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I have a bunch of questions, so I'll just shoot them out.

1) Can the middle flat panel display be turned off or dimmed (I imagine it would get irritating after a while).

2) I know the car is Quiet at slow speeds , but how noisy is it at 65 in general compared to other cars you have drivin?

3) Are there any displays that show the condition of the battery? :) Well, some lap top batteries will tell you how many times they have been recharged and the remaining effecency of the battery.

4) How is the ride in general? do you feel it handles hitting a pothole any better or worse than any other car?

5) Has any one put any significant number of miles on thier Prius? and are they finding reduced milage as they go. I'd imagine that as a car approches the end of it's life the batter will be close to 50% or less effeciency and the milelage will approach the gas engine only average of the car.

6) Has any one had to have the battery replaced?

Who thinks they have the Prius with the greatest milage on this forum?

7) what's the current rebate (Federal) I'd be buying in NJ.

8) When does the 2005 model get released?
 

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1) Yep, dimmed or turned off.
2) It seems pretty quiet to me at highway speeds. Somewhat better than my wife's '04 Volvo S40.
3) You only get a display on the current charge.
4) The ride is good and potholes/road problems are handled as well as my older Accord or my wife's Volvo.
5) Sorry, I'm only up to 1000 miles.
6) I've seen a number of posts that say no one has reported a battery replacement but I can't verify that.
7) Current deduction is $1500 but will go down to $1000 if purchased in 2005.
8) Don't know... sorry. The '04 came out in October '03 if that helps.
 

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#2 I would say much quieter that my Ford Explorer with 8 ply tires, even going up a steep grade at high revs. Similar to the Taurus my son drives.
#4 Amazingly it handles well. I would like a tighter suspension. Given the ground clearance it handles speed bumps and potholes much better than I expected.
#5&6 I have low miles as well but they are climbing with each tank! Getting 56 on the present tank. Posts state that the car is not broken in until 7-8K then you get into better mileage. There are numerous reports of 100K with out battery replacement. A number of reports of 200K+ some with battery replacement at that point. You can get used low miles batteries from junkyards for less than 1000. One post said 800. Check out EBay. Few warranty battery replacements have been reported.
I would say that 1,3 & 7 are well covered
 

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Ride

I drove my Prius home last week from Toyota Town in Stockton, California. It was a 350 mile run with speeds mostly around 70 mph. I averaged 47.3 miles per gallon. The ride is quiet, smoothe and the power delivered is outstanding.

On several occasions I caught myself doing 80 plus mph and was surprised as it seemed like I was only doing 50.

6 moths ago I rented an 04 Prius from a local dealer and loved it more each day I drove it (I rented it for a week). I've only owned one for just over a week but I'm still finding it better and better each day.

It only makes sense. Why do people sit at stop lights and have their engines running? Besides the Hybrid technology, the advanced electronic technology in the Prius can only be had in other vehicles two or more times the price of the Prius.

Ask lots of questions but you will need to drive one to understand.
 

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#5. Actually the mileage gets ***MUCH*** better as mileage is put on the car then tops off at about 10,000 miles. I am only at 4,500 miles and my mileage went from 37mpg from the first tank to now 46mpg.

And about the question about anyone having to replace the battery. AFAIK, no one has need a replacement. This includes the classics and the '04's!
 

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No. 7: Remember, it's $1,500 off of your income for taking delivery in calendar year 2004 (did I get that right?). It's not a $1,500 rebate on your federal taxes...

My Prius has a much nicer ride than previous cars I've owned, but most anything would probably be nicer than a '92 Ford Escort wagon and an '81 Chrysler Lebaron wagon with fake wood. Now that'd be an interesting Prius 'color...'
 

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wombatua said:
No. 7: Remember, it's $1,500 off of your income for taking delivery in calendar year 2004 (did I get that right?).
Correct; it directly reduces your taxable income, which indirectly reduces your taxes based on your tax bracket. :)
 

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Compared to my previous car (an '89 Civic) the Prius seems less nimble but smoother. It's perhaps just a little quieter on the highway, but harder to hold straight in a strong crosswind. Overall the Prius is more comfortable and easier to drive. Driving on ice, the Prius, with all its active electronic safety features, handles a thousand times better. (ABS, VSC, and TRAC did not exist in '89. Any new car today will have ABS I suppose, but VSC and TRAC may not be available on most other cars in this price range.)

The computer holds the battery charge to a very narrow range, thus extending its life, apparently beyond the life of the car. I have never heard of a battery failure. The '04 has only been out for less than a year, but the Classic came out in 2001, with a similar battery, and I have not heard of a single failure. The MFD shows the state of charge of the battery but no indication of accumulated wear and tear.

The battery is warranted for 100,000 miles or 8 years (longer in CA and certain other states). In the extremely unlikely event that you needed a battery replacement after the warranty period, there would be used ones available in junk yards due to accidents. A conventional car is more likely to need a transmission, than a Prius to need a battery; and the Prius has no transmission, so you're better off.

The MFD (you called it the flat panel display) can be turned off, but you won't want to. It can show you the energy flow, the instantaneous mileage, the 5-minute average mileages for the past 30 minutes; and it is used for climate control, audio, and if you have the NAV, it's that, too.

A reliable poster (a dealer) has stated that the 2005 will be identical to the 2004, but with a small price increase and fewer available options packages.
 

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Spike said:
I thought it was a tax credit, not a tax write off?

Spike
It's a deduction. You get to subtract it from your gross income as you calculate your taxable income. I do not know if you have to itimize your deductions to even get it at all. But what you actually gain depends on your marginal tax rate. If your marginal rate is 33% the $1,500 deduction for 2004 is worth $500 to you.

Note also, that it depends on the date you actually take possession of the car. It does not matter when you ordered it or what the model year is. If you take possession on Dec. 31 or sooner, you get the $1,500 deduction. On Jan. 1 it drops to $1,000. Of course, Congress could decide to change the law, so what you get in 2005 depends on any changes Congress may make.
 

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Prius Tax Benefit

:) The Prius tax benefit is actually an "Adjustment to Income", and reduces your taxable income. This section of the tax return is found at the bottom of the first page of form 1040. As has been stated, the benefit to you is based on your marginal tax rate, so if you're in the 15% tax bracket your benefit in 2004 would be a reduction in taxes of .15 x $1500, or $225. If for some reason, such as significant itemized deductions, you do not owe any tax, there is no tax benefit from buying a Prius, but normally this is not the case.
 

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Prius Tax Benefit

:) The Prius tax benefit is actually an "Adjustment to Income", and reduces your taxable income. This section of the tax return is found at the bottom of the first page of form 1040. As has been stated, the benefit to you is based on your marginal tax rate, so if you're in the 15% tax bracket your benefit in 2004 would be a reduction in taxes of .15 x $1500, or $225. If for some reason, such as significant itemized deductions, you do not owe any tax, there is no tax benefit from buying a Prius, but normally this is not the case.
 

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Daniel said:
Compared to my previous car (an '89 Civic) the Prius seems less nimble but smoother. It's perhaps just a little quieter on the highway, but harder to hold straight in a strong crosswind. Overall the Prius is more comfortable and easier to drive. Driving on ice, the Prius, with all its active electronic safety features, handles a thousand times better. (ABS, VSC, and TRAC did not exist in '89. Any new car today will have ABS I suppose, but VSC and TRAC may not be available on most other cars in this price range.)
Actually, ABS did exist in '89, but it tended to only be on the most expensive cars. (BMW, Mercedes, etc.) And ABS is still not standard on all cars, and I have seen VSC and TRAC on cheaper cars. (Specifically, both apply to the other car I was considering, the Hyundai Elantra GT, on which ABS, VSC, and TRAC are not standard, but are all in one option package. And with all the options, it's only $18,000.)

A reliable poster (a dealer) has stated that the 2005 will be identical to the 2004, but with a small price increase and fewer available options packages.
From my understanding, they are basically just canceling the packages that they never made anyway.
 

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ehurtley said:
Actually, ABS did exist in '89, but it tended to only be on the most expensive cars. (BMW, Mercedes, etc.) And ABS is still not standard on all cars, and I have seen VSC and TRAC on cheaper cars. (Specifically, both apply to the other car I was considering, the Hyundai Elantra GT, on which ABS, VSC, and TRAC are not standard, but are all in one option package. And with all the options, it's only $18,000.)
I stand corrected. Anyway, my Civic did not have those features, so the phenominal improvement in handling on ice that I mentioned, was compared to a much more primitive car. (Though excellent in its day!) There are probably many cars today that would handle as well as the Prius, though in my opinion the Prius is the coolest car in the universe.
 

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