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Well I received my 2004 Tuesday of last week (Oct 28) and I am really enjoying it. I got the optioned out package (there were three choices: wee, not-so-wee, and freaken huge).

new interesting tidbits:
* The 04 Prius actually pumps the heated coolant fluid into a thermos post-operation and pumps the fluid back into the engine pre-operation, thereby elimiating cold starts (and making weird gergling noises after I shut it)
* 17in real tires, not from Bridgestone, yay
* Quadruple redundant brakes - regen. and triple redundant hydrolic
* led brake lights

High points:
* Much more power than my '01. I will be able to meter when I am past the brake-in period.
* Brakes feel very natural.
* Cruise control is smooth and makes for some very high mpg.
* Super spacius. A little less head room for the front passengers but everything else is bigger. There are many storage compartments.
* Car feels supple and thick. I feel safer driving this vehicle.
* Nav system is awesome, best I've seen (including mapsonus and mapquest). The DVD comes with the entire US phone database, so you can do searches by phone number and call a destination when you find it. When the lightning fast (by comparison) route planner is used, up to three alternate routes are immediately displayed. You can alter a route by toggling several categories (toll roads, freeways, ferries, seasonal roads), setting preferred roads, and detours (only at the time you need the detour).
* Calendaring, appointment management, phone books, call logs, maintenence schedules.
* VSC seems to be working very well. Have not had a chance to test emergency braking though.
* Voice recognition tie-in for everything, sweet

Low points:
* Plantronics bluetooth adapter does seem to work with car :(, which means no solution for Sprint users.
* Still trying to work out HomeLink programming for X10
* Cant seem to get passenger doors to open by proximity unless I first approach/unlock the passenger door.
* Turning radius not quite as good as '01
* Rear visibility attenuated
* Voice recognition does not work well with engine or HVAC noise
* Nav system should have ESP and know when the maps are wrong
* Why doesn't play MP3s
* Where's my auto-park option


Aron
 

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smart entry door unlock

There's a procedure in the Owner's
Manual for changing how the car unlocks
the doors upon your proximity. It
can be changed such that all the doors
are unlocked when you approach the
driver's door (and not just the driver's
door). Something about holding down
the unlock and Panic buttons together
for 5+ seconds will cycle through
your options...
 

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I actually went through that little exercise and it worked great. I wanted all the doors to open at the same time when I unlocked any of them using the smart entry. Followed the instructions and it worked.

About the auto park, if I forget to push the P button and I push the Power Button off, it pops into park first. Doesn't yours? Just curious.

Paul
 

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tried it...I'll keep my classic

I really love my 02 bmp (blue moon pearl) but I wanted to see the changes for myself so I took an 04 for a test drive. I am going to keep what I have; I prefer the classic.
Handling: I like the nice tight handling of my classic. It is how I imagine a very responsive sport car would be, and very similar to the Fiat I had once long, long ago. I like to be able to turn and stop on a dime, though I worry about being rear-ended because of the quick stopping ability. The new 04 felt just like other regular cars I have driven.
Noise: I am of the opinion that my classic is quieter. Don't have definitive proof, just an impression (in spite of what the salesman said). I just feel that the little car is sounder somehow.
Vision: I did not like the reduction of view when I turn to look back to make sure a lane is clear for changing.
Goodies: The new model has it all over the classic, space-wise, storage-wise and versatility-wise, but not enough to make me want to give up what I have. I envy some points for you who have bought the 04 and I wish you happy trails. :)
 
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'04 Much more refined than classic

Don't get me wrong, the classic is a great car and still a technical marvel. I couldn't get past its dowdy looks. I love the fact that that '04 has a hatch too! I rented an '03 for a weekend and used that as a basis for my purchase of the '04. Rented an '04 and it really is FAR better in every way than the classic. MAJOR improvement and it is so quiet!!!!! Pick mine up later today.
 

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Picked up my Silver AM package Prius yesterday. It is even nicer to drive than I expected. I could take issue with some of the very minor complaints of Healey's article but overall it seems very positive. After driving a 2001 ECHO for 39,000 miles, and loving that car for all it's great virtues, the Prius is a step light-years ahead. The car is VERY solid and the quiet is very pleasant. Everything about the car seems calm and peaceful - a joy to drive and a nice place to be. I especially like the room. The hatchback design makes it a most versatile vehicle - I like to refer to it as an EUV - Eco-Utilty Vehicle.
 

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AronRubin: You mentioned about putting on 17" rims what brand did you replace the factory ones with? I am looking for a set of chrome rims but so far have gotten the run around from Toyota when I called Customer Service about going with an aftermarket wheels, Then I called the dealer ship where I bought the 04 Prius about a bolt pattern and they said to call Toyota Customer Service, this sucks! HELP
Dick in Andover, MN
 

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wfjw said:
Read below and please answer Healey's critical views on the 04.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/rev ... rius_x.htm
Hard to disagree with what, IMO, is a pretty favorable review. Braking my '04 Prius does feel different compared to "normal" cars, but I don't find it awkward, unresponsive, or unsafe--just different. I had a car pull out in front of me the other night and I was forced to execute an emergency stop from about 35 mph. The Prius stopped straight and true, and felt very solid. Switching between gas and electric, or a combination of the two is not perfectly seamless and I'm actually glad; it helps me recognize when I'm going in and out of stealth without using the LCD screen. My only complaint with the car so far, is the engine noise during a hard acceleration. It's a little bit noisier than I'd like at those times, but rides very quiet in most any other situation. Any flaws in the car, IMO, are so minor as to be nearly undetectable by the average person. Aside from the singular sensation of running in stealth, most people would never know they were riding in a hybrid vehicle. In fact, the most frequent comment I get from people is how "nice" the car is, not how "unusual."
 

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Just get the wheels that are 17x7 with an offset of between +45 and +42 (+42 recommended) - the PCD is 5x100 (5 lug - 100mm) - be careful about the weight of the wheel - should not exceed 20 lbs or you'll notice it in a bad way

The best tires I found were Falken Ziex 215s in 205/40-R17 (HPTire.com has them for 89 a piece)

These specs were derived from Toyota Japan's own website for "dress up" options - they actually have body kits available (front nose spoiler - rear valence and side valence)



dupie61 said:
AronRubin: You mentioned about putting on 17" rims what brand did you replace the factory ones with? I am looking for a set of chrome rims but so far have gotten the run around from Toyota when I called Customer Service about going with an aftermarket wheels, Then I called the dealer ship where I bought the 04 Prius about a bolt pattern and they said to call Toyota Customer Service, this sucks! HELP
Dick in Andover, MN
 
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