2011 Toyota Prius Reviews Auto and New Car Test Drive

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Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

2011 Toyota Prius Review: Autoblog

Autoblog

The review is for a 2010 Model There may be minor changes to model you are looking at.

2010 Prius Click above for image gallery

When car think of hybrids, the name most often springs to is the Toyota Prius since it was the really practical hybrid to to market and has sold more any other examples. Yes, of the original Honda Insight the Prius to market in the U.S. by six months, but the tiny two-seater in equally tiny numbers and had appeal beyond hard hyper milers.

In the coming Toyota dealers will getting their first of the all-new third-generation Prius, and we got to spend a few hours with one on the coast in March, we just a whole week with the new of this iconic Toyota. the efficiency of the Prius has never in dispute, like many cars from Brand T, its as a driver’s car has been, to say the least, For its generation three model, has not given up on minimizing fuel but it has sought to make the Prius a bit appealing on other levels.

on to find out if the company has succeeded.

copyright 2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Inc.

Many of the most fans of the Prius have people who view cars as more than a means of occupants to a destination with the amount of fuss. Minimal often means minimal as well. That typically finding the most direct with the fewest number of changes.

For those operators (we to call anyone who prefers to uninvolved in the process a driver), the two generations of the Prius were up to the task.

However, there is a group of us who actually prefer with some twists and and enjoy the challenge of carrying through corners without off speed. Doing that is aided by a car that transmits about cornering forces through the steering wheel and feel like it will its door handles at moderate This is where the previous was severely lacking, falling far of other thrifty vehicles Honda’s new Insight and VW’s TDI.

Somehow, Toyota has managed to its prodigious resources over the several years to create a new to address both of these camps. Under the hood, the now includes the latest iteration of Synergy Drive, which more efficiently than The basic architecture has not changed and an electronically variable transmission acts as the power split and a pair of electric motor/generators to drive torque and kinetic recovery.

The internal combustion remains a four-cylinder running on the cycle to optimize its thermodynamic However, the displacement has grown the previous 1.5 liters to 1.8 liters, has dual benefits. When the actually needs extra in order to merge onto a or complete a passing maneuver, the force is now readily available.

The displacement means that available without unduly the engine so the impact on fuel is actually reduced.

Inside, the new center console features a of buttons to help manage the behavior, one of which was previously only in overseas markets. For the time, U.S. Prius now have an EV button available sometimes allows the driver to the car into electric drive Since the Prius is designed as a hybrid, the electric drive of the vehicle has limited capabilities far more than most hybrids) to drive the vehicle.

the EV mode only allows the to troll around silently at below 25 mph. Of course, you can get out of EV mode if the battery level is too low or the is applied with too much With sufficient energy in the and an extremely light right we were regularly able to go a mile without the engine up.


To the right of the EV button is the ECO button. the similarly labeled switch in the new this one moderates the driver’s before sending them to the powertrain elements. The ECO mode applies a slow filter to smoothing responses to avoid the of sudden transient reactions cause increased fuel

During our time with the even these slower proved to be sufficient for almost all driving needs. For those when you need just a bit get up and go such as merging onto a freeway, to the right of the ECO switch the Power button.

This one the opposite of the ECO switch and speeds up responses. While the 134 horsepower of the new certainly doesn’t give it the of a sports car, the 24 hp boost the previous model means it also never really inadequate. The biggest dynamic about the old Prius, however, was the and steering. Our own limited exposure the prior model demonstrated body lean and steering in keeping with a video that uses a non-force steering wheel. The steering in the new no longer feels so over-boosted and has at a semblance of feedback about the forces at work.

It’s not but it no longer qualifies as scary, so a good thing.

As for the suspension, it has some roll control and the whole car feels tighter ever. In fact, if anything, it be a bit too tight in terms of damping. road inputs (on the rare that you can find such a in Michigan) are transmitted a bit too directly to the back side.

While the and handling balance is certainly geared to enthusiasts than it could still use a bit of tweaking. The still understeers at the limit most mainstream front-wheel-drive but it never feels out of control.

The of the Prius now has a much more appearance than before the high center console down from the dash the front seats. The shift has the same basic functionality as a pull to the left and down drive and left/up bringing on The shape of the console means all the fall readily to hand. the previous generation, Toyota has to use some unusual textures on the to replace the usual faux graining.

Since the simulated leather is exaggerated anyway and really fool anyone, that’s a thing in our books.

Much of the console has a finish that something like brushed and is actually rather attractive. The seats in our level IV trim have perforations in a sine pattern rather than the grid that gives it a bit visual interest. The front themselves were reasonably during our driving time and exhibited any unusual pressure

The rear seat was also for two passengers with plenty of leg and improved head room to the re-profiled roof-line. Behind the the Prius has an ample 21 cubic of space available to carry all stuff.

The Prius, of course, is all fuel economy, and the new model has some big numbers from the With ratings of 51 mpg city, 48 mpg and 50 mpg combined, one would expect it to be in the real world. and it is. During our the Prius returned a healthy 47 mpg a driving style that was but could not be described as hyper-miling.

It comparatively little effort to get very impressive numbers.

a Prius can be purchased for as little as for a stripped down model, our example came to $30,150 the leather interior, navigation and solar roof panel. pricing strategy will to an even wider range of than before, and the lower price should attract a few shoppers from the less though less frugal Insight.

The new Prius is no longer an appliance for commuting. It’s fun to drive. Toyota just to apply some more of its philosophy of continual improvement to the and handling and we can call it good.

Photos copyright 2009 Sam / Weblogs, Inc.

2010 Prius Click above for image gallery

When you sit in the Toyota Prius, you notice all little things that the Prius experience the shift information screen, center-mounted panel are all present, but they’re different and noticeably improved. The it takes to adapt to the revised is emblematic of the new Prius experience. the same oddly shaped that almost two million love, but it gets better looks sharper and is packing technological whiz-bangery than any this simple to drive has the to.

We recently tested the 2010 at its North American launch the vineyard-covered fields and hills Napa, California. Through it the hybrid, officially rated at 50 performed well and delivered fuel economy. In fact, we pushed the car’s eco prowess by the EV mode as much as possible and a few other tricks, we blew EPA estimate out of the water by almost 15

Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

And we weren’t alone.

The Prius’ engineer, Akihiko Otsuka, a 33-mile route in and around and averaged 62.9 mpg. the drive week, he levied a challenge to anyone who wanted to him on. AutoblogGreen was able to get the in-dash to read in the mid- to low-70s for of the route, but the last ten miles on a 55-mph road dropped to 64.5 mpg. Not bad, but good for a standing near the bottom of the rankings among journalists. Overall, the best was 94.6 mpg, although involved some less-than-real-world behaviors and conditions.

The best score was 75.3 mpg. In about half of the journalists able to get over 70 mpg, the rest, save two, able to get more than 66

Increased fuel economy is one of ways the 2010 Prius has but the driving experience is similar to the generation. Despite a slightly wheelbase, wider track and new resistance tires, you don’t any serious changes from the seat. The front MacPherson and improved body rigidity the ride smooth around and on the highway.

Overall, it’s the same conveyance you’d expect thankfully, rearward visibility is improved over the outgoing

However, one small change we did was the absence of that infernal when the car is shifted into that plagued the outgoing After asking Otsuka the change, we were told the pre-production models we were had the feature removed, but when the model goes on sale, the will return. The good

Otsuka said dealers can off the sound at the customer’s request.

of current Prius owners, the is convinced they’ll trade up. In Toyota’s Bob Carter said the expects 20-25 percent of Prius sales will be buyers. So where will the 75-80 percent come

It’s clear there’s a sales fight brewing Toyota and Honda, and Toyota to convince buyers that a few thousand dollars more for the over the new Honda Insight is it.

The Insight, which starts at is smaller and has fewer features the Prius, but it’s obviously a competitor. Based purely on the Prius beats the Insight versus 0.28 Cd). was understandably proud of its world-leading number when the Insight was earlier this year. but has clearly bested its Japanese in this department.

Does it The Insight is a fun drive that attack your wallet at the or its point of purchase, while the gets better mileage, is and comes with a cache of cred that would the Grand Canyon.

Throw in the new Ford Fusion Hybrid. is even larger and starts at and 2009 is shaping up to be a good for potential hybrid owners. plug-in vehicles supposedly in 2010 (and pure vehicles not long after) and the economy, all bets are off on which will come out on top. Toyota polled current owners and 90% said their car will be a Prius.

The automaker to offer these repeat some upgraded technology, so it has two new features on the 2010 Prius: Keep Assist and Intelligent Assist.

Lane Keep Assist is triggered by pressing a steering button that turns on the Departure Warning system. The looks for yellow and white on the pavement and lets the driver if he or she starts to leave the lane. Keep Assist is used in with the Prius’ Dynamic Control, but it won’t drive for

The system knows if you let go of the wheel and a turn signal will LKA entirely.

Another fancy is Intelligent Parking Assist which makes quick of parallel parking. When up to an available parking spot, you a button above the driver’s knee to activate a sensor can see where parked cars are When the system finishes its the rear-view camera turns on and a grid that estimates the parking position.

If the grid is the driver presses OK and then the takes over. From point, all the driver does is the speed of the car using the brake If the driver takes his or her foot off of the pedal, IPA will shut when it reaches its speed

As smart as the new Prius is, however, not smart enough to know if a suddenly appears in the designated spot. We were able to IPA, and it works as advertised. LKA and IPA are available as part of the 2010 Advanced Technology Package TBD).

Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

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