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Picked up my 2004 Prius on Monday, and Friday-Saturday went on a 500 mile trip with it. Overall, I'd have to say this car is a very nice piece of engineering.

I averaged about 44.5 miles per gallon on this trip. It was nearly all freeway driving, where the hybrid nature of the car doesn't really help much. It is also pretty hilly terrain, almost no flat parts. I would estimate that my freeway driving averaged about 73 mph. I tried an hour or so at 64mph, did not observe much if any better mileage, so I reverted to my usual driving speed. After I passed the 600 mile breakin period, I pushed it up to 93 mph on a deserted uphill stretch of road. It would have gone faster, but I didn't have my radar detector with me, so I backed off. I have no doubt that this car will exceed 100 on a level stretch, if you are so inclined. I have some doubt that it's as safe as other cars at that speed.

The navigation system works quite well, but I initially thought it just didn't work. My wife and I were both on this trip, so I initially had her drive, figuring I would figure out the navigation system as a passenger. All the destination entry menu items were disabled. I climbed in the back and located the DVD, popped it out and back in, had my wife briefly stop and "reboot" the car, noticed it working briefly and then cut out again. After fooling around some more, I gave up until we got where we were going without the stupid thing. Then the next day, it finally dawned on me that it works only with the car stationary! If that's in the manual (which I did read, mostly) I sure missed it. That seems like a decent safety feature if you're alone in the car, but it is sure inconvenient when you have a copilot. If you know of a way to disable that, please tell me. A quick look at the setup options didn't reveal anything.

One other thing of note. When I stopped to fill it up the first time, having read other posts of owners getting only 8 gallons in, I thought about it and decided that the way to get more fuel into the bladder is to let it "settle" a little bit once the pump clicks off, and then "top it off". I did that, and it works - I managed to get 10.7 gallons into it. However, as I took the nozzle out, it puked back a pint of gas or so before I managed to slap the gas cap back on, so it's probably not that good an idea. It clearly had much more gas after that treatment than when the dealer delivered it to me, because it then went more than 120 miles before the first bar in the gas guage went out.

Comparing this to other cars I've owned (mostly expensive german sports cars and luxury sedans) I was very pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and practical it is. It also has more than sufficient pep to keep up with traffic. Very impressive. I do wish it looked more normal, and I hope other car manufacturers get around to using hybrid technology in more mainstream cars.
 

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Yikes,
That pint of fuel your car 'puked out' just created as many emmisions as driving your prius 5000 miles. don't top off, realize also that a large quantity of fuel also probably went into the overflow/vapor trap and is lost/wasted. Others have mentioned that they can pull the nozzle about 1/2 way out and gently top off until they hear the 'gurggling' and then immediately stop. Adding about a gallon with no wastage. I haven't tried that yet.

I think you did well for your MPG, though I'm suprised you didn't see any improved efficiency when you slowed to 64mph. I just got back from about 250 mile round trip, the large majority of which is freeway with a 70mph speed limit that I drive at 79mph. My MPG was about 36.5-37mpg. As soon as we hit the 60mph zone and reduced speed to 69mph we started seeing mid-40s in the 5 min bars.
--evan
 
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