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Toyota Prius



  • you guys are right...i went into and types in different postal codes and the site gives me different option packages for different postal code. very weird. could you have ordered it from a dealer with a postal code that has the option you want? (right now...this is all i could do until the prius come to my neck of the wood :))
  • oldfoxoldfox Posts: 29
    The dealer told Geo"s Wife "Order one today and you will have it in two months" ??? Not according to my dealer her in North Carolina. I put down the $500 deposit and have a hold on their single allocation due in January. My dealer just returned from training and said they are getting four TRAC cars in mid-late November (Not for Sale) He also said the car can not be ordered at this time. Toyota is busy filling pioneer and TRAC orders. Our SE distributor is in Jacksonville Florida and does get in a lot of cars - hope mine is not loaded up with unwanted NAV and JBL Speakers etc. I am hoping for Pkg # 6 Smart Entry and Side bags. The dealer do have the correct and new brochures now which accurately show what is included in each of the nine pkgs. I am surprised, being originally from New Hampshire, that New England only gets three packages. Oh well, it seems they do not want to make it easy to get one of these remarkable cars.
  • geo2004geo2004 Posts: 18
    Which region offers the AM package? What packages are available in different parts of the country?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I'm in Seattle and the AM package was on the car I drove and on a white one they had coming in and were hot to sell to me.

    I wonder what the reason is for these dramatic regional variances. I understand how different regions would change their bundles for things like cold weather packages, but requiring Nav to get safety features for East Coast customers and not for west coast? I don't get it.

    - Mark
  • geo2004geo2004 Posts: 18
    The decision must be to assure that, with limited number of pkgs available in each region, all pkgs would sell fairly well. I would think VSC should be available in New England, especially with extended winter driving conditions. I was involved in 2 "fishtails" with thankfully no one in the oncoming lane; I don't care to repeat that experience. I thought VSC would help prevent that.
    With what is available to us here, I think we will opt for the more basic AF wiper and side airbag pkg. I can do without the other options, but I'll miss that Smart Entry/Start system.
  • I live in the Dallas, TX area and had gone to the "built your toyota" website and punched in zip codes for San Francisco, Seattle, Minniapolis/St.Paul, Boston, and Miami. Each region has different packages available. When I go to Texas zipcodes (Houston, Austin, Dallas) the site does not even display '04 Prius information. The site still shows '03 models. Kind of rediculous. I am patiently waiting for my #4 (AG) equipped Prius. Since this is the land of humongous trucks and SUVs, maybe Toyota figure they will sell the Prius here at a latter date then the rest of the country. My sales rep mentioned that the first allocation may come in mid November. Crossing fingers that my package will be offered in this region.
  • I'm in Dallas area also, the salesman at my local dealer didn't even know about the new Prius when I stopped by last week. I had noticed the same thing on the Web site, still showing the 03 model.

    You may be right - around here, the size of one's vehicle is a status symbol and few people seem to care about gas consumption, so I would understand if the Prius is a late arrival in this area.

    Saw the car at the State Fair, but it was locked up.

    I suspect more packages will become available in each region as time goes on, but initially it's more efficient for them to offer just a few packages...
  • Hi Tim, if you are interested in a Test drive, go to Toyota of Richardson. They have been very accomodating to me and my wife. They have a white BC for demo. I believe they were the first dealer in our area to receive a Prius. We had a test drive last Friday night. I had placed my order in early Sept. and am now waiting, waiting, waiting...

    Where do you live in this area if you don't mind me asking? Have you placed an order yet? You can e-mail me privately if you like. Tony.
  • geo2004geo2004 Posts: 18
    Is the Prius Nav system the same as the one in an Accord? Is there just one type of Nav system for all cars, or do they differ?
  • Tony, I'm in the Grapevine area, haven't ordered a Prius but it's high on my list along with the soon-to-be-released Mazda 6 hatchback.

    I plan to rent one for a couple of days' extended test drive when (if) rental units are available in this area. I'll check out the Richardson dealer next time I'm over that way.

    No great hurry, I've been looking at new cars for years but my '87 Sentra just won't die (because I keep fixing it, perhaps...)

  • I was surprised to read on the FAQ on Toyota's website that 3 years of prepaid maintenance is included with the Prius. I just ordered mine and the dealer certainly didn't mention it. Makes me wonder if the FAQ is wrong.
  • ...when you do decide to stop by Richardson, let me know via e-mail. I'll give you the sales rep name that has been helpful and accomodating to us. In general most Toyota dealers in the area are not that great at customer service.

  • I ordered a Prius in Kansas City (for delivery "hopefully in January" btw) and the dealer didn't mention 3 years of prepaid maintenance either. I just went out to re-read the FAQs and they do not mention prepaid anything like service (which I would consider oil changes, tire rotations, etc). Maybe you're confusing Roadside Assistance - which is just pared down AAA type help?
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I finally got to drive the '04 Prius. Mine will be arriving in port on 10/27 but I received a call from a local dealer and decided to test drive it. I was amazed by the quality, especially the ways the doors closed. There are some cost cutting measures (roof liner is one of them), but overall I was impressed. When compared to a Corolla the Prius seems MUCH more refined. You definitely get what you pay for. Even though there is a premium over the Corolla/Matrix, I can't see anyone cross-shopping these two vehicles. I won't rehash what others have said regarding the positive aspects of this vehicle. I just am amazed at how well this car goes down the road. I was travelling at 85 MPH and did not even realize it!!!! I don't care what anyone says... this car represents the future and I am so happy to be a part of its beginning. Keep in mind that I have high standards and am used to driving more expensive cars. My recent cars were Mercedes C320, Audi allroad, Lexus RX300. I am not the type of person that has to have an expensive car. I just like good quality vehicles and this definitely is a keeper.
  • Toyota is not giving that three year maintenance deal on the new Prius. Individual dealerships, can, of course, provide free maintenance as part of the deal...

    Still injoying mine. Decided after 5 days of watching my MPG, to stop monitoring and just enjoy the thing. Then, at my first fill-up, I'll see the numbers.
    Extraordinary car!
  • The FAQ on does say that the Prius comes with prepaid maintenance. Here's the quote, after it talks about the Prius warranty:

    "Additionally, there is a 3 year or 36,000 mile roadside assistance and scheduled maintenance* program from the date of first use for Prius owners. Please see your Toyota Prius dealership for additional details."

    And here's the fine print for the asterisk:

    "*Toyota provides five complimentary maintenance services for the Prius, to be performed at the first five 7,500 mile/6-month maintenance intervals."

    This is in FAQ #7 (Warranty Coverage) under Search/Help on

    Personally, I'm going to insist that my dealer provide these 5 services at no cost... I don't see how they can get out of it with it posted on Toyota's website.
  • on the 2001-2003 US Prius, the first 5 regularly
    scheduled maintenance visits (to 3yr/37500mi at
    6mo/7500mi intervals) were provided for free by
    Toyota. They are listed in the *Prius* Passport to
    Performance (scheduled maintenance guide).

    The free maintenances have been discontinued for
    the 2004 Prius.

    Toyota is still providing in the US 3yr/36,000mi of
    Toyota Roadside Assistance with all Prius.

    of course, individual dealers are free to "throw in"
    free maintenances as they feel fit, but it's a dealer
    thing, no longer from Toyota. (but 2001-2003 Prius'
    free maintenances are good at any Toyota dealer still)

    If you are so inclined, Toyota does offer a prepaid
    maintenance plan. MSRP is listed on the
  • not all navigation systems are built alike.

    This is not OnStar or Guidepoint. there is no
    monthly fees. The map and POI data is stored on a DVD.
    It's up to you if you wish to buy the updated DVD
    every few years.

    The Toyota unit is built by Denso. See the classic
    Prius or some of the Lexus models for an example
    of what's included.

    Do note that the Navigation system option in the
    2004 includes the voice-command features (controls
    audio and climate control, besides navigation), and
    also the Bluetooth functionality (can connect a
    phone and addressbook via Bluetooth and make calls
    and such hands-free).
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I pick up my 2004 in just 1 hour. It's time to begin swamping stories offline. Here's the first gathering details (so stay tuned for a report after about the comments people attending made):

    CARIBOU COFFEE in WOODBURY at 5:30 this SATURDAY, Oct 25.

    Close to the corner of Valley Creek Road (2 miles east of 494) and
    Radio Drive (2 miles south of 94), it's definitely an easy location
    to drive to and find.

    It's quite big inside, there's outside seating and it's connected
    to a Bruegger's Bagel (which also just happens to have a lot of
    seating available).

    The location is in the corner of the City Centre Plaza, which means
    there are always a bunch of emtpy parking spots available. That
    makes finding us rather easy and provides a great photo opportunity.

    Lastly, since it's so close to a number of major attractions in the
    city. The die-hard gatherers that just don't want to part quickly
    can stroll over to a place to dine afterward.
  • geo2004geo2004 Posts: 18
    During the test drive we entered our home address in the Nav system -- easy enough -- however, the readout indicted the dealership was 61 miles from our home and the drive would be over an hour. However, the dealer is an easy 20 minute drive from our home and a lot closer than 61 miles.The map route looked correct. We and the salesman gave up on it. Our question: are there frequent discrepancies in the system? Was it just that we were doing something incorrectly? Is the system user friendly to learn and are the routes generally accurate, appropriate, and do they include less traveled roads? Thanks for any comments!
  • Drove one today. Had package 8 which included the nav system. Outside temp was 91 and the A/C had no problem keeping the car cool even with the fan speed set on low speed. The Nav system is easy to use, but did not have the yellow pages telephone number data base like my MDX has. Otherwise the system is similar in ease of use and utility.

    With three aboard, driven in stop and go traffic, the gasoline engine ran most of the time. It seemed as if more than 35 required gasoline power, but steady 30 or so did not.

    Car doesn't feel peppy at all, yet had no trouble keeping up with traffic. I suspect it is quicker than it feels. No wind noise at all up to 65 mph.

    More knee room in the back seat than my MDX or Cruiser. Noticed that the $184 carpeted floor mats were on all four cars, so it appears that these are a mandatory option.

    Dealer taking orders for February delivery. BTW, the big dealer in town claims he will not be getting a "demo" vehicle. He took his first one and put it in his rental fleet. Said I could rent one for a day if I wanted a test drive.
  • but the Prius' navigation system does have POIs
    (Points of Interest), which is name, address, and
    phone number, for restaurants, gas stations, hotels,
    Toyota dealerships, hospitals, police stations,
    public buildings, malls/drug stores, airports and
    bus terminals, movie theaters and golf courses, ATMs, and...

    Here you can see the voice commands listed in the
    online Help screen. POIs are listed on screen 14
    through 28.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    It's my understanding that the lovely, local Toyota dealerships are the folks who keep safety items out of consumers hands on purpose or make them ridiculously expensive by bundling with items of high cost.

    I am just waiting for some litigation to happen when it's clear that the set of big dealerships here in New England (such as Boch, Chambers, etc.) have kept consumers from getting safety options available elsewhere.

    For example he Matrix Base and XR 2WD cannot be had with ABS here in New Englad ( it's standard on 4WD so the dealers can't delete it from orders from the factory). You have to order it which generally means finding one somewhere else....

    So don't be surprised that the Prius will come with load ups you have to pay for just to be able buy the a safety option like VSC. To get VSC here in New England you have to buy the $5K option with Nav, duh?

    My advice is shop around. Dealers from Northern Va to Baltimore seem to have sensible option pkgs applicable to the Northeast. Same for a couple of St. Louis ones.

    The ones down South are a different story. Distribution there is dominated large regional distributors that tell the dealers what they can have and add options in 'port'. Gulf States are run by Gulf States Toyota and the Southeast by SET. SET frequently REALLY loads cars up with the non-essentials, like the 1970's fabric protection scams for $599 and 'paint protection', add Enkei wheels for 1700 clams and so on. If the Prius gets popular, the stickers there might end up looking like dealer Christmas trees.

    Good luck shopping wherever you are...
  • How does Prius start in cold weather--25 degrees or below--thx for the info? rds
  • dupiedupie Posts: 22
    Hi all:
            Want to inform all you Prius future owners that when your car arrives at the dealer-ship. The Toyota empolyees who set up and clean the cars for delivery will, DRILL HOLES IN THE FRONT BUMPER TO MOUNT THE FRONT LICENSE PLATE.
    This is ware you as new owners need to say pay attention, because when the front bumper is drilled the clear coat color coat paint will "CRACK" all around the drilled hole to mount the license plate bracket.
    When I pulled off the front license bracket I found that where the dealer had drilled to mount my license bracket there were cracks in the paint. This is late Friday evening and the dealer is closed but I will be on his door step early Monday morning to complain about this type of poor workman-ship on the part of the dealer-
    So when the clear coat peals in a year or so who will pay the bill for re painting?
    Over all the car is great and one I plan to keep for some time to come, Salsa Red Pearl with Pkg. # 3 I was the first in the north metro area to receive a 04 Prius (Minneapolis) it was delivered on October 15 the first day of the release.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > How does Prius start in cold weather--25 degrees or below

    It starts *BETTER* than a traditional vehicle!

    The hybrid system has proven a clear winner here in Minnesota over the last 3 years for me. With a motor & battery drastically bigger than a traditional, sitting outside with the temperature at 0 F degrees isn't a even challenge.

    And since the steering is electric, there's no fluid to thicken. So turning the wheel feels the same no matter what the temperature is outside.

    The heat in the classic Prius comes the same speed as in a traditional. The new Prius has a special rapid-heat design for the engine. We have no idea yet if that means you will get heat any faster, but we know it makes the engine happy really quick.

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I recommend you do business with Burnsville. They've impressed me with their Prius service over the last 3 years. And now, you just gave me something else to compliment them about. Sorry, but there are no cracks in my 2004 (which you can see at 5:30 tomorrow, by the way).

    What kind of bracket were you provided with?

    Mine is a 2-piece. One part serves as the anchor and provides a flat surface. The other is what actually holds the plate.

  • i don't know if the car started better than a traditional one in really cold weather but it starts fine. my car is parked outside in freezing temp overnight and it started with no problem. of course it takes longer for the engine to shut down and boy do i wish for heated seats :)
  • We ordered ours last Sunday it is (supposed) to arrive by 11/15/03. Tomorrow would be fine!
    I think it is a guess. The dealer is vague at best.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Drilling bumpers for front license plates is not a problem unique to the Prius. Very few non-US-designed cars have provisions for front license plates. It's a huge design oversight - some cars like the RX-8 look truly hideous with front license plates.

    Many folks just leave the front plate off and risk a ticket. Some get by for years this way, others get pulled over leaving the dealer's lot. Personally, I don't want to give the cops any extra excuses to stop me, so if the state requires a plate, I'll figure some what to get it on there.

    It shouldn't be, but in the name of customer convenience, most dealers have a policy of drilling bumpers like this so that the customer doesn't come in a month later screaming bloody murder about how there is no place to mount a front license plate. So you generally have to explicitly ask for them NOT to do this.

    The bumper is plastic and designed to be somewhat flexible, so I doubt you'll have an issue with the appearance long term. And the fix is probably a new bumper cover, not a repaint. If you are really bothered by this, you should probably push for one now. Just keep in mind that you got to mount the sucker some way or other, so if the current damage is behind the plate, you might just want to accept it as is or you may find yourself drilling your own holes in a month with much the same result.

    Good luck,

    - Mark
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