Toyota Prius III, is probably the most successful Prius yet and definitely the one you want. Unless you don’t care about the looks of the car, and that would make me ask you what are you doing in the Toyota section?

The Toyota Prius III is the exact opposite of the typical car. It’s not the best looking, it’s fuel efficient and it’s reliable. It’s kind of like Stephen Hawking. Doesn’t look like much until he starts talking. And the figures for the Toyota Prius III sound good. Coming with more power than the previous generation and a hybrid drivetrain that tramples the modest Honda Insight, the Toyota Prius III was and is a popular car among taxi drivers and delivery drivers.


And one very big advantage the Prius III has over the previous generation is that the Prius III uses a very common drivetrain through Toyota’s dumpsters, its 1.8 petrol and electric motor also being fitted to the Auris Hybrid, Lexus CT200h or Toyota CH-R. This means you don’t have to spend hundreds of years waiting for spare parts and you can do taxi driving in peace. But only if you keep an eye on the dashboard which is centrally located and make sure the “Check Engine” button doesn’t light up because if you don’t pull over immediately your engine will have a Lake House experience, with an ending which is roughly the same.

Toyota Prius III Engines


1.8 Atkinson + electric of 134 horsepower – The electric drivetrain can drive 400-500,000 kms with the original batteries, after which you either have to replace or refurbish them. The issue instead is with the engine, specifically the water pump which is electrically driven and shows no sign of fatigue other than a small Check Engine light on the dash. And if you ignore that Check Engine and don’t pull over right away, chances are the water pump will fail and the engine will fire up like it’s the main star of the Burning Man festival.


Toyota Prius III General Issues

  • It wouldn’t be a Toyota if it didn’t have the classic steering column and infotainment system issues so put aside your money.
  • As with the previous generation and most hybrids in fact I have to tell you that you must not jump start it directly like a normal car, you have to use a trickle charger. That’s why regular cabbies don’t jump start others because they’ve heard from Prius cabbies that if you power it with cables you can fry the hybrid’s systems.
  • One of the Toyota Prius III’s special features is that it’s packed with technology from every possible angle. And that simply translates to the fact that in the event of an crash you have a pretty good chance of getting totaled because it’s a very complex car and parts are rare and expensive. So you could argue that it’s a single-use-single-crash car. It’s exactly the same with the taxi driver who drives a Dacia Sandero. In theory, his Sandero is like a Prius.


Toyota Prius III verdict

One of the most reliable cars in recent history, with one of the lowest overall maintenance costs. Maybe only the  1.4 tear-the-tarmac Logan or the Mitsubishi Colt still shows him who’s boss, but if you want the maximum out of your money then get behind the wheel of the Toyota Prius III. And with the money, you save you can get eye surgery in Turkey because I still think the Prius looks so good that if it were a woman and she took her clothes off, I’d get a reverse boner.

What engines do you recommend? The 1.8 petrol hybrid is by far the best choice of all the engines.