We finally took advantage of the CASH program and traded in our 98 Windstar and got a Blue Ribbon Prius IV. The color is pretty sharp and not something I have seen on the road for a Prius. I wanted to get the V with the 17-inch wheels but after seeing the 15-inch on the IV thought it was just fine. The 15-inch has more rubber and as the salesman said(?), it wears a bit lesser.
The 1.8 liter V4 is mated with a battery, together they give better fuel economy. We are supposed to get 50mpg in city driving conditions but so far after 100 miles, we have 43.3mpg. The acceleration is a bit slow at 9 secs for 0-60mph, but we didn’t buy the car for performance. This car should serve us just fine over the long run.
The Prius II we test drove last week was a bit disappointing with the interior materials. The hard plastic put me off, but the IV seems a tad better with the color co-ordinated with the leather and thus softening on the eyes. The car comes with a lot of goodies with voice activated navigation system, blue tooth capability, automatic climate control in the front, rear view camera and a 6 CD changer. The navigation system is pretty good, interface is quite uesr friendly.
The multi-function display is pretty high tech and will take time getting used to. It can display, among other data, average fuel consumption for the past six trips.
The car is way smaller than our mini-van, but pretty comfortable. You do hear the engine noise while accelerating and the ride is fine. You feel the bumps on rough roads with some road noise, but I would take it just for the fuel economy and eco-friendliness. The sound system was pretty good with built-in XM capability. The blue-tooth imported my Blackberry’s address book in a matter of seconds and it feels safe to have hands-free capability listening to the phone on the stereo.
The Prius IV comes with an adapter for the iPod. I read the II doesn’t which sucks given the II goes for 22K plus taxes and tags. I did test drive the Ford Focus hybrid which I liked very much, but gave in for the higher fuel economy and the better reliability record of Toyota.