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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • Hi Paul34b - you might also check the 2004 Toyota Prius - What do you think? discussion to see if anyone else has more info.

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  • Folks, I write for the nation media and would like to interview anyone who wants to buy a 2004 Prius. I'm most curious about why you are interested in a Prius, what you drove before and what you find appealing about the car. You must be willing to do a telephone interview and be quoted by name. Please send your contact information to by Monday, September 29, 2003.
    Car Guy

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  • First of all, I want to say how much I love my Prius. I have had it for 2 1/2 years and had to go out of state to get it because of the long waiting list for a new one. Anyway, the original tires had to be replaced at about 15,000 miles because of wear as a result of the unique braking and regenerating system. I was informed that the new tires were stronger and would not wear as quickly. I just had my 37,500 mile check up/oil change and, sure enough, two tires have to be replaced. The others don't seem to be too far behind. To replace tires every 20 - 25,000 miles seems like a big service expense that I was not prepared for. Have others experienced the same problem?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Underinflation will kill those very soft tires that come with Prius.

    Increasing the tire-pressure to a more appropriate level and switching to a tire with a more normal rubber hardness, you'll discover the tires last quite a bit longer.

    Using Goodyear Allegras running at a minimum of 42/40 (front/back PSI) you'll get at least 40,000 miles from a set. Mine are at 27,500 miles now and they look fantastic. There is still quite a bit of tread left.

  • OEM tires for the 2001-2003 Prius in the US are:
    Bridgestone Potenza RE92 XL (Extra Load)
    P175/65 R14
    Treadwear 160 Temperature A Traction A
    new tread depth is 10/32"

    according to the bridgestone usa site, these tires are supposedly warrantied to 40,000 miles, same as the 260 treadwear non-XL version (even though there's less tread on them)

    most owners seem to get in the 20,000-30,000 mile range with these tires, by having a properly-aligned car and keeping the tire pressure at a minimum of the factory-recommended pressures of 35psi front, 33psi rear, check the pressures regularly, and rotate their tires at 5,000-7,500mile intervals.

    (Depending on the destination of the Prius, the OEM tires are different brands/models. Dunlop in Canada, Michelin in Europe, for example. I haven't heard of tire problems outside of areas that use the above Bridgestone Potenzas as OEM tires.)

    2004 Prius uses different sized tires, rumor is US will be getting Goodyears.

    I'd suggest changing to another tire with a higher treadwear rating, so long as it has a high enough load rating for the Prius.
  • use a tire size more appropriate to the Prius' considerable mass?

    The 1984 Civic was OEM equipped with 175 section tires of a HIGHER profile (and consequently higher load capacity) and it was only 1950lbm!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > use a tire size more appropriate to the Prius' considerable mass?

    They switch from the original 15" in 1997 to 14" in 2000 to increase city efficiency.

  • are attributable to the reduction in rotating mass, can't possibly be worth the cost in handling capability (and consequently safety) attributable to inadequate tires!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > inadequate tires!

    It's a well proven fact that it was those particular tires, not the wheel size. So many owners are just simply switched to a better tire.

    That's all. No big deal. End of story. Nothing else to debate. Even Toyota itself has switched. Case closed. Go directly to jail; if you pass "Go", do not collect $200.

  • a 175/65 tire is inadequate for a 2700+ lbm vehicle! Otherwise you may suffer the handling of a Prius. ;-)
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > a 175/65 tire

    185/65 is what some owners have switched to. That size fits well on the existing rim.

  • still marginal given the present Prius' inability to extract the full measure of performance from its tires (based on other vehicles which achieve much better performance with RE-92s). As I've said before, tires alone aren't an adequate fix for the Prius' handling deficiencies, but it apparently needs all the tire it can get.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > adequate

    That's rather vague.

    > deficiencies

    That's vague too.

    > Prius

    This is actually misleading. Which one? They are significantly different. And doing comparisons against the classic model doesn't mean much now. Please state your purpose.

  • "vague", "misleading", which you seem to apply to any statement with which you do not agree. In any discussion of vehicle performance, only those cars for which objective, independent test data are available are relevant. Let's hope that the '04 Prius is a BIG improvement.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > "vague", "misleading"

    Yup, I really like those words... since they clearly indicate when numeric data has not been included (in part or entirely). Adjectives like "big" don't quantify, they just convey opinions... so when they are used, I point that out.

  • Has anyone heard if there will be the $3000.00 Federal energy credit for tax year 2003 when purchasing the 2004 Prius. At least I'm hoping to receive the Prius in 2003. Has anyone received their 2004 Prius yet?

    J S
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Only a DEDUCTION is available from the federal government. A few states do offer a CREDIT.

    No one will receive a Prius until October 17. Toyota confirmed that date just yesterday.

  • wouldn't "credit" and "deduction" fit John's classifications of "vague" and "misleading" since they merely suggest relative value without quantification, i.e "more" or "less"?

    Logic requires consistency.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Ha! Now I've finally got you thinking about that. Yeah! I was was growing tired of having to point it out after the fact whenever a compare was attempted. (And by the way, you still didn't answer the question.)

    CREDIT = $0 (for me)

    DEDUCTION = $280 (for me)

    I obviously can't provide detail for others since I don't have their location or tax-bracket information available.

  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Daysailer : Prius-2004 is sailing smoothly across both sides of the Pacific
       Japan-11,000 orders (18 days AFTER launch)
       USA -10,000 orders (25 days BEFORE launch)
     If they cant meet the demand, they may have to decrease the production of
       Solara / Celica and increase the production of Prius. Please bear with it.

    Wayne : If TCO is very important, then you can get a 5 years old used Corolla / Civic / Sentra for 7-8 k and with high mpg, the saving will more.
    Please note that whether Honda discontinues Insight or launches a newer bigger model, then the existing model will become a 'COLLECTORS ITEM' just like old coins / stamps and no one will be willing to sell it for the price you want.

    You know very well that Toyota plans to launch a Hybrid vehicles in this order
     RX-400 - 2004
     Highlander - 2005
     Sienna - 2005
     Camry - 2006 (estimated)
     Corolla - 2007 (estimated)

    So you have to wait for another 4 years. No use asking for hybrid Corolla today. Anyway if Corolla gives 40 mpg, then it is the best for you.
This discussion has been closed.