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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A journalist is looking for a person who is in the market to buy a hybrid vehicle. If you care to be interviewed, please respond with your daytime contact information to by Friday, July 11.


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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    There is no way Prius is going to be dropped in the future.
    There is always a hybrid design which is more powerful than
    the existing 1 and they will put that technology in Prius
    1st and then in Corolla / Camry. May be in 5 years time
    Toyota may launch Plug-in hybrid version of Prius.

    Plug-in hybrid will have the facility to be charged from
    the household grid and they will run for 20 miles (30 km)
    with that electricity and beyond that, gasolene/petrol
    engine will kick in.
  • boxfanboxfan Posts: 180
    The prius is built for high mpg in a lot of ways, with the aerodynamic shape, low rolling-resistance tires, and CVT. I would think Toyota would keep it going as their show-off-the-technology car, even if they incorporate the hybrid system into other models.

    Also, one problem with making the Civic into a hybrid has been that its real-life mileage hasn't been that much better than the standard Civic, so it doesn't seem worth the extra thousands for the better mileage. I think it makes sense to have a separate car as you hybrid model, then people don't have anything to compare it to.
  • Hello my fellow Prius Peoples!

    First of all, I would like to say that I recently received an invitation in the mail from Toyota, as I am a "Prius Pioneer", to purchase the new 2004 Prius. I went on-line and followed the directions to view the new colors. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the choices they made for the 2004 model. What's more, most of the colors come standard with an ivory interior. With that as an interior, I'll be vacuuming every other day! What are they thinking? :) In addition, I wish the options packages were a bit more versatile. Option package number 1, for example, was just the addition of a rear wiper. That seems odd to me.

    Second of all, I spoke with a Toyota sales person this past Thursday and was told that Toyota's plan-at this stage of the game-is to use the new Synergy Hybrid system in all of their vehicles within 5 years or so and to eventually phase out the Prius altogether! Say it aint so! I am doubtful that this will come to fruition. Unless they redesign ALL of Toyota's vehicles like that of the Prius, I'm curious how they plan on getting the same or better gas mileage. Besides, now that this information has been leaked out (not just from me) isn't Toyota concerned that such a rumor will hurt the sales of the new Prius, if in the end they plan to phase them out?

    Even so, I plan on test-driving the new Prius, but it will be hard to give up my current, 2001 model. I love that car so much!

    P.S. I would like to take a survey of Prius owners. It has been my experience that I get better gas mileage on the highway than I do commuting around town. Perhaps this is because my commute to work is a mere 7 miles one way. This is most notable during winter. By the time I get to work, my engine has just warmed-up sufficiently to go "all electric". On a recent trip from Hartford, CT to Provincetown, MASS., a 200 mile trip, I averaged 54 mpg. Now, driving in and around Connecticut, I am currently getting about 50 mpg. If you have had a similar experience, let's share. Thanks! Perhaps they need to change their advertising?! :)
    Gotta jet. Take care Prius People. KEEP IT GREEN!:)
  • paul34bpaul34b Posts: 33
    Regards to gas mileage, my Prius (2001) does better on the highway as well. I commute 3 miles to work and, especially in the winter here in Maine, the engine barely gets the chance to warm up. My average in the winter in considerably lower (high 30s). I am not very impressed. Otherwise I still like the vehicle.

    I also received a "Pioneer" letter. I have placed my order as I do like this new version. I was told that the beefed up "synergy system" and battery are supposed to fare better in the cold. I hope so.
  • pigfacepigface Posts: 1
    you should know better than to talk with a salesperson about future vehicle plans...

    i can promise you in 9 out of 10 cases, you'll know more about an OEMs plans weeks if not months ahead of the dealer sales staff.

    if you don't agree.. just listen to what they are saying.. "hybrid synergy drive in all toyota vehicles within 5 years.." that's ridiculous.
    hybrid synergy drive wouldn't even be the right application for vehicles like land cruiser or tundra... trucks require a different type of hybrid powertrain... nevermind the fact that 5 years is a very short period of time in the life of a vehicle lineup.

    my 2 cents
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    Personally, I think the 2004 model will be the last of the Toyota Prius models. This is because by 2008, we'll likely see the next-generation Toyota Echo and Corolla models offer the Synergy Hybrid Drive system as an option, especially now that Toyota has produced enough hybrid drive systems to very soon reduce the cost of production dramatically. Because hybrids will be available on both the Echo and Corolla, the Prius becomes a superfluous car line.
  • dbronzodbronzo Posts: 19
    I've seen the pricing for the new Prius, options etc, and was wondering if any of the present Prius owners who are buying new 2004's are getting any kind of deal off sticker? Does anyone think that discounts will be given from sticker? I'm interested in buying a 2004 and have been told $1000.00 over dealer cost. I understand there is only about $1200.00 between dealer cost and sticker. Any thoughts?
  • taddisontaddison Posts: 99
    Any comments from owners about performance in snow and ice?

    Can you control wheel-spin at startup? Is it better or worse than a regular automatic for this?

    Does the car have traction control (automatic brake or throttle modulation) or limited slip diff?

    If you are stuck in snow with a wheel spinning, in a regular automatic car you can step on the brake a little while still accelerating in order to force some power to the non-spinning wheel. Can you do this in a Prius or does the computer automatically override the throttle position and remove power when you step on the brake?

    How about the LRR tires, are they any good in snow (compared to "regular" tires, not to snow tires)?

  • I am trying to find the web site that shows the 2004 exterior colors. On the Toyota web site they only show the 2003 colors. Does anyone know where I can find the colors for the 2004 Prius.
  • 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: 3,469
    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: 149
    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: 720
    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: 720
    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.