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in 2009 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $10,850 - $11,792
Original MSRP: $22,000 - $24,270
MPG: 48 City / 45 Hwy
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Used Car: 2009 Toyota Prius Review

Review Last Updated: 7/30/12

If you’re shopping for a used car that gets exceptional fuel economy, the 2009 Toyota Prius should be on your list. With an outstanding reliability rating and a large interior and cargo area, the Prius is ideal for families. All these positive attributes mean that this popular used hybrid car may cost more than its rivals, though.

Class-leading fuel economy, a versatile interior and cargo area and superior reliability are the 2009 Toyota Prius’ main selling points. Test drivers agreed that its hatchback design, spacious cargo area and roomy, high-quality interior also make the Prius a good car for families. When it was new, test drivers also liked its high-tech interior features, smooth acceleration and nimble handling.

The 2009 Toyota Prius is not a car many would call sexy or attractive. Its futuristic exterior and interior design wasn’t well-received by all auto critics when the Prius was new, though they did like the aerodynamic shape of the body, which aids fuel efficiency. Some reviewers disliked the soft suspension and small wheels, which they said contributed to nose plow and body lean. One test driver said the 2009 Prius was less stable in crosswinds than most small cars.

The 2009 Toyota Prius has a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors under its hood. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) transmits power to the front wheels. At 48/45 mpg city/highway, the 2009 Prius uses less fuel than the bulk of used cars on the market.

Standard features include a six-speaker stereo, keyless entry and power windows and door locks. When the Prius was new, standalone options and packages added features like a backup camera, push-button start, Bluetooth, navigation, leather seats and an upgraded stereo. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control are among the 2009 Prius’ standard safety features.

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid’s fuel economy is not as good as the Prius’, but if you prefer a hybrid with more traditional styling, the Altima Hybrid is the better choice. The Altima Hybrid has better safety scores than the Prius, but its reliability rating is much lower. Although the Prius’ performance is good, reviewers agreed that the Altima Hybrid offers more power and better handling than the Prius.   

Like the Altima Hybrid, the 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid’s fuel economy can’t match the Prius’, but it still uses far less fuel than most 2009 midsize cars. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has plenty of room inside for families, but the Prius is still a better choice if you need lots of cargo space. Test drivers liked the Camry Hybrid’s powertrain when it was new, saying it drove like the non-hybrid 2009 Camry. However, the Prius has a better reliability rating, while the Camry Hybrid offers better safety scores. 

Compare the Prius to the Altima Hybrid and Camry Hybrid »

Next Steps: 2009 Toyota Prius

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