Shopping for a new Toyota Prius?
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STYLING | 6 out of 10
Cabin has its own hi-tech look but materials are nothing special
Unconventional, but somehow palatable to the everyday consumer
Kelley Blue Book
More aerodynamically styled than its predecessor
The Toyota Prius bowed in its current body style in 2004, and reviewers from across the Web note that at first, the Prius looked like a completely unorthodox and futuristic car. Now it’s 2008, and the novelty has worn off. The 2008 Toyota Prius is in need of a makeover, according to sources reviewed by TheCarConnection.com—and the editors’ firsthand impressions of the vehicle, including ownership of a 2004 model.
The 2008 Toyota Prius sports a slab-sided exterior and an almost egg-shaped profile. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com generally agree that the styling has grown old for Toyota's 2008 Prius, but Toyota says a new look won't arrive until 2010. While exterior styling on the Toyota Prius may not be the most aesthetically pleasing on the market, Cars.com points out that the "styling has driven the car's success" by improving aerodynamics and fuel economy, and "like it or not...you're likely to see more of this silhouette" as automakers try to cut fuel consumption wherever possible. One of the leading positive reviews of the Toyota Prius's exterior styling comes from Kelley Blue Book, where the reviewers feel that the "design is still unconventional, but somehow palatable to the everyday consumer." A noteworthy new addition to the 2008 Toyota Prius lineup is the Prius Touring Edition, which ForbesAutos notes is "distinguished from the rest of the line by high-intensity headlamps...as well as a larger aerodynamic spoiler." ConsumerGuide lists the other new model option for Toyota's 2008 edition of the Prius as "a new lower-priced Standard model," while the midrange Base version completes the trim trio.
Inside, the 2008 Toyota Prius sports a clean, futuristic dashboard, and the large windows provide great visibility in all directions. Looking forward, the driver will find a dashboard conspicuously devoid of instruments. Instead, Kelley Blue Book points out that "the center dash houses a large LCD screen that shows the power transfer map between the gasoline engine and electric motor, as well as the display for the climate, rear backup camera and navigation systems." Other interior styling elements winning high praise are the steering wheel buttons (all 11 of them), which manage to seem uncrowded and contribute to what ConsumerGuide calls the Prius's "own hi-tech look" inside. Edmunds finds the interior of the Prius to be "upscale, if not a little oddball," thanks largely to "flat and wide" dash and "centrally located instrument clusters."
The 2008 Toyota Prius seemed cutting-edge in 2004; today it’s a little long in the tooth.