2004 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test

2004 Toyota Prius: Do Missing Parts Make it Look Better?

September 23, 2010


A part fell off our 2004 Toyota Prius, and now it looks better. Like everything else on this car, the wheels are a bit odd.

Toyota started out strong with relatively lightweight 6-spoke alloy wheels, but then mucked them up with some painted plastic trim rings. Who the heck puts plastic trim rings on an alloy?!

One of them recently went missing.


The absent trim reveals a little character out at the end of the spokes. I think the wheels now look a little tougher, the spokes a little longer.

Perhaps the plastic ring was there to provide an aero benefit. If so, our mpg may plummet by 0.001 mpg, maybe more. I'm inclined to face down that woeful risk and remove the other three. Who's with me?

What have we learned? With regard to our 2004 Prius, at least, the less of it there is, the better it looks. ;)

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 84,443 miles

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