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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

We are very keen to buy a Prius - mainly because it's $1.40/litre of petrol here (New Zealand) and rising every day. We have a diesel to tow the horsefloat, but would like a car with decent gas usage.

We are looking at the new 2005 Prius - they are about $40,000 here - we have found a 2003 Prius for $26,995 (http://www.cleangreencar.co.nz/car/17)

My question is - how much more fuel efficient is the 2005 vs the 2003? Is the extra $13,000 worth it?


Thanks for all your help


Margo
 

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You are in the right place for advice, and I will bow to those who have owned both. With the 05 you will get much more room for passengers and cargo, a bit better fuel economy, and a new warrantee. How much that may be worth to you is hard to measure. I waited until the new model because I wanted more back seat and trunk space.

What are your needs for number of people, animals and other stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Room

We don't have any animals to cart around, but my husband is a real estate agent so needs to be able to fit his For Sale signs in. There's usually only one or two people in the car.

Is there somewhere we can get meaurements of both cars inside?
 

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The 2003 model is quite efficient and the 2005 model takes it a step further. If all you need is a simple, efficient family vehicle, the 2003 will serve you just fine. If you need more room, the 2005 delivers more rear legroom and more cargo area with split folding seats (our Classic model didn't come with folding seats but I believe in some countries, they did). It also comes with more toys such as SKS, bluetooth connectivity, voice-activation and safety features such as stability control (VSC), side airbags, side curtain airbags, ABS w/EBD, Brake Assist and Traction Control (TCS).
 

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You could have bought a 2002/2003 off most any floor at any Toyota dealership in the U.S. When the 2004 hit the streets the complete similarity to a standard mid-size sedan was immediatly picked up on for the same price and the long waiting periods and actual purchasing well above MSRP for those too impatient to wait began. There is a big difference argumentivly in size and performance.
I would compare the price of a Prius with that of a comparable non-hybrid and even at double the present fuel prices figure if you could possibly break even. Then determine if there is a close dealership in your vicinity that has sold and serviced enough Prius to have learned much about their operation. Thats even difficult in the States.
 

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Hm, I don't know when the Prius was first sold in New Zealand. I know that there are quite a few of the grey-market Japanese imports around (1998-2000 model year) in New Zealand (with little support other than online). What is the original source for the 2003 that you're looking at?

Anyways, here's the US spec differences:
2004 Prius (same as 2005): http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_libra ... 004prius_s
preliminary 2004 specs compared to a 2003 (same as a 2001 or 2002, listed in the document as C/G): http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_libra ... s_prelim_s

Depending on your driving style, you may not notice much of a difference in MPG, or the newer 2005 might be much greater... (For example, I am getting 45.8 US MPG on my 2001 (as of 39,514 miles), and my husband is getting 48.3 US MPG on his 2004 (over 21,138 miles).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Source

I am assuming that it is a Japanese Import. We only have 6 Prius' in NZ at present (the 2005 model) so I doubt that our local dealer is experienced servicing it.

This is my concern, does it need specially trained staff or will a standard Toyota mechanic be OK?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have found that all Prius' are imported from Japan - we have no manufacturing plant over here. The used ones have a 1 or 2 year warranty, with only a 10,000 k service requirement.

The older model I'm looking at also had lay-down seats in the back. Just how much smaller are they? I've seen the size specs, but in reality, do the newer models seem super huge? We test-drove a Honda Civic Hybrid, that seemed a lot smaller than the Prius - are the older Prius' a similar size to those?
 

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Yes, all Prius are made in Japan. The question is whether the used vehicle you are looking at was originally sold in Japan, or in New Zealand (such as, what language is on the display?). The problem is with the grey market imports of the home (Japanese) market Prius sold in other countries. If that model wasn't normally sold in your home country (and only sold in grey market imports), getting parts can be difficult. If it is a model sold in your country, then parts should be available to your dealer.
 

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Hello from Auckland !

Yes, the price of petrol and Prius both rank high on the ripped off scale here.

I was looking at 2004 but at $40k+ I thought it was just silly. Cars from the CleanGreenCar company, and other Prius's are imported from Japan. They have Japanese menus and labelling on the buttons - nothing major, and once you remember what the labels are it's easy.

I ended up with a 2000 Prius (classic) with 47km on the clock imported and on the road for $12k. My reasoning was that I wanted to try the car out, if it failed completely I'm only losing $12k rather than losing $30k for a 2004 . Even a Gen II goes for at least $20k :oops: A guy in Dunedin has a Gen I with 100+ km on the clock and still no worries with it.

Currently I'm getting 740km per 40 litre tank of gas, which is doing me well. Assuming I have no major problems with the vehicle, it's a worthwhile investment. That's driving around Auckland.

But personally I'll be staying away from 2003 - > 2005 imported Prius from Japan, because of the buttons, high cost, etc. Plus I just don't think the financial return is there, yet.

Drop me a PM or email if you like if you want to talk more about the Prius in NZ - there's not many of us around !
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks

Thankyou very much for all your posts. We have ordered a 2005 Prius - Green with white trim, just coming off the boat next week - we should have it by the end of August.

I look forward to driving it and saving money!
 

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What color is a "green" Prius? The light green apperaance on the website is not accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Colour

I'll take your word for that - we can only get 7 colours in NZ. Green is my favourite colour, so I'm pretty excited that was available on this boat, otherwise there is a 2 month wait!
 
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