2004 Toyota Prius: Still Going Strong After 47K
February 07, 2007
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor, 47,470 miles