing it, we recommend buying new.
If you can’t, we recommend looking at a 2014 or 2017 Prius instead. You’ll lose some infotainment features but will keep that excellent fuel efficiency and pay thousands of dollars less.
Which Prius is best?
Is it better to buy a used Prius or a new Prius?
There’s no correct answer. It comes down to personal choice. The right Prius for you will depend on factors like your budget, lifestyle, and priorities.
If you’re budget-conscious, buying used is the way to go. You can find a used 2020 Prius for as little as $23,000, which is a few thousand dollars cheaper than the 2022 model.
If you can afford to splurge a bit, buying new is recommended. As stated, the 2022 model is only a few thousand dollars more than a 2020, and you’ll get advanced safety features. While the 2020 model has Toyota’s Safety Connect System, opting for the 2022 will get you Prius’s Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 tech.
If you want to save money on gas, you’re in luck! Buying new and used are equally enticing options. The 2022 Prius has a combined/city/highway mpg of 50/52/48, while the 2020 Prius is rated at 56/58/53. You’ll save money at the pump buying new or used.
Pros and cons of owning a Prius
The Prius isn’t winning any aesthetic or power awards. Its exterior hatchback style is not appealing to everyone, and its interior is nothing to write home about, either.
Additionally, as discussed, the Prius drivetrain isn’t particularly powerful. The 2020 model goes from 0 to 60 in 9.7 seconds, which is better than some other years but will no doubt be a letdown to speed-lovers.
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