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Toyota Prius



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the '04 has better acceleration than my Matrix - power is decent for passing and for holding speed up a hill, although if it is a really long grade you will eventually lose the electric assist, which will slow you down. This never happened to me however, try as I might to deplete the battery totally! :-P

    Don't know about the gas mileage at that moment, but I will say two things, (1) doing quite a bit of that type of driving, I managed 45.5 mpg over 500 miles or so, and (2) the computer at that moment shows some AWFUL numbers! (like 9, and 13) :-)

    The noise level of the Prius, particularly at speed, is noticeably higher to me than that of my Matrix. The tires are very noisy,and there is also moderate wind noise.

    As to this, "My concern would be stability with the narrow tires at high speeds.".....don't be silly. The Prius runs on 185-section tires and weighs less than 3000 pounds! The Camry of just three years ago ran on 195s and weighed several hundred pounds more. If it comes to it, this is still a very common size now for many cars out there. Certainly the Prius displays no stability problems when driving at high speed, and is less nervous in crosswinds than the corolla I had a for a couple of days a few weeks back.

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

  • I contacted Wolfe's internet manager and was told the vehicle listed on line was sold but they have a tester they have "committed" to keeping on the lot for test drives. I consider this a soft form of bait & switch for the fact that we all know about how big the back order is ... why spend effort trynig to trick savvy Internet shoppers??

    Anyway, further inventory research in my area (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Dakotas) showed that about 1/3 of dealers are following this ridiculous "Wolfe-like" practice of trying to pull the virtual wool over our eyes ;)

    Buyer beware.
  • MC - you have a right to those opinions and they are pretty interesting. The facts are that demand is in excess of 60,000 units for the year and Toyota says they will make a profit on those units. Debatable about cannibalism of other badges - and pretty much everything else, especially your list of "doesn't have's" that includes things the Prius does have??
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    I find Toyota's hybrid concept extremely innovating and interesting and far superior to any other manufacturers to date. I frequently browse this site to read comments from actual owners (I may be interested in purchasing the hybrid HL when it becomes available). I'm not going to comment on your long-winded message. It is apparent that you sure spend a lot of time trying to find fault with this vehicle/technology. Although your intentions may be honorable, it's to the point where I will no longer read your comments. I don't believe you own one... do you?
  • Was at my dealer today and one of their sales staff who received the one-on-one training finally got my Siemens S56 phone to work on the screen. He WAS NOT able to get the phone list or address book transferred however. I get the signal and can make manual calls. Has anyone been able to figure out how to transfer the phone list? Its done through the phone instruction book but it kept stalling and would not transfer the lists. HELP, SIEMENS S56 USERS.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Re what the Prius lacks...

    Leather and Power seats
    Yes. I don't like leather seats. I've only owned one vehicle with a power seat--somehow I've managed to live without that feature most of my life.

    That would be a nice option, but I've never had a vehicle with a sunroof and I think I can do just fine without it.

    Retro digital speedometer and simple bar graphs.
    ??? I thought the Prius did have a digital speedo plus lots of bar graphs.

    Handling is only adequate
    Want fantastic handling? Buy a Bimmer. Handling is fine for a family car.

    Performance is only adequate
    Want fantastic performance? Buy a Viper (or fill in the blank). Performance is fine for a family car.

    Uncertainty on long-term battery reliability ( I predict the only way to alleviate this fear will be to guarantee the battery for the life of the car; becuase of the high battery replacement cost, even the 8yr /100,000 mile warranty is comforting enough)
    You could say a similar thing for any brand-new design--uncertain reliability (actually, CR says just that on new models it reviews). I guess all automakers could relieve the uncertain reliability of those new designs by guaranteeing the key parts for the life of the car. I don't see anyone doing that, though. The closest is the Hyundai/Kia powertrain warranty for 10 years, 100,000 miles--not far off the Prius' 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the battery and other hybrid parts.

    One touch windows all around
    How many other $20k cars have this feature? And how often would I use it? (Very seldom)

    Backseat head room is limited.
    Yes, as it is for any other car with sloped-rear styling (e.g. Mazda3 sedan). Try before you buy.

    Noisiness of hatch and noisiness in general
    Actually I thought the Prius was very quiet on the road. Reviews by the car mags have noted how quiet the car is too. Maybe we are missing something here.

    Radio is only adequate and is difficult to change out; speakers can be upgraded and aux can be added, e.g. Mp3, but you are stuck with the basic integrated radio.
    Yes, this trend towards proprietary radios is not good, but Prius is not unique here. One option you have is adding XM radio--it can slide in nicely into the little cubby below the radio.

    No automatic lights.
    ??? They turned on automatically when I started the car and turned off automatically when I stopped the car and shut it off. Automatic enough for me.

    No memory seats.
    Not true--I remember the seats! ;-) Isn't this a subcategory of "no power seats"? How many other $20k cars have memory seats?

    No rainsensing wipers.
    Nope. I guess I'll just have to depend on the rain-sensing driver to flick on the wipers. Oh the inconvenience of it all! ;-)

    No accurate gas gauge or gas tank size.
    A problem with most cars I've owned--on the gas gauge front anyway. As with those cars, it's a matter of understanding the behavior of the car and adapting to it. Is that a real big deal? I don't think so.

    Gurgling and shuddering caused by coolant system.
    See the Honda Civic board (not the hybrid) for reports on the gurgling caused by the coolant system. I didn't notice any gurgling or shuddering on my test drives.

    Pricey for what you get at option package #9 a cost of $26K
    Interesting--I just read yet another review (from C/D) that raved about the value of the Prius--they were scratching their heads over how Toyota could offer the Prius with so much content at such a low price. What other cars are available at $26k MSRP with all the features of the Prius with Package 9?

    Very minimal discounts in price
    Yes--just like any other super-hot new model (e.g. Odyssey in its prime, Sienna now). If you want discounts, wait a couple of years for the new-model fever to subside and more competition to become available.

    Resale value is an unknown
    Yes--just like for any other new model.

    Long wait time to acquire
    Ah, but the best things in life are worth the wait, eh?

    Mainly fuddy-duddy color selection exterior and the only interior choices are light colored dirt magnets.
    I guess I'm a fuddy-duddy then--I like several of the exterior colors and the ivory interior.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Short-Term thinking is definitely not the way Toyota chooses to run their business. Think Long-Term, it clarifies all the misunderstandings you are having.

    The 5 percent increase in marketshare goal is aimed for 2010, and so is the goal to have HSD available in all their passenger vehicles.

    They are right on schedule and currently in the pink overall. Each Prius model year has presented hardware & software improvements. The 2004 Prius are flying off dealer's lot. It is getting fantastic press acknowledge. And based on the success so far, the upcoming new hybrids are being highly anticipated.

    Why do certain people keep claiming this approach doesn't make any sense?

  • geogirlgeogirl Posts: 24
    Midnight cowboy,
    <Re: The Prius buyers are coming from somewhere, Toyota's hope is that they are previous non-Toyota buyers>

    While I may not be the typical Prius buyer and maybe this comment is more appropriate on the "Are hybrids up to the chore?" forum, but the Prius is my first Toyota. I was set to buy an Accord, but decided to test drive the Prius (we had decided not to get the Camry because it didn't offer a manual shift with the side air bags option). It was love at first drive and I have no regrets. Attractions? MPG, safety features such as ABS and side curtain air bags, clean emissions, interior room, and general coolness. Have package #3 so I don't have the smart entry/start or Nav system (didn't want them). I did a lot of research on cars before buying this one and think I made the right decision. I didn't look at other hybrids as I wasn't looking specifically for a hybrid. In other words, the Prius beat out all other non-hybrid cars in my price range! The best part is that with the federal tax deduction and state tax credit - the price is now the same as what I had negotiated a lesser equipped Accord down to. Oh yeah, the color choices are MUCH nicer than the Accords. All in all, this "soccer mom" is very pleased with her choice.
  • I had my original order placed with Jay Wolfe. All I kept on hearing was when I know something I will let you know. Finally got fed up and posted on the internet to all dealers in MO, KS, IA, OK, NE that I was interested in a BC package. I received an email from Doenges Toyota in Bartlesville, OK that they had a BC black coming in that no one of their pre-orders wanted. I jumped on it-or I'm sure I would still be waiting. I was told by the end of December. Crowne Toyota, in Lawrence seems to get some un-allocated cars and also the Toyota dealer in ST Joe. Look at dealers in smaller towns around you. I had to drive 200+ to get my BC, and I just love it.

    Smithville, MO
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    the hybrid RX and HL. They're not "green" they're RED as in gas guzzling hot-rods.

    0-60 times right up there in front.
  • Thanks for all the feedback on my earlier post. I think I may try to rent a Prius through TRAC so I can see what it feels like to live with it for daily use. A 15 min test drive just doesn't cut it.

    I noticed NHTSA hasn't posted the crash test results for the new model yet, so I emailed them, and they said March/April results should be posted. Anyone here concerned about hte potential crash worthiness of this car? Or heaven forbid, been in an accident already and can (hopefully) rave over how well the car protected them? The previous model had a pretty dim safety rating, so I am thinking to hold off on purchase decision until test results are posted (unless my Windstar kicks the bucket sooner). Toyota has said they expect to get 5 stars, but then what else would they say? The built in safety features, trac control, VSC, brake assist, and optional curtains are all wonderful things that should help and do make me feel somewhat more comfortable if I did have to put in an order today.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    Toyota will NEVER offer's a Lexus thing. Not even the $50-55K Land Cruiser has them!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If crash safety is a major concern, and you like the car otherwise, put your order in now and by the time your car arrives the NHTSA and IIHS reports should be out. If not, you can always get something else (be sure your deposit is refundable "for any reason").
  • bkswardbksward Posts: 93
    Going back about 30 posts or so.

    It is actually 746 Watts/ 1 horsepower.

    It is 550 ft lb/s = 1 hp.

    As far as power draw, a Sylvania Silverstar H1 halogen bulb draws 68 W maximum.

    So, having high beams on is about 140 W of power. That's less than 1/5 horsepower.

    HID lights actually use less power than filament bulbs for the same light.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > HID lights actually use less power

    Yup!  35 watts.

  • When my Prius FINALLY gets here, should I spring for extras? Specifically, do any of you have advice/comments/answers on the following?
    1. Is the extra warranty worth buying?
    2. Are there dealer additions I should consider (eg., floor mats, etc.)
    3. Does the dealership give you 2 key fobs?

  • ragueroraguero Posts: 60
    My Prius came with option pkg. 6. I would like to have had the HID headlights. Has anyone out there replaced the standard lights with HID? Is is possible? Also, I would have liked a better stereo. Does anyone have specs on the stardard radio? Does it have a subwoofer input/output or an aux output so that I could maybe get XM radio installed? I love my Prius! There's about 3000 on the odometer and I'm still averaging about 47 mpg. Thanks for any input.
  • boxfanboxfan Posts: 180
    Shouldn't the Prius do well at 80mph vs, 60mph compared to other cars, because of the extremely low coefficient of drag? Wind resistance should contribute a lot to the low mileage at high speed, because it's proportional to the cube of the velocity, so there's more than twice as much wind resistance slowing the car down at 80 than at 60. Side winds will complicate that, of course, but the Prius should still have an advantage. Another factor that cuts down mileage at high speeds is engine RPM, which, if I understand correctly, should be less of a problem in the Prius because of the CVT-like planetary gear.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    lower power AND brighter, wider spectrum, light.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not always. One review said the HIDs from the Audi TT were among the worst lights tested. Meanwhile, an econobox, I forget now but I think it was a Corolla, had the best lighting overall with plain halogens.

    It's fair to say they'd *tend* to be better, but that's not always the case.

  • Was wondering if anyone has run 04 Prius in cold weather.It's been - 20 to 30 below celsius here the last few weeks. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Are the Prius HIDs auto leveling?

    Yes. In fact, a few months back someone posted a video (on another forum) showing the startup process for the HID. You could see it physically moving to adjust.

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    It was -20C here (Minnesota) yesterday. That proved to be no big deal. None of the local owners reported any trouble starting up or getting heat. So for overnight in the extreme cold, the 2004 fares quite well.

    Out east, they may have had the opportunity to test several days of exposure in a row. I haven't heard anything though.

    The classic model hasn't had any trouble. Warmup takes longer than normal. But that's true of most vehicles.

  • thanks for info I'm doing research for my father he has a 01 prius and at -25 c. the battery that runs the computer dies was wondering if anyone has same problem with 04
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > a 01 prius and at -25c

    I have a friend in Europe that has an 01 Prius which is exposed to -40c for several days at a time every winter. He removes that 12v auxillury-battery and brings it in the house with him.

    That's cheating. But with an extreme like that, it's worth the guarantee of an effortless start afterward. And the small size of the battery itself does make the removal fairly easy.

    The 2004 auxillury-battery doesn't appear to be as easy to remove, but then again it is bigger. So there may be no need to ever do that, even in extreme cold.

    Look at it this way, all the 12v has to do is feed the computer. In a traditional vehicle, it has to power the starter. A computer takes far less electricity. So the hybrid should have less of an effort starting anyway. (Prius spins the engine for startup using the 201.6v battery-pack. So that aspect is completely a non-issue. That's gross overkill for cranking power.)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Definitely get the mats! The carpet colors are pretty light, and it's a lot easier washing off a mat than cleaning the carpets.

    As for extended warranty, the standard warranties and Toyota's reputation for quality are enough for me, but if you like the peace of mind it gives you, go for it.

    The Prius had better come with 2 key fobs, since they are needed to start the car!
  • jnfrjnfr Posts: 5
    Hello, everyone! New forum member here. My husband and I bought our Prius 2004 last year, taking possession just after Christmas. What a wonderful gift it has been!

    We live in Colorado, in the NW suburbs of Denver. Before we bought the Prius our only car was actually a truck, a '91 Toyota PU, V6 4WD. While most of our driving is very much short run, stop-and-go driving - back and forth to the grocery or the Park-and-Ride - we also have taken many long road trips, done camping and a bit of off-road, and have driven it all over the western US and up into Canada. The truck is perfect in the occasional deep snow blizzards we get here, hauls a ton of mulch for my garden, and while not good on gas mileage, it was at least acceptable at roughly 20-21 MPG (this has dwindled a bit as it aged).

    So, we really love our truck, but it's approaching 150,000 miles, and when we decided we needed a second car we were primarily thinking of a Subaru Outback, which has the AWD, carries a ton of stuff, and is affordable, reliable, and extremely common in this area.

    We're not familiar with luxury cars, or power cars, as many of you seem to be. But we are very environmentally aware, since we both have allergies and asthma that kick in hard when the air gets bad. And so when we got serious about a new car last summer we started looking at the Prius.

    I'm not entirely sure when or why we decide the Prius was the car we most wanted. We were very much intrigued by the environmental aspects of course - not just the MPG that you all discuss a lot, but the overall low emissions. And having had a Toyota truck, we were convinced that it would be a quality product. Besides all that I think we were swayed by our general love of technology and computers, since we're both sort of geeky. So we read a lot of stuff, and slowly our interest turned to the Prius rather than the Outback.

    By the time we started to settle on a Prius, it was late summer and the 2003s were long gone. We worked with a broker affiliated with our credit union (and had a wonderful experience there, but I don't think this is thread for that). We started reading all the incredible press the Prius has gotten in the last half of '03, and began to worry that we wouldn't be able to get our hands on one, now that we'd settled on it.

    We did know that we wanted the Driftwood Pearl, and the #7 (AM) pack, since that had all the safety features plus neat things like the Smart Entry. So we had our broker put in a special order, and hoped it would arrive before the end of '04 (we ordered in November, so the timing was definitely tight). We got a call or two about other colors and features that showed up while we were waiting, but decided that even if it meant a lower tax break, we really wanted out first new car to be exactly what we wanted.

    Here in Colorado, by the way, there is a tax credit of almost $3000 for buying a hybrid (Colorado has some serious pollution issues and has been aggressive about dealing with them). That's an actual tax credit, and on top of the federal tax reduction. So while the nearly $25k price was pretty high for us, the tax considerations made a big difference. And our broker and the dealer (Elway, for those in the area) came through perfectly, delivering exactly what we wanted in just over six weeks.

    I know this will sound insane, but we bought the car entirely on instinct, never having seen this model of Prius, much less ever driven one. And it was love at first sight.

    The seats are completely comfortable, the interior size and hauling capacity are more than I ever imagined, the car itself has a faster, more responsive engine than I expected, and takes hills, traffic, and at least light snow very well. It easily holds our normal shopping, even when we go to Costco and load up, and we can carry our friends around with no trouble at all.

    Between here and the Park and Ride, our most common drive, there are six stop lights in less than three miles. And every time we pull up to the light and the entire car shudders and goes silent, I smile. All those people around us are belching out fumes but we're in this little bubble of quiet and clean air, and it's a great feeling.

    I mention that because our gas mileage is nothing like what some of you report. We're still in our first tank, and averaging under 34 MPG. From reading here, I think that's because: 1) it's really been cold this time of year; 2) the car is way new (we hit 200 miles today); 3) we're not very good at driving for best mileage yet; and 4) we're doing the worst sort of in-city, short run driving. We rarely drive for more than 5 or ten minutes at a time.

    Anyway, that's my Prius experience so far. We're very happy with the purchase, and if, as I expect, the car is as sound and reliable as other Toyota vehicles, I hope to remain happy with it for years to come.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The Great State of Nebraska has decided that all Prius owners must pay a $75.00 annual fee for driving an "alternative fuel" vehicle. If you want the gory details, click on the top link at:

    Next I suppose they will charge motorcycles $100 and bikes $150!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    We've settled on a date, time, and location now.

    Saturday, January 31 at 3:00 PM

    This time we'll be in the northwest corner of the Twin Cities, at the STARBUCKS in Maple Grove.

    If you have a hybrid, are waiting for the delivery of one, or are just curious, stop by.

    Like usual, it is just a casual get together to ask questions and swap stories. We will probably take a few photos of the cars too. That particular location is great. There is a ton of parking space, making a "line up" photo very easy. And of course, the inside of the coffee shop (where it's warm) is quite large, offering easy seating for all that show up.

    Just take the first exit on 94 North. Turn right on Weaver Lake Road. Then turn right on Elm Creek Boulevard. You'll see the Starbuck's at the end of a small strip-mall. Behind it is a large Barnes & Noble, with a Kohl's and Cub Foods off to the north side. In other words, it's pretty easy to find.

    Hope to see you there.

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