Toyota seems to think that styling can cause people to forget how boring a car is to drive, as the Prius has gone from utilitarian eco-box to a kaleidoscope of unnecessary edges and creases, making us wonder if the designers only stopped once they passed out due to sheer exhaustion. They did hit a home run on the design of the rear though, if only by accident, because the wacky taillight design of the newest Prius means that it's no longer a perfect canvas for a collection of preachy bumper stickers.
If you thought that you may get a visual reprieve from the styling madness of the exterior by sitting inside the car, you’re sadly mistaken. The interior is also over-styled, with a ton of details that don’t work well together. Unfortunately, Toyota continues to put all information in a center-mounted dashboard cluster that encourages you take your eye off the road more when driving, while also making the interior look unbalanced with the steering wheel hanging out by itself on the driver’s side. There are a lot of soft-touch and high-gloss plastics, which are nice, but otherwise the interior looks pretty spartan at even the highest trim levels.
Despite its styling miscues, the Prius has become a more comfortable car. Most notably, the front seats have been improved greatly, with better cushion support and bolstering. It’s also now a bit longer, which means four adults can sit comfortably in the car (although the sloping roof does cut down on headroom), and more room is available for cargo. Buyers will also be impressed with the standard suite of advanced safety features known as Toyota Safety Sense, and the infotainment system has been updated to a higher definition model.