2003 Toyota Prius High end SUV from North America


Zippy car that feels like a sports car


At 10,000 miles, the special computer-screen type dashboard started flashing "engine and vehicle failure". Toyota offers roadside assistance for the first 36,000 miles, so I had the car towed back to the dealer, about 2 hours away from me. It turns out the computer program stopped performing and the dealer had to wait to get a new computer program from Japan. There was a second Prius in the shop at the same time that had the same type of failure. It took about 10 days to get the car back.

General Comments:

A very nice, zippy, high-performance vehicle with a great turning radius and terrific pickup; it feels like an expensive sports car.

There are some flaws though: 1) an extremely small rearview, causing blindspots 2) no ability to buy extras from Toyota (like seat covers), since Toyota carries nothing for this car; 3) small trunk that won't fit a large suitcase 4) a car probably not for heavy winters 5) a dashboard that requires you to touch-screen for radio, CD, tape, which also requires you to fiddle with the screen, taking your eyes off the road. The dash with all the features on one screen is not intuitive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2003

2003 Toyota Prius -- hybrid from North America


The sweetest city and suburb vehicle I have driven in 58 years of motoring


Nothing has failed.

General Comments:

We purchased a Prius for several reasons: mileage, quietness, smoothness, comfortable cabin for two senior citizens, and the environment.

Current view: It is the sheer serenity and comfort coupled with the maneuverability of the machine that now speaks most strongly to me as a driver. We would replace it "on the spot."

Negatives (Mild) : Homely exterior, driver leg room, and as with early Porsches, I will want to be careful of potential, abrupt over-steer on slippery surfaces. Also, the machine is vulnerable to side winds. I suspect all these negatives will be eliminated or reduced with the forthcoming model (Fall, 2003).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2003

30th Aug 2003, 23:01

I agree that the technology is fascinating, even if I do tend to be a V8 guy! I just wish someone would make a bigger one, as I've 3 daughters, ALL in car seats. (oldest is 3 1/2) But it is a REAL GOOD start!!

13th Sep 2003, 06:25

Congratulations on considering a vehicle which does not solely rely upon fossil fuel energy. It seems like a most sensible choice to me.

It's a shame that these cars are still selling at a bit of a premium, but hopefully you early adopters will pave the way for the rest of the populace having the opportunity to own a similar vehicle.

I myself have only seen one totally electric car (making no engine noise at all -- weird!). I agree that safety is also an important factor when considering a vehicle. Imagine a pedestrian being hit by an electric vehicle not hearing it coming.