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10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:16 am
by Ginger1
Hi,

With my personal circumstances changing (baby on the way) I'm looking at getting a car. I want to optimise my car choice to maximise longevity and reliability while minimising cost. Although I cannot predict my future situation, having a car large enough for a pram and luggage and at least one child is also important to prevent having to swap it for something larger a few years down the road. Ideally, I would like to keep the car for >=10 years. My budget is around 4K UKP.

I have narrowed my choices down to a Honda Accord or a Toyota Prius. Both models seem to do well reliability-wise, over their 10-year lives to date. The Prius has a lower day-to-day running cost: £10 annual tax (vs c. £250 for the Accord) and better theoretical fuel economy. The Accord though doesn't have the cost (and worry) of battery failure. From what I have read, once you're talking about c. 10 year old Prii you really need to be budgeting for a battery replacement (or least "conditioning"). It is possible I could save the cost of a replacement battery due to lower tax and fuel costs, /if/ the battery doesn't give out in the first year or two of ownership.

Would be very interested in your views! Open to other car model suggestions too, of course.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:45 am
by OTCW
My opinion is that a 10 year old car will need semi regular work done on it. Nothing wrong with that, but make that part of your budget for the car. That said, go with the car that is easier/ cheaper to work on and maintain. This includes labor time, availability of parts, and cost of parts. If you have a mechanic or can get a recommendation for a good one, ask them about costs for working on the car you are considering. Things like brakes, water pump, belts, hoses, alternator. timing chain or belt, tuneup, fuel pump, fuel filter, O2 sensors, computer, tire costs, fuel injectors, exhaust, fluid changes, etc.

Other condiderations are the safer car, the fuel efficiency, and cost to insure.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:51 pm
by Dragline
I think those are pretty equivalent, so I would buy whichever one I could get a better deal on in terms of condition and cost. In fact, I would actually expand my search to other similar Toyotas and Hondas and Scions (which are actually Toyotas). No reason to fall in love with any particular model, but make sure its a four-door and not a two.

But pay a mechanic to look over anything you are considering buying.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:25 pm
by Ginger1
Dragline wrote:I think those are pretty equivalent, so I would buy whichever one I could get a better deal on in terms of condition and cost. In fact, I would actually expand my search to other similar Toyotas and Hondas and Scions (which are actually Toyotas). No reason to fall in love with any particular model, but make sure its a four-door and not a two.


This is the conclusion I've reached I think. On balance, they work out the same. The Prius seems slightly more sort after so you seem to get less for your money, but there's a potential for savings in daily usage costs.

OTCW wrote:My opinion is that a 10 year old car will need semi regular work done on it. Nothing wrong with that, but make that part of your budget for the car. That said, go with the car that is easier/ cheaper to work on and maintain. This includes labor time, availability of parts, and cost of parts. If you have a mechanic or can get a recommendation for a good one, ask them about costs for working on the car you are considering. Things like brakes, water pump, belts, hoses, alternator. timing chain or belt, tuneup, fuel pump, fuel filter, O2 sensors, computer, tire costs, fuel injectors, exhaust, fluid changes, etc.


I've had some experience working on cars in the past - have changed brake cylinders, shoes and lines, and a starter motor. For cars of Prius-like complexity I had almost considered it a no-go, but would prefer to do so again if I can to keep things running nicely, frugally and knowing it has been well-cared for. I will look into their various merits on this front.

Thank you both the advice.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:42 pm
by tommytebco
Toyota makes several small cars powered by 1.5 L gas engines that are simpler and cheaper than the Prius. I have a 10 year old XB box van that I love. A sedan has the same engine. Nissan makes an entry level econo car. You limit yourself if you restrict choice to the two given in the thread.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:52 pm
by distracted_at_work
It's my understanding that the Accord is a more powerful/luxurious version of a Civic? If you are not married to the idea of an Accord, maybe look into a four door Civic. This would allow you to then buy a few years up, from an 07 to an 09 or something. I think civic would be a nice compromise between an Accord and a Prius in terms of power and economy. I owned an older Civic for four years and it never let me down.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:49 pm
by Riggerjack
I love my Prius. But if the battery fails, I'm comfortable changing it myself, or possibly repairing it. Not as easy as a flashlight battery, but not beyond DIY, either. Read about it. If you are comfortable, Get the gloves, read the cautions, buy some new cells, and you are golden...

For economy, it can't be beat.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:39 pm
by enigmaT120
Yes it can, Riggerjack. 2004 Honda Insight. I've had my IMA battery out to change a 100 amp fuse on it. It was not nearly as heavy as I expected. It's two grand for a new battery, when I need one.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:39 pm
by Riggerjack
Yeah, I like the original insights, with that back wheel cover. But if I remember correctly, they barely broke 50 mpg, real world.

But I like the electric car with onboard generator design better. Then there is the issue of passenger and cargo space. I drive the Prius c, c for child size, and with a functional back seat, and hatchback, it is loads more practical than the original Insights. The newer insights seem to just be less popular prii, though. I admit not being overly familiar with them, though.

Remember, OP is looking for a pram hauler. I don't think the 1st gen insight qualifies.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:17 am
by enigmaT120
Definitely not a pram hauler, that's true. Mine had a lifetime mpg of 60 when I bought it in AZ at 120,000 miles. Driving in the rain most of the year has been slowly dropping that average. I've had a couple of tanks below 50 when the weather was really bad. Usually it's low 50s in the winter and high 50s in the summer. I got this after an '89 CRX so ability to haul prams has obviously never been an issue for me. When I retire I'll sell the car and make do with my motorcycles and a 4WD pickup.

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:41 am
by jennypenny
I bought an '06 Toyota Highlander hybrid last year and I love it. Rides great, 4WD, plenty of room to haul things and it even has a jump seat that flips up in the back. I paid $6K for it and put $1700 into it. Well worth it if you can find one (even if I have to pay to replace the battery at some point -- I love it that much).

Re: 10 year old Prius or Accord?

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:21 pm
by KevinW
If what you want is a transportation appliance, meaning a car that will just work efficiently and with minimal maintenance and mind-space, get "the smallest Toyota that meets your needs." Toyota has really mastered this niche across their line. IMO, a supermini hatchback (Yaris) suffices for most situations; for large families I like MPVs like the Verso in UK.

The preceding is my best advice from a "salary man" perspective, meaning that vehicles are depreciating consumables that you pay someone else to service. A more "renaissance man"-compatible approach is to set up a transportation solution that you can service yourself and that avoids significant depreciation. Usually that involves bicycles, or spending time researching and tinkering with old cars.