Toyota Prius 1 8 VVTi Plugin Hybrid First Drive Petroleum Vitae

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TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT

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Toyota 1.8 VVT-i Plug-in Hybrid Drive

Prius. A word entered contemporary lexicon, with clean and fuel hybrid motoring as much as it is celebrities wishing to appear ‘on by driving one.

The latest to the Toyota Prius family the Hybrid

Toyota only the hybrid vehicle market monopoly for a time back in 1997 but so was the Prius marketing machine for most members of the public, represented the only choice.

much has changed since slightly gawky looking Prius entered the British in 2000, not least that the third generation model the accepted and instantly recognisable silhouette introduced with the Mk II. But no longer has its own way in the world of cleaner battery technology has moved on enough enabling electric-only to be viable, if expensive, propositions for motorists.

Toyota hasn’t yet into the electric vehicle instead focusing its efforts persuading the car buying public a pure EV is too compromised a choice. years of real-world testing counter-argument has now reached market – the Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

Is it It looks pretty much the regular Prius.

Toyota has that the Prius’ shape is the world over, hence why the facelift has been a blink and miss it affair. At first there’s nothing to distinguish the version other than the ‘it exactly what it says on the badging but look closer and a few more clues.

Minimal changes mark out the Plug-in extra filler cap an change

The top of the grille aperture is by a silvered finish, as are the slightly door handles. At the rear a horizontal appliqué joins the lamp lenses together are also subtly altered Wheel fiends will the black and silver 15 inchers: they might be lightweight they look disappointingly aftermarket trims you might seen in Halfords a decade

 Also unique to the Plug-in is the Sky Blue paintwork, further that in today’s motoring blue really is the new green.

obvious is the filler flap on the rear wing, conveniently with a plug symbol, the charging socket for the revised pack.

So how is the Plug-in Prius under the skin?

Toyota’s d être for the Plug-in version is to drivers a viable EV car for appropriate but which isn’t constrained by the for regular recharging as the engine and motor will work in to propel the car when the battery’s been drained.

Toyota Plug-in Hybrid. Does what it says on the wing

years of market research was with several hundred prototypes around the world, that most car journeys around 12.5 miles in For the majority of drivers the new Prius’15.5 range in EV mode will be than adequate.

This range hasn’t been by simply bolting an additional, sapping battery over the axle but rethinking the battery Out goes the regular Prius’ metal hydride system, by a lithium-ion arrangement. Not only is the battery quicker to recharge the mains (90 minutes at a cost of 50p is all it takes to replenish the EV range) the energy from braking is harvested more efficiently.

For the price Li-ion represents the compromise in terms of cost its density offers packaging too: all that extra reduces the Prius’ boot by a barely noticeable 3l, ensuring it a practical, five-seater proposition could be used as a family’s vehicle.

The Plug-in Prius just 3l boot capacity to the regular hybrid; the Toyota s cable sits in a pocket at the

Is it safe to assume if the exterior’s the same, the Prius Plug-in be similar inside too?

but seeing as the Prius has one of Toyota’s imaginatively-styled dashboards this necessarily a bad thing.

As was ever construction of the interior materials is rate – it’s just a the five shades of grey are so firm to the touch. At least the moulded into them is a miles away from the leather look some still employ.

The Plug-in s will be immediately familiar to

Being a sole model, the sits right at the top of the Prius and has most electrical niceties you d to find in a contemporary, well car. Slightly smacking of overkill the fit JBL GreenEdge audio system is not lighter in weight than systems but requires less to operate too, helping that precious EV capacity.


Aside from additional accents peppered around and revisions to the power source/use the Prius’ dashboard is instantly save for three buttons the stubby transmission selector. Eco, HVEV and EV City work thus:

Three at the epicentre of Prius Plug-in choice

Eco: when feeling particularly parsimonious or especially thrifty travel, Eco will be your friend. The will default to EV mode as as possible and to lengthen the battery the aircon’s power is reduced and responsiveness dulled.

HVEV: is how most Plug-ins will be Again, the Prius will EV mode as much and for as long as before the engine cuts in, at point HV mode (petrol and motor in harmony) will until the battery’s been enough to permit EV use. Not can this theoretically last for miles, the Plug-in can remain in EV up to 51mph.

EV City: as more join the congestion charging cars like the Prius which can be driven with emissions at the tailpipe, will more popular. To ease into that transition and the experience feel as conventional as EV City keeps the Prius in only form but ensures throttle response is accentuated, clean driving to take without compromise.

How does all translate in the real world?

and painlessly. Like all electrically cars, the torque delivery is which meant away the lights the Plug-in was cheekily to keep six-cylinder powered at bay in the sprint to 30mph.

No matter how hard you attempt to the Prius, little seems to its fuel efficiency, the engine it with a barely perceptible hum as as the national speed limit was Despite a test route included typical stop-start slogs, winding country and a motorway commute, the trip indicated a seemingly unbelievable It’s worth remembering two thirds of the journey was completed the Prius whirring along in EV but even the claimed combined of 78.5mpg in hybrid configuration is

Although a capable cruiser, the Prius Plug-in s talents are demonstrated in the city

The Prius also feels faster its 11.4 second jog to 60mph it will be too – performance-wise, it’s easy to live with.

TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT

vital to remember that knows the Prius’ demographics out and therefore it’ll come as no how straightforward the Plug-in is to drive. The CVT manages to maintain pace engine revs screaming the roof.

Ride quality more compliant than Priuses too: although the strut and torsion beam is the same, the rubber mounts been revised for improved Combined with relatively 65 series tyres, secondary are prevented from intruding the cabin too harshly.

Such a set-up pays dividends in yet is also controlled sufficiently so as not to too floaty on gentle motorway Naturally, it’s not a car that harder and more exuberant styles: the dulled steering might be great around but they offer little on B-road excursions.

In a market where alternatives to a car fuelled with either or diesel are growing in number, and consumers are still finding feet, with many their bets.

If you’ve this blog for a while know I’ve championed the hybrid concept as the most way forward for the majority of motorists and The flagship of the Prius range the potential for this arrangement in s market.

A sensible EV range suit 80% of European commuters to Toyota’s figures and with a and quiet petrol engine additional grunt when there’s no range anxiety or the for frequent and lengthy recharges.

s Prius Plug-in plugged in

The Plug-in’s biggest hurdle is it’s essentially a C-segment car costs a rather hefty even with the government of £5000 for such vehicles That said, it is still a alternative to buy and run than the Ampera and twins and has the benefit of seating one passenger too. For company car expected to account for 50% of Plug-in its low operating costs will the initial purchase price in cases.

It’s occasionally by those who shout loudest others gleefully jumping on the that cars like the are the automotive anathema of real car I totally disagree.

If you’re for a wonderfully engaging, exhilarating experience then the Prius is to be anyone’s default choice. But as an of cars (and one who would driving over public for the majority of journeys) I could see at the wheel of the Plug-in.

Low running costs and sheer of use would make cross travels less of a chore; the journey having used no at all would merely add to the satisfaction.

The Plug-in has qualities that are than simply superficial soundbites, it’s a car of depth you would grow to appreciate for it is, as much as what it isn’t.

Up: Effortless to drive, fine quality, realistic EV range for improved ride quality

Down: Quite expensive for a car of size class, interior lack appeal, steering little feel

Toyota starts at £21,600 for the T3 1.8 VVT-i rising to £27,895 for the 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid.

Model Tested: Prius 1.8 VVT-i Plug-in

Combined cycle fuel 78.5mpg (in hybrid mode)

CO 2 84g/km (in hybrid mode)

size: 4/1798cc fuel petrol with electric

TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid – 1.8 VVT-i CVT

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