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I finally got to sit in the new Prius today. I went down to one of the friendlier dealerships in town to check it out with a friend. At first the salesman wouldn't let me in because I'm underage, but then I told him I was gathering information for a school article, and he would look tacky if he didn't let me in.... Less than a minute later, I got to hop in the car, and it's absolutely fantastic! The new car smell is different than the 01-03, and more like that of a Corolla, or Matrix. The rear leg room is much improved as is the cargo area, and it even has a slidable privacy lid. Under the hood is to be described as slick, with just a nice silver box entitled, " Hybrid Synergy Drive", accompanied by the engine, the brake fluid, and a few other necessities. The steering wheel controls are primo, although when the front seat was all the way back, the steering wheel still seemed a little low (I am 6'4"). The dual glove compartments are interesting at best... but the sealed passenger airbag door behind it is much classier than the former. On top of that, the tires are obviously bigger and the wheels are much more aggressive-looking than the previous. For those interested in quality, you'll all be glad to know that 100% of it's components are Japanese, and the SULEV sticker has been replaced with a more savvy, " Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle." The color "salsa red pearl" that the car came in is stunning. The color already exists on it's Tundras and Camrys, but looks far sexier on the Prius. To continue the bragging, the cupholders (both front and back) have entered the realm of usefulness. On top of that, the shifter screams "I am sooo cool!". You move it to the intended gear, and it slides back to its initial position and that's it. This might become a sketchy ordeal at a carwash though. Finally, for everyone who didn't get the highest package: you don't have to feel like losers now, Toyota got rid of all the dead buttons and switches. I'd be happy to send some pictures if anyone is interested, although most dealerships are now equipped. Safe and happy driving to everyone!
 
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