Toyota Prius review

For: Cheap to run, refined to drive, five-year warranty and strong reliability recordOur Rating: 
4


Against: Divisive styling, not the cheapest to buy, patchy build quality
2016
The Prius is a true environmental champ, but the styling won't be to everybody's tastes
Thanks in part to the new platform and development of its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, the new Prius is more fun and quieter to drive than ever before, but is also more environmentally friendly.
Improvements in electric motor and battery technology see the new Prius offering impressive emissions and mpg figures in official tests. Its also more spacious inside but that bold exterior styling wont be to everyones taste.



Video of New Toyota Prius review: we test the 'love it or hate it' hybrid



22 Feb, 2016
If you thought the outside of the Toyota Prius was wacky, the inside is just as mad. Toyota has continued the styling theme into the cabin with a shapely, futuristic design.
The Prius is not a sports car, the dashboard doesnt wrap itself around the driver; it doesnt feel cosy for either front seat occupant. Instead it feels like youre on the deck of a spaceship. With an upper screen containing all sorts of info like the hybrid system seemingly floating in mid air, its a tranquil place to be especially when the car is running in full electric mode.

Image 6 of 16
Image 6 of 16

In the centre is a touchscreen infotainment system. It runs Toyotas Touch 2 system which is very easy to use; the only real complaint is that like the Auris, there are touch-sensitive buttons around the screen for different menus and functions, but they need a firm prod to work and sometimes require you to take your eyes of the road to operate them.
There are some clever touches inside too like the passenger air vent it only blows air when it senses a passenger sitting there, otherwise it shuts off saving fuel. The driving position is greatly improved over older Prius models the seats are firm but supportive and thanks to plenty of adjustment in the seat and in the steering column, its easy to get comfortable. 
Overall cabin quality is improved over previous Prius models. The upper part of the dashboard is covered in squidgy soft-touch plastic on ‘Business Edition models and above, but from the middle to low parts of the cabin, there are lots of the scratchy plastics. It feels well screwed together but wed guess it wouldnt take too long for some of the materials to mark.
There are just three trim levels. ‘Active may be the entry grade but its well equipped, and comes with dual-zone climate control, keyless entry drivers door and start, Toyota Touch 2, DAB radio, drivers seat electric lumbar adjustment, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, lane departure alert, automatic high beam lights and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking. There are also 15-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights.
‘Business Edition is, unsurprisingly, aimed at business users and adds the plusher, soft-touch plastic interior, a wireless phone charger, a colour head-up display, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, heated front seats, a leather-covered steering wheel and auto-dimming rear view mirror.

Image 9 of 16
Image 9 of 16

‘Business Edition Plus comes with 17-inch alloys, Toyota Touch 2 with Go sat-nav, park assist and front and rear parking sensors, while top-drawer ‘Excel is more designed for the private buyer and has leather seats, an upgraded JBL stereo, rain-sensing wipers and an upgraded Touch 2 system with sat-nav and more internet connectivity functions.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The Prius comes as standard with Toyota Touch 2 and DAB radio. Its one of the simplest systems to use on the market with logically laid out menus. The screen is also large and very easy to read thanks to a sharp resolution, and has a ‘drag and flick control for intuitive operation. 
Toyota Touch 2 is also ‘MirrorLink-ready allowing you to connect your mobile phone and then operate them entirely from the systems touch screen. 

Image 14 of 16
Image 14 of 16

‘Business Edition and models above come with Toyota Touch 2 with Go and Toyota Touch 2 with Go Plus. The first adds sat-nav that includes speed camera warnings, automatic zoom, motorway signposting and motorway junction views. It also hooks up to the internet and offers on-board connectivity to an expanded range of services including Toyota Real-Time Traffic powered by TomTom, Google Street View and Panoramio, and Google Local Search.
Owners can also sign up to the MyToyota customer portal that allows users to plan their journeys online and then downloaded them into the car. Meanwhile Touch 2 with Go Plus adds maps with 3D city models, landmark graphics, a ‘text-to-speech message readout facility and a wi-fi hotspot. 
Only range-topping Excel models come with the upgraded premium JBL sound system, and its not available on other models even as an option.

3.8


Fundamental to the new Prius is a brand new platform that will be used in a range of new models in the future. Due to cost savings in rolling out the same platform to various models, Toyota has been able to invest in making it extremely high-tech from the outset.
One of the biggest benefits is that the new platform is more dynamic, giving the Prius an agility on the road that previous models could only ever dream of. Its backed up with light steering that gives more feedback and accuracy than previous Prius models, strong brakes and less body roll. Dont go thinking the new Prius has become a sporting saloon or hatchback like the BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid or Volkswagen Golf GTE overnight, though. Its still noticeably lagging behind those cars, but it is a vast improvement on the slightly soggy handling of previous Prius models. 
The new Prius is also more refined to drive than before thanks to increased sound insulation, a new CVT continuously variable transmission gearbox, that doesnt ask the engine to rev as much as before, and the hybrid system spending more time running on silent electric power. 

Image 3 of 16
Image 3 of 16

Around town the Prius often uses electric power alone to zip around the streets, but head outside of the city, and the petrol engine kicks in. The transition between electric and petrol power is near silent with only the real noise intrusion into the cabin being from the super-eco tyres. Like the outgoing model, the new Prius has three distinct driving modes ‘normal gives a suitable balance between fuel economy and throttle responsiveness; ‘eco optimises the powertrain and air conditioning to save fuel; while ‘Power mode gives more acceleration. 
Engines
As in the old model, the Priuss hybrid system features a 97bhp 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. However, the unit has been re-engineered to deliver significantly better fuel economy the Prius will return 94.1mpg on the combined cycle in certain versions. While that might seem hugely optimistic for real world driving, mpg figures in the high-70s and early-80s should be achievable. co2 emissions are low too Toyota says 70g/km but that depends on the size of alloy wheels fitted.  
The combined petrol engine and electric motor power output is 121bhp, allowing the Prius to cover the 0-62mph sprint in a reasonable 10.6 seconds. City driving is where the Prius is most at home as it can rely upon its electric motors adding zip to its performance but its less comfortable at high speed. On the motorway, for instance, overtaking acceleration from 50 to 75mph takes a slow 8.3 seconds, while the top speed is only 112mph.
The new model is also the first Prius that can pull a trailer it has a 725kg towing capacity braked and unbraked. 

4.2


The powertrain might sound complicated to the uninitiated but the Prius has been around since 1997 and similar hybrid systems have been used in a raft of other Toyota and Lexus models.
In that time the technology has proven itself to be incredibly reliable and any worries about the batteries will be put at ease by the fact that some of the very first Prius models are still going strong. Moreover, the Lexus IS which uses a near identical hybrid system as the Prius came out on top in the 2015 Driver Power survey.

Image 7 of 16
Image 7 of 16

All Prius models come with seven airbags and Toyotas comprehensive Safety Sense system, which is comprised of radar-governed adaptive cruise control which maintains a safe distance to the car in front and can even bring the Prius to a halt in necessary, pre-collision brake assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, road sign and assist. ‘Business Edition models also get a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, while ‘Business Edition Plus and ‘Excel get park assist. 
Warranty 
Like all Toyotas, the Prius comes with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty; a five-year warranty for the hybrid system; a 12-year anti-corrosion and perforation warranty and a three-year paintwork and surface rust warranty. 
For the Prius, you can also extend the five-year hybrid warranty by an extra year or 10,000 miles which ever comes first and this can be renewed up to the 10th anniversary of the cars registration with no limit on total mileage. 
Servicing 
Toyota offers a range of service packs for its models as well as fixed-price servicing which really helps those on a tight budget. The Prius also gets a free hybrid system check with ever service. 
Toyotas dealers also finished eighth in the 2015 Driver Power survey with the brand getting an 86.97 per cent rating, so youre in safe hands. 

4


Storage is decent in the Prius. The white tray in the centre console is a good place to store smartphones and in ‘Business Edition models and above this tray inductively charges phones. The glovebox is large enough for a one-litre bottle of water and under the armrest between the two front seats is a large cubby that can store all sorts of things like sweets and other paraphernalia.

Image 15 of 16
Image 15 of 16

Its spacious up front thanks to plenty of headroom and a dashboard that sits away from the driver. In the back, however, while kneeroom is good and you can fit three people at a squeeze, headroom isnt the best. This is due to Toyota relocating the Priuss battery from the boot to under the rear seat. Consequently the rear seats sit high and with the sloping roofline, this means headroom is reduced. Its a shame Toyota didnt think more about this especially given Priuss popularity with taxi drivers.
There is some better news though it now means the boot is larger. Theres 502 litres with the seats up 457 with a space saver spare wheel and this grows to 1,633 litres with the seats down. The boot area is also wide and square with no awkward protrusions spoiling the space on offer. 

4


The main reason you would buy a Prius is that its a hybrid and, in theory, a hybrid equals great running costs. The new Prius certainly delivers impressive mpg andco figures on paper combined mpg is a claimed 94.1 on cars with 15-inch wheels while 17-inch alloys decrease this to 85.6. Meanwhile co2 emissions are 70g/km 15-inch wheels and 76g/km 17-inch wheels, which means zero road tax and all models, whatever size of wheel is fitted, are London Congestion Charge exempt. 

Image 12 of 16
Image 12 of 16

Whether youll reach anywhere near those claimed economy figures will depend entirely on how and where you drive your Prius. The Prius is a common sight in big cities like London, which should give you a clue as to the best environment for the car. For those who commute mostly in and around the city, you should be able to hit in excess of 70mpg if you are light with the throttle and use EV mode often. However, if you use a lot of motorways or fast a- and b-roads, youll be looking at around 50mpg.
Long-term running costs have been particularly good on older Prius models and the new one should be no different. The Prius has earned itself a reputation especially from fleets for being cheaper to run than conventional cars in some cases. Due to it being a hybrid, owners have reported replacing fewer consumable items like brake pads compared to normal petrol-engined cars.
Depreciation
Our experts have yet to calculate residuals for the latest Toyota Prius, but we expect them to be high. Its also expected in the next three years once the Prius has entered the used car market, second hand prices will be high in cities like London as the Prius is viewed as a favourite amongst minicab and private hire businesses.

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Toyota Prius review
4 years ago

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/toyota/prius/94498/hatchback For: Cheap to run, refined to drive, five-year warranty and strong reliability recordOur Rating: 
4


Against: Divisive styling, not the cheapest to buy, patchy build quality
2016
The Prius is a true environmental champ, but the styling won't be to everybody's tastes
Thanks in part to the new platform and development of its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, the new Prius is more fun and quieter to drive than ever before, but is also more environmentally friendly.
Improvements in electric motor and battery technology see the new Prius offering impressive emissions and mpg figures in official tests. Its also more spacious inside but that bold exterior styling wont be to everyones taste.



Video of New Toyota Prius review: we test the 'love it or hate it' hybrid



22 Feb, 2016
If you thought the outside of the Toyota Prius was wacky, the inside is just as mad. Toyota has continued the styling theme into the cabin with a shapely, futuristic design.
The Prius is not a sports car, the dashboard doesnt wrap itself around the driver; it doesnt feel cosy for either front seat occupant. Instead it feels like youre on the deck of a spaceship. With an upper screen containing all sorts of info like the hybrid system seemingly floating in mid air, its a tranquil place to be especially when the car is running in full electric mode.

Image 6 of 16
Image 6 of 16

In the centre is a touchscreen infotainment system. It runs Toyotas Touch 2 system which is very easy to use; the only real complaint is that like the Auris, there are touch-sensitive buttons around the screen for different menus and functions, but they need a firm prod to work and sometimes require you to take your eyes of the road to operate them.
There are some clever touches inside too like the passenger air vent it only blows air when it senses a passenger sitting there, otherwise it shuts off saving fuel. The driving position is greatly improved over older Prius models the seats are firm but supportive and thanks to plenty of adjustment in the seat and in the steering column, its easy to get comfortable. 
Overall cabin quality is improved over previous Prius models. The upper part of the dashboard is covered in squidgy soft-touch plastic on ‘Business Edition models and above, but from the middle to low parts of the cabin, there are lots of the scratchy plastics. It feels well screwed together but wed guess it wouldnt take too long for some of the materials to mark.
There are just three trim levels. ‘Active may be the entry grade but its well equipped, and comes with dual-zone climate control, keyless entry drivers door and start, Toyota Touch 2, DAB radio, drivers seat electric lumbar adjustment, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, lane departure alert, automatic high beam lights and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking. There are also 15-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights.
‘Business Edition is, unsurprisingly, aimed at business users and adds the plusher, soft-touch plastic interior, a wireless phone charger, a colour head-up display, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, heated front seats, a leather-covered steering wheel and auto-dimming rear view mirror.

Image 9 of 16
Image 9 of 16

‘Business Edition Plus comes with 17-inch alloys, Toyota Touch 2 with Go sat-nav, park assist and front and rear parking sensors, while top-drawer ‘Excel is more designed for the private buyer and has leather seats, an upgraded JBL stereo, rain-sensing wipers and an upgraded Touch 2 system with sat-nav and more internet connectivity functions.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The Prius comes as standard with Toyota Touch 2 and DAB radio. Its one of the simplest systems to use on the market with logically laid out menus. The screen is also large and very easy to read thanks to a sharp resolution, and has a ‘drag and flick control for intuitive operation. 
Toyota Touch 2 is also ‘MirrorLink-ready allowing you to connect your mobile phone and then operate them entirely from the systems touch screen. 

Image 14 of 16
Image 14 of 16

‘Business Edition and models above come with Toyota Touch 2 with Go and Toyota Touch 2 with Go Plus. The first adds sat-nav that includes speed camera warnings, automatic zoom, motorway signposting and motorway junction views. It also hooks up to the internet and offers on-board connectivity to an expanded range of services including Toyota Real-Time Traffic powered by TomTom, Google Street View and Panoramio, and Google Local Search.
Owners can also sign up to the MyToyota customer portal that allows users to plan their journeys online and then downloaded them into the car. Meanwhile Touch 2 with Go Plus adds maps with 3D city models, landmark graphics, a ‘text-to-speech message readout facility and a wi-fi hotspot. 
Only range-topping Excel models come with the upgraded premium JBL sound system, and its not available on other models even as an option.

3.8


Fundamental to the new Prius is a brand new platform that will be used in a range of new models in the future. Due to cost savings in rolling out the same platform to various models, Toyota has been able to invest in making it extremely high-tech from the outset.
One of the biggest benefits is that the new platform is more dynamic, giving the Prius an agility on the road that previous models could only ever dream of. Its backed up with light steering that gives more feedback and accuracy than previous Prius models, strong brakes and less body roll. Dont go thinking the new Prius has become a sporting saloon or hatchback like the BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid or Volkswagen Golf GTE overnight, though. Its still noticeably lagging behind those cars, but it is a vast improvement on the slightly soggy handling of previous Prius models. 
The new Prius is also more refined to drive than before thanks to increased sound insulation, a new CVT continuously variable transmission gearbox, that doesnt ask the engine to rev as much as before, and the hybrid system spending more time running on silent electric power. 

Image 3 of 16
Image 3 of 16

Around town the Prius often uses electric power alone to zip around the streets, but head outside of the city, and the petrol engine kicks in. The transition between electric and petrol power is near silent with only the real noise intrusion into the cabin being from the super-eco tyres. Like the outgoing model, the new Prius has three distinct driving modes ‘normal gives a suitable balance between fuel economy and throttle responsiveness; ‘eco optimises the powertrain and air conditioning to save fuel; while ‘Power mode gives more acceleration. 
Engines
As in the old model, the Priuss hybrid system features a 97bhp 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. However, the unit has been re-engineered to deliver significantly better fuel economy the Prius will return 94.1mpg on the combined cycle in certain versions. While that might seem hugely optimistic for real world driving, mpg figures in the high-70s and early-80s should be achievable. co2 emissions are low too Toyota says 70g/km but that depends on the size of alloy wheels fitted.  
The combined petrol engine and electric motor power output is 121bhp, allowing the Prius to cover the 0-62mph sprint in a reasonable 10.6 seconds. City driving is where the Prius is most at home as it can rely upon its electric motors adding zip to its performance but its less comfortable at high speed. On the motorway, for instance, overtaking acceleration from 50 to 75mph takes a slow 8.3 seconds, while the top speed is only 112mph.
The new model is also the first Prius that can pull a trailer it has a 725kg towing capacity braked and unbraked. 

4.2


The powertrain might sound complicated to the uninitiated but the Prius has been around since 1997 and similar hybrid systems have been used in a raft of other Toyota and Lexus models.
In that time the technology has proven itself to be incredibly reliable and any worries about the batteries will be put at ease by the fact that some of the very first Prius models are still going strong. Moreover, the Lexus IS which uses a near identical hybrid system as the Prius came out on top in the 2015 Driver Power survey.

Image 7 of 16
Image 7 of 16

All Prius models come with seven airbags and Toyotas comprehensive Safety Sense system, which is comprised of radar-governed adaptive cruise control which maintains a safe distance to the car in front and can even bring the Prius to a halt in necessary, pre-collision brake assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, road sign and assist. ‘Business Edition models also get a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, while ‘Business Edition Plus and ‘Excel get park assist. 
Warranty 
Like all Toyotas, the Prius comes with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty; a five-year warranty for the hybrid system; a 12-year anti-corrosion and perforation warranty and a three-year paintwork and surface rust warranty. 
For the Prius, you can also extend the five-year hybrid warranty by an extra year or 10,000 miles which ever comes first and this can be renewed up to the 10th anniversary of the cars registration with no limit on total mileage. 
Servicing 
Toyota offers a range of service packs for its models as well as fixed-price servicing which really helps those on a tight budget. The Prius also gets a free hybrid system check with ever service. 
Toyotas dealers also finished eighth in the 2015 Driver Power survey with the brand getting an 86.97 per cent rating, so youre in safe hands. 

4


Storage is decent in the Prius. The white tray in the centre console is a good place to store smartphones and in ‘Business Edition models and above this tray inductively charges phones. The glovebox is large enough for a one-litre bottle of water and under the armrest between the two front seats is a large cubby that can store all sorts of things like sweets and other paraphernalia.

Image 15 of 16
Image 15 of 16

Its spacious up front thanks to plenty of headroom and a dashboard that sits away from the driver. In the back, however, while kneeroom is good and you can fit three people at a squeeze, headroom isnt the best. This is due to Toyota relocating the Priuss battery from the boot to under the rear seat. Consequently the rear seats sit high and with the sloping roofline, this means headroom is reduced. Its a shame Toyota didnt think more about this especially given Priuss popularity with taxi drivers.
There is some better news though it now means the boot is larger. Theres 502 litres with the seats up 457 with a space saver spare wheel and this grows to 1,633 litres with the seats down. The boot area is also wide and square with no awkward protrusions spoiling the space on offer. 

4


The main reason you would buy a Prius is that its a hybrid and, in theory, a hybrid equals great running costs. The new Prius certainly delivers impressive mpg andco figures on paper combined mpg is a claimed 94.1 on cars with 15-inch wheels while 17-inch alloys decrease this to 85.6. Meanwhile co2 emissions are 70g/km 15-inch wheels and 76g/km 17-inch wheels, which means zero road tax and all models, whatever size of wheel is fitted, are London Congestion Charge exempt. 

Image 12 of 16
Image 12 of 16

Whether youll reach anywhere near those claimed economy figures will depend entirely on how and where you drive your Prius. The Prius is a common sight in big cities like London, which should give you a clue as to the best environment for the car. For those who commute mostly in and around the city, you should be able to hit in excess of 70mpg if you are light with the throttle and use EV mode often. However, if you use a lot of motorways or fast a- and b-roads, youll be looking at around 50mpg.
Long-term running costs have been particularly good on older Prius models and the new one should be no different. The Prius has earned itself a reputation especially from fleets for being cheaper to run than conventional cars in some cases. Due to it being a hybrid, owners have reported replacing fewer consumable items like brake pads compared to normal petrol-engined cars.
Depreciation
Our experts have yet to calculate residuals for the latest Toyota Prius, but we expect them to be high. Its also expected in the next three years once the Prius has entered the used car market, second hand prices will be high in cities like London as the Prius is viewed as a favourite amongst minicab and private hire businesses.

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