2004 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test

2004 Toyota Prius: Still Going Strong After 47K

February 07, 2007

2004 Toyota Prius - Erin Riches

I took a quick spin in our eldest long-termer, a 2004 Toyota Prius, which is now at 47,470 miles. I still think it makes a very practical city car, although I'd be unlikely to buy one as my only car because of its near total disregard for driver enjoyment. That said, our long-termer is holding up quite well. It's rattle-free and the only terminal wear is the threadbare armrest on the driver door.

2004 Toyota Prius driver armrest - Erin Riches

Another thing that struck is me is how modern the car still feels on the inside. Four years into the model cycle, a lot of cars already feel dated, but the Prius' cabin electronics are still as high-quality and user-friendly as any you'll find in '07 model year cars. I particularly like the audio system interface.

2004 Toyota Prius radio presets - Erin Riches

If pressed, though, I'd say that while I generally like the car's touchscreen interface, I'd wish Toyota allowed you to manage the basic climate control functions ("auto," "off" and temperature up/down) without using the screen.

2004 Toyota Prius climate controls - Erin Riches

Another element of the Prius that still seems cutting-edge: its dash-mounted shifter. Several luxury manufacturers now have their own easy-effort column shifters, but the one in the Prius remains one of the easiest to use.

2004 Toyota Prius shifter - Erin Riches

Finally, there's storage. With each passing year, we expect more in the way of creatively designed storage slots, and with its extra-long center console unit, the Prius still offers more functionality than most of the midsize sedans in its price range.

2004 Toyota Prius center console - Erin Riches

Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor, 47,470 miles

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