Toyota Prius Interior & Passenger Comfort Issues

123scott123scott Member Posts: 3
Hi: If the back row seats of the Prius are lowered, could I fit 2 labrador dogs in the back? Do the seats drop totally flat on the floor? Does the tail gate open to let them out or only the back window open? Appreciate it. Lawrence


  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    The rear seats fold flat with the hatch floor. The hatch opens, the hatch glass does not. Also, it's very difficult to open the hatch from the inside, so consider it outside open only, and as it's electric release, it can only be opened if the 12v battery is ok or the car is on.

    I mention this as a warning, if a light is left on overnight and drains the 12V battery you can't open the hatch until you "boost" the car from the front underhood fuse box.
  • gido1gido1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm expecting twins in November. Will the Prius fit two rear facing car seats and a double stroller? My other half wants a Honda Pilot. We live in San Francisco and it is tough to get around/find parking with an SUV. Am I crazy to think a Prius would work?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Does the stroller fold up? Head out to a Toyota dealer with the stroller and try it. One member of Priuschat carries two children in car seats in the rear. The car has three "hold-downs" for car seats on the back of the rear seat. The Prius cargo room is comparable to a Camry, just for reference.

    Oh, and everybody wants a SUV, but they don't all want to pay the cost. ;)
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
    The new Prius drivers seat has very inadequate thigh support because the seat bottoms seem to fall away from your legs rather than push up and support them. It gets fatiguing after a long drive.
    The center armrest is so hard, it starts to make your arm sore within a short period of time due to almost no padding.
    Has anyone come up with good solutions such as aftermarket seat cushions and console armrest padding?

    These cushion "look" like they might do the job, but I haven't heard from anyone who has actually used them.


    Have you found anything that works to make the drivers seat comfortable?

    Has anyone had the center console cover/armrest reupholstered with additional padding?


    I don't know what they were thinking when they only put about 1/16th inch of padding under the fabric.
    The hard plastic underneath the fabric will make your arm sore in no time.
  • glennp9glennp9 Member Posts: 1
    i want to put a sun roof in 2007 prius it may reduce head
    room 2 inches i,m 6-2 any experiance with sun roof etc?
  • chrisxxxchrisxxx Member Posts: 18
    I don't own a Prius (am just thinking about buying one someday), but I have that seat cushion you pictured for my Accord.
    The Accord seat is rather hard also and I have lower back issues at times.
    The cushion is nice for me, but I have an electric seat and can lower it to compensate for the extra height it puts onto the seat.
    I have the cushion set about 3 inches away from the back of the seat so my tailbone has no pressure on it.
    Hope this helps.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    There are several companies that make seat pads. Obus Forme is one very popular one. They're on the internet. We see their products in stores here in Canada. A fellow in Florida may be using the Obus Forme seat pads (I did all the measurements for him a few months ago).

    My only complaint is the console and door armrests are too low. I'm probably going to make my own pads for them.
  • foxwalkerfoxwalker Member Posts: 14
    This initially was a minor irritation. But it is increasingly beginning to get more on my nerves. The Climate control constantly decides when the air should be from the outside or recirculate. Even when I turn off Auto and do manual it changes back to outside air seemingly arbitrarily. Darn it, I want it to stay inside except when I want the air to come from the outside.

    I change it to inside and I will be driving along and suddenly I will smell the road exhaust o the truck just ahead! I change it back to inside and a little while later I smell the skunk that was killed along the country road near my subdivision! - It changed yet again! ARRG!

    Does anyone have a way to stop this darn thing from doing this? I now miss the old manual inside/outside air lever from my 1990 Corolla.
  • curtlercurtler Member Posts: 3
    I read a review of the Prius in the New York Times that claimed the Prius' battery will fail if it is driven at highway speeds for long distances -- because it needs to decelerate or brake to charge the hybrid battery. Has anyone experienced this or is it hockum?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Well, define "long distances". If you drive say, 500,000 mi. it may fail (though we don't know exactly how far it can go before it becomes unreliable - we're not there yet. So far taxi's have surpassed 300,000 km). My battery does just fine on trips to the west coast on the highway. That's 1200 km each way.

    The "traction battery" is used by the system constantly while on the highway. It is charged and discharged cyclically as needed to operate the vehicle. When on the highway or at any other time, the engine charges the battery. Braking "regeneration" can occur at any speed, but it's primary function is not to charge the battery or keep the battery charged, it is to recover energy that would normally be lost. This energy is stored in the battery, but it's not the main source of battery charging.

    Hockum! I guess the days of the New York Times being a reputable newspaper are numbered!
  • foxwalkerfoxwalker Member Posts: 14
    Have you ever driven on the highway without decelerating? After reading many reviews and owner reports, the battery failing would be way down on the list as an issue. also remember the Warranty.

    "Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. The HV battery may have longer coverage under emissions warranty. Refer to applicable Owner’s Warranty Information booklet for details." - I doubt that Toyota would provide this long of a warranty if they believed that battery failure was a problem.

    Back on TOPIC - Does anyone have any suggestions or comments on the actual topic of this post? I would really like some input.

    Thank you! :confuse:
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    500,000 are you kidding. There is no Prius made that will go anywhere near 500,000 miles. The batteries (if used correctly will never last that long, nor will the motors, either one of them.
  • foxwalkerfoxwalker Member Posts: 14
    I think it is funny you would light on that figure (500,000) and only include Prius. How about any car?

    Consumer Reports ( says the average life expectancy of a new vehicle these days is around 8 years or 150,000 miles. Of course, some well-built vehicles can go 15 years and 300,000, if properly maintained.

    Since Prius owners have reported that they have supposed 150,000 miles and consumer reports gives it excellent reliability ratings I would believe the battery thing to be a moot point.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "Consumer Reports ( says the average life expectancy of a new vehicle these days is around 8 years or 150,000 miles. Of course, some well-built vehicles can go 15 years and 300,000, if properly maintained."

    Sorry to hear about new vehicles. I'm still driving a 1987 Corolla daily. Turned 20 this past April.
  • foxwalkerfoxwalker Member Posts: 14
    I retired my 1990 Corolla last year with 234,000 miles on it. That's why I had to break down and get the Prius. Glad to hear you beat the curve.
  • chadxchadx Member Posts: 153
    Back to the topic of this thread...

    Some climate control systems only allow recirculating the air for a limited time if you are on any other vent position besides defrost-only. Try running recirculate on defrost-only mode and see if it remains on. If so, experiment again by trying recirculate on floor, upper vent, or any combination mode and see if it flips back to fresh-air mode after a certain amount of time. That would explain it. My vehicle does this (though it's not a hybrid and is not a toyota). Let us know what you find out.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    Is this really a problem? I have 75K on an "04 Prius and have not had the problem exist in the way you describe. I have noticed the Air come on unexpectedly from time to time though. By the way, I've never had a car that has exceeded my expectations quite like the Prius. After over 50 cars I can easily say...."WOW!!" I've sold others on the great qualities of this amazing "green" car. Five of my friends have taken the plunge and have had no disappointments. The Prius seems to infect others like it did me over 4 yrs ago. Simply an outstanding "Hybrid." :)
  • schaeffzschaeffz Member Posts: 18
    On ebay, search "Toyota Prius Center Console Leather Cover Fits 04 - 08".
    Maybe you could put some padding under this cover?
    As for me, so far, the arm rests are at the right heigth and are comfy enough for my elbows.
    Likewise, the seat cushion is not a problem for me.
  • davew13davew13 Member Posts: 2
    Is the front seat legroom different in the 2008 Prius vs. the 2007? I sat in a new 2008 and my legs were very cramped (I'm 6'6") but when I sat in a used 2007 there seemed to be more room. Vehicle specs for both years show the same amount of space, so I'm wondering if there is a slight difference in how the seats are set, etc. Does anyone know if there's a difference? Any input will be greatly appreciated!
  • denverdriver1denverdriver1 Member Posts: 2
    Our family is in the market for a new car and the Prius is on our short list. One consideration that we have is whether or not the family dog that weighs 50 pounds could ride comfortably in the hatchback space? Thank you in advance for your input.
  • tommtomm Member Posts: 31
    I fit my fold-up golf cart, BIG shoe bag, and full set of golf clubs (hats on top) - there is plenty of room in the Prius - BEHIND the back seats. Only issue for the dog is safety ..;)
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    If I may add my 2 cent's worth, I'd like to point out that I have 2 dogs (1-65 lbs & 1-100 lbs). When riding with the dogs we usually put both Rr seat backrests down but when one other occupant is necessary we put down the wider passenger side down for the dogs. As to using the back only for a 50 lb dog, remember it gets pretty hot in the back with direct sunlight. I really recommend one side down though.
    P.S. I also recommend an old twin fitted sheet for coverage and protection from dirty dogs with both Rr seats down. It fits really well. Try it.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Our black lab never travels in our hatchback unless he's in his dog crate. If it's just one or two of us travelling with him, I slide the crate in the back seat. If it's all three of us, the split fold down seat does the job.

    But I'd never transport a dog that wasn't in a crate. Better for the dog, better for the car interior.
  • dirtnapperdirtnapper Member Posts: 2
    Long story short, I used a windshield cover, rip stop nylon, during the last ice storm. Well, it was rain and it rained. The cover wicked in water and things got soaked. I was able to clean and dry the passenger side; removed mat under the liner and dried everything. The driver side....I can not remove the cable release for the gas cap door. I have taken off the screw, but is does not move - I can not get under the mat without removing that. Ideas? Thanks.
  • cheepercheeper Member Posts: 5
    If this was me, I'd call the dealer before I made things worse.

    I'm glad to read your post. Sorry for your problem. I've been covering my car with 2 tarps keeping snow and ice off. I'm glad I did not do what you did though it sounds simpler. Good luck!
  • dirtnapperdirtnapper Member Posts: 2
    I bought this windshield cover at WalMart, this was not something I did on my own. It covers the windshield and has a flap on each end with a suction cup to attach on the inside of the windshield to keep it in place. The door gaskets must be crap; for a thin piece of nylon to allow water to run in thru the gaskets like that. But, I still need to know how to remove that gas door release... Thanks.
  • cheepercheeper Member Posts: 5
    I read your posts on the other forum. Isn't there a link on how to do things? You've posted there so someone should have mentioned it. Is there a Prius manual perhaps at the dealer? Good luck and post here or there if you get it figured out.

    Thanks again about what you did. If I'd seen it in Walmart, I probably would have picked it up.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    Sounds like BS to me. Maybe I should be more concerned about monkees flying out of my butt.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    Mine is just like yours. It must be reset every time. Just like the nav system "accept", and the cruise control system.
    What I DON'T like is the creaking/groaning of the fresh air/recirc flap whenever it moves from one to the other position.
    I am afraid to take it to my dealer due to the "over their heads" experience I had with the headlight bulb.
    Arlington, TX.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    I might consider smaller dogs. Yorkies perhaps.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    I expect your sunroof addition will be a hellish one. The roof panel is not configured
    for a "normal" sunroof. There are aerodynamic beads running the length of the roof that may interfere with any addition.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    The Gen 2 Prius' all have Auto Climate Control ( ACC ). This system is the same in all Toyota's with ACC..essentially it means set the temp to the desired level, touch 'Auto A/C' and forget it.

    After a warmup or cool down period the system will test the interior air temp continually and adjust the heat or cooling to maintain the temp set by the operator.
  • foxwalkerfoxwalker Member Posts: 14
    I don't get any creaking/groaning during the change, that is the problem, I don't even notice it changed over until I smell skunk or someother bad road smell. I am sorry about your dealer issue. I have been very pleased with my dealer.

    But this issue for me is not actually a fault, but a design "feature". The issue is a basic flaw of all highly automated systems, fine most of the time, but sometimes it will make choices the user does not agree with. Unfortunately in this case I do not believe there is any way to go 100% manual. After over a year I have not found an answer to this one.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    I know why you have a complaint. In winter, I have to sniff others' tailpipes until I set the climate control to recirc. In summer the gym sock odor comes thru during the nightime.
    Perhaps Toyota will come up with a sensor that recognizes malodorous air and takes care of it automatically.
    I know that Mercedes-Benz has a "pollution" sensor on their climate control, but there is still a problem with the gym sock odor due to the heater/ac case being
    designed to allow condensation water to sit and "brew".
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    100% manual or 100% recirc is not an option. Especially when the heater is in use.
    100% manual defeats the design feature of the Automatic Climate Control.
    100% recirc is not allowed since too much recirc air causes drowsiness.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Member Posts: 936
    I think your dog would fit,but where would you put your luggage?
    A crate on the other hand would not,not without folding the larger of the back seat sections.
  • trailrunztrailrunz Member Posts: 8
    Question for all current Prius owners:

    I have been searching and searching for a new car based on a new career in sales where I will spend a lot of time on the road. I posted a question in a different section about cars with comfortable driver's seats, but I would like to hear about the Prius from Prius owners.

    I will be driving between 30-40k/year and I'm fairly tall (6'3''). I test drove a Prius today and loved the car, but didn't have that "ahhhh" feeling in the driver's seat (BUT, it is hard to judge a car based on a "drive around the block" test drive).

    I'm concerned because the Edmund's review of the Prius stated it has an "awkward driving position" but maybe this has nothing to do with the actual seat. Anyone care to share their satisfaction with the comfort level of the Prius?

  • unkedsunkeds Member Posts: 1
    At 6'3" you will be probably be faced with a dilemma. If you get in the Prius, and adjust the seat height and distance from the pedals to your liking, and then reach out for the steering wheel, it's going to be too far away. You will then have to compromise your seating position comfort to reach the steering wheel with any degree of comfort.

    It creates a arms extended driving position for most tall drivers. This is probably the main reason the reviews mention a seating problem,. The seat itself isn't too bad, though it's pretty firm and short cushioned. And it does not have an angle adjustment.

    Definitely a try before you buy situation.
  • denverdriver1denverdriver1 Member Posts: 2
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