2012 Toyota Prius Review & Ratings Automotive com

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Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

2012 Toyota Prius Review

Still the best hybrid out there

Reviewed by Automotive on 10/17/2011


To many people, the Toyota Prius is synonymous with the words “hybrid car.” Still powered by a combination of a 1.8-liter inline-4 engine and electric motors, the standard 2012 Prius continues to get an EPA-estimated 51/48 mpg city/highway. For 2012, Toyota expands the model lineup for the first time. The first, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In hybrid (PHV), is a version where the electric battery can be recharged via a common electric outlet.

The bigger 2012 Toyota Prius v is larger, longer, and can hold up to five individuals comfortably.

A new infotainment system called Entune is introduced in the 2012 Toyota Prius. The automaker’s answers to Ford’s Sync/MyFord offering, the Toyota Entune system allows users to access their apps via voice command on their smartphones while on the road. Entune also offers information services such as a fuel price guide, sports scores, stocks, traffic and weather, many of which can be controlled by the voice command.

The Range

Body style: Hatchback

Engine: 1.8-liter inline-4 and electric motor

Transmission: Continuously variable transmission

Models: Prius, Prius Two, Prius Three, Prius Four, Prius Five; Prius Plug-in; Prius v

What’s New

Two new Prius vehicles join the hybrid fleet since the Toyota Prius first debuted back in 1997 and current, third generation design went on sale in 2009 as a 2010 model.

As its name implies, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid allows charging of the battery via an electric outlet in addition to the regular Prius’ Hybrid Synergy Drive system. The Prius Plug-in hybrid can travel up to 16 miles on electric power alone and at speeds up to 62 mph before the gas engine kicks in. Owners can recharge the Prius Plug-in lithium-ion battery (which replaces the regular Prius’ nickel metal hydride battery) in 2.5 to 3.0 hours using a 120 volt household outlet or roughly half that time using a 240 volt outlet.

Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

The 2012 Toyota Prius v (it stands for versatility) is, essentially, a wagon version of the Prius hatchback. According to Toyota, the Prius v is aimed at young families and can fit a driver and up to four passengers in comfort. Cargo space behind the rear row is slightly more than 34 cubic feet and nearly double that figure with the front passenger seat and second row seating folded down.

The Toyota Prius v’s larger size affects its fuel economy, which drops to a low 44/40 mpg city/highway.

The standard 2012 Toyota Prius models primarily get upgrades in their infotainment systems. Toyota Prius Two models get a new touch-screen system; Prius Three adds GPS navigation and Entune, Toyota’s hands-free app and data services control system; while the Prius Four gets an environmentally friendly audio system.


The Toyota Prius was redesigned back in 2010 and the automaker made no major exterior changes to the 2011 model which carries over into 2012. The 2012 Toyota Prius v differentiates itself from its siblings primarily by its size which is five-inches longer, an inch wider, and four inches taller than the standard Prius hatchback.

There are no significant exterior differences in the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and the standard model, aside from a port to plug the car in.


There are no significant interior differences in the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and the standard model.

Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars
Toyota Prius PHV Electric Cars

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