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    Optimus Member

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    Hello,

    Based on my stupid thread title, yes I am a stupid newbie. Which years of Prius do NOT have fold down rear seats? I remember reading on this board while doing a search to try to answer my question that some don't have fold down rear seats. I couldn't pinpoint to a particular year range, but it only seems to be the 2001 - 2003 body style. Is it all of them that don't have this option? That would stink if it were true, however, I won't be able to afford a 2004+ so I won't have a choice. BUT! If at least some 2001 - 2003 might have folding seats, then I should be ok.

    Yes, I searched. The harder I looked for an answer, the further away my search results got. It was only on accident that I learned the back seats do not fold down on some years (it was one of those "what do you hate about your Prius" threads).
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    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    2004 and later models have the hatchback, which of course has fold-down rear seats. 2003 and earlier do not have the hatchback and presumably, therefore, do not have the fold-downs. I stand to be corrected by one of those owners.
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    Optimus Member

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    That's kind of what I'm thinking, but I'm not positive. Even though the 2001-2003 is more of a "sedan," it could still have fold down rear seats. Had plenty of Toyota's before, and even our old '92 Camry 4 door sedan had fold down rear seats. I'm surprised toyota failed to include this option on ANY Prius. Even though the batteries are back there, it still helps a lot to be able to fold down those back rests.

    I wonder if anyone has tried "making their own" seat backs that fold down?
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    That's why they redesigned it for 2004 and put the battery below the floor.

    It depends which country you're from. If you're from Canada or the US, the 2001-2003 don't have folding rear seats.
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    Optimus Member

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    thanks, though I have to admit I was hoping for better news. I'm fairly handy, so when I do get a prius, I will try to see if I can figure something else out. Even if if I can just make the back rests pop out that would be great. They don't have to fold down. Even just one side would be great. Surely, Toyota didn't make that back seat cushion impossible to move. And, based on photos I've seen of the trunk, it looks like the back of the seat is the front of the trunk like any other sedan. I have some spare seat hinges lying around, so if I can make something work, great, if not, I will try to at least make the backrests easily removable (if they aren't already). Many of the toyota models have rear seat "bottoms" that just pull out with a quick yank, so maybe the backrests are similar.
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    YoungOrganist New Member

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    The 01-03's back seats do not fold down and there is no pass-through at all because the battery pack is in the trunk behind the back seat instead of in the floor like the 04 and newer. I doubt you'd be able to extend the trunk at all by ripping out the rear seats without running afoul of the battery and the venting system. I say get an 04, it's much bigger and more versatile.
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    Optimus Member

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    I won't be able to afford an '04. So you are saying the battery in the '01-'03 is stacked up, basically from the trunk floor to the rear deck lid (aka rear dash board) and blocks the ability for anything to pass through?
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    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    This is not true. If you remove the rear seat you can have long items extend through; however the trunk floor will have a bump where the traction battery is located.

    To remove the rear seat, you first pull up the leading edge of the seat cushion, which is held with two clips that insert into the floor. Once the seat cushion is removed, then you will see 2 or 3 bolts that hold the lower portion of the rear seat back to the metal supporting structure. After the bolts are removed, you can pull up on the seat back cushion & remove it.

    You will have to remove the dark grey trunk lining trim. Then you will be able to see from the trunk into the passenger compartment.
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    Optimus Member

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    Thanks--that makes sense with regards to what I've seen in photos of trunks of '01-'03 cars for sale. There's the "bump" at the front of the trunk, aka the back of the seat, but it doesn't go all the way up and shouldn't block access and it sounds like the rear seat is installed in typical toyota fashion. I normally carry a small toolset with me anyway, so having to remove a couple bolts will be no big deal. I'm assuming they are probably 10, 12, or 14mm then. 12mm is pretty common for rear seat brackets. 14mm are usually used on front bucket seats.
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    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    I pulled the rear seatback on my '01, left it out for months at a time. You can carry, I think it was an 8' rigid pole or a 10' flexible one and still close the trunk lid. There are some diagonal braces in there but you can work around them. I eventually sat a sheet of material across the back and hung a blanket on it so it didn't look totally ghetto. My dog taught himself to claw down the sheet so he could go hide in the trunk during thunderstorms. It turns out both sections of the rear seat are part of the soundproofing and the car is slightly louder if you remove them. Does not effect the battery or its vents at all.
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    tochatihu Senior Member

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    The European version (at least) of the 2001-2003 Prius has folding rear seat back.

    In the US version there are two vertical 'braces' to be removed. When you see them, you will realize they serve no major structural purpose other than to support the seat back.

    With the seat back and those two steel pieces removed you have a passthrough of about 1 by 3 feet. The rear seat base is also easy to remove.

    With all those parts out, it is a bit noiser on the road as mentioned. You also get to hear some more relays clicking during power up and power down.

    Maximum haul mode is to also remove the front passenger seat. Remember to unplug the wire underneath before removing the seat.
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    Optimus Member

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    Perfect. That's exactly what I was hoping for. I'm betting someone could import the European seats too, and they would probably bolt right in (if someone found the U.S. version of the seats a hassle).

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