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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • Hi! I am a first time user of this web site, but oh so thankful I found it! I signed a lease agreement on August 22, 2000 and was told that my car would arrive in November,2000. My question is this: How will I be notified of the arrival of my car? I have heard different things such as getting an e-mail from Toyota regarding arrival time. I also heard that I would receive a letter and owner's manual in the mail approximately two weeks prior to the car's arrival. Others have told me that the dealer I am leasing it from will simple notify me that, "It's here!" Is there any protocol for notification? I would love to hear from people who have had received their car or are about to. It's been a long, long, long wait for this car, but I'm hopeful it will be well worth it. Thank you to any and all for your help! Keep it GREEN! :)
  • I got another thought to throw out there. I was wondering how well the car would perform during a harsh winter. I live in New England (Hartford,Connecticut) to be exact and our winters can sometimes be quite harsh. Does anybody know how well the Prius operates during frigid cold temperatures? How well does it handle the ice and snow? I will hopefully get my car this month (November) and winter's onset is about to begin. I fret about getting this car at this time of year especially when I know so very little about how well it will handle a potentially "old fashion winter". Again, thank you to any and all for your help. Keep it GREEN! :)
  • About 8 weeks after I placed my order, I received the owner's manual. Then, about 3 more weeks later I got a phone message from the Toyota office in San Francisco that the Prius I ordered has arrived in Long Beach CA and that I was should call back to confirm that I still want the car, which I did. They said the car will be at the dealer in 2 weeks. Coincidentally, that same afternoon, I got a call from the dealer who said that the customer ahead of me had backed out and he has a Prius on the lot that I can purchase, which I did that evening. During the next few days, I got additional emails that the car that I ordered is on its way, but I called them back that I already purchased a Prius. Then after another week, I got a gift (a small, calculator size device for storing phone numbers, etc.) in the mail with a note that says something like we are working as fast as possible to get you your car. I guess the communication is not perfect between different Toyota parties. Therefore, I guess you might hear from different parties from Toyota when your car arrives in the US. Don't worry if the messages are confusing. I'll be worth the wait.
  • While driving, I can't tell from the engine noise whether the gasoline engine is on or off. When stopped at a red light, sometimes both the gasoline and electric engines turn off and there is no engine noise. The first few times this happened, I thought the car had stalled. But when I stepped on the accelerator, the car goes again.
  • I am about to settle on a Prius, and have a few questions which some of you can possibly help me with.
    A local dealer says he can get a new one in the color I want in two weeks. Is he crazy? I read on the net about all the people that have waited months and months and still don't expect theirs for weeks yet He says that the boat is in and our area is allotted plenty.
    Trac cars are coming available now. They are broken in, and probably offer protection from the total lemon that happens now and then with any brand-new car. On the other hand, this is a car that seems to respond a lot to driving style, and I am a bit inclined to break in mine myself. Yes, I'm a bit possessive-feeling, which is part of why I am settling on this vehicle. I am over fifty, have never bought a new car (always used, always field vehicles), and figure I might as well suit myself and get something to have fun with. Even though the idiot positioning of the parking brake causes me to bump my bad leg on it, I may go ahead. If wrapping my leg in a woolly comforter and duct-taping foam rubber on the brake doesn't work well enough, I'll get a local handicapped mod. business to cut the brake and move it.
    The other contender for my money right now is a Volkswagen Passat, highly recommended by friends, chock full of airbags and clearly safer, especially for those friends in the back, as the Prius has no side airbags. It just isn't as fun to drive, at least for me. Anyone want to give me some Passat vs Prius comments? Passat is supposed to be Consumer Reports' car of the year, but I don't think they add in "green" ranking when they figure these awards.
    Anyone want to comment on the trac car vs. new issue on a Prius? Our local dealers have tended to take their trac car as a run-around, and I figure they are rougher drivers than I am and may not have paid any attention to the break-in info.
    Where can I get removable seat covers for a Prius? I would like to put washable covers on. I look at the seats in my 1982 Land Cruiser, which reflect some hard field work days as well as lots of regular use. Sweat. Duct-taped torn spots. Possibly I can keep the little car looking spiffy a while, although the only seat covers likely to get dirty faster than the fuzzy grey ones it comes with would be fuzzy white ones.
    Has anyone had experience in plugging a phone in the Prius? Does it stay charged well enough to keep the phone working? I read that there is no charging when the car isn't running. I keep the phone in there for emergencies, and don't want to find it dead, if I have to call the special Prius help number.
  • From my Prius driving experience, and from reading the posts on, it appears that the Prius hybrid system takes about 5 minutes to warm up. During the frist 5 minutes of city driving, the fuel consumption is about 25 to 35 miles per gallon. Therefore, for driving many short trips from cold starts, the fuel consumption will not be anywhere near the advertised mpg. Nonetheless, the overall mpg is still much better than most cars on the road.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Any dealer stupid enough to sell their TRAC car should be shot. How in the world do they expect to sell this car if they don't have one to test drive? If they will sell it substantially less than a new one, go for it. Otherwise sign up and wait for the e-mail notification to let you know you are has arrived.

    Your local dealer is also wrong about delivery times. Your salesman obviously has never taken an order for a Prius yet. See if he'll put that in writing. It would be good for a laugh when he discovers the dealer has nothing to do with getting the cars.
  • There are three local dealers around here. Two are willing to sell trac cars, knocking off $500-$800 for between 1000 and 2000 miles. I'll bet the third would, too, but I haven't asked as I prefer the color on the others.
    For the difference, I'd rather have a new one, if I believed the "two weeks" promise, which was reiterated to me today. "Order by the 16th and have it in two weeks", they say. The dealership which has my top choice color trac car has sold one Prius, so ordering shouldn't be all new to them, but two weeks still seems fishy, as you say.
  • In my Prius, stopping and starting the gas engine is hardly noticeable. The transmission design requires no clutch or starter, so there is no jerky feeling or starter noise when the engine cuts in or out. If there is any amount of noise from wind, pavement, etc., the only way I can tell if the engine is running is to look at the display screen. You have to test drive this car to see for yourself how smoothly the hybrid system works.

    Bob F
  • I ordered my 2001 Prius on August 22, 2000. I have heard NOTHING from neither the dealership nor Toyota. I was told when I ordered it, that the car should arrive this month (November). Each time I speak with the customer representative at the dealership about its whereabouts, she says they have not heard about any incoming Prius'. Sometimes I just can't help think that they forgot to place my order. Has anybody had any similar experiences. Your help is valuable, as I will report the results of this inquiry to my dealership. Thank you! Keep it GREEN! :)
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    You may want to stop by the dealership. Ask to see the confirmation. They have a private web site that they can access and input your name. It will come back with the status. It should say something like "ordered" or "vehicle reserved" or "vehicle assigned". Unfortunately, the dealer is not given regular updates and this can be very frustrating for us and the consumer.

    In the alternative, you can also call the distribution office of the region. Let me know the state you live in and I'll let you know the which distributor to contact.
  • Thank you Cliffy1 for your help. I live in the Hartford,Connecticut region. I will take your advice and go back to my dealer to see if the car was "TRULY" ordered...although they did provide me with a confirmation number. I wonder if there is any way I can track the car via the internet? That would be a cool way to track its progress from Japan to Hartford,CT. Again, thanks for your help. :) Keep it GREEN!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    In CT, you are in the NY region. Call information in NY and ask for the regional Toyota offices. I wish I had a number for you and I might be able to find it this week. Call the main number and ask for the "distribution office" You will be connected to the office that allocates the cars. Explain your situation and see if they can help.

    The dealers don't even have a very accurate way of tracking cars. When you order on the web site, we can go into our private dealer site and see that your order is "pending". Once we confirm the order, it changes to "assigned". It stays in this status until the car is 2 to 4 weeks away. The status changes to "reserved" but we still don't get the VIN or an exact ETA until a couple of days before the car arrives.
  • You were right, of course. The local dealer who figured he could have a new one here in two weeks was dreaming.
    I put down a deposit on a white Prius trac car today and plan to pick it up next Saturday. I wanted a white one, which makes sense in our sunny climate. It's the only white trac Prius in town, and I finally got nervous about the little white bug getting sold, leaving me to wait until March. The dealership does have a second for customers to try.
    One of the final sales points for me on the Prius was the web groups. Web groups for some of the other cars I was considering didn't seem to be as nice people, or to be having as much fun with the cars.
  • Thanks Cliffy for your advice. I did not call the distribution center in New York, but I did go down to my local dealer and ask, "What Up?" They had NO CLUE! They felt, as did I, that I should have heard SOMETHING from Toyota by now. They promised to contact their "head" honcho to inform him of this situation. When I asked him if he could give me a rough estimate of when he felt the car might be rolling in, he said perhaps late December or early January. I said, "WHAT?" I didn't expect such a delay. I was told the car should be in this month. I can not tell you how frustrated I am with all the delays. I am considering withdrawing my order, but fear the penalties would be stiff. Is there any way to contact Toyota directly to find out what is happening with the car? I feel my dealership is just as clueless as I am and I don't want to badger the wrong people. Well, that's it for now. Until the next episode....Take care! Keep it Green!
  • Yes, that's right... I got to bypass the ordering process and bought my Prius on the spot here in Los Angeles, CA. I started calling around and asked dealers if they wanted to sell their TRAC cars and demos until I found someone ready to deal. It seems that the dealer has to keep the car for three months before selling it. I bought a white Prius with about 950 miles on it.

    The whole process took about four hours. I'd also placed an order on an Aqua Ice Prius back in early October, but couldn't wait any longer as my other car is in the shop. (The rental car cost me $1700+ for just over a month's use... not including gas!)

    So anyway, it pays to ask around. I'll probably get a call or two from the other dealers who said they'd "look into" selling their TRAC cars. Anybody in or near Southern California can email me for details or with questions on which dealers seemed more likely/ready to sell.
  • I read an earlier post that essentially said that any dealer selling their trac Prius would be making a mistake. That's so true... and it seems like the dealers know this. Two out of the three stores I tried were getting replacement cars soon and were very cautious about making a promise to sell.

    The third had already gotten their replacement and, thus, were able to sell to me. I hope that clarifies things a bit.

  • On Tuesday, I received a neat little gift from Toyota. It was a pocket-sized electronic organizer. This was the FIRST time Toyota gave me any recognition that I was buying the Prius...other than taking my initial down payment. :) While they would not commit to a delivery date, I was wondering if anybody has had any similar experiences. If so,did your Prius soon follow? Can you tell I'm loosing my grip on patience? :) Thanks for any input! Keep it GREEN!
  • I recently took the Prius out for a test drive and I love it. It's wonderful to drive. I'm 17 and considering this for my college car. My questions so far are as follows:

    1) To date, how many Prius orders have been placed? I want to know because I would like to know how many cars are guaranteed to be made. I know that the 2002 model should sell even better than this one and that Toyota doesn't just give up on cars, but I would like to know how committed they actually are.

    2) What's up with the whole tire thing? From what I've read/heard, they're standard size tires but a special design to reduce road resistance. If they're standard size, then if I'm ever really in a bind, then I can get a tire, sacrifice some gas mileage, and get home. Are they a special size?

    That's it for now, though I'm sure I'll have more. Thanks in advance.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    If you call 800-GOTOYOTA, you can open a dialogue with Toyota. Explain your situation and they will get you in touch with the regional distribution people. As I mentioned before, dealers have very little information until the car actually reaches the port.
  • I received the pocket-size organizer just around the time I got a call informing me that the Prius I ordered has arrived in the US (Long Beach CA).
  • The tires that came with my Prius are Bridgestone Potenza RE92. According to, these are "performance" tires. They describe these tires as follows:

    - High performance tire designed to complement today's sporty coupes, sedans.
    - Circumferential tread grooves provide efficient channeling of water to help resist hydroplaning.
    - Bridgestone's variable pitch technology effectively limits road noise.
    - Our most popular H-rated high performance tire due to extensive use as original equipment on vehicles such as Acura Integra and Honda Civic Si.

    The last item would imply that these tires are fairly common. The tire size for my Prius is P175/65R14, which is a standard size. (I found snow cables for them with no problem.)
  • My white Prius is in my carport. I have noticed some of the people in Prius groups giving their vehicles nicknames, but with only days before I got my car, nothing appropriate occurred to me, until I drove past a local lake to see that a big flock of white pelicans had arrived and were cruising along with their usual flair under a bright blue sky. Their topline and the angle of head and beak reminded me of the Prius. The smoothness and grace seem appropriate, too.
    Our long drought has broken with cold rain which is beginning to cause some flooding. First thing in the morning, I was disappointed not to have a pretty day to enjoy driving when I picked up my new car, but by midafternoon I was just glad to be driving the Prius in order to get home safely.
  • We ordered the Aqua Prius the third week in Sept. We didn't hear anything for one month and then received an email saying the original time of 0-2 months for delivery was wrong. The car won't even be built until Jan. and we may see it in Feb. or Mar. In the meantime, we stopped by the dealership to see what they knew (nothing!) and were shown a color card for the 2001 Prius that had six colors instead of the four shown on the website. One of the additional colors was a very nice blue that had a violet cast to it. I asked if we could change the color on our order. A week later I called the dealer and asked about the color change. I was told the change had been made and there would be no additional waiting time as a result. About two weeks after that, the salesman called to say there are only four colors and my order was never changed. I have gone to the Toyota website and inquired. I was told to talk to the dealer. I told them if I could get an answer from the dealer I wouldn't need to email them. They referred my inquiry to a higher level.

    Has anyone else seen the color card with six colors? In addition to the light blue color there was another dark color that was either a dark blue or black. I'm really going to be upset if I accept the Aqua and then see someone driving around in that blue car!
  • Dear soon-to-be Prius owner, the colors you are referring to are not for the 2001 Prius cars, but rather for the 2002 Prius'. I also saw the "other" colors and was equally impressed. I have done much research on this car and have viewed many many websites regarding this car and I have been told that the colors that you are referring to are not available. I also ordered the aqua blue. I wasn't going to order it at first, but when I saw what it looked like up close and personal, I was stunned by its beauty. It will also go well with our new state license plate (Connecticut). There are many other options available on the 2002 such as GPS (Global Positioning System), possibly cruise control and leather seats. I was also told that the energy monitor might one day be used as a monitor to watch movies etc....that's a bit far fetched if you ask me, but it sounds cool. Do not get discouraged about waiting. There is only ONE plant in Japan building these cars and they are building a very limited number of these vehicles. I ordered mine in August,2000 and still await its arrival. Patience will pay off, I'm sure. The only other thing I have to say is congratulations and THANK YOU! Thank you for taking a chance on a car that promises to usher in a new era of more "conscious" vehicles and hopefully drivers. :)~ Keep us up to date on your vehicle's progress. And don't worry about the color. The aqua blue reminds me of the clear, blue sky the car promises to keep clean. Take care! and KEEP IT GREEN!
  • And undergoing other tests to see how they perform:
  • A Prius with leather seating would be like a chain-smoking doctor—his health advice would be compromised and the Prius’ "green" credentials would be compromised. Leather is part of the "red meat" industry--neither earth-friendly, nor good for human health.
    Buying a Prius gives a person the high ground in talking about a better future for life on our planet. The cars are neat in big and little ways, right down to the "ashtray" which isn’t good as an ashtray and serves as a reminder not to smoke in the car (or anywhere).
    I teach at a University and I am going to have fun showing students my new car. One Prius won’t make much difference in local air pollution levels, but mine is going to sell more Priuses when people see it and ride in it. I wouldn’t want to have ordered leather on the car, as youngsters would be likely to tell me all about the pollution associated with the meat and hides business. "You bought a car producing reduced emissions and then ordered leather seats, leather from an industry that is polluting our ground water with nitrates and causing birth defects", they would think. If I offer a ride to members of the local Student Environmental Action group, a nice group of young folks, I wouldn’t want to see a cringe when they see the interior.
    Leather seats have their place: on Cadillacs for senior citizens whose arthritis makes it very hard to slide into the car, or on "luxury" SUV’s, where they are consistent with the statement the owner makes by driving the vehicle.
  • I agree with you that leather seats might appear to be contradictory to the "GREEN THEME", but like it or not, demands shape the market. Society demands alternative cars ---> enter Prius and Honda's Insight. Sadly, if people wish to drive around in their environmentally friendly "Green Cars" with environmentally unfriendly seats Toyota just might oblige. I am happy to hear that you are spreading the "word" by showing your students your new vehicle. I will too once I get the vehicle. My students constantly ask, "When is that electric car coming?" I remind them it is not fully electric, but they just don't seem to care about that part. I plan on using it as part of several lessons: alternative cars, hybrid systems, recapturing energy etc...I wish you all the best. Let me know how you use the car in teaching your students?
  • I'll mention the car when I talk about greenhouse warming and extinctions. It sounds as if you will be able to incorporate lots about it in your classes. Wonderful!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    One of our technicians has purchased a Prius. He is not particularly green and his commute is a long one on the highway. So why is he buying it? It seems he will be able to get alternate fuel vehicle tags from the VA DMV. This qualifies him to use the HOV lanes and cut his commute time in half.

    This is the first time I have heard of this being done in this state (well, technically a commonwealth but who notices?) and I'll let you all know how it works out. He should have his tags in about 3 weeks.
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