By on December 9, 2015

2016ToyotaPrius_(6_of_10)

2016 Toyota Prius

1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder, VVT-i, Atkinson-style cycle (95 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm; 105 pounds-feet @ 3,600 rpm)

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (71 hp/53 kW; 120 pounds-feet)

121 hp Hybrid system net

Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission

54 city/50 highway/52 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

Base Price: $25,035*

As Tested: $30,835 Prius Four Touring, $25,535 Prius Two Eco*

* Prices include $835 destination charge.

Seemingly overnight, the Toyota Prius became a victim of its own success. A frumpy, frugal automotive fringe player was suddenly a Hollywood starlet and a Conservative America villain, all at the same time.

Toyota got the message but ignored all the criticism. It didn’t matter that the seats were quasi-uncomfortable, the dash was the color of unroasted tofurkey (which I love, by the way) or that the Prius looked like a space egg on low-rolling resistance tires. An automotive icon needs less attention than a vehicle, apparently.

The last Prius came in 2009, which was timed worse than a teenage pregnancy. The world was looking at cheap gas and salivating at expensive trucks with equal amounts of cash burning through its pockets. The Prius kept pace with eco, budget buyers, but couldn’t sustain the car’s meteoric rise from the previous generation. The follow-up is the worst part.

But like any college coach will tell you, it’s not the job after the legend leaves — it’s the job after the job after the legend leaves. So here we are with the 2016 Toyota Prius. Expectations may be lower, but that’s only because the world is a different place (for now). The time is right for a new Prius.

Its exterior isn’t completely different (it still looks like a space egg) but that’s only half the story. Inside, the Prius is completely new and that’s the best start for a car that was once ahead of its time, but now behind the ball in the eyes of eco buyers.

2016ToyotaPrius_(7_of_10)

Exterior
If the last generation Prius was guilty of not trying at all, then the new, fourth-generation Prius may be guilty of trying too hard.

While the 2016 Toyota Prius retains all of the proportions that will keep it a rolling, instantly recognizable billboard for the eco-minded family throughout the States, it also looks like the edgy cousin from the coast. Its sharper nose, sleeker hips and tidier glutes are the good news. The blacked-out C-pillar, angled sheet metal and oh my goodness, those tail lamps.

The old Prius was respectable. The new Prius feels like the leather-jacket wearing lost years of “Saved by the Bell.”

[If Belding were still around, he’d buy this to show A.C. Slater how cool he really is. —Mark]

Aside from the optics, the new Prius is fully 2 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.6 inches lower than the outgoing Prius despite having the same wheelbase. None of those measurements are impressive on their own, but the difference is tangible. I know half of an inch is splitting hairs, but the 2016 Prius looks remarkably lower thanks to the new, angular nose. Two inches longer and half an inch wider is usually what happens to me after Thanksgiving dinner, but the new Prius sports nearly 4 more cubes in cargo area over the last generation.

Built on the new Toyota New Global Architecture, the new Prius looks promising next to models such as the Scion C-HR, from which it shares a platform. It’s promising because we know the sheet metal is flexible from car to car — perhaps within the same generation? Maybe there’s hope in global consolidation after all.

2016ToyotaPrius_(10_of_10)

Interior
The new Prius couldn’t stand to carry over any of the previous generation’s interior. Not again. From the outdated center dash display to the steering wheel shaped like Dr. Doom’s mask, the Prius needed a new interior yesterday.

Thankfully, the 2016 Prius picks up and goes beyond the call — albeit a little unfortunately.

First and foremost, the driver and passenger seats aren’t penalty box benches anymore. With more support and a little more give, both front chairs are no longer sendups of the uncomfortable pews I spent Sundays in growing up. In back, the low-weight and low-plush, but marginally comfortable, 60/40-split folding seats are better suited for long hauls than previous generations.

Similarly, the dash in the 2016 Prius appears to be something put together by designers instead of overly tired engineers. The new, 4.2-inch multi-color information is bright and informative and the wing accent extending from the middle to both passenger’s and driver’s side is a nice touch. Hell, even the air vents look good.

The use of high-gloss plastics seems … unfortunate. On the steering wheel, I could see how upper trims of the Prius could use a little visual separation, but around the center console and storage, our bright white plastic looked like it’d dull and scratch 20 minutes after the car was driven off the lot. I’m all for breaking up the sea of black in cars’ interiors, but I’d prefer not to see a shock of white brighter than Billy Idol’s hair. A definite miss.

2016_Toyota_Prius_Four_Touring_26_D5992D7C1BECE6946DFF7B1BE13E512EDBEFEB0A

Infotainment
Toyota’s Entune system is rock solid and dependable, just like taxes. It’s worth noting (repeatedly) that it still takes two button presses to bring up a map, but there are worse things in life.

In the highest trim, Toyota will cram in its 10-speaker JBL premium audio system in the thin doors of the Prius, but the system actually sounds better there than a similar system in the new RAV4 — or even the Mark Levinson system in the Lexus ES 350. I’ll take the Pepsi challenge with David Bowie any day in all three cars.

Better minds have argued the Prius doesn’t lead with its Entune system — rather it follows closely behind with a repeatable system that lacks flash and flair, but adds repeatable, consistent performance instead. I won’t argue with that.

2016ToyotaPrius_(2_of_10)

Powertrain
There’s very little surprise left in the gasoline-battery combo stuffed in each Prius. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle-style four remains, although power is slightly lower over last year. The internal combustion engine produces 95 horsepower this time around — down from 98 last year — and is 40 percent more heat efficient, according to the automaker.

Toyota ditched the nickel-metal hydride battery pack in all but its base model of the new Prius in favor of lithium-ion packs that are smaller and take up less cargo space in the trunk. There’s still somewhat of an awkward “shelf” in the cargo area, though.

(Nickel-metal packs were still included for developing markets that can easier dispose of those units than lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says. Or that nickel-metal batteries are still preferred for taxi and fleet buyers that Toyota famously doesn’t build cars for. You choose what you want to believe.)

The electric motor is slightly smaller this year than last year. A 71-horsepower, 53 kW motor replaces the old 80 horsepower, 60 kW unit, which is effectively negligible according to the butt dyno. Toyota admits that the 2016 Prius is slightly down on power, 121 combined hp vs. 134 combined hp, but said that the actual difference is smaller due to a new method for calculating combined hybrid might.

Could they apply the “new math” to the old car to figure the actual difference? Unpossible, say engineers. Sure, whatever you say.

The new Prius is still front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive variants exist overseas. If Boulder, Colorado and Ann Arbor, Michigan buyers scream loud enough, I could see a “Prius X” coming our way soon.

The headline is that the new Prius manages 54 mpg in city driving — 58 mpg in Prius Two Eco trim that removes the spare tire for weight savings. That’s short of the 60 mpg mark that many believed it would achieve, but more than any other car without a cord. Even more remarkable than the number: The repeatable feat of eking out more than 50 mpg = doesn’t feel like holding your breath anymore. It’s actually comfortable in the 2016 Prius.

2016ToyotaPrius_(9_of_10)

Drive
I’ll say it to a priest without breaking a sweat: Driving the 2016 Prius isn’t completely boring.

With a center of gravity more than two inches lower than the outgoing car and a new rear suspension, the Prius no longer feels like a top-heavy egg rolling around. It’s far from planted or composed, but the 2016 Prius is something, and that’s a marked improvement for this eco-friendly pod.

My notes read:

Better braking and a little more planted than 2015. W/O nanny state shit, the Prius on no-grip tires is actually fun. No kidding.

Our drive took us to an empty runway in Irvine, California for light hoonage and plenty of squealing.

Around town, the Prius is decidedly sharper and more fun than the lazy liftback it replaces. It’s no sportscar, I don’t care where the badges are (ask me later), but the Prius makes a case that dimensions — not power — and double wishbones in the back can make all the difference sometime.

(I also noted that its heavy understeer felt relatively the same from 2015 to 2016, but that I drink a lot of coffee too.)

Aside from handling characteristics that very few new Prius buyers would ever notice, the 2016 Prius comes loaded with safety features that make sense in a car desperately in need of bleeding-edge tech.

Features such as adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and emergency braking are commonplace, to which the 2016 Prius adds pedestrian detection and avoidance and intelligent parking assist features. Those features don’t make the 2016 Prius the best, but it is much better.

Which means that Toyota got the memo: the 2016 Prius needs to be a better car, not a better Prius. Toyota delivered.

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137 Comments on “2016 Toyota Prius First Drive – Better, and That’s The Point...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I never got the rightwing hate on this car. Seems like the perfect ride for someone who’s fiscally conservative.

    • 0 avatar
      Kosher Polack

      Well you’ll never haul in big TV ratings with that pleasant, thoughtful attitude.

      • 0 avatar
        Kosher Polack

        Edit: Speaking of pleasant and thoughtful, I do actually believe it is ENTIRELY due to the “Prius Woman” video and similar snippets of needless judgment. A perfectly scalable example of how the right blowhard can set back environmental progress by decades. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JPZskYKUvY

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      As a right-winger, I agree. Some people just like getting 50 mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Fiscal conservatism isn’t really a modern right wing trait these days. Everyone wants to spend tons of money. The wings just differ on where to spend it.

      Pure anecdote, but out of the Prius owners I know, it is pretty well split between conservatives and liberals. Reasonably priced, low operating costs, efficient use of space, and a reliable track record were the major selling points.

      I had a Prius v for a few years. I always thought that the torsion beam rear suspension was the big driver on the way it handled. For the size, it really should have had an independent rear suspension. It was a great car otherwise. I sold it to a friend in New Mexico after driving it cross country. He’s hauling his 3 year old and infant twins in it.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        In my Blue State area, the Prius drivers are overwhelmingly left-wing ‘ crats. And there are tons of them and hundreds of Prius vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          Highdesertcat

          Same here. The prius is the official bumper sticker car of the politically active left wing constituency. Otoh they don’t disappear when I head into rural conservative country, just the bumper stickers do.

          Subaru on the other hand seems pretty well tied in with left leaning politics wherever I go. More consistently than the prius at least, although obviously neither is going to be universal.

          VW seems to run in similar circles as Subaru except for a strong law enforcement and neck beard enthusiast contingent that really can’t be considered super liberal.

          I don’t think that, aside from the prius, there’s anything these brands do to pigeon hole themselves. It’s more a function of where they do business and where demographics are headed in general. Subaru sells cheap awd everything to younger families in the Rockies and on the coasts…that’s gonna be liberals largely. VW captures quite a few buyers that would have gone premium but like the stealth approach, but otherwise represents the third-path car choice that isn’t even on the radar of shoppers with a conservative temperment (regardless of their political views).

          Interestingly I don’t really see political owner bias from many other brands. Maybe Mazda could get thrown in there as well, not sure.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tedward, yeah, political owner bias really doesn’t come in to play, the way that I see it.

            Mazda does make some pretty good stuff, at the moment, and they’re usually rust-free if you operate them in the arid desert Southwest.

            I don’t recommend anything that rusts easily for Sault Ste. Marie where a couple of my old Air Force buddies still live.

            However, Prii abound in my area mostly with people in their late sixties and seventies, and it is usually mama’s grocery-getter, and more often than not it still has an Obama/Biden sticker on it.

            All Subarus are immensely popular in my mountain and ski country area and various lodges use them as their courtesy vehicles alongside the full-size 15-passenger 4×4 Dodge Vans.

            Snow country is not something that the Prius was specifically designed for. Not many of them in the mountains.

            As for political bias, I’m an Independent. I drive Toyota, all the time, everywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            CarnotCycle

            When I lived in Santa Monica, seeing all the Prii is what convinced me to buy Tesla stock @$29 back in 2013. There were all these lefty eco-types with tons of disposable income, all driving Prii because there was no fashionably acceptable upgrade. Suddenly there was such an upgrade with the Tesla – pure electric, so much faster, and good looking. Not surprised Tesla is THE aspirational brand now in moneyed lefty enclaves on the coasts.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            CarnotCycle, the Tesla products appeal to people with money and they’re quite prolific in the Bay Area; also with wannabees all over California.

            One of my brothers lives in Oakland, on Clements Road, but he chose a Camry V6 for his wife, and a 4-dr 4×4 F250 gasoline V8 for himself.

            But for the majority, the lack of money is a constraint.

            Not so with another one of my brothers who brought a Leaf from the Los Angeles area to the Manhattan, NYC, area, only to find that, at that time, it was more trouble than it was worth.

            So circumstances and environments have to fit the application of a pure EV.

            Pure EVs would not work well in my area because of the distances and few-and-far-between charging stations.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        My car (a Golf SportWagen TDI) also has a torsion-beam rear suspension, where my old car (a Jetta SportWagen TDI) had IRS. VW claims that the IRS took up space needed for the AdBlue tank…so they had to put torsion-beam suspension on the new Golf and Golf SportWagen TDI.

        I haven’t noticed a difference, quite frankly. The Jetta SportWagen was technically on the Mk.5 structure, and not that of the slightly-improved Mk.6 (even though it was modeled to look like a Mk.6 Golf after 2010), so the jump to the new Mk.7 structure probably negates the effects of the downgraded suspension.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          I think vw is one of the brands that had the torsion rear axle thoroughly figured out. Perhaps the brand. For instance the 2010 jetta had many problems, but the rear axle really wasn’t one of them. Driven recklessly I think they are arguably more entertaining than the irs cars albeit with lower capabilities. That said, it will lose the subjective comparison if presented with exactly the wrong road conditions while being driven irresponsibly.

          I wonder if the tdi wagon has a similar weight distribution to the 1.8. I don’t know if the emissions equipment offsets the reduction in rear suspension weight entirely. That would be an interesting data point if you ever scale your car.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            Ford seems to have torsion axles pretty well figured out as well. I haven’t ever seen a complaint about the Focus ST having a torsion beam rear suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Those opinions are given from the right about the Prius to only justify being on the right. Essentially meaningless. Somehow driving coal shows manhood/Republican values over being fiscally conservative.

    • 0 avatar
      JD23

      I think the supposed “rightwing hate” for the Prius is mostly a strawman, but is a useful meme for lazy writers. I have no intrinsic hatred for the Prius, I just think it is an unenjoyable car and can afford better.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I’ve never understood how some are convinced that what you drive or like/don’t like in the auto world is based on your political affiliations. I suspect nothing could be farther from the truth.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          I recall the large suv being mentioned thousands of times on Rush and Fox news a few years ago. Comparing and contrasting how driving a full size suv showed American/real Conservative values. Never understood how spending more money for transportation equalled conservative values. Would that be ironic or an oxymoron. I think both fit.

          • 0 avatar

            Rush was in pocket of GM for a very long time and hawked Malibu right next to Carbonite. He didn’t care much if it was an SUV or not, as long as wire transfers from Detroit occurred regularly.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          There are a few cars that are overwhelmingly associated with one side or the other (just based on ownership data). OTOH 4Runner and GM BOF SUVs = almost always conservative, while Volvo XC70 and Subaru Outback = almost always liberal. I think Prius appeals to a lot of people on both sides who just want frugal and super-reliable transportation.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            My aunt, a music teacher at a parochial school, is about the only person I know more conservative than me who has owned nothing but Outbacks since she started buying new cars.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      People don’t like being talked down to, and people don’t like showy pretend environmentalism. People like freedom of choice in what they buy and how they spend their money. The Prius was a symbol of the same imperialism of “Elections Matter, Suck It, Mitches!” and other remarks we had to endure about how Mr. Obama was going to be anything but a party-line-vote partisan.

      A whole lot of people on the right are OK with and happy to be conservationists – they hunt, after all – but if you dial your time machine back to 2007-2009, Mr. Obama’s automative task force expert (who was really the one kid out of college and Ratner, right?) were frequently making the pronouncement that we would be forced to drive “smaller, slower, hybrids”. This went through the ear of a contingency of Republican and Southern Democrat voters – people who have purchased Domestic for America, even while hating the UAW – and they heard: Now, of course, the wealthy coastal elite would get whatever they wanted, but General Motors was to be taken over and they would make Volts and Cruzes and kill the Silverado and the Suburban and you would like them. There was a lot of talk about changing and removing the truck-heavy lineup and getting people into these little cars – and they had absolutely no choice in the matter. Suddenly, lose the presidential election, and you don’t get to choose how to spend your money.

      Obama Derangement Syndrome is a whole lot like Bush Derangement Syndrome. We had eight years of “Bushitler” and plays and movies winning awards threatening Mr. Bush’s life. Too much of the actions of the Cesspool on the Potomac affect our everyday lives.

      There’s a whole lot of denial of freedom of consumer choice that is symbolized by the Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius. When they did little publicity stunts like jetting everybody into Hollywood or the G8 on their fleet of G6s to then get in little green Priuses (Except for The Beast, which got stuck on a hilly road) – the “Pious Prius” skewered on South Park really was what people didn’t like – if you need or want something else, and you can afford it, you were to be denied for somebody else’s religious fervor of Gaia worship.

      Perhaps they could have just attached themselves to the Ford Hybrid and then it would have been a pro-America thing, as opposed to – you took our domestic industry, you took our trucks, you took our jobs, and now you’re going to make a show of buying Toyotas and pretend that you drive those?

      I don’t particularly want to own a Prius, for a number of reasons – in part, there’s no local Toyota dealer. I don’t like the braking and probably won’t get used to it. I have accepted electric power steering. I really liked the the Honda CR-Z, and would have bought one if they would have ever just put 40 more horses in there. I like the C-Max. I do appreciate that, of drivers of small- and medium-sized cars, the Prius drivers have a propensity to haul tail off the line.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        So the loathing over the United States government keeps people from being fiscally conservative? Who hijacked the conservative party into this ignorance?

      • 0 avatar

        During the ’08 election cycle the leading Dem pres candidates all bought escape hybrids.

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-candidates-choice/

        O traded his Xler 300C after being outed for it.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Wow, Mr. Green Man, where to go with all this?

        “…but if you dial your time machine back to 2007-2009, Mr. Obama’s automative task force expert (who was really the one kid out of college and Ratner, right?) were frequently making the pronouncement that we would be forced to drive “smaller, slower, hybrids”.”

        Huh? No one’s forcing anyone to drive anything. The market drives automotive choices. But in any case, market share for hybrids has fluctuated, but did increase until gas prices came down in 2014.

        http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/explaining-stagnation-in-the-hybrid-electric-vehicle-market/

        “There’s a whole lot of denial of freedom of consumer choice that is symbolized by the Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius.”

        Huh? If anything, it’s two MORE choices for the car buyer. Take them or leave them. I don’t get your argument.

        “Obama Derangement Syndrome is a whole lot like Bush Derangement Syndrome. We had eight years of “Bushitler” and plays and movies winning awards threatening Mr. Bush’s life.”

        Uh…not sure what this has to do with a Prius, but there was no play I’m aware of showing Bush getting killed or threatening his life, and the movie you’re talking about bombed at the box office and with the critics (and rightfully so, as it was in incredibly bad taste).

        Not seeing much logic here to explain why the Prius engenders so much hate…but then again, the hate never made much logical sense to begin with.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        The Prius unfortunately became a symbol of Blue State America telling Red State America how to live. The federal government used taxpayer money to replace trucks with fuel efficient cars. BOF SUVs and pickup trucks were destroyed. Without government intervention, those trucks would have been purchased by individuals or small business owners. To the original owners, the SUVs were no longer fashionable, but to a man with a handyman or lawn care business, these trucks were useful work tools. Destruction for virtue signalling.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          George b
          “Destruction for virtue signalling”

          I don’t know if this will improve your perception of it but I always thought it was a controversial economic stimulus being dressed up as a virtuous act of climate stewardship and national self reliance.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I never hated an old Prius, I just couldn’t drive it. But I get really rude really quick with people who called it a comfortable midsize sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Prius is marketed as a feel-good, flowery “green” car. That message isn’t catnip to most conservatives.

      If it was marketed as a low-maintenance, efficient and reliable vehicle it probably would have more appeal to the hairshirt types that would have bought an AMC or Dart Lite in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      r myself fiscally conservative but since I value pure fun behind the wheel, the Prius is no where on my radar.

    • 0 avatar
      reclusive_in_nature

      Conservatives don’t hate this car. They hate the sentient, vaginal discharges that wish to make everyone forced to drive something like this.

    • 0 avatar

      There was never a “rightwing hate” except in diseased brains of liberals. Starting with Gen2 Prius was a reliable and practical transportation.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        “reliable and practical” but not comfortable and midsize as some liberally added attributes

      • 0 avatar
        swester

        While I’m not trying to pass off Yahoo Answers as a definitive primary source, the following example is a nearly verbatim response to the Prius I’ve personally heard from folks who would certainly consider themselves “right wing”:

        https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101018132253AAavaZv

        The anti-Prius hate goes hand-in-hand with the rabid anti-climate change, anti-“eco friendly”, anti-evolution tropes that alleged “conservatives” have prided themselves on since they decided intellectualism and/or rational thought was way too uncool for voters.

    • 0 avatar
      djoelt1

      I do. If you are trying to justify a 15 mpg pickup to shuttle back and forth to work and strip mall, you need to point to the fact that cars get only a little bit better MPG. The Prius blows that away because it doesn’t get 10 more mpg, it get 40 more MPG. Sure, some people need trucks, but most do not. Want, sure. Need, no.

      (I drive an M3 Lightweight and a Prius C (the mini Prius). I regularly get 57 mpg in one and lap local tracks with the other.)

    • 0 avatar
      YotaCarFan

      I’m a right-winger, and I’ve owned a Gen 1 and Gen 2 Prius, and now drive a Lexus HS250h (that my friends enjoy calling a “Lexus Corolla Hybrid”). I like the Prius partly because it is a rolling high-tech toy for geeks, and partly because it has low costs to operate (fuel, maintenance). I do not, however, like the image of the car – because of (left) media and politicians’ obsession with environmentalism and fondness for the Prius (e.g. Hollywood types flaunting them as badges of enviro-chic), not to mention the near ubiquitous left-wing bumper stickers that adorn Prii I see on the road. The car thus has an image of being a political statement for its owners. I believe it is this, not a supposed love of gas guzzling vehicles, that causes conservatives to dislike the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      Subconsciously, Cons know it’s wrong to pollute, but their media tells them it’s good to anger those who say it’s wrong to pollute.

      Rather than sacrificing to do the right thing (and let’s face it, the right thing is to walk or ride a bike, something we’re just not willing to do), they choose to do whatever they were already doing, and by attacking those who are able and willing to attempt to make a positive change, they feel better about themselves. The raise themselves up by tearing others down.

      It’s purely emotional, like they are.

      • 0 avatar
        swester

        Conservatism is, by definition, a deliberate preservation of old habits.

        Thankfully, with each stubborn generation that dies off, we are able to move the needle a little closer toward progress in terms of caring more for each other and this planet we inhabit. But old habits sure do die hard.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Frequently tyrants tend to be the progressives of their times.

          Robespierre
          Lenin
          Stalin
          Hitler
          Mao
          Kim Il Sung
          Mugabe
          Pol Pot

          “2. (of a group, person, or idea) favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas: a relatively progressive governor.
          ∎ favoring or promoting change or innovation: a progressive art school. ∎ relating to or denoting a style of rock music popular esp. in the 1980s and characterized by classical influences, the use of keyboard instruments, and lengthy compositions.”

          http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/progressive.aspx

          Oh and I found this to be hilarious while doing some quick digging:

          “Fidel Castro
          Country Cuba
          Ruling Years 1959 – 2006
          Death 2006 (approx.)”

          http://www.tyrantsanddictators.com/dictators/fidel-castro.html

          Glitch in the Matrix?

          • 0 avatar
            swester

            As any student of poli sci will gladly remind (or inform) you, the “ultra-xxxx” at both ends of the political spectrum are mere shades of the same color.

            More interestingly, your list features leaders who ascended to power on what arguably appeared to be “progressive” platforms but quickly resorted to absolute, often lethally-enforced preservation of a strict, coded set of ideas without any tolerance for dissent or deviation from new “tradition”.

            In other words, an ultimate form of conservatism!

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      I commute in a Prius, best commute car I have ever had. Consistently get better than 50 mpg driving to work and around town.

      You can be absolutely be a small-government anarchist/conservative and still love saving money on gas – if you don’t believe me, you can kiss my back bumper, the one with an NRA sticker and a Hillary-for-Prison-2016 sticker.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I don’t care if it gets 1000 MPG, I would never buy a car with all the gauges in the center of the dash. It’s friggin’ hideous.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Every exterior & interior aesthetic about this vehicle is hideous, bordering on offensive.

      Toyota has fallen so far, so fast (as has Acura).

      Camry, Corolla, Avalon, Prius, whatever WTF post-Yaris subcompact they have – all ruined, cheapened, hideous, miserable vehicles.

      Toyota can go suck my balls.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I agree about center gauges. They’re awful. Although I would still consider a Prius if (contrary to my entire history and all my priorities) I ended up with a megacommute for some odd reason. They really are indestructible.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    This is a better Prius. Interior looks not so cheap as previous model. But, cheapness went to the front end of the vehicle. It looks low end. Very low budget. Almost Nissan Versa like.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I forwarded this article to a friend of mine who currently drives a leased Prius but who was torn between a Volt or another Prius when the Lease expires. So he and his wife will be checking it out before their Lease expires.

      It will not be their only car since his other ride is a 2013 F150 4-dr 4X4 Platinum Ecobust. Nah, it’ll be her grocery-getter.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        Regarding the Volt. Friend of mine has owned one for over two years now. Absolutely loves the car. First tank of gas lasted over 6000 miles. He has less than 20 miles to work and has a few plugin parking spaces at work. The car has also been trouble free. Not one issue.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          It is rumored that the NEW Volt is even better. But in MY area, the big event for many is the all-new 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee which should go on sale in March/April of 2016.

          More people in my area choose a Grand Cherokee over a Prius or Volt as their primary ride, so the interest is greater.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            With gas prices being what they are, I don’t see much advantage in buying any kind of hybrid these days, HDC.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, it really all depends on what a person’s proclivity is about cars. Frugal or extravagant. Both have their plusses and minusses.

            The people I forwarded this article to are in their seventies. The wife drives the Leased Prius 99.99% of the time and is comfortable with it — (read doesn’t really want to learn about a new car).

            Her husband drives his F150 and usually fills up a couple of 5-gallon gas containers whenever he tops off his F150, to keep around the house and top off her Prius. AFAIK, she has never been to a gas station to fill up her Prius, herself.

            So that arrangement works for them.

            Re gas prices. Well, they’re suppose to go even lower and there is money to be made from storing crude.

            I read somewhere that 99% of all available crude-oil storage is already being utilized.

            IOW, we’re maxed out. So much for running out of oil as the anti-oil lobby would have us believe.

            Companies are scrambling to build additional oil-storage tanks, old retired milk-tankers are converted for oil storage, railroad oil tanker cars are parked on side rails in the desert; It’s crazy!

            The alternative is to quit pumping but then we’re back to square one and the environmental green freaks have won.

            So, better to store while buying low, and selling high when the demand returns (2017-2018 time frame.)

            This is such a great time for people to buy ANY kind of car or truck that they’ve always wanted. Money is cheap to borrow, credit requirements are at pre-2008 levels.

            What’s not to like? I say to potential buyers, buy whatever you want. The future will take care of itself because there is no time like the present to buy.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            The `17 Grand Cherokee is pretty much another nip and tuck. Nothing will be all new with the exception of the already being installed for 2016 Pentastar V6.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            I saw a new Volt on the road the other day. It has the bustle-butt look where the trunk lid is five feet off the ground, and the side cut line makes it look like it’s constantly driving down hill. Just make it a wagon for God’s sake.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            SC5door, it is my understanding that there will not be a 2016 GC but that the 2017 GC with the tweaked V6 will go on sale in Mar/Apr 2016.

            Jeep did the same with the 2014 GC – started selling it in Mar/Apr 2013.

            The “2013” GCs were re-stickered 2012s.

            Not this time though. All GCs for sale will be 2015s until the 2017 GC comes out in Mar/Apr 2016.

            If you have other info please tell the rest of us. Inquiring minds want to know.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            The FCA media site seems to indicate there will be a 2016 GC:

            http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=16739&mid=49

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Thanks, Wheeljack. I just got off the phone with three people I know at Jeep dealerships in three different states and they told me that they are up to their eyebrows in 2015 GCs and have not received any 2016 GCs.

            If you know of any Jeep dealership that has received a 2016 model, would you please post it?

            My best friend would like to upgrade his 2012 Laredo 4×4 to a 2016 Limited 4×4 5.7 Hemi, as the last vehicle he’ll buy during his lifetime.

            He’s willing to travel to pick one up. The last one he bought from Perkins in Colo Sprgs. I drove him there to pick it up.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            @FreedMike,

            There’s still a cost savings with a car like the Volt that can operate on nothing but electricity for daily use. If I owned a Volt I would never purchase gas for daily driving (40 mile round trip commute, plus EV charger at work). Even a small efficient car like a Civic or Cruze will only return ~18-22 mpg in Chicago downtown driving. I know this from experience. That’s $100/mo in fuel even gas at $2 for 87 octane just considering my work commute; my other driving would add $50 – $80 to that bill depending on the month. That $150/mo covers the difference in leasing a decently equipped Cruze or Civic to a Volt. If I were to ever drive a small FWD car, the Volt would be it (unless I really like the Cruze diesel).

            @HDC,
            Never knew we were stockpiling oil like that. Its good news! I agree buy what you want now, its a new car buyers market. I recently got myself a new Silverado and I’ve got my eye on upgrading to a 6.2 Silverado next year.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Frylock350, congrats on your decision to upgrade your ride. May it serve you long and serve you well!

            I have always believed that there simply is no replacement for displacement, in whatever ride a person chooses.

            Maybe that belief is rooted in having owned two Olds 455 cubic inch V8-powered vehicles during my younger years. Slow turning, stump-pulling grunt at 1000rpm.

            Better scoop one of these honkers up soon before the EPA and CAFE mandates force pickup truck makers to come out with bi-turbo 4-banger squirrel engines for the half-ton pickup trucks.

            I do believe that day is coming; sooner rather than later.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    The only thing that really caught my eye is your picture of the front thrones. Are they actually covered in cloth that isn’t seemingly spun from recycled water bottles (AKA nylon s**t)? It almost, just barely, looks reminiscent of the good heavy-weave stuff Toyota used to upholster their seats with back in the golden age.

    If it’s just an optical illusion, say it ain’t so, I don’t think my little heart could take it.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Now I can hate the Prius even more because it’s f***ing UGLY.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The hideous look of this new Prius provides an opening to Hyundai’s concerted efforts lead the eco game in the next few years.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’ll believe Hyundai can lead a segment when I see it.

      They’ve gotten pretty good at me-tooing but I don’t think they’ve yet introduced a truly market-leading product. The only one with a reasonable case is the second-gen Genesis sedan, which lives in a dying segment.

  • avatar
    turf3

    STILL no visibility out the rear or rear sides.

    Someday we will get windows again. Once the fad for making every car look like a high-schooler’s Trans Am jacked up in the back expires. Tomorrow would be none too soon for me.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m totally with you on this. I hate the slit windows. Took all my headrests out of the ’08 Civic except for the driver headrest. Makes a big dif.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      My guess is that this won’t happen until aerodynamics stop mattering.

      I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        1) Last I checked the characteristics of air flow over sheet glass were the same as over painted metal, or near enough to matter.

        2) Splain to me, then, what aerodynamic considerations require the back and rear side windows of SUVs to be tapered down into teeny little triangles useless for seeing out of, when the vehicle is still a big square box.

        I stand by my assertion that the current fashion of no windows in cars is a fashion and that all the rest is just a bunch of excuses for a styling fad. I am sure you could find people who maintain there is a functional reason for the necktie, too. One of these days I’m going to look up Cd values for a bunch of cars with windows and without and we’ll see.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I think the designs are (in part) driven by improving side impact scores, and to a degree improving NVH and actually lowering weight. I don’t agree with any of it of course, my 1990 Civic Wagon was absolutely breathtaking in terms of visibility. Super low cowl, huge upright windshield, skinny roof pillars, and a seat that was farther off the ground than the Civic Sedan or hatchback of the same era.

          Out of semi-modern vehicles, the Montero Limited is my favorite in terms of forward visibility, the window sills feel like they’re almost at hip height, and the windshield is enormous and upright.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The necktie as we know it is purely ornamental, but if you consider the bandana to be a cousin of the necktie (they both evolved from a common ancestor), it’s very functional.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Hey you low tech, has-been, ugly duckling. There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Chevy Volt!…..LOL

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    With the exception of my father’s 88 Camry – for me – Toyota’s have always had uncomfortable seats. Too short cushions and not a wide enough range of adjustments to make up for it. I had an 89 Celica that was torture on long drives. My wife’s 09 Camry SE isn’t much better.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Well they certainly won’t loose any of the old fan base with this one.

    “If Boulder, Colorado and Ann Arbor, Michigan buyers scream loud enough, I could see a “Prius X” coming our way soon.”

    There’s your next big idea! I know Toyota has a part time FWD biased AWD system in the parts bin that only drives the rear wheels when needed. This should be a no brainer.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Prius is stupidly expensive as is. 25 and a half grand MSRP for a car with a worse ride, worse power, worse equipment, worse storage, and worse legroom than a 22 grand full size Honda Accord LX that gets you an honest +30mpg average. At the current gas prices, you need to drive the shitty Prius for like 100-120 thousand miles simply to make up for the price difference against the cheaper and vastly superior Accord.

      As for the Boulder or Michigan folks, they already know they can get a car with full time 4wd for under 20 grand from Subaru.

  • avatar

    A space egg!!! I got a better laugh from that than from any of today’s comics. And, yes, Prius buyers are funny about cars. My brother LOVES his (an ’11 or ’12, I think). And he’s never had any affinity for cars. His Boxster-driving best friend and I just laugh at him. What he loves, I think, is those gas mileage numbers–not that he has any need to save the dough. (His other car is one of those dirty TDIs, and he was loving that, too.)

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Too low, too little, too blind. I’ll just buy more gas.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    These will continue to make nice fleet special taxi cabs

  • avatar
    Verbal

    The Prius has replaced the Volvo wagon as the Slow Car Holding Everyone Back.

    I blame the dashboard eco-nanny. You get a graphic display depicting what an irresponsible lead foot you are when you get on the throttle a little too hard for its liking.

    Whenever you’re stuck in the middle of a pack of cars going at or below the speed limit, look ahead and see what the lead car is. Yep. It’s a Prius.

    • 0 avatar

      Dunno where you live but around here the hold-up is a pensioner in a Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      Alfisti

      Huh??? Corolla, Camry and early 1990’s Accord drivers are the slow pokes.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      We need to return to the old American (or 90’s) methods of gauges. Horizontal speedo, odometer – and THAT’S IT. Anything else will be a warning light, you need no further information.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The Prius is the slow car during rush hour. The slow guy trying for best fuel economy when everyone else is trying to get to work on time. When retirees come out from 10AM to 3PM, the slow car holding everyone back is typically an older Buick sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Around here, the Priuses are driven by people voted Most Likely to Cut You Off in Traffic in their high-school yearbooks. Literally just happened to me today.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The Prius and Camry Hybrids have replaced the Crown Vic as the Taxi of choice in Chicago. And they’re typically not running slow.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Priuses are the leadfoots around here. They think that having a high-MPG car absolves them from any guilt over driving style. The holdup is usually either a recent immigrant in an old Honda/Toyota or an old person in a typical old person car.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I have completed a multi-year, independent observational survey and found that the #1 vehicle driven slowly/erratically with alarming consistency is the Toyota Sienna minivan, regardless of model year.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @Verbal,

      In my highway experience, the slow car in the left lane is a Toyota Corolla or Camry a majority of the time. Most of the Buicks I see these days are Enclaves ripping down the road at 85+.

      @CoreyDL,
      I LIKE the horizontal speedo. I’d like it back If I could conceive of a dash design that could include it with the other gauges and look nice. I always hated that my b-bodies didn’t have a tach.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You can’t really have both a horizontal and a tach! That’s a very unusual combination. I found one example, but I dunno what it was from.

        https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5161/5235341349_ff5554e769_z.jpg

  • avatar
    dwford

    I just don’t understand why all the Eco vehicles need to be so ugly. I understand they they need to scream “I’m environmentally aware!” for their drivers, but there has got to be a way to style them attractively. The new Chevy Volt, for example.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    There has gotta be a market for these cars though, up here with fuel prices being higher I can make a case for it.

    A colleague just went from a 2002 V6 Tuscon to a 2013 Sonata Hybrid. She is saving a whopping $180 a month on fuel and the prius runs rings around the Sonata MPG wise.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The black gloss super-fingerprint attractant shark fin and white fade-to-yellow plastic bits (especially where human oils abound, on the steering wheel) are a big misstep. Three years from now they’ll be looking extry-tired. Puts me right in mind of the suede they put on the dash in uplevel trims of the SVX.

    http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/48034951.jpg

    Other than that, it’s absolutely hideous but will carry out the eco mission suitably for people who like dogs and put stickers on their cars about the presidential election and local referendums. Success.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Gen 2 hit all the right notes for me, a very efficient use of interior space, an open and uncluttered dash, and very clean and simple styling. Gen 3 got the ‘flying center console’ which is not terribly obtrusive when you actually drive the car but I still don’t care for it. Extra bit of pep from the 1.8L while gaining efficiency was welcome as well. Styling was a tad fussier but still pretty nice (IMO).

    I love driving stick shifts, funky old cars, motorcycles, rough-and-tumble 4x4s, etc. And I find the Prius VERY satisfying to drive around town in its own way. Just the way it glides and how optimized everything it does is appeals to me I guess. Can’t really knock it for steering feel anymore when everyone uses EPS, I got used to the brakes pretty quick too. Lastly, I love the 5 door liftback body style. I’d very seriously consider swapping my Civic for a Prius, given how steep the discounts are right now (up to $5k off MSRP locally).

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Gtem
      That right there is what I think the prius did right. Fuel economy and quietness are benchmarks that other hybrids (notably Toyota hybrids) have surpassed the regular prius on. It’s the repackaging and re-imageing of the hatchback that I’ve come to respect from that car.

      I’ve heard both ford and vw enthusiasts claim credit for (my favorite) body style’s resurgence. When I take my own rose colored glasses off I think I have to lay credit at Jeep and Toyota’s door.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Prius is certainly very zippy at urban and suburban speeds. The throttle response is better than most cars with automatic transmissions out there. a bigger car with a conventional 3.0-3.5L V6 engine often feels slower and less responsive than a Prius.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    Kudos to Toyota for not ditching the spare entirely, as so many other hybrids (and an increasing number of non-hybrids) have done.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Well…it couldnt get worse could it? I have read the rag mags this month and they are praising how sporting the new car drives. I am saying to myself, have they forgotten how bad the old one drove? How it had a horrible interior? I rented on for a week in SF and the only thing it did well is MPG. Its NVH wasnt very good and seats uncomfortable.
    All I am saying is that it only could get better.
    However it is really only a face a mother could love.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I like it. The styling’s trying a little too hard, maybe, but a hybrid should look kind of weird, I’m OK with it. Thanks for the side-by-side photos with the outgoing model, it’s fun to compare them. Not crazy about the dash, my Scion has the speedo high-and-in-the-center like this car, doesn’t work for me. I prefer it right in front of the driver’s seat.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’m glad the Toyota Prius exists as a test bed for hybrid drivetrains. The people that buy the Prius helped justify development of more traditional looking hybrids like the Lexus ES-300h. I’m not interested in the Prius, but I could see buying a smooth, quiet luxury hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Uh-huh. There’s a GS450h with my name on it somewhere, or—failing that—the new RX Hybrid, when that becomes available.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      I like the ES300h and the Avalon hybrids and have considerable interest in a more luxurious car but the Prius wins on utility.

      We no longer have a minivan and the lack of a large vehicle used to concern me but the Prius seems to be capable of bringing home almost anything that wouldn’t actually require a trailer or fullsize truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      I am sorry, but hybrids are not quieter than other cars. Hybrids run silent only at supermarket parking lot speeds.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Toyota did make significant improvement with this new Prius as far as efficiency goes. But I wonder if the company placed its bets on the wrong strategy. Whereas the old Prius was palatable-looking and one of the most efficient cars on the market, this is probably *the* most efficient car on the market, but in order to make it so, it has become as ugly as sin. Perhaps there could have been a better balance between styling and efficiency…because I think Toyota may find that it has exceeded the amount of ridicule its Prius owners are willing to put up with in order to be green.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Kyree, there are always the Camry Hybrid and the Highlander Hybrid. The Prius is not the only Hybrid that Toyota makes, but many people find it the ideal size for a grocery-getter or short-hopper, especially if they also own two, three or more other cars that can comfortably go the distance.

      I’m not a candidate for any EV, PEV or Hybrid, but I think they should be available to anyone who wants one, without taxpayer subsidies.

      Choice! It’s a cherished element of freedom.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        If I were getting a Toyota, I’d go for the Avalon Hybrid. I don’t need anything as big as a Highlander, although that’s also a great vehicle. I might have even gotten a Prius up to now; I thought the 2nd and 3rd-gen ones were cool-looking.

        And they do have a new RAV4 Hybrid, too…either on the way or already out. It’s crazy that since the demise of the Ford Escape Hybrid and Saturn Vue Green Line, there haven’t been any compact hybrid CUVs when it’s such a big segment.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Kyree, it’s all about “demand” and the science of forecasting that demand.

          When fuel prices go stratospheric again, and they will, we’ll see a lot of these “demised” vehicles returning to the landscape in some form of reincarnation.

          One good thing about all that is that all the groundwork has already been done, IOW, the automakers won’t have to re-invent the wheel again, or, in this case, re-invent the EV, PEV or Hybrid again.

          I have zero experience with a Hybrid Avalon. Every old fart that I know in my area with an Avalon owns a V6 gasoline version.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      I don’t think the efficiency considerations were involved in making the front end so ugly. It’s a true Japanese style. It makes the 4Runner look good.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “and is 40 percent more heat efficient, according to the automaker.”

    No, that’s not what they said. Not even close.

    The new version of the engine has a thermal efficiency of 40%, compared to the 38% of the old one.

    Do you comprehend anything about gasoline engines? If I want to be lightly informed or misinformed, I read Cole and immediately regret it.

  • avatar

    Did I miss it, or did this review say, once again, nothing about ride quality? General comments about being “sharper” doesn’t cover ride quality.

    Why do so few reviewers forget to talk about the one thing I have to experience literally all the time, straight road, curved road, high-speed or low?

    Especially from a company that has such a bad track record on maintaining ride quality after re-designs.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      When I was in Chicago I got to sample a number of different cabs, the beat old ex-police Crown Vic rode the best (and had the best driver), while the Prius bottomed out and had a lunatic at the wheel.

      However, the Prius did have more knee room.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I really think that ride is too subjective to mean much in a review like this. What is a great ride to you may well be completely unacceptable to me. If you want to know what this rides like, go test drive one, or rent one if you can’t deal with salesfolks or want more time. It’s not like it is some $1M hyper-car that mere mortals can’t drive.

      I doubt very much that the ride differs in any substantial way from the previous generation. They did not suddenly decide to slip a Citroen or a Lincoln underneath it. Or an M3 for that matter.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well that is a typical Millennial car review for ya. Little about how the car rides and handles and loads of information on how many electronic nannies are aboard and how connected the car is.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Good point. The current generation Prius has a truly shitty ride feel, worthy of a Corolla, Echo, or a some kind of Korean shit car. But for 25 grad? Please.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        I don’t care for the Prius, but Jacob is talking nonsense.

        1. Yes, modern hybrids are quieter even at highway speeds. I rented a 2015 Prius for an extremely long road trip and it was commendably quiet the whole way. Larger, plusher hybrids are even more so.

        2. The ride was shockingly plush for a car this size. Much more akin to Grandma’s Buick than a Korean econobox. Handled like a banana, just like Grandma’s Buick, but this is a commuter car.

        3. Styling? Room? The weird shape of the Prius gives midsize-type room inside, with compact-size parkability outside. A perfect compromise of attributes. Three cheers for the weird shape.

        4. Those low gas prices you like? Thank Prius drivers. They’re pushing down the demand side of the supply-demand equation, making gas cheaper for you.

        5. Your conventional midsize sedan gets 30+ mpg? Not in the city it doesn’t. 21, 22 maybe. Hybrids typically get even better MPG in the city than on the highway–the inverse of conventional cars.

        6. The higher initial price doesn’t pay for itself quickly enough for your taste? It does for people living in places with high gas prices and long commutes; that’s why those are the people that buy them. God help the poor SOB commuting from Los Banos to the Bay in a Tahoe.

        7. Bonus: The Prius is ranked as the most reliable car on the road, and taxi service shows it’s one of the most durable too.

        Drive what you like and choose what makes sense for your own use case. But this is TTAC, not a field of broccoli. There’s no need to spread bullshit here.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @HotPotato

          What do you normally drive? Because the only way I can imagine someone thinking a Prius is “plush” and “quiet” is if they normally drive some kind of serious penalty box. ’87 Dodge Omni maybe? Hyundai Pony? Panther with a blown muffler and bad shocks? F-250 on mud tires?

          I don’t think the Prius is a terrible car in any way (and it is a brilliant transportation module in many ways), but it is not as nice to ride in or drive as a Camry, never mind cars that are actually NICE.

        • 0 avatar
          Jacob

          Honestly don’t know what you have been comparing the Prius too. Prius ride is _very_ harsh, choppy, and noisy on any road that has even remotely uneven or rough surface. At highway speeds, the wind and road noise is very significant. Moreover, the car is very susceptible to crosswinds. Better hold the steering wheel with both hands. Prius ride quality does not approach any decent mid-size car. Prius gives you a Corolla experience for 6-7 thousand dollars more, and now you have to drive this penalty econobox for something like 200-300 thousand miles to make up for the cost difference against a Corolla.

          Don’t get my started about cars costing +20K. An Accord is many times better, classier, and more comfortable car than Prius in every respect, except fuel economy. But with proven 30-31mpg average in 4-cylinder Accord, you need to be driving this penalty econobox Prius for like a 100,000 miles to simply recover the money you could have immediately saved by buying an Accord LX. Honestly, at the current gas prices, Prius makes no economic sense whatsoever. Give me a solid guaranteed $5+ a gallon gas prices or perhaps lower the price of all prius trims, and then it could sort of start making sense.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    All the complaints about the Prius’ polarizing appearance are missing the point. Toyota ‘has’ to make the Prius distinctive in appearance. That’s the whole reason it leads the hybrid segment (and by a wide margin). There’s just no mistaking a Prius for any other vehicle.

    Except for the first generation, Toyota quickly clued into the the whole Prius marketing vibe of making a car with a revolutionary, technically sophisticated drivetrain look unlike anything else on the road. Yeah, there have been other dedicated hybrid vehicles, but none have had the same combination of the highest efficiency tied together with dramatic, model-specific styling (for the obvious reason of inordinately high cost to do so).

    So, yeah, I don’t much care for the latest Prius’ look, either, but I fully understand the driving force behind it (and know it’s quite unlikely to affect sales for that core group of Prius buyers).

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    As hideous and silly looking as ever with more sharp angles thrown in for bad measure. And it looks like the goofy center mounted and hard to see gauges are carried over so that the driver gets to face a big bland hunk of dark grey plastic. And that shiny black plastic must be a nightmare when the sun is facing behind you. Blindness for all Prius drivers. Oh and a smudge laden fingerprinted mess after the little ones get near the touch screen. Oh joy! For nearly 31 large I would for sure investigate the far more attractive and normal Sonata hybrid and gladly sacrifice the 8-10 real world MPG difference to gain a 10 times better car.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    These comments ignore a greater reality, which would expected on a car enthusiast website. There is more petroleum available on the planet than we can safely use. “Safely use” refers to a variety of concerns that boil down to the question of what global temperature rise has acceptable negative impacts.

    Humanity comprises mostly people who are not car junkies. The majority will agree and enforce, through their governments, limits on burning fossil fuels. Life will go on much as it does now, but using less and less fossil fuel while everyone’s quality of life improves such as it can despite the climate change challenges that are already happening.

    Cars will be weaned off fossil fuels. It’s one of the easier solutions to accomplish. Cars burning fossil fuels will be seen as a disgusting dirty habit, like throwing “night soil” in the street. There will be resistance, as chamber pot manufacturers opposed building sewers.

    The pace of consumption of fossil fuels will be a function of legislation and consumer preference and resistance. Production of fossil fuels will lurch between over- and under-supply partly due to lurches in production and demand. Because these changes are not perfectly in synch, prices will lurch even more drastically, sort of like the lurching in stop-and-go traffic.

    Popularity of hybrids and ev’s will “lurch”, but their segment of the car fleet will grow, just as one eventually gets through stop-and-go traffic. The overall progress will be the result of legislation, gas sometimes being relatively costly, and personal decisions to decrease carbon footprint.

    Buying a hybrid has been a good idea ever since these concerns reached most people, but now is a particularly opportune time to buy a hybrid, used or new. Buy them used, and you get the gas savings without paying the premium for the hybrid system. Next time you’re thinking of buying a car, do yourself a favor and at least take a hybrid or ev for a test drive. You ARE open-minded, right?

    Oh, and I don’t like the new Prius’ strange styling either.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    25 and a half grand MSRP for a Prius with equipment, rear legroom, ride, power, and trunk space worse than a 22 grand full size Honda Accord LX that still gets you a solid 30+ mpg. Tell me again why should anybody buy this Prius? If you really want to save cash while driving in a shitty econobox compact, just buy a Corolla or Echo.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    I can understand the reason of buying a hybrid especially since prices have slowly been dropping so it’s a bit more affordable now.
    At least it’s more affordable than an EV vehicle, amongst other things.

    I’d like to buy a hybrid considering that I commute mostly so it’ll be more fuel efficient for me.

    It helps that gas prices are currently less expensive.
    Gas prices won’t stay this low for long and anyone who thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves.

    I wish that hybrids would be more roomy for taller people and more comfortable as I’ve sat in the prior Prius models and didn’t find it pleasing. The looks of it is a turn-off but who cares once you get inside and drive it. Hybrid vehicles are built for aerodynamics to help the fuel efficiency but that also kills it for driving pleasure and roominess/comfort.

    One doesn’t buy a hybrid for fun driving.
    Oh, wait! Let’s not tell that to the [email protected] hybrid drivers that drive crazily on the highway or on streets.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Before you start building the argument that driving Prius makes any economic sense whatsoever, get yourself a calculator and a napkin in order to convince yourself that Prius won’t save you anything. Case in point is the outgoing Prius. The base “Prius Two” model with 24K MSRP is equipped worse than an entry-level Corolla. You don’t get even a drivers power seat (to have that, you had to buy the “Prius Four” with 28K MSRP). Now, Honda Accord LX is classier, faster, more comfortable, and a more pleasing car to drive that still gives you 30-31mpg average while costing about 2K less than the base Prius. So once you leave the dealership in a Prius you’re already 2 grand in red compared to much better accord, and you now have to drive this noisy penalty econobox for something like 100,000 miles simply to make up for the cash you could have saved immediately by buying an Accord LX.

      Moreover, if you really care about saving money on fuel you might as well just buy a Corolla or Civic. With MSRP under 20K, and equipment no worse than on Prius, the 24-25 grand Prius will _never_ make up for the extra cash you need to buy it.

  • avatar

    Many Prius owners choose to buy ‘higher mileage’ instead of other car ‘bling.’ What is the payback for 17″ wheels or a fancy radio or any other option . . . none.

    We also looked at the cheat-diesels and even before VW-gate. Even in the user reported milage sites, they were getting lower MPG burning a more expensive fuel.

    THis past week, 2016 Prius were getting into the hands of new buyers versus the VW TDIs that have not been sold since mid-September. Even the December clearance sales sold over 10,000 Prius hatchbacks.

    My point is trying to do some faux cost accounting vs payback analysis is silly. If nothing else, Prius people tend to be road warriors with much higher miles per year than ‘the average.’ The technical term is ‘sensitivity analysis’, which means realization not everyone drives the same miles per year. Prius people are smart enough to do that which is why we (and taxi companies) keep buying them . . . happily.

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville AL


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