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I made up my mind and I'm going to get a Prius. I am kind of down grading from a 02 BMW 325i.

My question is, What if any... are the "Special Options" on these cars? So If I ordered one, what extra stuff can I order?

Like Leather, Comfort Seats... Ext...

Has anyone asked for this stuff? If so... Tell me all the cool things you know about.
 

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Companies (and some dealers) will replace the cloth seats with leather. Look for it to cost between $1000 and $3000, depending on how much gouging is going on.

As for options? Take a look at Toyota's website for the various option packages. The top end model comes with such amenities as GPS-based navigation, Bluetooth speakerphone, keyless ignition, more airbags than a political convention, traction control, etc. The low-end model comes with, uh... a CD player. And lots in between. The only real 'options' that aren't part of packages are the 'glass breakage sensor' for the alarm (if you live in a very high-crime area, this would be useful, I guess,) an add-on 6-disc changer if you don't get the upgraded radio, an auto-dimming mirror (if you don't get a package with it,) and that's about it.

A company called Coastal Tech (see Dave on here,) sells such add-ons as a button to manually control electric mode, an integrated XM receiver, and soon to come, video input, so you can display whatever you want on that internal screen. (I plan on using it to output my notebook computer display, for either my own navigation system, or to display my iTunes visualizations, 'cause they look so cool.)
 

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Hi. I'm in the same boat as TimeFor. I have a 2000 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro - sport edition. With the 5speed manual, this is a fun car to drive, but it DRINKS gas. If I drive aggressively during my commute, I end up having to refill the tank after only 290 miles, or about 18mpg for the A4's 16 gallon tank. This leaves a LOT to be desired. Plus, it can be annoying to drive a manual in heavy traffic, and now that I'm playing "school bus driver" for 3 of my kids in the morning on the way to work, I've decided that it's time to get a more "responsible" vehicle.

I got on the waiting list in July for a Tideland Pearl Prius with the BC package (I think that's the one with Bluetooth). Although I'll miss the acceleration of my Audi, I look forward to the high-tech features of the Prius (expecting to use Bluetooth, Nav and voice command to the fullest). The rear leg room is superior to the Audi, which I know my kids will appreciate (I'm 6'3", so the front seat goes all the back when I drive, much to the discomfort of rear-seat passengers). The added space from the hatch is a wonderful bonus.

Ehurtley, I'm interested in this Coastal Tech company - do they have a website? Does anyone have a link?
 
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Audi v Prius

I was in the same boat. Believe me that you WON'T miss the acceleration. I had an Audi allroad which is much faster than the 2.8 and I don't miss it at all. Good luck!
 

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I consider myself an "upgrader"

I, too, recently traded in my BMW 330xi for a Prius. While the car clearly does not handle like a BMW in either cornering or acceleration, it certainly handles competently. Strong crosswinds on the highway are the only real issue I have with handling. In terms of creature comforts, I'm also going to really miss the heated leather seats in winter.

On the other hand, there are LOTS of things I really like about the Prius. The gas mileage is certainly one of them. In my typical mixed highway/city driving I was averaging about 23 mpg with the BMW. If I drive to maximize mileage, I can typically get 50-51 mpg in the Prius. If I drive more aggressively, more like a normal car, I typically get 47-48 mpg. The thought of sending less of my American dollars to the middle east certainly gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. I actually enjoy driving the car for high mileage. I like hearing the complete silence at a stoplight, and knowing that when I'm coasting/braking I'm not generating wasted heat but useful electricity.

The smart entry/smart start is wonderful. I highly recommend it. In fact, if you can afford it, I'd recommend the BC package with Navigation, the CD changer, and the rest of the goodies. I find it constantly entertaining. What do I do first? Check the mileage? Wach the split screen navigation readout? The upgraded stereo doesn't sound as good as my old system, but I find it much more logical/user friendly than the BMW's. It's the little things, like being able to simply push the FM button to turn on the stereo and play the FM radio, or putting a CD in and having the stereo come on and play the CD. Or being able to fast forward a track on a CD without switching to "manual" mode. The BMW sound system was completely illogical. My CDs would skip all the time when I hit a bump. Having an antiskip buffer has been a part of CD players for a LONG time, but apparently not yet discovered by BMW. NO skips in the Prius.

I LOVE the cabin storage spaces, another big BMW weakness. TWO gloveboxes, a LARGE storage space in center console between the seats, a small hidden drawer on the front of the center console and ANOTHER storage space below the CD changer. AND a LARGE sunglass holder. I also now have TWO cupholders in front without having to fold up my armrest (very annoying on the BMW) AND I have cupholders in the back for my kids.

Speaking of the back, I can actually fit my three kids in the back seat without complaints! The back seat is substantially larger than in the BMW 3 series. Front seat room is also significantly greater.

The hatchback is very functional/useful. Much more so than the trunk on the 3 series.

The climate controls/system is MUCH better on the Prius. The air conditioner works better. The temperature settings actually make sense. I used to set the temperature in the BMW to 64 degrees or less to feel like it was actually cooling the car and I could never get the car really cold on a hot day. Hitting auto in the Prius actually turns on the air conditioner, unlike on the BMW AND it intelligently sets air recirculation. What were those Germans thinking?

The BMW was a lot of fun to drive, especially when you pushed it to its limits. However, driving the Prius makes ME feel good. I don't race to get where I'm going and have become a much more mellow driver since getting the Prius. The loss of handling and heated leather seats I find to be more than compensated for by EVERYTHING ELSE about the Prius. My BMW salesman told me that once you drive a BMW, you never go back to another car. Despite its flaws, I really liked my BMW and thought he was right. Right up until I tried the 2004 Prius. Once you drive a technological marvel like the Prius hybrid, you'll never go back to a normal car.
 

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Mark Prius - thanks for the reassurance.

How do you find the interior space of the Prius compared to your AllRoad? Since the AllRoad was based on the A6 platform, I would imagine the Prius to be a bit smaller. Has this caused any issues? Did you swap the stock tires of the Prius for better rubber for better wet/dry traction or snow/ice conditions?
 

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ehurtley - THANKS for the link!

stevesol - WOW! GREAT endorsement for changing over! Seems like there are quite a few of us "downgraders" out there. NOTE: Only non-hybrid converts would consider this a downgrade!

P.S. - I also find the Audi climate control to be annoying - I notice a SIGNIFICANT reduction in power when A/C is running, and it doesn't cool the car very well at all. Sometimes I find myself preferring to roll the windows down and raise the sunroof on 95 degree days simply to have a better driving experience! Happy to hear that's not an issue with the Prius.
 

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VSC

Mark P,

Package 9, BC, has the Vehicle Stability Control which may be something you would want if you are living in an area where slippery conditions exist.

Check with Toyota about changing out tires as they state that changing the tires and or wheels that are not specifically designed to the Prius specifications will reduce your gas mileage and make your GPS inaccurate. But with that being said, you may find someone with a post who has done so with some success (although I haven't seen one).

I think you will find the Prius is a car that is ready to go without any modifications. That's the beauty of the Prius!!! Stevesol's post pretty much sums that up.
 

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ehurtley said:
The low-end model comes with, uh... a CD player.
Actually, even the lowest-end Prius model has a number of standard features that are options on other cars (some maybe even on BMW's):

power windows w/one-touch (driver)
power mirrors
power remote entry locks
(no power seats, though)
(I just rented a corolla that had none of the above!)

climate control
alcantara upholstery
cvt auto. tranny
variable intermittent wipers
split folding rear seats
dual lighted vanity mirrors
4 wheel ABS

there, now I feel better about my package 0!

rpm
 

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You may be surprised at how much acceleration the Prius has. The electric motor has a lot of torque, much more than a gas engine of the same horsepower. And while I've never driven a BMW or an Audi, once you've taken the whole car into account, you may decide you're not stepping down after all.

To answer pshady: none of the packages come with the car alarm, but it can be added to any of them.

"More airbags than a political convention"
- Great line!
 

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I'm pretty certain the alarm in package 9 is the VIP Alarm. (Dan: The flyer says Package 9 says it has an alarm... I don't have a 9, so I don't know for certain.)
 

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Daniel,

Several of the 2004 packages came with the "Toyota anti-theft system," specifically packages 4 (AG), 5 (AI), and 9 (BC). Those cars that do not have this factory alarm can add one at their dealer. This is labelled as the RS3200 VIP alarm. I'm not sure if it is different from the factory installed alarm. A glass-break sensor can also be added to any Prius with an alarm, either factory or dealer installed.
 

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Daniel said:
You may be surprised at how much acceleration the Prius has. The electric motor has a lot of torque, much more than a gas engine of the same horsepower.
Yes indeed, I had to watch my speed when I first got my Prius because the acceleration was so much greater than my other car (w/a regular 4-cylinder engine).
 

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stevesol said:
Daniel,

Several of the 2004 packages came with the "Toyota anti-theft system," specifically packages 4 (AG), 5 (AI), and 9 (BC). Those cars that do not have this factory alarm can add one at their dealer. This is labelled as the RS3200 VIP alarm. I'm not sure if it is different from the factory installed alarm. A glass-break sensor can also be added to any Prius with an alarm, either factory or dealer installed.
I stand corrected. You are right. Now I am even happier I didn't get a "BC". I hate it when car alarms go off, as they always seem to do, and I don't want to be responsible for waking up the whole neigborhood at 3:00 a.m., not to mention having to get up and get dressed and go down and shut it off.
 

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To all of you who "down graded" from a BMW or Audi, I am extremely impressed. I took a HUGE leap forward when I got rid of my '92 Toyota Corola that came with no options ... not even an entena!

With this car, I feel like a king! And a smart one too. ;)

My #7 makes me happy every time I drive it!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Stevesol –

Yea, about the sound system… BMW 3’s have a very nice, clear system. I did buy the Package 9 so I’m getting the upgraded sound system… But I think I’ll replace the speakers with really nice aftermarket ones, crossovers, and an amp when my prius arrives.

… about the cup holders… I noticed that too. I had to move my arm rest up to hold two drinks. I ended up take my cup holders out and used the Euro Tray.

---------------------------------------------------
I might keep the bimmer for a while though. Its paid off and what I'll save on gas is going to practically make the payment on the prius.

BTW guys. I ordered mine today. I'm second on the list so I'm happy about that. I got it at MSRP from Toyota of Riverside.

I ordered a Super White on Dark Grey #9 with Glass Brake Senor. They told me it should arrive in 8 weeks.
 

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TimeFor said:
I ordered a Super White on Dark Grey #9 with Glass Brake Senor. They told me it should arrive in 8 weeks.
Dark Grey?
You are talking interior color, correct?
I thought all that was available was the light grey or ivory color with the white exterior.
 
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