Product Reviews

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While competitors plan their first hybrid, Toyota has already introduced a second-generation Prius. It couples a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor, and automatically switches between them or runs on both as needed. Both acceleration and fuel economy have improved. We got an excellent 44 mpg overall in our tests. Shifts are automatic via a responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT). Regenerative braking recharges the battery while coasting or braking. Ride and handing are competent, though the steering feels vague. Access is easy and the interior is roomy and well put together. The unusual controls and displays take some getting used to.

See Reliability page for the latest 2004 Toyota Prius recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS standard. Side and head protection air bags available, standard from 2007. ESC available from 2004, standard from 2010. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2010, standard from 2017.

Road Test

A lot of the Prius's appeal is its 44-mpg overall fuel economy and ultraclean emissions. But it also provides a roomy interior, hatchback versatility and admirable road manners. Although relatively small on the outside, the long wheelbase and efficie...

Highs

  • Fuel economy, low emissions, efficient transmission, ride quality, hatchback versatility.

Lows

  • Steering feel, multifunction display.

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 1.5-liter 4 hybrid (110 hp)