2000 Toyota Prius Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Accelerating from a stoplight, the only clue that the Toyota Prius is transitioning from pure-electric to blended gasoline-and-electric propulsion is a tremor so subtle that passengers never notice. An advanced four-cylinder engine starts up and shoulders its share of the load as stealthily as a thief in the night. In fact, the Prius is such a smooth operator, the electronic pictograph display in the middle of the dash is the only sure means of knowing exactly how the front wheels are energized at any given moment.

For all intents, this is Toyota's "Mission Impossible" — a production car engineered to overcome the inherent drawbacks of a pure-electric: high cost, limited range, and the logistical headache of recharging batteries. So far, it's off to an illustrious start. Toyota launched Prius in Japan with a bargain price tag (about $17,500) in hopes of selling a thousand cars per month. Customers overwhelmed that goal with 3,000 orders the first day this car hit the market.


What the Japanese are clamoring over is nothing less than the world's most sophisticated powertrain ever delivered to ordinary customers. The front wheels are driven by computer-controlled combinations of power supplied by a 1.5-liter 58-horsepower gasoline engine and a 40-horsepower alternating-current permanent-magnet electric motor-generator. A smaller motor-generator starts the gas engine, supplies a portion of the electric motor's power, and recharges 40 nickel-metal hydride batteries stored in the trunk. An ingenious planetary gearbox helps manage the complex flow of mechanical and electrical energy. In addition to its futuristic propulsion system, Prius boasts the interior room of a Camry with a length that's nearly half a foot shorter than a Corolla, an extra-efficient climate-control system, and electric (instead of hydraulic) power steering.

Prius gets the acid test
Tested on a Japanese driving cycle (where the car is at rest more than a third of the time to simulate congested traffic), Prius undercuts local emission limits by 89 percent while delivering 66 mpg. In EPA tests that better reflect U.S. driving conditions, results are not as good — 47 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway — but still better than practically every other fossil fuel burner on the market. To pinpoint its performance, we tested a Prius side by side against a dead-conventional (but similar in size and price) Toyota Corolla.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016
2016 Toyota Prius 5-Door HB Three (GS)

What I expected and way more!

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I've been driving a Prius since I bought my 2006 in December 2005. When it was finally time to think about a new car, my mind immediately went to the 2016 Prius. I was blown away by the new styling and... + More »
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016
2016 Toyota Prius 5-Door HB Four (Natl)

moving up in technology and style

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Lots of fun has been poked about the new 2016 Prius. The new Prius is different, but being different does not mean that it's a bad design. Toyota designed the Prius for the next five years. Doing so they... + More »
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Thursday, October 22, 2015
For 2016 Toyota Prius

I bought for its great gas mileage. We log 25,000 a year.

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The dealership kept adding incentives to purchase the Prius. The looks grow on you. The comfort is with what one would expect with this type of car.
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