Thursday, November 4, 2004

295 Days Later: A Prius

Today I took delivery of my new 2005 Toyota Prius. This replaces my 2001 Prius, which I traded in at 99,617 miles (if I remember correctly). I am thrilled with this new car.

Of course, I was very happy with my first Prius, which was one of the first to arrive here in Delaware. In that car, I averaged about 48 miles per gallon. It was comfortable, fun to drive, and had enough gee-whiz geekery to satisfy my techie soul.

This car promises to be even more fun. I've only driven about 100 miles in it, so far, but here are some first thoughts.

It's bigger and "stouter" than the 2001 Prius. It is somehow more solid-feeling than the '01. I had heard that this was a bigger more powerful car that got even better mileage. We'll see about the mileage; today was a very wet and windy day, so I would expect lower mileage results. My average today seemed to be about 47 MPG, so I have high hopes.

This car is very comfortable and seems a tad roomier. The girls were pleased with the back seat and reported that they had more room as well. The "Smart Key" is very cool. It's a key fob that I can simply leave in pocket. When I approach the car, the car reads a signal from the key and the door unlocks; when I get in, I can leave the key in my pocket and simply press the "start" button. Very cool.

I had hoped to post a photo, but today was too gray and rainy. I'll take a snapshot when the sun returns and add it in.

I placed the order for this car on January 14, 2004. I took delivery today, November 4. That's 295 days. Or, 10 months and 3 weeks (I think). That's a long wait, but appears to be the norm for ordering the Prius these days. With my first Prius, I think I ordered in November of 2000 and had the car by the end of March 2001.

That earlier version of the Prius was a hit. This version, which was a new redesign starting with the 2004 model is an improvement and it has been very popular. The wait is not likely to shrink. The dealer told me that many folks waiting for their Priuses to come in are getting antsy and a little upset with their dealers. He was grateful that I'd been so patient.

This is a nice treat. It's been a disappointing week otherwise, and I have been looking forward to having this car. Tonight, I'm starting to feel happy again.

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