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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • I haven't seen any colors besides that silver-ish one in all the photos. The current Prius is only available in 4 colors here in Canada (White, Silver, Blue, Green) but hopefully they'll expand this palette for 2004.
  • vl39vl39 Posts: 14
    Go to John's site at for colors.
  • vsl3vsl3 Posts: 2
    After a 18 mo dealer service on my Prius with 13K miles, my mpg dropped from an average of 38-40mpg to 30mpg. I took it back and they told me that the system was operating within factory parameters. I also have a occasional slight vibration when I turn my steering wheel (noticed first on backing up and now sometimes forward.) They are calling the factory on that and I asked them to question them about the gas mileage. Does anyone have any ideas? I have driven on the freeway as well as in town. I usually drive with the a/c on but have had it on maximum due to higher temperatures the last few weeks. I bought the car for the good mileage so am not satisfied.
  • There is a "Limited Service Campaign" right now for
    some affected Power Steering racks, late 2001-early 2002
    Prius. Not a recall. (Unlike the first couple of shipments
    of 2001 Prius that have a PS recall - the only Prius recall so far.)
    Usual complaints is when starting the car when cold,
    may have a steering shudder upon reversing. Will
    often progressively get worse (violent shaking) and occur during low
    forward speeds. Not always repeatable, so difficult
    to show to repairman to get a fix.

    As for the low MPG after a service:
    * The regularly scheduled maintenances includes a tire rotation.
    I've never had my tires reset properly after a service - either they lower my tire pressures (below even the Toyota specs on the door jamb) which'll give you lower MPG, or they didn't bother to reset the pressures after the rotation (so after rotation the pressures were incorrectly higher in the back, leading to handling issues).

    * If they overfilled your oil level, or they gave you 10w30 instead of the proper 5w30 weight oil, that could lower your MPG.

    * The most likely culprit is that you state that you're now using the AC MAX button.
    The MAX button makes the AC compressor work full-time, instead of the cycling on/off as needed if you just used the AC button alone (no MAX). The AC compressor is run by the gas engine, so to have the compressor work the gas engine has to be running. If you choose the MAX button, your gas engine will always run, even if you're just idling or coasting or sitting at a red light or going downhill or... You never go into electric-only driving. So, with your engine always running to run the AC on MAX, you get lower MPG. Try not to use the MAX button, just the AC button, and set your thermostat to a less extreme temp (not all the way left!).

    If you only do short trips (<10min, or a handful of miles),
    then your normal mileage of about 40MPG sounds about right.
  • pickle005pickle005 Posts: 10
    has anyone ordered a prius yet? how much are you paying? with option that is?

    looking to buy one myself, just trying to gauge what's the "right" price to pay.

  • vsl3vsl3 Posts: 2
    I will check out all your suggestions. Thanks
  • andreatandreat Posts: 1
    I've got a new job that'll require me to get a new car after taking public transport for the past 4 years. I'm looking at the Civic hybrid as well, but have heard great things about the Prius, and the 2004 model sounds great. Problem is, I'm looking to buy in the next couple weeks, and can't wait 'til October. Are they available anywhere before then?

    Alternately, I might look into leasing possibilities, or see if I can find a used 2002 Prius. Any advice?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    Buy a junker and drive it for a few months. Then trade it in on the Prius when they have one of those sales where they give you $xxxx on any car you use as a trade in.
  • paul34bpaul34b Posts: 33
    As a "Pioneer" as I am told because I bought the first 2001 Prius via the internet, I received an offer to place my order with Toyota by July 20. Apparently this was a special offer for those folks who originally bought the first Prius. Anyway I did place my order and selected 1 of the three option packages. Mine is at $22,500. The base model will still be at $19,995 and the highest at $25k+ (includes the navigation system). My dealer says in ought to be in by September but Toyota says Oct - Dec. I am more apt to believe Toyota. As I live in Maine, I am sure we are last on the list as deliveries would begin in California. But I am selling my 2001 Pruis. Any takers?
  • pickle005pickle005 Posts: 10
    hey paul34b,

    what are the three options packages? could u perhaps elaborate a little. my local dealer told me there is only the nav. upgrade. but on toyota website, they mentioned smart entry, and a few other things.

    anyway, just want to know what the $25,500 package inlucded
  • paul34bpaul34b Posts: 33
    In a letter from Toyota there was a choice of three option packages for those who ordered via the internet the first time around and have been offered that option again. The selections are: #1 Rear wiper only (ohhh boy) =$20,175, #2 Rear Wiper, side&curtain airbags, smart entry & start, HID/Fog lamps/VSC=$22,250 and #3 all of the above plus Security System/garage door opener, JBL 9-speaker premium audion system w/6-CD changer, Nav System $25,240. BUT for those who wait and purchase this Fall, like one would do with any other vehicle, there will be other options to select from. About 7 options where you are just pickin "a-la-carte".
  • paul34bpaul34b Posts: 33
    "The navigation system package includes hands-free calling capability with certain Bluetooth-enable mobile phones, and voice-command capabilities for the audio, climate-control and navigation system." This quote comes directly from Toyota. VSC by the way is Vehicle Stability Control (whatever that is supposed to do). For what Toyota is charging for the vehicle I think it is an excellent buy. I had thought the base model would have been $25k and up. They are keeping the price near the original.
  • little_pogilittle_pogi Posts: 148
    Using some math, I was able to extrapolate the prices for each options.
    1. Rear Wiper - $180
    2. Side & curtain air bags - $650
    3. Smart Entry & Start - $320
    4. HID/Fog Lamps/VSC - $1105
    5. Security System/Garage Door Opener - $340
    6. JBL 9-speaker Premium Audio Sytem w/ 6-CD Changer
       - $750
    7. Navigation System - $1,900

    These are all MSRP. Dealer's cost are definitely less than these.
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 711
    is overpriced compared to other vehicles of similar performance and utility. The '04 improvements will bring it closer to parity BECAUSE Toyota is holding the line on base price. But $25K+ pushes it back, deep into financial never-never land. I suppose I'll never understand those who buy on emotion, impulse or assign high value to gadgetry unrelated to the core functions of a vehicle.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    You likely won't ever understand based on those comments.

    People buy grossly overpriced & oversized vehicles everyday. Adding $5K of high-tech goodies to a vehicle you could have driven off the lot of $20K takes full advantage of that market attitude. No one is forcing those consumers get those extras, but they do anyway.

    $25K for a totally tricked out computer on wheels isn't bad at all. The unique features, like unlocking & starting the car without using a key or remote yet it still offers full security, are quite handy. Having your hands full and dealing with a heavy jacket or large purse that makes keys hard to find is a very, very, very helpful. Then you've got special safety features like HID & VSC. The built-in bluetoothed-enable cell-phone recognition will put hands-off systems to shame. And that all adds to the *DOUBLE* efficiency the $20K delivers. No other midsize sedan comes even remotely close to the 55 MPG EPA average. And it does all that while still delivering AT-PZEV emissions.

    Lastly, "stealth" appeals to all those that experience it. The max of 42 MPH on nothing but electricity without the engine running is impressive in itself. The fact that the max will get increased to around 50 MPH in the 2004 will really add to the appeal.

  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 711
    are just easily impressed.
  • eheadingeheading Posts: 26
    You think most people that are buying 30K + 4 wheel drive SUV's aren't buying on emotion?????
  • Obviously Toyota has their Prius certification for dealers, but are all the certified dealers created equal? With a relatively small profit margin on the Prius do they even want to see you coming? Finally, any suggestions for a good dealer in the N. Andover, MA or Nashua, NH area? Thanks! - Nelson
  • mhoffmamhoffma Posts: 1
    What is the cargo capacity of the 2004 Prius
    with the rear seat down? I cannot find this
    information with the usual specifications.
    With the rear seat up it is 16 cubic feet.
    Passenger volume is 94 cubic feet. If it is
    more than a Golf and near a that of a Matrix, I'll buy it.
  • quasar4quasar4 Posts: 110
    Uhm, if the 2004 Prius is supposed to be "...bigger in every aspect than the 2003 model," then how come the front leg room has DECREASED from 41.2" to 40.1"??!
This discussion has been closed.