evnow wrote:BTW, didn't Prius not get sold in the US for a couple of years ?
Yes. First two years were Japan only for the Prius.
The 1st gen Prius that was JDM only was the NHW10 (steering wheel on the "wrong side", no touchscreen but instead buttons underneath a color LCD) that began sale in December 97. It's referred to as "Original" at http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-history.htm
. From the outside, the NHW10 and NHW11 look real similar.
As for Prius, the 1st gen we got in the US didn't start selling until August 2000, the NHW11.http://priuschat.com/threads/prius-mk1-nhw10-making-funny-sound.81733/#post-1142083
has some pictures of the NHW10, including that of the LCD. Numerous used NHW10s have made it to other countries that drive on the same side of the road as Japan (e.g. the UK and Australia). I'd say that NHW10 was pretty close to a Toyota science experiment, at best.
For whatever reason, the NHW11 is referred to by the world as 1st gen and lumped into 1st gen by Toyota even though the NHW10 came before...
The NHW20 (04-09 model year) marked the beginning of the iconic hatchback design and the ZVW30 is the current gen (began w/2010 model year).
evnow wrote:BTW, I bought my earlier ICE in 1998 - and didn't even consider Prius. I guess it was not available in Seattle at that time ? We bought another car in 2003 - and we did look at Prius. But we couldn't buy it because we'd have had to wait for 6 months to get it (this was in St Louis).
I don't remember the situation well in 03 which marked the beginning of the 04 model year but I do believe supply was pretty constrained. I test drove an 04 in 04 and I was told if I wanted one, I'd be on a waiting list and have to wait several months. When I got my 06 in January 06, I had put myself on a waiting list in late 05, paid a small deposit and was told to wait several months. The dealer didn't even have any on the lot, because they were being picked up by people in line almost immediately. 06 marked the beginning of the $3150 Federal tax credit instead of the lame $2000 tax deduction. CA HOV stickers had been available for awhile.
Do keep in mind gas was real cheap back at NHW11 intro. Per http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHa ... US_DPG&f=W
, regular unleaded in Aug 2000 was under $1.50/gal. And, for 03, from NHW20 intro to rest of 03, gas was under $2/gal, mostly in the $1.50/gal range.