Learn more about the 2004 Toyota Prius with pricing, rebates & incentives, pictures, safety data, technical specifications & more. Select a research category to learn more about the Toyota Prius.
Price Range: $20,295 - $20,295 | MPG: 60 City / 51 Hwy
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The pinched-down nose returns, helpful for knifing through the air with little resistance. But now it looks more like the front end of a car than the flattened-nostrils look on the 2003 Prius. The front quarter panels and doors are sleek and clean, sans the 03's deeply etched groove arcing up and over the front tire opening and fading to nothingness somewhere around mid-front door. The new car's rear flanks continue the theme, with no hint of the bulbous, bi-level blister running rearward from the back doors over the top of the rear tire arch on the '03. The 03's flow-through ventilation exhaust vents are gone, leaving a clean, smooth rear sail. The '04's sole character line is a tasteful indentation in the lower region of the doors, visually connecting the creases marking the lower limits of the working area of the front and rear bumpers.
The side view makes clear the stylists' devotion to aerodynamics. A steeply raked windshield carries rearward the hood's acute angle to the horizontal. An even more steeply raked backlight (rear windscreen) ends in a high spoiler that breaks up the air flow as it leaves the car to reduce the drag the tallish, almost-vertical backend would otherwise generate. Front and rear quarter windows do more to visually enhance the car's aero-look than for outward visibility.
Pictures deceive when it comes to tires. Viewed in the paint, the '04 Prius looks under-tired, almost as if the tires were left out when the rest of the car was made larger. This may have been in part in deference to the quest for maximum fuel economy, but visually it clashes with the car's enlarged proportions.
The headlights are geometrically complex, compound units, housing the running lights, side marker lights and turn indicators. Vertically stacked, compound taillight units wear modish clear lenses and bookend the lower section of the liftgate. Integrated into the liftgate, and running its width beneath the rear spoiler, is a strip of glass adding critical rearward visibility to the view from the driver's seat.
While the 2003 model was classified a compact by the EPA, the 2004 Prius is considered a mid-size car. Its wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) is about 6 inches longer than before, yielding more legroom.