Hatchback Offers More Functionality than Outgoing Trunk

If you like the thought of reducing noxious emissions while saving on fuel costs but need a larger car than the current crop of hybrid gas-electric vehicles, Toyota is listening. For 2004 its Prius goes through a major transformation, in style, performance and spaciousness.

Soon to be sized closer to a midsize family car than the economy class of the current model, the Prius is only 6-inches longer on the outside. Its much more functional hatchback design allows for increased storage capacity over the 2003 models conventional trunk too.

A much improved hybrid system increases overall output, due to a more powerful 1.5-L gasoline engine and much more robust electric motor that produces 500 volts, compared to 273 volts in the current Prius.

Despite its increased size and improved performance, the new Prius is expected to increase fuel efficiency by a further 15 percent over the current models high 40 mpg range to the mid-50s, while 0 to 60 mph goes from twelve and a half seconds to about ten and a half.

 

Expected out in the fall it is expected to cost about the same as the current $19,995 Prius, which should help the Japanese brand to reach its target of doubling sales to 36,000 units annually.

 

Despite its increased size and improved performance, the new Prius is expected to increase fuel efficiency by a further 15 percent over the current models high 40 mpg range to the mid-50s, while 0 to 60 mph goes from twelve and a half seconds to about ten and a half.

 

Expected out in the fall it is expected to cost about the same as the current $19,995 Prius, which should help the Japanese brand to reach its target of doubling sales to 36,000 units annually