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Toyota Prius



  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    The classic Prius has the same LEG ROOM as a 1999 Taurus. That combined with the shorter body would make it an ideal choice for a cab.

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Not bad. Looks as if Toyota sells Prius' en masse.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___Kpoeppel, if you are speaking of the Prius option pack number 2, it is not available on the Corolla LE just as a Sun Roof and Leather aren’t an available option on the Prius. What it appears is that the Corolla could have had the EXACT same features and amenities (exact same Hybrid Drive-train w/ exact EPA ratings - PZEV/SULEV, exact same layout – Hatchback) for possibly $2,000 - $3,000 less from what I can deduce? Maybe Toyota is promoting the Prius as an upscale automobile for pure profits sake and won’t offer the varying features in any Compact/Midsize automobile they manufacture in the near term? As for Mean Mileage to Failure, there are thousands to tens of thousands of much older Camry’s and Corolla’s with > 200,000 miles on them. On the cost saving side of the equation, the Camry/Corolla combination mainly includes mechanical drive train components whereas a Hybrid of any manufacture has both the mechanical and electrical drive train to maintain. The battery pack replacement is the weak link and one Toyota is apparently burying given I still haven’t seen the cost of a battery pack replacement? As a data point, has a forum with Honda Insight end user experiences. Of all the Honda Insight’s I have read about over the last 5 days, 2 have needed a battery pack replacements. 1 of these appears to have had a pack replacement under warranty when it possibly wasn’t needed – mis-diagnosed whereas the other was a true failure at 84,000 (just after the 80,000 mile warranty mark unfortunately for that owner :(). I have read of other possible failures in the Yahoo groups but I believe they are extinct. The Civic and Insight Hybrid’s use much smaller packs in comparison to the 01-03 and 04 Prius’ given they only assist with much lower power outputs. The pack price paid that I read about for the non-warranted Insight was $2,700 including installation. I will have to give Toyota the advantage in longevity since the Toyota battery packs are much more powerful (they are capable of driving the Prius over a range of lower speeds) which may make them last longer possibly? As long as a pack is not deep cycled, I would assume a pure highway driver like myself could get them past 200,000 with only age degradation appearing after some unknown amount of time. The average life for an average Prius purchaser with a normal stop and go city environment would be much lower as the years and miles add up. Batteries usually don’t just outright fail (they slowly lose their capability to be charged and their output continually degrades) but the amount of years do take their toll as well. The key here is that the Prius still doesn’t make sense economically but at least it offers main stream amenities and a larger size not found in the previous generation of Hybrid’s.

    ___John you mentioned in an earlier post about friends, family, and co-workers paying a particular price (~ $5,000) for lower emissions capability. I asked this same question amongst my co-workers last night and here are the responses I received. I first mentioned the Corolla, Camry, and Prius as far as costs (15K, 18K, 20.5K relatively well equipped), sizes (Compact, Midsize, and Compact/Midsize because of the hatchback), and drive trains (IC, IC, and a Hybrid consisting of a lower powered IC and a low powered Electrics given only slightly less performance than the std. IC in the Corolla). Here is what I found.

    - A mid 40 year old female said she would pay upwards of 5% or $1,000 on a $20,000 automobile for a cleaner and greener vehicle. At anything above that, she said she would rather place the money towards more efficient household amenities and appliances like more efficient and clean A/C and Furnace.

    - A 27 yr. old male said he wouldn’t pay a dime. His reasoning is that there are so many large Semi’s on the road that his contribution wouldn’t make any difference no matter the vehicle he drives.

    - 2 other males, mid to late 40&#146;s <-- (I am guessing on their respective ages because I didn&#146;t ask?), said they would pay nothing.

     - The most intelligent response came from a mid-level manager (male) in his late 40&#146;s. He paused. He then said, (I am paraphrasing since I did not take this down word for word) &#147;I am ashamed not to have picked the cleaner vehicle because in my mind, it is the right thing to do. On the other hand, I as well as most other American&#146;s don&#146;t use our heads, we use their pocket books so No, I wouldn&#146;t pay anything for the cleaner, greener vehicle&#148;.

    ___The demographics of the above individuals include wages in the low 60&#146;s to maybe 120K for the mid-level manager and all are extremely intelligent given the past and present training they have all received and the fact that they run two of the best performing Nuclear plants in the world for a living.

    ___As for myself, I would pay $2,000 - $3,000 more for the mileage first and foremost with the green capabilities as a great bonus.

    ___A few other points.

    - You mentioned above that I shouldn&#146;t base the TCO on the 01-03 Prius because it is no longer in production. What did you want me to base TCO on? A $20,500 initial cost Hybrid or something else?

    - You also mentioned the TCO for an IC based automobile has a looming emission test failure in its future. From what I gather, the Prius&#146; TCO would be much more suspect given it has two sets of power trains, brakes, and controls to maintain, not just one. What happens when the regenerative braking control fails? Can you go to Midas and have that fixed? What about the regenerative motor itself? What about the Electric power controls portion of the IC engine. Can you take it to the local shop with a $40.00 to $50.00 charge out rate or the Toyota dealer with a $75.00 or more charge out rate? These are actual shop costs in my locale. My local Acura dealer charges $90.00 per hour so you can well imagine they will never see any of my business other than for warranty repair if I could possibly help it.

    ___Finally, you mentioned that if the Prius&#146; Hybrid drive train were an option available on the Corolla, no one would buy the Hybrid but would purchase the std. Corolla w/ IC instead? Why would that be? The extra $2,500 - $3,500 in price? The slightly lower performance? A looming battery pack replacement? This is where the 30% to 40% increase in mileage comes into the mix to make the TCO work. The cleaner, greener ratings are just an added bonus that not many are willing to pay given my brief question and answer period yesterday afternoon.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Continued ...

    ___An OT data point that you may be interested in ... This morning I received a record high 44.542 mpg in the Corolla LE w/ Automatic over a 580.9 mile hwy commute cycle. I increased tire pressure from 32 to 37 for the last 180 mile loop (something I learned from fellow Hybrid owners ... Thank you) and only needed A/C for 3 of the 6 trips to work and back. I can see a 45 to 46 mpg high coming in the next 3 or 4 days hopefully :) I am still considering a used 01/02 Honda Insight for the commute given the extreme 70 &#150; 90 hwy mpg mileage those guys are receiving but only if the initial purchase price make economic sense to own one.

    ___For all. Please check and consider raising your tire pressures (within a safe range of course) as soon as possible. Not only will you save fuel, you will help save the environment even if just a small amount with the slightly overall lower emissions that the better mileage will provide over a given distance.

    ___Good Luck to you all

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • I meant option combination #2 on the Corolla that makes it comparable to the Prius as far as options and amenities.

    Thanks for the info about the battery, as well as the info about the mileage of Corollas/Camrys. That helps me get a better idea of costs.

    I guess the Prius might have a market right now for people who do a lot of stop-and-go driving in conjested metropolitain areas. In that situation, the stepless acceleration, electric-only driving, larger passenger/cargo volume, and environmental performance might be enough "icing on the cake" to make it worth spending a the extra money vs. the Corolla.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > you mentioned that if the Prius&#146; Hybrid drive train
    > were an option available on the Corolla, no one would
    > buy the Hybrid but would purchase the std. Corolla
    > w/IC instead?

    That is the exact opposite of what I said.

    When a hybrid version of Corolla becomes available (a configuration with all the technology concealed and no frills whatsoever), it should be less than $2000 more than the traditional version. That will be so appealing that many people will simply buy it instead, which won't help boost sales volume if they were planning on buying a Corolla anyway.

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John:

    ___As you have mentioned time and again, patience ... Patience what? Toyota ALREADY has the drive train and they ALREADY went through the redesign. How much longer should they wait? Toyota instead decided to create a $20,500 platform from scratch instead of a $17,000 - $18,000 one that would have received the same mileage or better, have the same emissions, be far less costly to produce, ability for more of the American buying public to afford, and they could manufacture it by the millions without so much as having a high level manager giving the signal to &#147;GO&#148;? At $20,500, the 04 Prius Hybrid isn&#146;t close enough to working out economically for many but at $17K to $18K, it is close enough that many including myself would have said yes.

    > John said: &#147;(a configuration with all the technology concealed and no frills whatsoever)&#148;

    ___When you say a no frills, are you speaking of the ability to add a sun roof and leather (not available on the Prius with any option package?) on the $4,000 - $5,500 less expensive Corolla LE with all of the std. features of a std. Prius except for the ability to adjust climate and radio from the steering wheel, insert the Key fob into a hole and then push the button vs. inserting key and turning, and a touch screen LCD? The only upgrade I see on the base Prius is TRAC although EBD is a similar feature found on any Corolla equipped w/ Anti-lock brakes for an additional $260.00. I had better not forget to add the Aluminum wheels as a $320 option either ... Did someone mention a $150 to $600 rebate on the 03/04 Corolla? You can see all of the std. options included with both automobiles by looking at the list of std. features of the Toyota Prius and Corolla websites as shown here: and here: For anything else, you start paying big time.

    ___There are probably a few more that I haven&#146;t discovered but if you want to list every single std. feature of the Prius and compare to every single std. feature of the Corolla LE, feel free. I would say they are very comparable. All except for the $4,000 to $5,500 price difference when looking at std, features alone.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > When you say a no frills, are you speaking of the
    > ability to add a sun roof and leather

    Features that are available to Corolla now will remain available. It's only the hybrid propulsion system that will be added, to keep the added cost to a minimum. If you want the extras that only Prius offers, you'll have to buy a Prius.

    Also, Toyota wishes to increase their product-line. So arguments about only using existing vehicles don't make sense.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    is Toyota's showcase vehicle for their hybrid they get tens of thousands of Prius out there in America, they will add hybrid powertrains to existing models. For now, they have tried to build a unique vehicle to present hybrid powertrains in their best light. The $4K differential in price vs the corolla is at least partly justified by the different design of Prius, resulting in more useable interior space. But I will bet when hybrid corollas do become available around '07, they will not be $4K more pricey than conventionally powered ones, or even $2K.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • didn't see the article posted here:

    The 2004 is doing really well in Japan (where it's been on sale since Sept. 1)
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > How much longer should they wait?

    Today, Ford announced yet another delay with the introduction of the Escape-Hybrid. They showed off their prototype at last year's 2003 Auto Show kickoff. It was already late then. Now it looks like it will take an additional 2 years more from that point to consumer delivery.

    So it basically it will end up taking 4 years to re-engineer their vehicle to use pre-existing hybrid technology (Ford signed a deal with Toyota to use what was already in the classic Prius).

    Toyota is waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up. In the meantime, they are improving the technology, refining the manufacturing process, and educating their salespeople & mechanics, while also building a reputation for the HSD system.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    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


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • "...the Prius' halo mission might change in a few years. Toyota will start offering hybrid powertrains in other U.S. models, such as the Lexus RX 330, in 2004, and the corporate goal is to make hybrids a powertrain option on most of its nameplates.

    When that happens, Bastien acknowledged, the Prius no longer will stand out as Toyota's hybrid halo. At that point, he said, the Prius could become a Toyota showcase for newer cutting-edge technology.

    "It's something we've talked about, wondered about," he said. "But we can see it taking on a role as sort of a technology standard bearer."
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > the Prius could become a Toyota showcase for newer
    > cutting-edge technology.

    Well realistically, that is what is already beginning to happen.

    And this is nothing new. Intel has taken full advantage of name marketability by milking the term "Pentium" for all it's worth.

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Isn't this what Intel does? Introduces Pentium 4 as a showcase when reality people like me, buy Intel Celeron/AMD Athlon XP for computer processors. It's like what Toyota is doing- the Corolla is the Intel Celeron- what many people buy and what most people need. The Prius is the Pentium 4 and the Camry is the AMD Athlon XP- offering good performance with good value.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    "Geo's wife",

    According to the Prius brochure, VSC is included in Package #7 and Package #9. #9 does have nav, but #7 is just rear-wiper, extra airbags, Smart entry, HIDs, fog lamps, and VSC. Sounds like the one you want. It is also called the "AM" package and runs around $2300 if I recall correctly.

    If the dealer is telling you otherwise, I'd guess they're trying to push you towards a higher-priced car than you want.

    - Mark
  • Has anyone seen the 2004 Prius on the road yet? Or is October still the delivery date. What about the Prius Pionneer who ordered in July? Has anyone received theirs earlier?
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Yes, there have been sightings. In fact, there have even been photos. But those Prius were all pre-production models for show and road-tests.

    Deliveries won't begin until October 15, at the earliest.

    I'm expecting to among the first to get one. My order was placed on July 2, the day after the special early opportunity began. Wish me luck... then stay tuned for real-world driving reports.

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    mrvadeboncoeur- post 454. Thanks for the link! Interesting news about the Pruis sales.

    john1701a - Congratulations! I knew you owned a 2001 Prius, but I didn't realize you were also purchasing the 2004. We look forward to hearing about your delivery experience.
    To Everyone - So just curious, does anyone else here have a Prius on order? Thanks for sharing any details.... ;-)

    Also, if you come across anyone that's interested in discussing the 2004 Prius, please send them to this discussion. Here's a direct link that you can copy/paste: /direct/view/.ef169e3

    Happy motoring!

    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Good luck John

    Around October 15, this will be order of websites that I will be hitting
    and then to others.

    Hope you allocate sometime to update your website.
  • I to placed my order for a 2004 Prius during the first week in July. This will replace my 2001 Prui. Since I am selling my 2001 at this point (to pay off the loan) I may be out of a car for a few weeks. I hope the 2004s are delivered sooner than later.
  • about two weeks ago...hoping for delivery before Christmas. My Prius will be the Millenium Silver/Gray interior with the AG package only. Total MSRP is 21,645. Dreaming about picking up the car by November... :-)
  • Hey John1701A, you always seem to have the inside scope for the Prius. Is there a website you get all your info? You are filled with helpful tips and insight.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Is there a website you get all your info?

    Almost all my info comes from forums like this. The catch is, I get also private emails that help confirm whether what we here is true & accurate or just a rumor. You'd be amazed at the friendships you can build online, without ever actually meeting the person. So we try out best to help each other out.

    There actually isn't anything more formal than that. Taking advantage of the internet by sharing info about something that will ultimately revolutionize the automotive industry (for that matter, the way people perceive technological advances) is a rather new concept.

  • I own an Aqua Ice Opalescent 2001 Prius.
    My mother owns a Brilliant Blue Pearl 2002 Prius.
    My husband has on (Pioneer) order a Black 2004 Prius.

    Just need to talk someone else in my family into picking up a 2003 Prius, and we'll have the whole set! ;-)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Do you have any sisters/Brothers looking for a new car? Just get a leftover 03 Prius while they still have them!!!!
  • Does the 04 Prius come with power seats or is it available in a package?
  • dupiedupie Posts: 22
    I have also ordered a 04 Prius, looking for delivery sometime in late November. I ordered the car from Carlson Toyota in [non-permissible content removed] Rapids MN. on August 26, 2003.
    Thanks to John1701a I have been able to find out more about the 04 then even Toyota knows. My wife and I are retired and live in Andover, MN. In the next two months this web site should be the hottest site around when the Prius owners start getting their cars.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    These are the official numbers from the EPA just released for the 2004:

    51 MPG highway

    60 MPG city

    For details on how they determined those numbers, refer to

  • My coworker called me today to say she spotted a 2004 blue Prius near JFK airport. So..they are coming in.
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