Shopping for a new Toyota Prius?
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Base versions favor control and stability over cushy comfort
Bigger-than-expected rear passenger area
some plastics are starting to seem a little cheap
The 2008 Toyota Prius features high-quality construction and ample passenger room, but it suffers from a lack of high-end materials.
Passenger comfort is respectable on the 2008 Toyota Prius. Cars.com writes that "up to five people fit inside the Prius, and they're likely to enjoy more elbowroom than in the original model." ConsumerGuide agrees, saying that the Toyota Prius offers "generous headroom," but also noting that "the seats are nothing special for shape or support." The rear seats on Toyota's 2008 Prius provide just "economy-class" comfort, but there is "leg and toe space" that "rivals Toyota's roomy Camry sedan," according to ConsumerGuide. Mother Proof agrees, finding a "bigger-than-expected rear passenger area" waiting to accommodate additional passengers. The reviewers at Mother Proof also feel that it's easy to "find a comfortable seating position, as the manual controls for the seat are simple and innate."
The 2008 Toyota Prius also features a commendable amount of cargo room, thanks to its large cabin and the placement of the battery packs below the rear seats. Car and Driver feels that the interior is "roomy," with Cars.com providing hard numbers, saying that "cargo volume totals 16.1 cubic feet." Kelley Blue Book appreciates the space, finding that "with its rear 60/40-split bench seat folded down, the hatchback Prius can undoubtedly carry far more cargo than Toyota's bread-and-butter sedan," the Camry.
When it comes to build quality, the Toyota Prius is near the top of its class. Edmunds says that interior "fit and finish is very tight," and most reviews read by TheCarConnection.com agree. ConsumerGuide voices their opinion on Toyota Prius build quality by stating that "assembly quality on [their] test cars has been good," high praise from the typically reserved reviewers there.
Bringing down the 2008 Toyota Prius's score in this category, however, is the unfortunate use of some lower-grade materials inside the car. ConsumerGuide feels that the interior "materials are nothing special," and on the center LCD "screen legibility is diminished by fingerprints and direct sunlight." Edmunds agrees, claiming that "materials are pretty good, although some plastics are starting to seem a little cheap" for a car with the Prius's price tag.
Driving comfort on the Toyota 2008 Prius is aided by the car's noise characteristics. Edmunds writes that the "Prius features minimal cabin noise," while ConsumerGuide finds that "road and wind noise are modest for the class." Helping reduce road noise at low speeds is the hybrid powerplant, which is virtually silent until the gasoline engine kicks in.
The 2008 Toyota Prius is built to last--just don't expect to be impressed by the base interior materials.