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Toyota Prius

The independent definitive Toyota Prius video review
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    By Car & Driving

    The fourth generation Prius promises many improvements, and represents a significant step forward for Toyota. The experts at Car & Driving find out more.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 75

    Toyota has changed things again with its fourth generation Prius. Not content with the extraordinary success of this pioneering hybrid model to date, the Japanese brand has ripped up its own rule book and redesigned the entire platform on which this car sits, underpinnings that'll also be used for many of its future products. This MK4 model Prius is the first model to feature the revised architecture, benefiting from improvements in space, safety and handling.

    Backgroundword count: 143

    The Toyota Prius hybrid needs very little by way of introduction. By the time of the introduction of this fourth generation version, over three-and-a-half million Priuses (or 'Prii' if you work for Toyota) had been sold worldwide over nearly two decades. Design changes in that time have hardly been radical but what was once a rather frumpy lump has evolved into a sharp looking, modern family hatchback that merits strong demand without needing to rely on its environmental credentials. We're told that this MK4 model Prius is a significant step forward from its predecessor, mainly because it features a hi-tech modular chassis that Toyota plans in the future to use across a wide range of its products. An important platform then - and this Prius is the first of the company's cars to use it, the very different fundamentals necessitating a ground-up re-design.

    Driving Experienceword count: 215

    Hybrids are known to be much heavier than traditionally fuelled cars because of the big pile of battery-cells that provide the electric power. What is crucial to handling though, is where the extra weight is positioned. Toyota's modular architecture allows the centre of gravity to be lower and closer to the middle of the Prius, which translates into a better balanced ride for passengers but not a car you would ever describe as 'sporty'. It takes a fraction longer to get going than the model it replaced, reaching 62mph in 10.6 seconds, but the emphasis is now on making this car appeal to business users, so a comfortable, economical ride takes precedence over speed. That being said, efforts have been made to make the Prius a more pleasant car to drive. The nickel-metal hydride battery pack gets the electric motor turning first and only when the Prius starts to pick up speed does an updated version of the familiar 1.8-litre petrol engine from previous models fire up and seamlessly take over. The engine can be switched off if you need to run entirely on batteries, say, through Central London's Ultra Low Emissions zone. If you can afford more, a Plug-in model is being offered that can go up to 39 miles on electric power alone.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    Combined mpg:

    94.1

    Extra urban mpg:

    91.1

    Height (mm):

    1470

    Length (mm):

    4540

    Max Speed (mph):

    112

    Power ps:

    100

    ... and 4 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Hybrid or Electric Cars

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    80%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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