2004 Toyota Prius Owner Reviews
- Exterior Styling
- Interior Comfort
- Quality & Durability
Fell in LOVE at the first test drive!!!
I got my Prius in February of 2004 and have loved every one of the 71,548 miles I have put on it. The exterior is sleeker than that of a Chevy Corvette. It has great excelleration (out runs a Camry 4 cyl.). Three teenagers fit comfortably in the back seat. I can make a 487 mile trip on one tank of gas. Driving around town (I live in the largest city in the U. S.) I constantly get fifty plus MPG. I know that it is an economy car and I drive it like one. Want to know how? Write me at TaDah23@aol.
Will never buy another full gas car
I bought a new Prius in 2004 and it's going strong with 96,000 miles. Got package one, bottom of the line because I was unsure about hybrids. I have regular maintenance at the Toyota dealership where I purchased the car. Replaced the tires with Les Schwab tires after the original ones wore out. (Toyota tires are fine but you can't beat LS.) My Prius is quiet, 54 mpg average and I do a lot of interstate driving which lowers the average (opposite of the gas engine). It's deceptively roomy with a ton of hidden storage. The back opens up, seats fold down and I was able to transport a tall book case from Ikea (disassembled) that reached from the back of the car to the front passenger dashboard. I can also sit in the car (waiting for a friend, reading, whatever), engine on for heat but using very little gas as it shares the job with the battery. Speaking of which, at 90,000 miles the battery power check was still at 100%. Expensive to replace but when I do it'll most likely be just one cell that needs to be replaced, not the whole battery. Even so, I'm already ahead of the game. My 6'1" son can sit in the back seat, head does not touch the ceiling nor do his ********* the front seat. The emergency brake pedal pad doesn't want to stay attached. I wish the driver's seat was a tad roomier and sat up higher so my next car will probably be a hybrid SUV or similar. The interior is grey cloth and wish I had leather. But at the time I wasn't willing to spend the extra money. I had the windows tinted and installed an amplifier for the sound system. Quite pleased, no regrets.
260k miles and still going
I have ran only Mobile One synthetic oil. I changed the spark plugs and fluids at 150k miles. I haven't had to do brakes yet (I do use the electric brake feature regularly). The intercooler pump is the only thing to go out on the car, about $300. I notice more road noise, I'm sure the shocks are worn out. I have averaged about 50mpg for the four years. I'm just starting to see a drop in the battery performance. The hundred degree weather has caused it to discharge quicker than a few years ago, and my milage is lowering, down to about 46mpg. Performance is great and laying the seats into a full bed has been useful on camping trips. I have carried 10' lumber when building a fence and closed the hatch door. I won't replace it until it needs to be. It's one of the best cars I've ever owned.
<p>First off, now that the tax deductions are near zero, the fuel-efficiency of this car is questionable. Although it is rated at 55 mpg highway (and 40 city), I've never gotten more than 35 mpg mixed city/highway and 40 mpg highway. My non-hybrid Civic LX gets the same mixed city/highway mpg, is much more "solid" [see below] and is better equiped. In fact, at the highest of the gasoline prices in the past year, it would take at least 5 yrs. to make up the price difference between these two cars (not to mention the more favorable repair coverage and safety rating of the Honda). And what do we do about the inevitable cost of recycling the Prius' battery load?</p> <p>So, (under the best of circumstances) & all else being essentially equal, why "caviat emptor"? That's the price you pay for its over-rated fuel economy (translation: "make it as low weight as possible")! First off, the exterior is essentially "super thick" aluminum foil (i.e., it dents if you look at it). Secondly, the electronic/mechanical interfaces need major upgrading to make it even moderately safe! I've received 2 recalls so far -- one for a non-crutial electrical issue with signals, and the other for a critical steering defect (for which a partial replacement of the steering yolk is mandated and the rest of the steering mechanism is to be "inspected" and replaced "if needed"). Needless to say, my Prius had the required replacement, but not the optional one. And, yes (because this information is not widely distributed), I was surprised (about 6 mos. later) to find that I was drifting into oncoming traffic and could not correct out of it. Prior to this, I had observed that the Prius did not perform like other front-wheel-drive vehicles on slick surfaces: There is not enough weight in front to allow it to "dig into snow, rain, etc.".</p> <p>The Prius is probably okay as a pure "flat-road city" car, but it won't save you enough $ to make "the juice worth the squeeze"!!! And, it's your life that you're risking!</p>
<p>I love this car. It handles beautifully, is economical and zips right along on the highway. I have only two complaints: the rear visibility is poor, and the dinging when you are in reverse gear is annoying.</p>
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