Product Reviews

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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 efficient space utilization give it interior room comparable to that of a midsized car.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2007. ESC 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 efficient space utilization give it interior room comparable to that of a midsized car. On the downside, the unusual control layout and gauge cluster may be confusing to some and the electric steering lacks feedback.

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)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Toyota Prius owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

“Headlamp bulb VERY expensive, $175. Labor to replace also very pricy, $155 I also had to have the clear plastic housing for the headlights polished to eliminate the yellowing, $60 for one side. The other side is new due to being hit while parked”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Cruise control

“Cruise control became sporadic and then just quit working. After reporting the problem at my next service experience, I was told the cruise control switch had failed and a new one was installed. The system has worked fine since then”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Gauges

“In very cold weather, the entire digital dashboard goes away -- no speedometer or gauges. Once the ice on the switch melts, the electronics return”

Lawrence R., IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Headlights

“Had to replace headlight assembly for second time”

John L., MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“One or both lights turn off intermittently. Turn switch off & back on lights work for a short period of time. Time duration not consistent”

Robert D., AK (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Have had to replace lights almost every year. Expensive for bulb and very expensive for labor”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The HID headlight on the right is intermittent. Turning the lights off and back on restarts it. I plan to replace myself. The dlr charges over $400”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace passenger side headlight for the 2nd time in life of the car. very expensive”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The headlights are dimmer than they should be, especially in cold weather. If we leave the car parked outside when it is 0 degrees, one light sometimes will not work. I had the covers buffed ($80) which helped some with the brightness. The dealer”

Tim B., WY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to recently replace the passenger headlamp again after only about 14 months”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“INTERMITTENTLY WOULD GO OFF”

Marshall C., ME (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The headlights would periodically go off while driving at night”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“One headlight cuts out intermittently. Turn lights on and off to fix the problem. Headlight leveling sensor died. Ridiculously expensive to replace!”

Anonymous, NH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Bulbs do not last long enough and they are very difficult to change. The dealership wants hundreds of dollars to change the bulbs because they claim that the bumper must be dropped in order to reach the bulbs”

Chuck S., IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Mechanism that automatically vertically aligns headlights failed. $600 repair price kept me from getting repair”

Thomas C., IA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Left front headlight-dealer charged $300 to replace”

J H., DE (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Headlights were intermittently turning off. Required replacement of headlight modules on both sides”

James B., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Toyota Prius has issues they are unwilling to address. Headlights go out randomly, at times completely. Toyota will not fix it even thought it is a serious safety issue”

Fred B., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“plastic headlight casing becomes "foggy" even though I've had it fixed before. This cuts down on the strength of the headlights; they appear dim and don't light up the driving area adequately”

Janice N., CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“All lights suddenly went out while driving at night, then soon came back. Dealer was unable to diagnose. Also, one headlight has failed, then came back without any action on our part”

Andrew H., NM (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The xenon light section on one headlight burned out”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“One headlight stopped working. Replacing the bulb is a major job because there's no room behind the headlight to reach in and remove it. The fenders have to be loosened, so I had both replaced at once. This is the first time I've had to have a headlight bulb replaced”

W S., DC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Needed replacement headlight, surprisingly expensive”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Left headlight went out was 300+ to replace”

John R., WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“difficult to repair”

Peter K., MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Left front headlight works intermittently. Cost of repair very high due to need to remove large portion of bumper to access headlight”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The left front headlight went out but it is an over complicated fix that costs $500 to fix, so we haven't fixed it”

John M., OR (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Headlight went out and it's impossible for anyone but the dealer to fix. It also is very expensive”

Kimura F., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“$450 to replace headlights w non Toyota parts. Craziness! I watched a YouTube video and it's too complicated to do w/o all the tools”

L L., VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Rear brake led lights failed. Had to replace entire cluster/fixture”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“When taillight stoplights failed, in this case, go very dim, they are a set of led's and the whole taillight assembly must be replaced. Costly, $348”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Right rear stop lights went out, they are encased led lights, had to replace the entire esembly”

Rudy J., MO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The brake lights are a panel of LEDs. They cannot be replaced, the entire tail light assembly has to be changed. The driver's side failed last year and now the other side is out. I will replace with an aftermarket assembly for about $80 vs $300”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The brake lights are LED's in a cluster. Some of the LED's stopped working. Unfortunately this is not a simple replacement of a bulb to get the brake lights working but required replacement of both entire rear light assemblies which was very expensiv”

Gary K., NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Tail light "array" (big tail light unit) went out while traveling. Dealer in FL told me part was approx. $750. I think total bill was near $900 to repair”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The driver's side brake light (composed of LEDs) is not working. To be assessed at dealer in coming weeks”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Seems to be related, as the headlights failed along with interior dash lights and parking lights simultaneously”

Andrew H., NM (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Light are constantly unplugging in various parts of the car and have to be manually re plugged, running lights and taillights”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“LED taillight on one side quit, then worked again, then quit. This happened a few times until we replaced the light”

John L., MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Both taillights are starting to go out. Since the lights are configured as one unit, you cannot just replace faukty bulbs...have to pay for the entire unit”

Anonymous, OR (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Taillight 212 for part alone and replaced myself. Ouch!”

L L., VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“I had to replace an interior light”

Richard G., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The Toyota smart key interacts with the car's keyless entry system that is charged by the starter battery. This problem was resolved with the correction to the new starter battery installation which affected the concurrent horn problem”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Failure of starter battery. Diagnosed after third breakdown”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The engine light was going on, but nothing appeared wrong. Took to Toyota, and they could find anything”

Chris W., NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Horn

“Problem was with the replacement starter battery, which was not charging properly, causing the horn (alarm) to not stop blasting when attempting to engage a battery charger. Problem was improper installation of the new battery and the posts causing intermittent open circuits when driving so that the battery charge dissipated”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

“CD player died completely”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“CD in CD Player jammed. They could not release it without replacing the radio/cd player”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“for the past several years it won't except CDs or CDs get stuck in it . I have gotten temporary fixes but now if I want to play CDs on that machine I'm going to have to get a new one . I don't think I well I've been using my iPad for books on my”

Sandy D., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen difficult to see

“The display screen stopped working”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The screen has completely gone out”

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen freezes up

“Display screen for all functions is 'frozen' approximately 99% of the time. Every once in a while, unpredictably,. it works as advertised”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The display screen only works intermittently, sometimes freezing, sometimes going blank, and sometimes displaying incorrect information”

Anonymous, NM (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Associated with the Technical Bulletin EL002-05 as previously stated. Very expensive to replace”

Matthew B., MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Can no longer adjust a/c or change radio stations using screen. Must use controls on steering wheel. This is a 2 week old problem so very new”

Gary N., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Display is frozen about 95% of the time, but every once in a while it works fine. This makes it impossible to set radio stations, set temperature, etc”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“display that shows radio stations, climate control, mileage does not work unless temperature of car is hot enough. This started in 2012”

Anonymous, HI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen goes blank

“Radio/Display module stopped working and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, DC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Entire multi-function display became inoperative most of the time. Could still drive car, but missing functionality, especially no climate control. Had to replace at cost of $1100. Research indicated this was common, but no recall”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“instrument cluster(speedometer, fuel gage) go dark intermittently, then becomes difficult to turn motor off”

Michael K., FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Display is intermittent in displaying information, most often displays none, including radio stations, travel information”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Dash display went black intermittently. Dealership covered main display as warranty, but did not cover cost of middle console display (energy consumption etc)”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Speedometer/odometer board failed, so no speedometer/odometer. Required ~$800 fix”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The dash display screen went out. Had to replace at $990”

Derrick D., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“display screen works when car is warm or the temp is above 50, otherwise it is inop”

Mark P., AK (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Numerous Toyota dealers have refused to troubleshoot the central display error messages; they only quote full replacement cost (exceeds vehicle value). Toyota of America also refused assistance. This is very distressing and damages brand confidence”

David N., AL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“There is a known issue with the display screen failing. Enough that Toyota put out a Technical Bulletin (EL002-05) but not enough for a recall evidently. Getting it replaced at a dealership can cost over $6,000”

Matthew B., MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“This was a serious problem. However, finally the Toyota dealer fixed. Initially the cost was to be $700, but they fixed it FREE! We were happy”

Anonymous, MN (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“apparently there is a short with cold weather on the dash board. Computer readout is blank, air conditioner will not work, can't adjust radio especially in cold weather. Took to toyota dealer, they wanted to charge 100/hr to see if they could find the short with an estimate of 4-5 hours to time to find it. I live with the problem waiting for the car to get warm when the short disappears and the air conditioner, radio and computer screen all work”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“System became unreliable-had to be replaced”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Went out completely too expensive to repair”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Bluetooth pairing was not functioning properly- would suddenly stop working”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Radio

“AM radio has not worked for years. FM is fine”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Radio sonstantly suffered static and poor reception. Dealer was unable to repair satisfactorily”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The radio randomly turns itself off”

Anonymous, NM (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Radio/CD player cuts out when central display either cuts off or turns itself on (random occurrence; is not owner controllable)”

David N., AL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Front end was "sticking" and steering was imprecise. Dealer aligned front end and indicated that they had to "heat" some of the steering components to "unstick" them. But the repair cost was reasonable and the steering is improved”

Martin C., FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had car for 13 years and I used to go over speed bumps very fast and eventually my struts needed to get replaced and I got an alignment. I would call this normal maintenance and not a failure”

James S., VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace the bearings. Not ball joints, but bearings is not on the list”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“OEM struts needed replacement at 240000miles”

Edward D., PA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Worn out struts, one with no fluid left in it”

Garry M., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“needed replacing”

Margaret M., IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“New England winter and spring potholes helped to destroy the rear rear struts and springs”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Left front leaked. Both front shocks replaced”

Hugh G., CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“2nd time fixing a strut and mount”

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Suspension wore out so struts needed replacing”

Greg P., NH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“shocks wore out and were leaking after 220000 k”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Independent mechanic identified significant leakage from both rear struts. Replaced on 1/14/2015”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Replaced”

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Rear struts were leaking and needed replacement; vehicle has been used extensively to carry heavy loads in rear”

D L., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Front struts wore out”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Front stuts needed to be replace at 150k mainly highway and paved road driving”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had car for 13 years and I used to go over speed bumps very fast and eventually my struts needed to get replaced and I got an alignment. I would call this normal maintenance and not a failure”

James S., VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Springs or torsion bars

“Replaced rear springs because one was broken”

M T., OH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had steering pull, uneven tire wear, due to bent tie rods and other parts (maybe because of running over a curb). Had to replace multiple items, $1700”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“the car also makes a funny noise when turning. By coincidence, I am taking the car in to have it looked at next week, so watch this space next year!”

W S., DC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Actually, I did not experience any problem. The shop discovered it while aligning the front wheels”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Electronic or air suspension

“Bad shift lever assembly by 20000 miles. Apparently a known defect for several prius models, but car over 36 mo old, so not covered by warranty”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“Rubbing sound when making sharp turns”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“The air conditioning stopped working. I opted to put a used system in”

Anonymous, KY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Both the condenser and compressor had to be replaced!”

Chris F., NH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Stopped cooling last summer. Dealer repair shop said it needed new compressor, did some workaround and told us to run it all the time for awhile and see what happened. It gradually got better and is now fully healed. :) Go figure. Love those guys”

Wendie H., MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace original AC/Compressor after 11 years and 300000 miles. Not much to discuss”

John L., NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“A/C stopped cooling. Dealer replaced compressor for $2200”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“It went out and I replaced it”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The compressor went out at about 75000 miles and was expensive to repair”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Compressor failed, needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The cooling system gradually became less and less efficient. I suppose that caused the temp sensor to keep the blower fan on nearly constantly and it finally failed. Currently our A/C is rolling down the windows”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Condenser

“Both the condenser and compressor needed replacing!”

Chris F., NH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“AC stopped working. Dealer diagnosed condenser, which involved removing entire dash. $2000 fix!”

Greg S., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Electrical failure

“Relay between hybrid battery and A/C failed”

Rebecca P., TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace battery-$3000 Total computer screen has gone out”

Anonymous, WI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Evaporator

“Went bad, caused leaks in refrigerant, cost $$$ to repair”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Replacement required dropping the dashboard for access. The glovebox was ruined and would not stay closed. Toyota replaced it but it still pops open when I hit a bump”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Hole, caused by a rock”

David F., NJ (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“Battery replacement”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Went to start car and it was totally dead. Received no warning that anything was going wrong. Luckily it happened at home. Turned out to be relatively simple...12v starter battery. But took 5 days to get car back”

Clarence P., NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Hybrid/electric battery replacement

“One hybrid battery cell needed to be replaced. After 10 years of use, that's not bad at all”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The hybrid battery failed, and we had to replace it”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The inverter went out at 120,00 miles. Toyota dealer estimated $5000 to repair. Car was only worth $2500. Sold it to salvage for $300”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Had to replace the traction battery at 186,000 miles”

Peter D., MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“It was bound to happen eventually. I got over 200K miles from it before the big battery system needed replacing. $3500 or so”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Battery failed for the third time. The original battery failed at about 130,000 mi, and was replaced by an aftermarket brand which failed at 180,000. recently replaced with a different brand”

Anonymous, HI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“ran out of gas and somehow destroyed backup battery”

Anonymous, TN (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Inverter lost fluid and the car stopped running”

J P., KY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Coil

“ignition coil went bad; was a replacement that was not a Toyota product. Replaced with Toyota product”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“replaced leaking water pump”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The water pump was defective and leaking - replaced it”

David P., MN (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“water pump was leaking”

Anonymous, IA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Squeaks or rattles

“rattle in the forward center of the dash”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Fan for A/C makes clicking and a sound such as plastic rubbing on plastic, very annoying while driving on the freeway when it is hot and rolling down the window is not an option. Window seals finally giving out,”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“There is an annoying rattle somewhere in the front dash. I have not yet asked a mechanic to figure out where it is coming from”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“There is something in the passenger side dashboard that has rattled/vibrated for years. I'm not able to fix it”

Janice N., CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“After replacing the guidance system the works rattles against dash while driving!”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Wind noise

“Slight wind noise emitting from driver's side window. Mostly slight irritant that has not posed a safety or water leaking problem when raining”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“This is a small car that rides rough with a short wheel base and there is a lot of wind noise at high speeds”

Blaine A., OR (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“Told by Dealer that charcoal canister needs to be replaced due to check engine light - $1050. I opted to wait for annual inspection. Regular mechanic says cost is way too high. Still not replaced; Other dealer says they've never replaced on any Prius”

S M., PA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Catalytic converter replacement, following inverter water pump replacement”

Anonymous, NJ (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Fuel cap

“original problem was vacuum switching valve which was replaced along with the gas cap”

Paul B., PA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Fuel gauge/sender

“The fuel gauge is inaccurate. I've been told by Toyota this is due to a membrane within the gas that becomes rigid over time and causes the sender to give a false reading of gas remaining in tank. They had a Service Bulletin on it but no fix”

Anonymous, NH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“This car has always had issues in that area which I believe to be related to the system that equalizes the atmospheric pressure between the hard tank and bladder. According to Toyota, the system is "working to specifications". I beg to differ unless their specs were to leave the owner on the side of the road out of gas”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“O2 sensor caused MIL on occasionally”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Camshaft sensor went bad and had to have it towed and fixed by dealership. Also, the oxygen sensors have gone bad. They have not been replaced and the "check engine" light remains lit”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“check engine light came on. An emissions sensor was defective”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Post Cat O2 sensor warning light came on. Dealership wanted $600 to fix. Took it to another repair shop, they replaced the sensor but the light wouldn't go out”

Jonathan T., SK (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Both sensors/valves located on the top of the gas tank had to be replaced in the last year”

Richard B., VT (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“the front grill breaks often”

Mark S., MN (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint on hatch has been fading and peeling for the past several years”

Lowell D., MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Paint peeling on roof”

Martha E., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Plastic back bumper has cracks”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“paint on the car is deteriorating. Peeling particularly on the front”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Clear coat is chipping and peeling from the horizontal surfaces: roof, hood, spoiler”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Small chips of paint flaking off the front/hood of the car. Paint on the rest of the car remains intact”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“clearcoat peeling”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Unfortunately I can't get my cars in the garage anymore and they have sat in the sun for the past 7 years. The paint on the rear spoiler and on top of the door handles have faded and the clear coat is starting the flake off. All plastic parts”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

“Compressor failing”

Dobrzeniecki J., VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Water pump

“Hybrid water pump replaced under recall”

Tom M., FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“They said the engine water pump and hybrid water pump were leaking and should be replaced. So I had them both replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Transmission water pump leaked”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Computer onboard told us there was an engine problem. Replaced the water pump after going to a dealership to find out what the problem was”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“At 120,000 mile service, dealer reported that water pump needed to be replaced. We did that at cost of ~$500. This has been a GREAT car!”

Elizabeth K., NC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Coolant leak was discovered during regular maintenance and water pump replaced”

Anonymous, AB (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“replace water pump after 220000 miles! Pretty good reliability. Best car we've ever owned”

Gary J., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Inverter water pump failure, which has been the subject of previous recalls, but was no longer covered. Had it replaced”

Danny J., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“I experienced no problems. It was discovered gy the shop when it was aligning the front wheels”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Three wheel bearings had to be replaced. With 198,000 miles on the car I am not unhappy about that”

Daniel S., OH (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Electrical failure

“Corrosion on electrical contacts. Needed new wiring harness”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Hybrid main battery has a dead cell. Toyota wants $3600 to replace vs. $800 - $1600 from alternate suppliers”

Lowell D., MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“I had to replace my Prius hybrid battery, i.e. the battery used to power the electic motor.”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Hybrid battery developed 2 bad cells, mileage dropped into 30s mpg, bought replacement battery at Mike Shaw Toyota Dealer 4 months ago for $2400”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Was my fault. The 8-year-old battery short-circuited and caused the hybrid inverter to fail”

Mike L., TX (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Stability control (ESC)

“The front struts were replaced. Hybrid battery failure”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“Car's brakes fail momentarily when going over pothole or other road irregularity at around 25-30 mph. It is for a split moment, but can interfere with driver's estimation of braking distance”

Milton M., VT (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“False indication of abs fault when driving”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“When car was inspected was informed that brake pads were low, so had them replaced”

Gail G., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“very first brake repair came after 130000 miles”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“need replacing”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Squeaking

“brakes squeak when turning”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“Engine check light, catalytic failure”

Lothar M., WA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Engine Check dash warning light came on. Technician determined that it had been triggered by catalytic converter no longer functioning as well as it should. I had CC replaced”

Anonymous, MD (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Same problem as cited for the pipes”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Mufflers go bad over time. Not a major issue”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Normal errosion caused by outdoor climate. I have no garage so the car has been out in the elements for 10.5 years”

Anonymous, VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

“The rear spoiler is broken and rattles very loudly”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The hatch handle broke off; couldn't lock car”

Stephanie H., CO (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Windows

“Rubber window seals are cracked and loose in the driver side window”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Mirrors

“The left mirror stopped responding”

Eileen B., CA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Difficult to fill up gas tank

“Sometimes gas pump shuts off when try to fill tank. It works OK if you turn pump handle upside down”

Elizabeth K., NC (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Engine computer

“Three onboard computers died simultaneously. Factory replaced hardware; I paid labor”

Tom M., FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

“Burning oil”

Dobrzeniecki J., VA (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Noticed inconsistent heat, head gasket, timing chain tensioner was bad(new after market), mechanic had to do the job again”

Anonymous, MI (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

“Transmission coolant leak. Sean not replacable. Needed newtransmission”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Described as seep of coolant”

Anonymous, IN (2004 Toyota Prius None 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
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