2004 Toyota Prius Review

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8.0
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6.0
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9.0
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7.0
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8.0
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10
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Most cars go through their lives as transportation capsules. They’re painted boring colors like Dull Silver, Bright Gray, Silver Gray, Dull Gray, Bright Silver, or Tempe Taupe, sink into the sprawl quickly, say virtually nothing about the people who drive them and no one sheds a tear when they’re ultimately shredded and melted down.

Then there are cars that people buy to express themselves. You don’t buy a Hummer H2 because you want to blend it. A Rolls-Royce definitely says something about the person who drives it (mostly that they’re rich). And if you have a Ferrari, you likely have an ego to go along with it. It’s the same way with the Toyota Prius hybrid — you don’t buy one if you don’t want the world to know something about you. It’s just something completely different than what a Hummer, Rolls, or Ferrari says.

The second-generation Prius dumps the four-door body of the first generation car for a sleeker, pollywog-like, five-door design that further separates the car from mere economy cars and should make it even more fashionable among the environmentally conscious celebrity community. And the new, more powerful drivetrain ought to make it easier for those celebrities to stay ahead of the three Suburbans full of security and assorted entourage that follows them everywhere they go.

Exotic inside and out

Toyota calls its new third-generation gas/electric hybrid powertrain system “Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive” because… well… because it’s Toyota’s new gas/electric hybrid powertrain system.

2004 Toyota Prius

2004 Toyota Prius

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The heart of the new system is a 50-kilowatt electric motor that’s about half-again as powerful as the previous Prius’ electric motor; the system allows this motor to run longer in electric-only mode than before. It maxes out at 67 horsepower between 1200 and 1540 rpm and the 1.5-liter DOHC gas-fueled four with which it’s partnered now includes Toyota’s VVT-i variable valve-timing system and peaks at 76 horsepower, up six ponies from before. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission smoothes out the gasoline engine’s torque delivery so that it’s nearly as velvety as the electric motor’s. To scavenge as much power as possible, the Prius uses regenerative braking to further recharge its nickel-hydride battery.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
For 2004 Toyota Prius

Proven reliable over the years. I have no regrets!

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With nearly 100,000 miles on the vehicle, it still runs great and still gets a consistent 44 mpg combined in the real world. I've never felt it lacked power and the bonus is, you can carry a lot in the back.
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Monday, July 13, 2015
For 2004 Toyota Prius

Extremely reliable and super economy

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With 108,000 miles, no hybrid or engine related issues and a few standard brake-shock issues. I work the hybrid system pretty hard to get a lifetime average of 52 mpg, and the main batteries show no sign of... + More »
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
For 2004 Toyota Prius

Great car wonderful fuel milage.

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Wonderful car. Fun to drive. Great mpg. Very reliable.
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