Should You Buy a 2016 Prius?

The 2016 Prius is a reliable used car investment for its stellar fuel economy and few consumer complaints.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 16, 2022
The 2016
Prius
rang in the modern generations of the hybrid hatchback with improved fuel economy, modern conveniences and features, and some of the least consumer complaints of any model year. 
Prius has been paving the way for hybrid eco-cars since 2001. The
Toyota
hatchback has become a staple of the road and remains popular for its continued efforts to improve fuel economy and lower costs.
With a strong history on its resume, a used Prius can be just as wise a purchase as a new one—if not wiser. The 2016 model year may be the one for you if you still want a bit of a “new” feeling behind your used car. Here to help you make your decision—and find the best
car insurance
—it’s the insurance shopping super app
Jerry
with an expert guide to the 2016 Toyota Prius.
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Is the 2016 Prius worth it?

There’s more than one reason you pass plenty of Toyota Priuses on the street. This hybrid hatchback has got the best fuel economy in its class, stand-out style, and plenty of practical advantages in a small package.From 2001 to 2016 and beyond, it's been a national bestseller—and it’s easy to see why.
This
green vehicle
also has the lowest depreciation rate among its eco-friendly competitors, so you can trust this used hybrid is still going strong years after its release. Let’s take a closer look at what sets aside the 2016 model year. 

Cost

The Prius has built much of its success on affordability—starting at $25,650 for the 2022 model year. Since this hybrid hatchback holds more value than it loses, older models will be slightly more expensive than the average used vehicle. 
Take a look at these average prices from Kelley Blue Book for the six trim levels of the 2016 Prius:
Trim level
Fair market range (dealership)
Typical dealership listing
Typical private seller listing
2016 Toyota Prius Two Hatchback 4D
$17,526-$20,763
$18,950
$18,786
2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco Hatchback 4D
$17,715-$20,6645
$18,899
$18,696
2016 Toyota Prius Three Hatchback 4D
$18,267-$21,279
$19,453
$19,253
2016 Toyota Prius Three Touring Hatchback 4D
$19,032-$22,161
$20,200
$20,050
2016 Toyota Prius Four Hatchback 4D
$19,791-$23,004
$21,013
$20,813
2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring Hatchback 4D
$20,342-$23,574
$21,991
$21,364
Take a look at those numbers and you’ll see that a 2016 Prius tends to be about $7,000 to $9,000 cheaper than a comparable 2022 build. Check your budget to see if the cost difference puts that Prius within your range. If not you may want to look at an older model to shave a few more thousands off. 

Specs and performance

The 2016 Prius rang in the fourth generation of the hybrid, engineered with the goal to improve fuel economy while shedding weight and cost. The design was also adjusted inside and out to improve aerodynamics, handling, and agility.
An upgraded powertrain—1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a permanent magnet AC electric motor with a lithium battery pack—is also highly responsible for the 2016 Prius’s improvements. Although the combined output of 121 horsepower is down by 13-hp from previous years, the improved fuel economy is well worth it. 
The 2016 Prius gets 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. The Eco model bumps those numbers up to 58 city/53 highway—compare either to the previous year’s 50 city/48 highway and you’re in for a win. Look for a model with the Advanced Technology package upgrade to enjoy this EPA alongside a suite of modern safety features courtesy of Toyota Safety Sense.

Complaints

We’ve got some good news for the 2016 Prius sprinkled with just a little bit of bad news. The good news: the 2016 Prius didn’t come close to breaking any records when it comes to complaints.The
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
only logged 165 complaints—a number in the thousands for the 2010 model year—and customers only logged 45 complaints on
CarComplaints.com
. Complaints focused on exterior accessory problems, engine problems, and an easily cracked windshield
The bad news? The windshield problem on the 2016 Prius is rated the second-worst problem across all model years. The repairs cost around $800 on average and most drivers encountered this issue within their 2016 Prius’s first 20,000 miles
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The bottom line: check the vehicle history

If a weak windshield is the biggest problem for an otherwise unproblematic model, there’s a good chance a used 2016 Prius has already encountered the issue. Check the histories of the 2016 Priuses that you’re considering to see if they’ve already undergone a windshield replacement if the complaint causes you concern. 

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

Buying a used Prius versus buying a new one typically comes down to budget, safety, and efficiency. Check your preferences to determine the best option for you.
If you need to meet a budget, you’ll have more luck buying used. A 2016 Prius isn’t exactly a supersaver, but you’ll get a lot of modern conveniences and features for anywhere from $7000 to $10,000 less than a brand-new Prius. 
If money is not the main concern, then consider dishing out for that 2022 model year. Modern conveniences and features aside, the technology on a 2016 model can’t beat the 2022 Prius’s Toyota Safety Sense 2.0.
If you want a
customized Prius
, you’ll have the easiest time buying new since you can choose features from the dealership. However, you can always try some
cheaper aftermarket mods
at home if you can only afford to buy used.
If your want the best fuel economy, then you’ve found it. The 2016 Prius had the best fuel economy of any model, although the 2022 Prius’s 52 city/48 highway comes close. The 2022 L Eco trim, however, does hold up to the 2016 Eco’s 58 mpg in the city.

Pros and cons of owning a Prius

Pros 

Owners of a Prius benefit from the hybrid hatchback’s price point, fuel economy, and overall reliability. A Toyota Prius—used or new—is considered one of the all-time
most reliable vehicles
you can buy. That goes double for a used 2016 Prius which was named the #1 compact car for its model year by
J.D. Powers
with an overall score of 87/100—the Prius’s highest rating since 2009. 

Cons 

The major drawbacks of Prius ownership tend to be styling, size, and speed. First of all, this may not be the ride for anyone taller than 6 feet, and the hatchback design sacrifices a bit of the cool factor for ergonomic practicality. It is a compact family car after all—not exactly joining the ranks of the Lambos anytime soon. 
The other downside of a compact family car? The Toyota Prius is not winning any races. Now getting to and fro at an average speed is one thing, but if you need a car with zippy acceleration—the 2016 Prius’s 9.7 second zero-to-60 time probably won’t do it for you. Test drive a speedier
Honda Insight
to see if this comparable hybrid does it better for you.  

How to find the best Prius insurance

Regardless of age, every one-of-a-kind Prius needs a one-of-a-kind car insurance policy to match. Find the most affordable policy in less than a minute with help from
Jerry
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A licensed broker, Jerry can find you the cheapest customized quotes from over 50 top providers in the blink of an eye. All you have to do is complete an easy 45-second sign-up, and Jerry takes care of the rest. They’ll even help cancel your old policy and set up your new one once you make your pick.
Best of all, the average Jerry user enjoys annual savings of more than $800!
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