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On the waiting list for a Prius. But I have three concerns. 1. Safety; yes the Prius rates well on paper and with features, however, what are the real world accident results out there? From what I gather, small fender benders are expensive. Second, if this is the case, what about a major collision? What of the occupants?

2. Battery; what about battery issues? Replacement and resale are issues that concern me...8-10 years down the road. What about the battery disposal once it fails?

Lastly, looking to take our Prius on a cross country trip....2 adults and one child.....any trip reports on long drives...comforts issues, etc.

thanks!
JPATS
 

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1. Safety: Nobody has ever reported dying in a Prius :p Seriously, do you really prefer anecdotes to government tests. There's only recently been a significant number of Prius on the road to get meaningful statistical samples. Check with some insurance underwriters. Speaking of which, parts are expensive, as in a lot of new model limited production cars. Carry insurance.

2. The large hybrid batteries have a really good history so far. They're warranted for 100K miles and 7 years. The tiny number of failures so far points to them typically lasting far beyond these limits. Toyota has a prepaid recycling procedure for the batteries. You're supposed to notify Toyota when a battery goes out of service so they can pick it up. So far, the few that have shown up in wrecked Prius in junkyards seem to have been snapped up by experimenters who want to add them as additions to their Prius.

3. My family of 4 is quite comfortable on long trips in Pikachu. Search this site for several long distance trip reports, mostly positive, though some have trouble with the seats. You might want to do an extensive test drive (try renting for a weekend trip).
 

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helpful tip: state farm (or some other major insurance agency, i am terrible with names) considers the Prius to be a very safe car and has put it in the lower-rates category.
 

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1) Check Priuschat and search for accidents. There have been a few threads. One on a side impact at 25-35mph (can't remember), another was a front impact at 50-60mph. Both Priuses held up well

2) Battery cost will come down 10 yrs from now. For one thing, we know new ones are coming out so our current ones will go down in price (unless you must have the latest compatible one)
 

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Because of the multiple airbags and with the judicial use of seat belts the Prius is probably as safe as anything on the road. Batteries should never be a problem as stated, but collision could be expensive as hood and hatrchback are made of aluminum and not repairable at most body shops.
As for "long" trips, that becomes personal. I find that two hours in the seats is my max. They are firm with very little manual adjustment and pillows are in order. The steering wheel has an up and down adjustment(about two inches) All in all, a neat little car.
 

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I am 6'4". I have done three 14+ hour drives in my 04 Prius. Two of them were fully loaded with three adult sized people and snowboard gear etc. for a week and a half trip. Everyone was ache free and rested when we arrived. I never experienced such a low level of fatigue from any of my "luxury" pickups with captains chairs.

The hatchback was great for packing in alot of stuff.

The safety of the Prius is as good as it can get from a current auto. Toyota tested them in crashes against the Seqouia and modified them with ultra high strength steel in the pillars. This is an industry exclusive feature not used in any other vehicles.

The battery issue is a big nothing. Battery technology is improving quickly right now and if your Prius ever need a new battery it may be replaced with on that improves its performance. That won't happen for a long time.
 

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Battery Replacement cost factored into depreciation

The issue with batteries is very simple. The cost of a battery replacement is factored into the depreciation on a Prius. When you come to sell it, you will lose value based upon when the batteries will have to be replaced. This could be as much as $5000 added depreciation on a 10 year old Prius that has never had its batteries replaced. Factor in a percentage of that for younger cars.

Not a reason not to get the Prius but just be aware that as part of the cost of ownership you have to take this into account.
 
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