Fuel Economy / MPG » 10
Shopping for a new Toyota Prius? MSRP: $23,015 - $29,805
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GREEN | 10 out of 10
We love the rooftop solar panel. It runs a fan that keeps the interior cool while you run into Whole Foods, reducing the load 51 mpg city, 38 highwayon the A/C.
Fifty mpg! Free hugs at Whole Foods, no limit, while they last.
Car and Driver
Even though it also weighs about 100 pounds more, the new car is rated 3 to 4 miles per gallon more than the old one.
Pressing the EV button prompts the Prius to run on just its electric motors, but requires that the battery be at least halfway charged and limits speed to 25 mph
Plenty of so-called "hypermilers" compete to see who can travel the furthest on the least amount of gasoline, but for the rest of us, the 2012 Toyota Prius just delivers unparalleled fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2012 Prius at 51 mpg city, 48 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 50 mpg. That's the highest number you can buy this year in any car that doesn't plug in to recharge a battery pack.
Using the EV-only driving mode, accelerating lightly, and planning ahead can give you 60 mpg or better on level surfaces at slower speeds. Our experts once managed 69.5 mpg, though in more real-world mixed usage, we expect 45 to 50 mpg to be the norm. A heavy right foot or sustained high-speed travels may drop that number into the high 30s, since the Hybrid Synergy Drive system is at its most effective in stop-and-go urban and suburban traffic where the engine can shut off frequently. But if you do a lot of city driving, a sustained 50 mpg or better is entirely possible. Just ask the taxi drivers who relish the low operating costs of their Prius cabs.
Quite simply, the 2012 Toyota Prius offers the highest gas mileage of any car on the U.S. market that doesn't plug into the wall. It's an unmatched combination of versatility, space, and fuel economy.