2012 Toyota Prius Four Autoweek Autofile car review Autoweek

6 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Toyota Prius Four Autoweek Autofile car review Autoweek отключены
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2012 Toyota Prius Four: Autoweek Autofile car review

The 2012 Toyota Prius Four hits the track in this edition of Autoweek’s Autofile car review. Photo by Andrew Trehan.

The 2012 Toyota Prius Four hits the slalom course at Michigan International Speedway. Photo by Andrew Trehan.

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No one buys a Toyota Prius to get anywhere quickly. At least we haven’t met any folks as such, and after running the car through our autofile paces, we have the quantitative data to back up why it would be stupid to do so.

(Why the Prius isn’t the most environmentally smart automotive choice one can make? Well, that’s a a whole ‘nuther story.)

The Prius does satisfy other automotive yens, however, as witnessed by all the owners we heard from, and while hardly an unequivocally adored vehicle, those who shelled out money for their own copies demonstrate a measure of respect and appreciation. One owner love[s] it for what it is, while another admits, It’s pretty boring, though.

But sprinkled throughout is testimony to the car’s overriding reliability, its excellent fuel economy and a fuss-free ownership experience. Owners love the roominess afforded the hatchback, the extra rear-seat room thanks to a lack of a hump in the floor and the overall ergonomics.

That’s not to say owners didn’t find nits to pick with the Prius. One owner lamented the sea of hard plastic, while another complained of too many rattles erupting all over the cabin. I’m not crazy about the backup bell inside the cab, another owner from Oregon pointed out. It should be outside to warn people when I’m backing up.

We also heard gripes about the sticker. The price is a bit too high, said one, a beef echoed by others.

We felt the same when we first took delivery of our test car, a 2012 Prius Four. The Four in its name denotes the trim level, and while it comes standard with a nice array of features, its base sticker comes in at a not very low price of $28,995. Tack on a Deluxe Solar Roof package, and the price jumps up another $3,820.

A couple of odds and ends brought the final tally for our Prius Four tester to $33,118.

Perhaps some pricing perspective is in order. A base model 2012 BMW 128i, for example, starts at just $32,095. Sure, it doesn’t come with the same features, but it’s a BMW.

Or how about this: A 2012 Honda Insight with navigation and every possible options box checked tops out at $26,540.

Still, many people believe in the car’s value, fully 93,741 through the first six months of this year and that’s with its federal tax incentives fully exhausted. But besides fuel economy, car enthusiasts Autoweek readers want to know exactly what kind of performance one can expect from any car, even a Prius.

The short answer: Not too much. We found the car extremely slow, requiring 10.6 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, and its skinny tires didn’t do much for stopping power, eating up 137.9 feet to stop from that speed. And for as small a car as the Prius is, it still only managed 38.9 mph through our slalom (the Toyota Camry reached 41 mph) and a miserable 0.68 g of lateral acceleration.

Better rubber would go a long way toward improving the car’s grip, but the Prius would still suffer from mediocre chassis tuning and a super anemic powertrain.

But what’s all that when you can get 50 mpg for BMW money, right?

2012 Toyota Prius Four


Base price: $28,995

As-tested price: $33,118

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