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2009 Toyota Prius Review

If you’re shopping for a used car that gets exceptional fuel economy, the 2009 Toyota Prius should be on your list. With 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.

Pros & Cons

  • Superb fuel economy
  • Large interior and cargo area
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Taller drivers may be uncomfortable
  • Lackluster performance
  • Low safety scores for the class




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.6
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Toyota Prius Overview

Class-leading fuel economy, a versatile interior and cargo area 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.

See the full 2009 Toyota Prius specs »

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. 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. The Camry Hybrid offers better safety scores than the Prius. 

Compare the Prius to the Altima Hybrid and Camry Hybrid »

Best 2009 Compact Cars

  • #1

    2009 Scion xB

    $3,248 - $5,489 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2009 Toyota Prius

    $5,948 - $6,180 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2009 Scion tC

    $2,657 - $6,066 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2009 Compact Cars rankings »

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