The car that brought hybrid power to main street, the Prius has undergone a full redo with emphasis on style and performance. Rest assured that its key attribute—efficiency—continues stronger than ever.

Equipment and Pricing

The model lineup has been expanded to include the new Eco and Touring subtrims:

  • The entry-level Two ($24,200) packs a healthy amount of equipment for a midsize car, including a rearview camera, automatic climate control, full LED exterior lighting, and a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface.
  • Priced at $24,700, the Two Eco receives special tires, a lighter battery pack, and other tweaks for enhanced efficiency.
  • The $26,250 Three gives you a leatherette interior and Toyota's Entune infotainment system with navigation, satellite and HD radio, and numerous Smartphone apps. The optional Advanced Technology package tacks on the Toyota Safety Sense suite and a sunroof for $1,935.
  • For $28,100, you can upgrade to the Three Touring, which comes standard with the contents of the Advanced Technology, plus distinctive trim throughout.
  • The Four ($28,650) builds on the basic Three with heated front seats with driver power, automatic wipers, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a cargo area cover. For $3,650, you can combine the Advanced Technology package with a Premium Convenience package, which includes a JBL sound system and an automated parking system.
  • At the top of line, the $30,000 Four Touring comes standard with everything you can get on the lesser trims except the Premium Convenience package, which can be added for $1,705.

Performance Pros

Toyota Prius Side

The Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors, one of which doubles as a generator to keep the lithium-ion battery pack charged. Combined output is 121 horsepower, delivered to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Performance highlights include:

  • Fuel Efficiency: No surprise here—efficiency is superb at 52 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The new Eco version of the Prius does even better at 56 mpg combined.
  • Steering/Handling: A new suspension setup provides more precise handling and greater composure over imperfect roads. The revamped Prius is fun to drive so long as you respect its limits.
  • Hybrid Technology: There's nothing experimental going on under the hood. Although it may seem novel, the Prius's hybrid system has performed as promised in millions of owner-driven vehicles.

Performance Cons

  • Although the Prius is a tick faster than before, power is still modest. The holy mission here is efficiency, and acceleration suffers as a result.
  • There is no plugin version, which leaves us wondering what level of efficiency the Prius could really achieve.

Interior Pros

  • Even with the rear seat occupied, you get nearly 25 cubic feet of cargo space, the same as some small crossovers.
  • The cabin is far quieter this year, free of the mechanical drones that haunted previous editions.

Interior Cons

  • The flamboyant dashboard will remind you of a 1960s vision of the future. The centrally located instrument pod doesn't help matters.
  • The sloping roofline makes the back seat a no-go zone for tall passengers.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Toyota Prius

We had no trouble duplicating the Prius's lofty mileage ratings. This is one car where what you see on the window sticker is what you get in the real world.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The "bold" new exterior looks like an exercise in origami. It might even be a deal-killer for some buyers.

The Bottom Line

When a car sticks to its core principles so faithfully, who cares what it looks like?