We are now a two Prius household. We have the first version of the Generation II Prius (the 2004) and the first version of the Generation III Prius (the 2010).
The two are very different. The 2004 drives like a video game. You know you are driving something not normal. The steering feels disconnected, the transition between hybrid and the "real" engine is very noticeable, and the seating position is a little awkward.
The 2010 drives like a regular car. The steering is more "normal", the transition between the two systems is much more subtle and the seating position is much more comfy. The 2010 seat goes up/down and the steering wheel tilts and telescopes. The 2004 seat height is locked and the steering wheel only tilts.
Our 2004 Prius was the top package offered in 2004 known as package 9. Our 2010 Prius is one step up from the mid-line Prius.
The 2010 has a lot of features, everything the 2004 has save HID headlights and a tape player. The 2010 has lots of nice little touches like foot well lighting, a mood light that makes the shifter and center console glow, an aux in port for MP3 players, heated seats and more.
Kelli did wish for a heated steering wheel on her 2010 Prius. I told her the Kia Optima has a heated steering wheel, smart key and more. She "bleh'd" me.
Yesterday I "took over" the 2004 Prius. I asked the previous owner to clean it out. I then went to work. My "new" 2004 Prius hasn't been washed in a while. It's silver, so it's hard to tell. The interior hasn't been cleaned in even longer.
After about 2 hours I was done cleaning, vacuuming and preparing the inside. I stopped by Pepboys and bought a new engine air filter. A whole $12. I was going to buy a new cabin air filter but it was $37! A better filter on Amazon is $11.
Back to the 2010 Prius. It was a climate control system with the Sanyo Plasmacluster Ionizer. It's in top level Prius and Camry models (including the Camry Hybrid my mother in law has). The system releases small amounts of Ozone to clean the air coming into the car of smells and contaminants. Allegedly if you are behind a smelly diesel car and hit the button, the diesel smell goes away. Also allegedly the amount of Ozone released is negligible.
No idea when I am going back to work for real. I'm getting frustrated with my employer. I'm going to call midday if I don't hear from them about a training date. We dropped Natali off at day care for the first time. Sitting in the house by myself is very odd.