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Real good article Frenchie. It was one of the best I've read and helps answer some questions ( and concerns) I had about the gen2 vs. gen1 Prius. I was somewhat concerned about tire wear problems, which seemed to be the major complaint with gen1 owners, and it 's nice to see Toyota listened and changed the tires. I am still amazed at the number of people that think the car needs to be plugged in! I plan to have a small 1 page hand-out in my car to give to people who come to check it out ( I hear that it is pretty common?) explaining in very simple terms how the HSD works. I strongly believe that with the 2004 Prius, Toyota will open up the world of hybrids to the general public in a way that was not done before. Face it, small, econobox cars just are not the cars of choice for Americans but a nice, comfortable, practical mid-size will appeal to a much larger market. When Toyota brings out the Highlander hybrid, the SUV landscape will change drastically, and I'll bet Jeep is just terrified at the potential loss of market.
 

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frenchie said:
Here is a (long) and very positive article about the 2004 Prius by Joe Wiesenfelder at cars.com, with some very interesting explanations about what makes it so fuel-efficient :

http://www.cars.com/carsapp/national/?s ... rview.tmpl
Frenchie,
Thanks for the link. Great article, especially for a newcomer to Prius ownership like me. It's great to have detailed answers to the questions most people ask when they first ride in my new car, or to defend the technology from the anti-hybrid element. I'd be interested in reading even more detailed information about the car and it's HSD system, but so far my searches have been unsuccessful. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again,
George
 

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What really annoys me about all the '04 reviews I've seen so far is the habitual, almost knee-jerk put-downs of the Classic (small, slow, looks weird, etc., etc.). It's as if all these guys just read and copy each other's stuff.

I'm sure the '04 is a great car, but I'm extremely happy with my '02 and plan to keep it "forever." I don't feel the need to bad-mouth the new one to justify my decision not to buy one.
 

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Henry said:
What really annoys me about all the '04 reviews I've seen so far is the habitual, almost knee-jerk put-downs of the Classic (small, slow, looks weird, etc., etc.). It's as if all these guys just read and copy each other's stuff.

I'm sure the '04 is a great car, but I'm extremely happy with my '02 and plan to keep it "forever." I don't feel the need to bad-mouth the new one to justify my decision not to buy one.
Henry,
To some extent you're probably right about writers cribbing each other's notes. Many of these people are freelancers and are paid a flat rate for their work, so there is little incentive for them to dig for information beyond what Toyota (or a Toyota PR agency) provides them.
As for bashing the older model, that's another unfortunate consequence of most marketing campaigns. In order to stay in business, companies need people to buy their new products, hence the need to illustrate the many "improvements" over existing models--cars or otherwise. FWIW, I tip my hat to you and every other classic owner--and thanks!

mrv,
Thanks for the link to the Toyota info. Lots of interesting reading there. I can't wait to dig in.
George :)
 

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I can understand the sensitivity of current Classic Prius owners to the percieved 'bashing' of the Classic by writers. From an outsider's point of view (i.e. I never owned a Classic, but did test drive and considered one) I think most of the statements are fairly accurate--if somewhat subjective.

I liken the descriptions of the Classic Prius to those one might ascribe to a Ford Model-T compared to a Thunderbird. By today's standards it was small, underpowered, funny looking and impractical. Wasn't a bad car at the time--it was a great (albeit the only) car of it's kind. I see the Classic Prius in a similar (if not as exagerated) vein. It was the baseline--the foundation for all future hybrids to be built upon and improved upon. The '04 is better in every way (IMO) than the Classic. That, in no way, diminishes the value, quality and importance of the Classic. Further, it in no way implies that one must replace it just b/c there's something a bit better out there. If it still meets you needs, you like the styling, etc., then it is probably the MUCH wiser decision to stay with what you have for financial reasons if for no other.

For me, the Classic would have been a difficult pill to swallow. I almost did buy one, but had reservations and it was almost going to be an experimental purchase. By these writers pointing out the 'deficiencies' of the Classic compared to the '04 folks like me and other 'mainstreamers' are more likely to give the Pruis a second look where they may have otherwise just said--"Yea, I looked at one of those Hybrid things a couple years ago, it was too small and had no where near enough power. Show me the Ford Exploer". Now they might, like I did, say "Lemme check that out, I don't really need an SUV and it would be great to get good gas milage if there's enough room for the whole family and enough power I won't worry about traffic and hills."

Again, not meaning to tell you it's wrong to feel a bit put out. But realize much of this language the writers are using is coming from Toyota itself. "All new, redesigned, bigger, faster, more power, better milage, fewer emissions, and on and on." The writers take that, compare the numbers to the Classic and say "Yea, that old one was little" or whatever.

Sorry to get carried away, I suspect you already knew all this. But I thought I'd put it into words. You shouldn't feel slighted or left out, the Classic is a great car no matter what 'better' cars come after it...just like the Model T.
--evan
 

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Well, now that you mention it, I'd prefer a '32 Model A Ford coupe to a Model T, and I wouldn't touch a T-bird with a 13-ft. pole. Give me the classic Corvette any day!
 
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