Occasionally, owners of older hybrid models complain of diminished performance as the vehicle ages. Specifically, the complaints seem to focus on a gradual decrease in gas mileage as the hybrid's battery pack slowly loses its ability to hold a charge. Well, Consumer Reports recently set out to assess the ability of an aging hybrid and discovered that the tested model – a 2002 Toyota Prius with 206,000 miles on the odometer – performed almost identically to a new 2001 Prius that CR put through its usual battery of tests nearly a decade ago.

After thorough testing, CR's numbers show that the first-gen 2002 Prius returned an overall fuel economy of 40.4 miles per gallon, which is virtually identical to the 40.6 mpg that CR recorded when testing the new vehicle back in 2001. Likewise, CR found that, with 206,000 miles on the clock, the old Prius' acceleration numbers had only dropped by a few tenths of a second for both the 0-60 miles per hour dash and the quarter-mile run. With numbers like these, it's no surprise that CR concluded that this nine-year-old Prius has, without a doubt, retained its youth

[Source: Consumer Reports | Image: IFCAR – C.C. License 2.0]