Back in 1997, the Toyota Prius was the first mass produced hybrid car. The Prius has been at the forefront ever since sustainability and mobility began to seep into public consciousness as desirable and achievable.
The Prius sits comfortably among the Top 30 most famous car model in the UK and was the 56th most popular according to a recent YouGov poll. Fans rate its comfort, practicality, large boot and, of course, its fuel efficiency.
The fourth generation Toyota Prius models has made greater improvements with the lowest yet reduction in CO2 emissions. Models share the same 5-door hatchback body and 1.8L petrol engine and differ in interior specifications with four main trim levels: Active, Business Edition, Business Edition Plus and Excel trims.
There is the Prius, Prius Plug-in and the Prius+. The Prius+ is the world’s first seven-seat full hybrid vehicle.
The Prius has been updated with a sharper design aesthetic in the body to also aid in driving performance. It’s been developed under the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and provides a lower and more engaging driving position. Whatever the choice, you’re promised a more roomy, smooth and quiet driving experience.
Standard to some editions and grades is a large Head Up Display projects speed, hybrid data and radar-assisted warnings directly on to the windscreen. The other high-tech innovation is the solar ventilation system – which prevents the cabin air temperature from rising while the car is parked.
Entertainment and navigation systems use the Toyota Touch©2 with Go navigation mirroring your smartphone. There are safety features providing driver assistance through 22 sensors placed strategically around the vehicle.
The Plug-in has seating for five passengers and has an upgraded interior. The hybrid delivers in fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions with a conventional engine and electric motors. The Plug-in has lopped off 14% more in CO2 emissions down to 89g/km. Power has increased by 22% to 134bhp.
Everyday journeys of up to 34 miles on electric only and longer trips can rely on hybrid technology. And you can charge up in 3 hours using a domestic plug socket or 2 hours at a public charge point.
The Toyota Prius comes in:
1.8L Prius Petrol Hybrid Automatic 59.60 – 68.3 mpg combined fuel consumption
1.8L Prius Petrol Automatic AWD-I 58.70 – 64.7 mpg combined fuel consumption
1.8L Prius Plug 217.3 mpg
The ultra-low emissions and specific EV driving capabilities of the Prius Plug-in comes from cutting-edge technologies unique in Toyota’s model line-up. The Prius has a heat pump, which utilises heat from the air outside of the car, resulting in an increased level of efficiency compared to traditional heaters which generate heat from the engine or to power electric heaters.
The Prius is the first self-charging Toyota hybrid non-SUV passenger car to feature all-wheel drive. The AWD-i (All-Wheel Drive - intelligent), which provides extra grip in slippery conditions, has been engineered specifically for Prius, so its operation has minimal impact on the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and low emissions.
The self-charging hybrid electric powertrain delivers higher performance due to extensive revisions to improve efficiency and reduce weight. The engine according to Toyota achieved 40% thermal efficiency – a world-best performance for a petrol unit.
All three Toyota Prius models share the same hybrid 1.8L petrol engine. The Prius+ is the first non-plug-in Toyota full hybrid to use a lithium-ion battery located in the centre console an addition that improves fuel economy and lower emissions.
A quoted fuel economy of between 58 and 67 miles per gallon for the petrol models.
Toyota Prius insurance groups is rated group 13 to 22, depending on the exact model.
The Association of British Insurers and Lloyd’s of London set your car’s insurance group from 1 to 50. In theory, the higher the insurance group, the greater your insurance premium will be. You can use Uswitch to shop for offers on Renault car insurance.
The latest model of the Toyota Prius has not been tested by Euro NCAP. The last model it scored was its fourth generation in 2016, which the current Toyota Prius model is based, rated five stars.
safety assist: 85%
In 2011, in the US after fans and consumers voted in a Toyota-launched ‘Prius goes plural campaign’, the plural of Prius is now Prii. Among the other names running were Priuses, Prium and Prien.
Although the Toyota Prius is no longer exempt from the London Congestion Charge, owners can at least console themselves with the increased number of public charging points nationwide and find ones closest to you.