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What should I do?

  • Keep my 2003 Prius.

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  • Go with the newer 2004 model.

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although the specs claim more head/legroom
in the 2004, taller people seem to
fit better in the classic Prius as
compared to the 2004, particularly in
the back seat area. I suggest that
you get a test sit in both vehicles.

The turning radius is tighter in the
classic Prius.

The classic Prius has a secured
trunk. Not only is it good to keep
valuables away from curious eyes, but
you don't have to worry about valets
getting at your stuff. Personally,
I prefer the safety of a trunk, which
keeps your cargo from becoming a
flying projectile in a hard stop or
accident condition.

The 2004 appears to get lower MPG than
my classic Prius in winter, but on a
nice day the 2004 seems much better.

The 2004 has the annoying habit of
resetting the MPG counter at gas fillups.
The same counter on my 2001 was only
reset once since I've owned it (darn
service tech <grumble>), so it's
mostly a lifetime MPG counter.

Emissions are fewer on the 2004
Prius, with a longer emissions
warranty in the state I'm in (MA
follows the CA emissions standards).

The classic Prius comes with the
first 5 scheduled services free from
Toyota. The 2004 does not (although
some people have convinced their
dealer that the classic Prius' program
didn't list a stop date so they're
getting the program on their 2004s).

The 2004 Prius gives a slightly
quieter/smoother ride than the
classic Prius, not that the classic
Prius was noisy or rough...

2004 Prius are hard to come by, with
several month waits right now, so I
wouldn't sell the 2003 until you
definately have a 2004 replacement.
(No word yet on the 2005 Prius, just
rumors, but I'd expect the price to
go up to match demand...) The
classic Prius has a rather depressed
resale value right now, as several
classic Prius owners "traded up" to
the 2004 Prius.
 
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