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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone heard anything about the new Prius with the Synergy drive? I hear that it is suppose to get 73 mph. How can I get more info.
Thanks; Cal
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I would also be interested in any rumors about when the vehicle will be available. (We are saving our money for a Prius, and are trying to figure out if we should go with a 2003 or hold out to see that the 2004 redesign looks like.)

Thanks in advance... Wayne
 

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Wayne Holmes said:
I would also be interested in any rumors about when the vehicle will be available. (We are saving our money for a Prius, and are trying to figure out if we should go with a 2003 or hold out to see that the 2004 redesign looks like.)

Thanks in advance... Wayne
Current Prius tops out around 100mph, so 73mph isn't much of an improvement...

Perhaps you're thinking of MPG? If so, remember that our current Prius gets in the low 60s MPG, using the Japanese test cycle. (52/45 (48 combined) MPG on the US/EPA test cycle) So, don't get too excited when you see MPG ratings...

I thought that the Synergy drive was going onto the hybrid RX300? There hasn't been much reports about the 2004 redesigned Prius, other than it'll be a little larger, and perhaps a little MPG or power improvement, but nothing firm yet... 8(
 

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Hey Wayne, I've been researching and trying to decide also. Right now in our state, there is legislation pending that would give a nice sales tax break to hybrid car purchasers, and another that would permit HOV lane driving with single occupant. Here's a web site with more: http://www.cityofseattle.net/cleancities/2003 State Legislation.htm Unfortunately, the SUV we will be replacing with the Prius may not last long enough for us to wait for a tax break!
 

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Possible Washington State tax break and 2004 Prius changes

kabri said:
Right now in our state, there is legislation pending that would give a nice sales tax break to hybrid car purchasers, and another that would permit HOV lane driving with single occupant. Here's a web site with more: http://www.cityofseattle.net/cleancities/2003 State Legislation.htm Unfortunately, the SUV we will be replacing with the Prius may not last long enough for us to wait for a tax break!
Oh great... now I've got TWO reasons to wait before buying. :) Thanks for the link, and I will keep my eye on the legislation. Hopefully more will leak about about the changes for the 2004 model, which will help us decide if we should go with a 2003 or wait. (We are hoping for a folddown rear seat and maybe a touch more trunk room in the 2004.)

Be sure to post how you like your new car. Also, if you wouldn't mind posting it, I would be interested in what dealer you are working with.

Wayne
 

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Hi Wayne! My husband and I may go down to the hearing on the sales tax discount on Monday, Feb 10th (Olympia) and maybe give our input.

I visited the dealership on Lake City way yesterday, what a joke! neither of the 2 salesmen knew anything about the car, I found myself educating them from all the research I've done, thanks to this forum and others! You know, there is so much "talk" about being green in this state, but I don't see many people walking it!

We will be going to the Bellevue dealership tomorrow as well as Totem Lake. I'll post our experience for sure. :)
 

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kabri said:
I visited the dealership on Lake City way yesterday, what a joke! neither of the 2 salesmen knew anything about the car, I found myself educating them from all the research I've done, thanks to this forum and others! You know, there is so much "talk" about being green in this state, but I don't see many people walking it!

We will be going to the Bellevue dealership tomorrow as well as Totem Lake. I'll post our experience for sure. :)
Just e-mailed you the name of a salesman at Toyota of Seattle who took us on a test drive. If you get a chance, I would recommend that you contact him.

Wayne
 

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I would also like to know what is in store for the 2004 Prius. Will it have a fold down rear seat, a better cup holder, better visor or more room in the door storage space? Will the engine be the same 1.5 liter and will the battery by the same or beffed up a little? Also, when will it be available? If anyone knows, please respond bdecause I definitly will be getting a Prius, I just don't know if I should wait for the 2004 or go ahead and get a 2003 now. Thanks in advance from a guy in Illinois who does care about the environment but thinks the car is cool looking too.
 

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2004 Prius at New York Auto Show?

Doug: Toyota apparently announced they were going to show the 2004 Prius at the New York Auto Show in April. http://www.autoshowny.com/ I can't find a confirmation of that on their site, so hopefully someone else can confirm/deny this.

Wayne
 

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Illinois Doug said:
Will it have a fold down rear seat, a better cup holder, better visor or more room in the door storage space? Will the engine be the same 1.5 liter and will the battery by the same or beffed up a little?
I don't hold out a lot of hope for the fold-down rear seat because the batteries are hiding back there.

Frankly, I'd like to see a few more stars in the crash ratings.
 

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I don't know offhand if it will be at the show, but since that is just across the river from me I'll take a look (and bring digital pictures back for folks if so).
 

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Re: Check this out

Mac said:
http://www1.ttcn.ne.jp/~y.hirayama/newprius.htm

Not sure if this is a real proto-type or someone's imagination. :eek: I found this in Japanese site.
The pictures are interesting! I had someone translate the Japanese and she said that the header basically says "Coming in 2003" so they may be the real thing. I am surprised that this has not generated any discussions.
 

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Re: Check this out

citicar1976 said:
Mac said:
http://www1.ttcn.ne.jp/~y.hirayama/newprius.htm

Not sure if this is a real proto-type or someone's imagination. :eek: I found this in Japanese site.
The pictures are interesting! I had someone translate the Japanese and she said that the header basically says "Coming in 2003" so they may be the real thing. I am surprised that this has not generated any discussions.

Do you think this is the car that we will see in 2004? What will the differences be on the inside? It looks like they did away with the rear spoiler and increased the trunk size. Any thoughts?
 

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Potential 2004 Prius body changes

If you look at the photos of this "mystery" Prius, it appears that the car has changed from a sedan to a quasi-hatchback. I would guess that the rear is mostly a glass/plastic rear hatch. If that were true, it's likely that the rear seats are fold down. I wonder if the vertical panel on the hatch is somewhat see thru like the "Aztek" hatch or the one on the old Honda CRX.
 

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Re: Check this out

I think that this could be the new model of the Prius. The picture agrees with what I have read and from what others have posted. I don't know how much of this is true, but this is what I have heard:
1. The new Prius will be one inch wider and four inches longer, but will be
lighter than the current model.
2. It will be more powerful, but will get better gas mileage.
3. It will have some plastic body panels, like the Saturn.
4. It will look more like a Camry, but will still resemble the current model
5. It will have more interior room.
At any rate, we will know next month when Toyota shows off the 2004 Prius at the NY Auto Show.
 

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Funny, to me it looks like a Benz...

Of course, that Benz looks just like an old Honda:



Either way, I'm glad I got the 2003 chassis![/img]
 

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An email from someone I know...

I am posting this on behalf of a dear friend of mine who went to a focus/evaluation group... here's what she had to say (and asked me questions I cannot yet answer to)
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I went to a focus group this weekend and evaluated what I'm guessing is the 2004 Prius. If it is, I want to be on your waiting list.

Toyota really seems to be listening as the majority of my complaints with the previous model have definitely been addressed. If you have already seen it and are just holding the secret then you don't need to read the following, otherwise here's the scoop - First and most importantly, the seats fold down! Not only does the back seat have the 60/40 split, but the front passenger seat also folds down. The exterior of the car is very different. It looks a little bit like a Matrix, although in my opinion it is much better looking.

It is longer (sorry I don't know exactly how much longer) and the back is still a hatchback. The storage is level instead of dipping down. I believe the total storage was 16 cubic ft. The dashboard is very different. The majority of the controls are now on the inside of the driver's wheel (including buttons for a cell phone.) The shift stick is now just a stubble, about a 1/3 of the size of the current one. There aren't any buttons that are hidden from driver's view as was the problem before. In fact there are very few buttons in the
stereo/display area. The arm rest is in a much more comfortable position. There is a big cup holder (amen!) and then a 2nd, I think smaller one, flips down. One of the other big chances is that it looks
like they are going keyless. The model they showed had a place where you put a sensor in and then you pressed a button to start/stop the car. There was another button that you pressed when you wanted to park
it, or the video we saw said that you could skip this and just press the start/stop button (which brings we to the question of why do we need it then?) They showed another video in which they were approaching the idea of not even having to insert the sensor. Basically if you carried the small device on you and were within so many feet of the car it automatically unlocked the doors for you and when you got in the car you could then just hit the start button. In either case it did employ the same sort of Ready light idea, that after
you hit the start button you had to wait for the Ready light. More colors seem to be in their way as we had to evaluate molds of not only a few of the colors out now, but also a blue that was darker than the old blue
moon, but lighter than the brilliant blue (which wasn't there), also a shiny red and a green (no dark green either) but a metallic one that was light, but not too light. They still had the black, white, silver and gold colors. The new version does seem to have a little bit of different hybrid system (although I couldn't tell you what because the details were sketchy) The reported mileage was 50 highway/ 60 city and the PZELV rating (I think those are the right letters, but you know what I'm talking about.) Also, it goes from 0-60
in the 10 second range. The interior was very nice. I thought the seats were more comfortable. My only complaint is visibility, the back windshield (which does have a windshield wiper) is very small, it sort
of reminded me of the Insight. It seemed to me that there wasn't as much headroom (which isn't a problem for me, but may be for other people and that the steering wheel was smaller.

The focus group was interesting. They had models of the Civic Hybrid, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima, and the new Prius (although of course they didn't tell you it was the new Prius.) We
were given a small screen with a stylus and on our own we walked around the cars (they had numbered spots where we were supposed to stand), go in and out, and evaluated all kinds of aspects on a scale of 1 - 9. We
also had to guess what kind of driver would purchase each: male or female, age, occupation, and descriptive words that would fit the person. They was only a few minutes when you actually talked to a
representative who took notes as to which one you would buy and why. I did express my joy in the modifications that they had made and said I was excited about possibly getting one. I was surprised at what they were suggesting might be a price $20,300 as when I first sat in it my reaction was - "Oh they are going to charge quite a bit more." My guess is that they probably have to remain in that general price range
to remain competitive and that the various packages (which they did not bring up at all) will make the price go up. I'm not sure if the style is going to be for everyone. I think the younger crowd should
definitely like it. The entire car was very high tech looking. As every one did the focus survey individually there wasn't a lot of interaction among the participants (I did talk to one Civic Hybrid owner) however there was probably only two other people among the 20 or so I saw that appeared to be younger than 40. There were doing this over the course of 3 or 4 days according to the initial mailing I received so I'm guessing that a few hundred people took part (I went in on Saturday.) I was surprised no on else in the yahoo group reported it. Obviously Toyota is still working on a few aspects or why would they spend so much money having us evaluate it if it was all ready to go? I'm guessing the whole keyless thing has not been completely flushed out (especially since that was the one part where we had to watch a video, although the car we saw did have the start/stop and park button.) Which makes we wonder what exactly the 2004 will have. They did make us hand over all cell phones, pdas and pagers, my guess is that so no one would take a
picture. I don't remember signing anything that said anything about confidentiality, however it probably would be best not to give away all the details. What do you think?

(her name is deleted to keep ya'll from email bombing her!)
 
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