The 2009 Toyota Prius is screwed together like a Toyota, but some of the materials used aren’t up to the standards set by its sister vehicles.
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 its 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 2009 Toyota Prius' score in this category, however, is the unfortunate use of 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' price tag.
Passenger comfort is respectable on the 2009 Toyota Prius. Cars.com contends 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 noting that "the seats are nothing special for shape or support." The rear seats on Toyota's 2009 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 concurs, 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 2009 Toyota Prius 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," and Cars.com provides hard numbers, stating 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.
Driving comfort on the Toyota 2009 Prius is aided by the car's noise characteristics. Edmunds reports that the "Prius features minimal cabin noise," while ConsumerGuide deems "road and wind noise are modest for the class." That runs counter to the lack of insulation and noise on coarse surfaces that TheCarConnection.com editors have experienced. Helping reduce road noise at low speeds is the hybrid powerplant, which is virtually silent until the gasoline engine kicks in.
Ride quality is a bright spot. Edmunds finds that while the soft suspension hurts turning, it does "provide an acceptably smooth ride."