2004 Toyota Prius Review Roanoke VA
Virginia Beach, VA
2004 Toyota Prius Review
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So this is what it comes down to. This is it -- this smallish car with the swooping hood and futuristic look is the thing that will save the world.
Okay. Half-jokes and hyperbole aside, the 2004 Toyota Prius is a landmark vehicle, the next generation of clean-running practical cars designed for urban, and suburban, drivers. And while saving the world is a tall order for a car, the Prius is one of those cars that could make a difference. Time will tell, however, whether the amount of space and performance that comes with this latest hybrid experience is enough to get people to buy the thing, and thusly how big of a difference that little swooping car will make. According to Toyota, making a difference is familiar ground for the Prius, as it was the world's first mass-produced electric-gas hybrid vehicle in 1997 and has since become the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the world. Again according to Toyota, U.S. market sales have steadily increased from 5,600 in its first year on the market to just over 20,000 in 2002.
Toyota expects better sales numbers from the 2004 version, thanks to more style and substance in the '04 model. And while the vehicle is greatly improved, it may be a tough sell. We, as collective Americans, can't get over the idea that you really need 360 horses to drive to work and home, that bigger and faster is always better. It's not -- when you're crawling along 50 miles of freeway every day. Fact is, it's piggish overkill. Sure, if you've got a free road, open up the throttle and let it fly -- that's where driving is driving and driving is fun.
The Prius is about commuting, not driving. Who in America really drives during the work week anymore? Perhaps in New Mexico, or out there in the far reaches of Arizona, you'll find an open road. But for the rest of us, the millions of us who need efficient, convenient and economic travel to get us through our day, the Prius is a different answer to the same old question.
Will real people really buy a hybrid?
They will buy this one. Or so Toyota hopes, because of the differences. From expanded room and performance to new design and technology, the 2004 Toyota Prius is a hybrid car for the rest of us. Not a hybrid vehicle disguised as a compact, not a cramped two-seater or a trend-mobile with little space and less performance, like the previous Prius. Nope, this newest Prius is a statement wrapped in practicality; common sense and idealism tied together with four wheels and an engine that proves driving doesn't have to be dirty, and that driving right actually can be fun. Perhaps not as much fun as chirping the tires in second gear, or going 0-60 in the blink of an eye. But the Prius is fun in other ways, such as missing an appointment with the gas station, or an easy drive on freeways, in traffic and around city streets.
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