I bought a 2004 Toyota Prius today!

After spending years looking at them, I drove our white Chrysler Town & Country van into the local Toyota dealer and traded it in for a brand new 2004 Toyota Prius! Well, sort of. The Prius is on 50 day backorder so I won’t actually see my car until the very end of 2003 or thereabouts. But I’m excited! The Prius, for those of you that haven’t heard of them, have a brilliant hybrid engine system that is part electrical, part internal combustion. In the city, where I’ll be doing most of my driving, it gets a glorious 60 miles per gallon. Imagine…

Here’s what they look like:

2004 Toyota Prius

It’s not the biggest car on the road, that’s for sure, with a 1.5 liter 76hp gasoline engine and a 67hp electric motor, but if you’re just driving to the library or the supermarket, what kind of power do you need anyway? Of course, being modern times, it does come with a deluxe 9-speaker audio system with built-in 6 CD changer, keyless ignition system (they call this the Smart Entry and Start System), and an AT-PZEV rating, which means that it’s an “Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle” That’s even less emissions than a “SULEV”, Super-Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (and they say the government doesn’t have a sense of humor!).

And here’s the funny part: I don’t even necessarily want to drive a Japanese car, but I do want to have a vehicle that is part of the future, not a gas-guzzling, emission-spewing remnant of the past. If American car manufacturers had a clue, they wouldn’t be ignoring the healthy “green” car market (how many Chevy’s or Ford’s have a 50 day waiting list?). Even less mainstream car manufacturers like Volvo have no intention of considering any hybrid or non-gasoline technology. (yes, I know Volvo is now part of Ford, but they’re still a prime candidate for a hybrid S40 or similar. Man, that’d be a GREAT car!)

Anyway, that’s the big news today. A new car. I can’t wait.

17 comments on “I bought a 2004 Toyota Prius today!

  1. Those are very cool cars. I see the same one every day driving to work and it’s not only a very smart/economical car, but it looks great too. Anyone I ever knew that had a hybrid (Hondas/Toyotas) have loved them. It should be a great car for you.

  2. The second Ford releases a Hybrid version of my Ford Focus ZTS (the four door, not the two door) I’m switching. Until then, I get to loaf along at 20 mpg…
    Although, maybe if BMW made a hybrid MINI or 328i…

  3. I just recieved my 04 Prius after waiting nearly 5 months. I have driven the car approx. 400 miles avg. 33 miles per gallon. (mostly suburban driving) I am not very happy with this mileage since I was expecting between 50 and 60 MPG. Am I being impatient, or what? Any anwsers would be appreciated

  4. Not sure about your mileage, but I know that there are a variety of factors that can affect your MPG. I would suggest that you check out the 2004-prius discussion group at Yahoo Groups (go to http://groups.yahoo.com/ and search for “prius” to find it). It’s amazingly active, enthused, and their archive of articles will doubtless help you quite a bit. And good luck!
    Oh, and an update: It’s now late January and I still haven’t received my car. It’s “in the queue” but I must have ordered a popular configuration or something. But soon!

  5. Hi Dave,
    Here it is May 6th. Have you gotten you Prius yet? Does it get the mileage you were expecting?

  6. Hi Dave,
    I’ve had my 2004 Prius since November of 2003. I’m the first one to get one in our area. I traded in a 2001 Prius to get it, which I loved passionately, but I love my new one even more. Never thought I’d get all mushy over a car. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that temperature effects mileage. When it’s colder, it takes more energy to keep the engine warm, etc, so your mileage will be affected some. In the winter I averaged about 42 (I drive freeway and city about equally). Now that things have warmed up, I’m averaging 50mpg. Incidentally, I took a road trip up into Canada (I live in north Idaho) last January and averaged 53 the whole trip. So it does do better on the highway. I love the power my Prius has. It’ll do 110 without a thought. Don’t ask how I know that.

  7. Hope you all are enjoying your Prius’ I love mine! I have a silver package 9 with license plates that read SMRTCR My husband and I are taking off on a road trip in a couple of weeks. About 3500 miles from Virginia to Cleveland, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Maine and down the new england coast. We’re really looking forward to this road trip and I’m so glad to have the Prius as it will cut our gas budget in half!
    Click Road Trip 2004 to Eastern Canada for more info on our trip and to see pics of our new SMRTCR baby!
    Take care,

  8. Oh yeah, we really love the Prius. I constantly marvel at the excellent engineering in the car, and the room: I have to push the seat all the way back because I’m tall, but my kids can still comfortably sit in the back without being squished. The only thing that’s surprised me is that we actually get better highway mileage (low 50s) than city (high 30s to low 40s) when I expected quite the opposite.

  9. If the car breaks down in some lonely place in South Carolina, will the average garage guy be able to fix it?
    I have to decide whether to purchase a 2005 Prius by tomorrow!

  10. I don’t know what to say. If any car breaks down in a lonely place in South Carolina, what’s the chance of a top quality repair anyway? Seriously, my experience is that it’s been problem free, and everyone I know who has a Prius (and it’s a big group!) relate similar trouble-free experiences. If it were me, well, I’d go for it. And I’m dying to learn what’s new in the 2005 models too.

    June 25,2006

  12. We bought a Prius new in 2004, and it still smells “new.” In other words, it still stinks of the chemical soup of its plastic interior materials. Is anyone else having this problem? We don’t know what to do. It really makes me sick, and I can’t ride in it. Help – anyone!!!

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