gee Hep, I never thought you were that old...bet you like the ease of entry and exit with the Prius! 8)
It would be nice if the used classics were priced much lower than the new model, but they aren't that far back. Pound for pound, you probably are getting less value in the classic. Not quite as good mileage, considering the size, but some have gotten real close. Can you imagine the mileage we'd get if the same drivetrain in the new model was put in the classic body?
Then consider the standard features in the new model, which is a whole lot more than a fully equipped classic.
But a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush, which is why the classics still have high resale value.
But I believe that if there were no shortage of 04/05 Prius, there would be little market for the classic.
2003 Prius: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/18608.shtml EPA city/highway/combined 52/45/48
2005 Prius: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/20934.shtml EPA city/highway/combined 60/51/55
In my experience, the MPG is about the same for both vehicles. Maybe a handful better for the new design, but not much. (lifetime for my 2001 is 45.9MPG, lifetime for my 2004 is 49.0MPG. big whoop.)
http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/ shows the Classic at 45.0 with 36 reports, 2004-? at 48.1 with 325 reports.
US 2001: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?a ... leID=16705 4 reports, 46MPG average (42-48 range)
US 2002: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?a ... leID=17634 46.5 average, 40-58 range, 5 reports
US 2003: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?a ... leID=18608 42.3 average, 41-43 range, 2 reports
US 2004: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?a ... leID=19813 26 reports, 47.4 average, 34-61 range
US 2005: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?a ... leID=20934 49 reports, 48.4 average, 36-59 range
Both the Classic and the 2004-? Prius are SULEV.
All warranties will transfer with a Used model.
Tax deductions/credits (depends on your state) can only go to the original purchaser (not available on used vehicles).
Neither car is rated for towing. The wording on my extended warranty is rather clear that it is void if you tow (if you tow more than the owner's manual says, which says not rated for towing). That's not to say that some people have towed small, lightweight trailers slowly and for short distances.
(I do like the suggestion of getting a beater for the handful of times that you may tow. Do you always bring your loaded trailer to work with you or out on errands such as shopping?)
I so suggest that at minimum you sit in each one, preferrably take a test drive in each one...
If you are tall, or often take tall passengers with you, you might be more comfortable in the Classic. Although both models have the same headroom specs (particularly for the rear), tall people tend to hit their heads on the sloped roof of the 2004-? Prius (but not have problems in the Classic). However, the 2004-? Prius has more rear legroom.
Personally, I like having my cargo in a separate compartment (and not flying at me in a hard-braking incident), so I prefer a sedan = Classic. The trunk/boot is lockable, too. (No lockable storage in the 2004-? Prius.) The folding rear seats is helpful in the 2004-? Prius for longer items, but there are simple instructions on the web to remove the rear seat in the Classic if needed. The space inside of the trunk of the Classic is deceptive - it's very deep, and will hold more than you think (much like the interior passenger space!)
The 2004-? Prius is a little quieter than the Classic. When I drive my husband's 2004 I easily find myself speeding, as the sounds of the cars are different... Because of that, the 2004 feels more powerful, not that there's anything wrong with my 2001...
Turning radius on the Classic is much smaller than on the 2004-? Prius. U-turns are much more fun in my 2001! ;)
Here's the old preliminary 2004 Prius specs compared to the 2003 (listed as C/G) http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_libra ... s_prelim_s You'll have to check the Toyota website for the updated 2004/2005 specs, though. (not all that far off...)
Classic Prius is a compact sedan, comparable to the Corolla, but the 2004-? Prius is a midsize hatchback design, comparable in size to a Camry.
The only "goodies" I can see on a base 2004-? Prius as compared to a base Classic Prius is cruise control is now standard, there are buttons on the steering wheel, and you replace the standard cassette deck with a standard CD player. (You can easily add cruise control and a CD-player as accessories on the Classic.) The electric AC on the 2004-? Prius, compared to the belt-driven AC on the Classic, is mostly a wash in MPG (since the engine will just have to run to power the battery, as opposed to running to directly power the AC). The on-screen buttons for the 2004-? Prius' climate control can be confusing and distracting as they're softbuttons on the MFD, as opposed to simple tactile dasboard dials on the Classic. (You also have more Auto control (fan direction) on the Classic. The shifters are different, but... A few more storage areas on the 2004-? Prius (like an extra glove box), too...
MPG tricks are slightly different between the two (coasting and electric stealth points).
However, if you want more options on your car (like Navigation), then hopefully the 2003 that you're looking at already has that installed, as is the 2005 that you'd find on a lot/order... (But some people prefer a 3rd party portable Nav unit anyways for either...) Same thing goes with the side air bags for each.
Just be sure that the great deal on the 2003 with 6000 miles isn't because it's a salvage title. You loose all warranties with a salvage title. Otherwise, they're still selling near new value. (Retail value from kbb.com in my area for a 2003 base Prius with 6000 miles is $19840. New MSRP for the 2003 was $19995. Private party sale for Fair is $15,230, Good is $16,605, Excellent is $17,630)
wow! thanks for all the info!
basically I don thave a lot of towing needs, but I do have several motorcycles and I would like to be able to tow our dirtbikes up to the trailhead and or take the sportbikes to the dealer if something goes wrong... the periodic trip to the dump is also needed so I think the towing shouldnt be a problem...
I'm still considering the cost difference in the mileage and the extra cost of the vehicle vs purchasing a fuel efficient other smaller car ie: civic or something else etc...
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