The Toyota Prius was redesigned for 2016, and for 2017 it was upgraded with extra standard gear. For 2018 Prius fashions, there’s little that’s new, apart from a pill-sized touchscreen within the prime fashions.
Powered by a 1.eight-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor, Prius stays the king of fuel mileage, at the very least amongst automobiles that aren’t plugged in in a single day.
Prius will get an EPA-rated 50/fifty four mpg Metropolis/Freeway, fifty two mpg Mixed. The Two Eco mannequin will get much more, with fifty three/fifty eight/fifty six mpg. The plug-in Prius Prime can go 22 miles on all-electric energy.
The electric motor and 4-cylinder hybrid are a confirmed and dependable mixture, and the present Prius is quicker than pre-2016 fashions, drawing on a mixed 121 horsepower.
There’s a selection of batteries among the many fashions: The standard battery pack within the Prius One and Prius Two is a 1.2 kwh nickel-metallic hydride, used reliably for generations of Prius fashions.
Greater-tech zero.seventy five-kwh lithium-ion batteries are used on the remainder of the fashions: Prius Three, Prius 4, as much as Prius Plus, Premium and Superior.
Lithium-ion batteries are about half the weight of nickel-hydride, they usually cost up quicker and extra utterly. The facility output and sturdiness of Li-ion and Ni-MH batteries is about the identical, however Li-on is costlier principally as a result of fewer batteries are made. Tesla makes use of lithium-ion, so does iPhone. If Li-ion has an Achilles heel, it’s breakdown in excessive temperatures. Don’t depart your cellphone within the solar or park your Tesla for lengthy for those who reside within the Australian Outback. As for his or her impression on the surroundings, lithium-ion wins, apart from one little factor; it turns water to hydrochloric acid, making disposal a essential matter.
The Prius is as protected as it’s environment friendly, with a straight-A report card from the IIHS, incomes the Prime Security Decide+ designation. Even the bottom mannequin consists of ahead collision warning with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, automated excessive beams, and lively lane management. All of it is available in a package deal referred to as Toyota Security Sense-P.
Prius One ($23,475) comes with LED headlamps and taillamps, four.2-inch driver information show, material upholstery, 15-inch wheels, the Security Sense-P suite of superior safety gear, keyless ignition, a rearview digital camera, and a 6.1-inch touchscreen. Constructed for fleet service, it lacks a cut up-folding rear seat and rear wiper. Prius One and Prius Two ($24,685) use Ni-MH batteries. (Costs are MSRP and don’t embrace vacation spot cost.)
Prius Three ($26,735) comes with softer interior supplies, a 7.zero-inch touchscreen, wi-fi cellphone charging. Prius Three Touring ($28,one hundred fifteen) provides artificial leather-based seating surfaces as an alternative of fabric.
The brand new eleven.6-inch touchscreen is standard on Prius 4 ($29,685), together with heated entrance seats, and energy-adjustable driver’s seat. Prius 4 Touring provides energy passenger seats, blue distinction stitching, and automated wipers are provided on the Prius 4 Touring trim.
The redesign for 2016 reworked three-fourths of the Prius, sculpting the nostril and sides, and making it longer, decrease and wider. The black roof pillars made the roofline float. The brand new physique gave the prosaic Prius swoop and sedan stature. The aerodynamic and nonetheless egg-formed Prius now seems distinctive.
However the rear finish received extreme within the particulars, with non-cohesive arcing strains on the outdoors edges of the taillamps; in that the c-shapes stream ahead, widening the rear finish and making it look larger. However perhaps giving the Prius an uplifting butt was intentional. The underside of the bumper is blacked out, which helps convey it down, however the rear clearance nonetheless seems excessive. Aerodynamics at work.
If these curves on the hatch are non-cohesive, a number of the cabin particulars are downright conflicting. The plastics, textured or shiny, are questionable, and the bins are clunky. However the form of the dashboard wrap is trendy, the best way it wraps to the doorways makes the interior look clear and complicated; and we just like the instrument show with upmarket colour display, and the best way the console sweeps into the large standard touchscreen, even greater at eleven.6 inches on higher fashions.
The cabin feels sporty, like a compact or mid-sized hatchback. The obtainable two-tone beige and grey upholstery seems grownup, however the non-compulsory pearlescent-white middle console scratches simply (there’s an optionally available $200 cowl for it).
The entrance seats are fairly properly bolstered and cozy. Greater fashions get eight-means energy adjustment with lumbar help.
Most passengers will match within the again, however the slope of the roofline squeezes headroom for tall individuals. The bolsters on the outboard rear seats push these occupants to the center, additional squeezing that third individual within the rear. However there’s respectable legroom, with 33.four inches. The battery packs are neatly situated beneath the seat. Each the nickel and extra explosive lithium.
The rear seats cut up and fold. If the liftback hatch design limits headroom within the rear seat, it makes up for it by opening up massive cargo area, greater than 27 cubic ft.
The 1.eight-liter inner combustion engine makes ninety five horsepower, and the fifty three-kilowatt electric motor makes a complete of 121 horsepower mixed. It’s pokey. Regardless of its years of improvement, the Toyota engine is much less refined than the Chevy Volt’s. It’s quieter than it was, nevertheless it nonetheless lets you already know you’re in a Prius.
The excellent news is that the experience makes you overlook you’re in a Prius.
The constantly variable transmission, or CVT, is pokey; intentionally so, as a result of it’s programmed for effectivity not responsiveness. The item is fuel mileage.
The chassis received extra inflexible in 2016, however the steering nonetheless looks like a limp handshake. It will probably’t curiosity the driving force.
The braking, each regenerative and friction, is pretty seamless and assured.
The Prius delivers what it guarantees. Excessive fuel mileage, with trendy seems, consolation and civility, for a really reasonably priced price. There’s nothing fallacious with the nickel-hydride batteries within the Prius Two.
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