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It's great to see all the satisfied new Prius owners on the site, but I was wondering if you could change one thing about your 04 PRIUS, what would it be?
 

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veggivet said:
It's great to see all the satisfied new Prius owners on the site, but I was wondering if you could change one thing about your 04 PRIUS, what would it be?
No hesitation...the driver's seat needs to be more adjustable.
 

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veggivet said:
It's great to see all the satisfied new Prius owners on the site, but I was wondering if you could change one thing about your 04 PRIUS, what would it be?
While I could use some more travel in the driver's seat, the '04 is light years ahead of my '03 in that area.

Visibility (to me) is a bit better than the '03. My blind spots aren't as big in the side rearviews.

Probably the two most frustating things to me about the '04 are

1) the "guess gauge". Istill don't know how many gallons are in the tank, so I fill up at around 350 miles when it dings at me - I was figuring more like 600. My '03 will easily go right at 500 without a fill up.

2) the '04 is MUCH harder to coax into stealth around town compared to my '03. Granted, once I get it in stealth it runs faster and stronger, but it doesn't like to stay there unless the accelerator touch is VERY light. Much more sensitive than my '03 is.

3) An easier radio to swap out for a better sound system. This sound system is okay, but I might want a better one.

Don't get me wrong. This car is GREAT and I love driving it (as much as anyone can love driving a car).
 

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The center console open position.

If I could change one thing, I would change how the center console storage compartment opens. I would have the top open from the side rather than the front, or open as is but further back so the top is not in the way. As is, it is nearly impossible to retrieve anything while in a normal driving position because the top opens toward the rear and stops when vertical - making it quite awkward to reach around when retrieving an item. :wink:
 

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I think this car is the best thing since sliced bread but...

I would like control of the Multi-display while driving. I will sign whatever waivers I have to. Please!

Also I would like some more "Advanced" user configurability. There is too much of a MacOS feel here (as far as user available options). Just look at how many people modded their 01-03's and they had to hack up their dashboards and what not. I understand if the default view is this limited one but please, Toyota, give me a user ability level setting that opens up all of the options for me. Once again waiver signing is fine if needed.

Ok, so you are getting this super accurate feed from GPS for time (yes, at least the time is always good on GPS), but there is no way to see the time except from the diagnostic screen let alone have it program the clock. I understand that making the clock programmable would cause the need for another bus line and protocol stack on the clock display unit so all I am asking Toyota for is the time to show up on the multi-display. While your at it please display the altitude on the compass screen as well - another free (as in no effort programming) enhancement. It is important to know my current altitude and I should not have to pull out the Garmin or go the dignostic screen.

The VSC needs is very close but needs some tuning. I assume this is due to people being overly cautious. Sometimes if the car begins to slip, frequently turning onto a higher speed road from a stop, I will feel the power drain associated with most traction control systems. If Toyota was interested I would explain how to tune the software and keep it bounded.

Aron
 

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Hi Behman> I give Toyota the brownie point this time for designing the console to open with the hinge on the rear. That enables the passenger as well as the driver to have equal access to the console's contents. Some drivers, not all, have no business poking around the console's interior while they're driving :wink:
 

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whatshisname said:
Hi Behman> I give Toyota the brownie point this time for designing the console to open with the hinge on the rear. That enables the passenger as well as the driver to have equal access to the console's contents. Some drivers, not all, have no business poking around the console's interior while they're driving :wink:
Whatshisname,

I agree that the rear hinge allows access to the center console by the driver and passenger. Even so, it should open more so neither the driver or passenger would need to maneuver around the top.

My initial complaint stems from my having to retreive our garage door opener (before I had HomeLink installed) from the console. It is awkward to reach in to the open console with the top in the vertical position.
 

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I'd change the seats so more legroom and lumbar back support was offered. I'd also have XM standard with package 7 or 9, and offer tint on the rear windows and hatchback.
 

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Gosh, seems to me the center console storage compartment cover is hinged at the rear on my '02. You mean Toyota got it right the first time?
 

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1. Rear view mirror viability
2. Phone book to support multiple numbers per entry
3. More seat adjustments
4. Less instability in cross winds
 

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The shifter

I think this is a near-perfect car. However, if I could change one thing (and I just might): my knee hits the shift lever in some situations. I would replace the knob with a flat disk that is recessed into the dash. I would also like to turn off the low outside temp light (orange) on the dash. Not much to complain about...
 

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If I could change one thing about my 2004 Prius

Here are 2 things:

1) Visiblility from the rear
2) Gas level readability--it is really frustrating to think I need to refill after just going 300 miles
 

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coin box, cup holders that actually allow room for the handle of the mug or cup, any indication that the audio system is on, lower fan speed so less air blows out the dash vents. Other than that it is perfect!

Leslie
 

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I think the one thing I'd change would be to have the EV button, so I could avoid a cold-engine start-up cycle when I know I'm going on a short drive, and to draw down the battery a bit just as I reach home so the next morning's cold-start time could be spent usefully charging the battery rather than just producing waste heat for the exhaust system and the cab.

I'd also like better visibility out the rear.

For a major model revision, I'd like a 25-mile EV range, gridable, or even 100 miles. In other words, I'd like to see the Prius move more towards electric while keeping the ICE available for longer trips. I think something along these lines is technologically possible now, and may be economically possible by the time Toyota is ready to introduce the next major model revision in 5 or 6 years.

I'd imagine the 25-mile option to be low-power low-speed for neighborhood city driving, and so require only increased battery capacity, a charger, and appropriate programming.

I'd imagine the 100-mile option to be full-performance, and therefore require a larger electric motor as well.
 

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There are little things that I would like to change; however one thing that really bothers me is the steering at freeway speeds. It seems like you have to constantly tug at the wheel to keep it going straight. Bottom line is Toyota should have given the steering a little heavier feel dead center. And by the way, I tried the tires at 35/33, 37/35, 40/42 and did not make much of a difference.

Everything else about the 2004 Prius is pretty cool
 

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Highway Handling

What kind of tires come on the 2004 Prius? The OEM Bridgestones on the classic Prius were skittery at highway speeds. Replacing them with Michelins (and probably any other tires) really made a difference.
 

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I really really want to buy one of these cars.

The Australian version has height adjust for the driver's seat. I'm not being ungrateful (I believe some versions don't have this feature), but the height adjust seems to just raise or lower the seat at the rear (introducing forward tilt as you raise it) and I feel like I'm going to slide forward off the seat. A relatively short seat length seemed to add to this feeling. I really really want to buy this car, so I need another test drive to experiment more with the seat adjustment. I gotta feel comfortable behind the wheel.

My change would be to add "tilt" adjustment as well as height.

The next obstacle is to get my wife to like the "differentness" (the thing that I love).
 

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First the disclaimer: I don't have many miles on my Prius yet so these observations are relative to only 37 years of driving and maintaining and modifying other cars.

Everybody here is whining about minor convenience items and features and insignificant programming issues. Granted visability is an improtant issue but it is dictated by the aerodynamic design of the car. The most important thing I would change is the drivers compartment. What good is phenominal gas milage and range if you're not comfortable enough to enjoy them. Sure the car can go 500 miles between stops. But what good is it if I can only go 100 before having to get out and stretch. The drivers seat SUCKS big time!!!! The seats, and associated components (arm rests, stearing wheel, leg room, etc.) were obviously designed for the "average" Japanese driver, NOT the "average" American driver. Not enough leg room. The steering wheel is too far away if the seat is pushed far enough back to allow for leg room, and is not adjustable enough. How about a telescoping wheel? And more travel on the tilt mechanism. The door mounted arm rests are several inches too low. I am designing a perminant modification to aleviate that problem. And the center consol lid is a couple of inches too short as well. An add on pad is in the works for that as well. That will serve 2 functions. Raise the armrest and cover that delicate fabric. I won't get into the fabric discussion as it has already gone by in another forum.

Now this is where I am going to get the most response. The Prius is a cheap car! That is how Toyota kept the price down in spite of all the technology in the power train. The seats are cheap. The interior is cheap. Everything is hard plastic. And shows every fingerprint and smudge that get's near it. Go sit in a more expensive car. Even in Toyota's lineup or better yet, go sit in a Lexus. The dash, the door pillars and frames are nicely padded and vinyl covered. The center console is better constructed and out of better materials and the pull out tray is flimsy in the Prius. How about a cup holder that will hold the "average" American's morning coffee cup. You know, like that one in your grip right now, the one that has a handle on the side. Not everybody drinks Pepsi for breakfast on their way to work. Hardware doesn't show as much in the better constructed cars. Look at the door hinges. What is with that bolt head showing on the inner edge of the rear wheel well opening? Compartment doors look and feel more solid and the latches feel more sure when they snap closed or open on a better car. Look at the sheetmetal around the door edges and hood edges. There is a much better finish to the metal in the more expensive cars. And I am talking about the metal itself here, not the paint. NOBODY beats Toyota paint. From the trucks to the Corolla to the Lexus, Toyota's paint is the best. I'm sure they used the same quality finish on the Prius. But I digress. The doors "feel" light and tinny, as does the hood. They close with the typical "econobox" sound and feel as cheaper cars do.
Of course, part of the reason for the chinsy construction is to keep overall weight down for the sake of fuel economy. Every pound of weight eats up gobs of gas to push it down the road. And part of the reason for the chinsy construction is to keep the cost of the vehicle down as well. What great bragging rights Toyota has to claim their super fuel efficient vehicle is priced UNDER $20,000 dollars.
Don't get me wrong here. (Time for a little back peddeling) I would not give up my Prius, especially since regular gas has topped $2.20 a gallon in the Los Angeles area. I would give up a little mileage and a little more money if Toyota had put a little more into the Prius' construction.



Mike N.
 

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Mike N.: Are you driving the same car as I am? 2004 prius??? Mine is an excellently-designed, excellently-constructed, and, yes, comfortable car. Okay, it's not a $40,000 Lexus. You can't ask for a $40,000 car for $20,000. I gather that soon you will be able to get a Lexus with HSD, and if a luxury car is what you want, and you can afford it, that's great. But it's kind of pointless to complain that the Pruis is lighter than a Lexus, and doesn't have the materials of a Lexus.

Now, of course, a lot of it is perspective. If your last car was a Lexus maybe the Prius will feel like a step down in comfort and luxury. My last car was a Honda Civic, and the Civic is a fantastic car; I drove it for 15 years and loved every mile of it. But the Prius is luxury to me by comparison, and is even more comfortable than my wonderfully-comfortable Civic. -- Granted, I have not yet taken any long drives in it. That will come later this spring.

But as I read your long post above, it sure seems as though we are talking about two very different cars. Weird!
 
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