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New Prius, now the fun begins

4798 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tdonoughue
I recently (yesterday, as a matter of fact) purchased a new 2003 Prius for my wife. I must admit, I'm surprised at how much pep the torquey electric motor is it seems to be just as capable as any normal car. She was able to keep up with me at 80mph on the ride back down the NJ Turnpike and the ride is very smooth. Exactly what shes looking for.

Of course, no car is good enough as is (check out the M-class forum on to see what I mean). Ive already compiled a long list of things Id like to add to the car and was wondering if you would care to add any more:

A Valentine1 radar detector would be useful. My wife is used to a much lower Honda Prelude and shes got a tendency to go a little faster since the Prius is up a little higher.

I found a place that will let me integrate a CD/MP3 player:

I like this little brake/engine indicator:

It would be very neat to have a rear-view camera:

The remote trunk release is a neat feature:

Something else that Id like, but probably involves a software upgrade for the trip computer, is an estimated miles until empty. Probably the most useful upgrade would be Xenon projector headlamps, anyone know if any assemblies exist?
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D'oh! Forgot about the break-in (the dealer never mentioned anything and I forgot to ask). I've heard as a general rule to brake slowly and to keep the engine RPMs below 3000 for the first 5000 miles (I followed a pretty strict break-in on my truck including a series of speed/RPM adjustments for the first 500 miles - I now average 2mpg higher than the estimated highway mileage). The Prius doesn't have a tach (and with a gas/electric hybrid with a CVT I'm not sure if one makes sense) and 80 is around 3000 RPM on my car so I didn't even think about it. I did tell my wife to take it easy on the car for the first few thousand miles. The car does have cruise and I tried to teach her how to use it yesterday. I'll have her keep it to about 62 for the next few weeks.
Prius vs. M-class nav systems

First, let me highly recommend for your W163 needs :D.

From what little I've seen, the Prius' interface is much nicer. I like the touch screen for the text entry a lot and the split screen views are great. I haven't noticed a difference in the map detail, but I'm in one of the more heavily populated sections of the country and I haven't played with the Prius system very long. What I did notice is that what should have been a straight shot down the Turnpike ended up with the ML's system working just fine but the Prius seems terrified of paying tolls and kept trying to route tens of miles off course to avoid them. Is there an avoid toll road setting that I'm missing?

There is a modification that you can do to cut the speed sensor wire out of the Prius nav. The only problem with that is that you'll be relying solely on the satellites for position information, I was amazed when my ML more or less accurately mapped my progress through a tunnel in Balitmore thanks to the same wire. I can look up the mod and post it if you're interested.
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If it's a boolean value

Then there's little harm in trying this modification to the speed sensor. I, of course, take no responsibility if the mod doesn't work and blows up your car or if it does work and you crash into a wall...
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