Toyota is in good shape with the Mk4 Prius. The manufacturer has added versatility to a car that was already a master at low emissions, and the issues affecting its predecessor have been addressed to the point where the Prius is one of our favorite “green” cars. It has weathered the challenges of other eco models, including the Kia Niro hybrid SUV and the Hyundai Ioniq, and is a real alternative to a traditional family hatchback.
About the Toyota Prius
Hybrids have to deliver impressive efficiency, and the Toyota Prius has taken 25 years of development to perfect the formula. It’s more expensive than some newcomers, but it’s generously equipped, plus its cabin is spacious and there is plenty of trunk space, making it a viable family car.
The latest Prius also offers decent performance, while the driving experience is more refined than ever. Four generations of development mean this is the most complete hybrid yet, but this bold exterior design won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Toyota knows this and has embellished the styling of the Prius in a 2019 facelift. The new car gets slightly more conventional-looking headlights, while the taillights now extend horizontally over the tailgate and no longer down towards the bumper. Most of the Prius styling cues, like the sloping roof and split rear window, are still there and correct.
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It’s similarly unusual inside, though previous Prius owners will feel right at home. Because the speedometer and driving information are closer to the windshield, there is a large area of the dashboard just behind the steering wheel. This makes the car feel quite spacious. Toyota’s infotainment system is still nowhere near the best, but luckily it now includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so you can use your phone’s operating system and apps instead of Toyota.
All cars come with a lot of equipment, such as LED headlights, multi-zone automatic air conditioning and a reversing camera. Also standard is the Toyota driver assistance package Safety Sense 2, which includes lane departure warning, high beam assistant and adaptive cruise control.
While the looks of the current Prius will be a bit too flashy for some buyers, the chassis underneath is good enough that the Prius could be seen as a rival to a number of compact family cars. Key Prius competitors using a similar gasoline-electric hybrid setup are the Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq, while a hybrid version of the Ford Mondeo only shows how much further Toyota is with its hybrid technology than other mainstream manufacturers.
However, since fuel economy is cheap, the Toyota Prius can also be considered compared to traditional diesel hatchbacks. Since the Prius was designed around its hybrid chassis, there is no compromise on the interior, and you can consider a Prius alongside cars like the VW Golf, Ford Focus, and Vauxhall Astra, as well as the rest of the compact hatchback brotherhood.
Over time, the Toyota Prius has become the definitive hybrid car that is on sale in the UK today. With over 20 years of development and an instantly recognizable look and image, it’s one of those cars that goes by a single name when you tell people outside of the auto world that you drive a Prius. .
Its ubiquity has been accelerated by its use by private rental and ridesharing companies around the world, where its reliability and quiet battery and gasoline-powered operation have been proven. The range has been expanded to include the range-extending Prius plug-in, while gasoline-electric technology has found its way into other Toyota and Lexus models, so diesel power has been pretty much replaced entirely.
The Toyota Prius Mk4 is based on Toyota’s latest platform, which is also used on the C-HR crossover and the latest Corolla. This gives the Prius surprisingly gripping driving behavior even on the standard, narrow energy-saving tires. The low driving position and compact shape also contribute to this sporty driving experience.
The energy comes from a 97 hp 1.8 VVT petrol engine in combination with a 71 hp electric motor, while a 1.31 kWh battery is stowed under the platform to store energy from braking and the electric motor. All cars get a CVT car, but while previous cars were hampered by the slow responses of the transmission, the current Prius is much better. Front-wheel drive is standard across the range, although a Prius with all-wheel drive will be available starting in 2019.
Prices for the Prius start at around £ 25,000 and the range includes Active, Business Edition, Business Edition Plus and Excel trim levels. The most expensive Prius (without the plug-in model) costs around £ 29,000, while running costs vary slightly depending on the equipment.
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