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STYLING | 6 out of 10
Same oddly shaped hybrid that almost two million buyers love, but it...looks sharper
Glows with modernity at each corner
Los Angeles Times
Cabin ergonomics...are top-notch
Although it has been completely redesigned for the 2010 model year, the Toyota Prius is still distinctly Prius-shaped. Whether or not that's a good thing is a matter of personal taste, but as the automotive experts at TheCarConnection.com say, the 2010 Toyota Prius is still "more future-appliance than future-chic."
Although the Honda Insight was the first hybrid sold in the U.S., Toyota’s Prius soon followed back in 2000, and its sales especially took off after its 2003 redesign, which brought with it the current, more aerodynamic exterior and hatchback design. The exterior will be familiar to anyone who has seen the second-generation Prius, but AutoWeek reviewers note it is "almost all-new in almost every department." Autoblog calls the 2010 Prius "the same oddly shaped hybrid that almost two million buyers love, but it...looks sharper" than before. That's largely due to the stronger character lines found on the latest version of the Toyota Prius, which Car and Driver says features "a distinctive design and contrarian appeal." Car and Driver describes some of the more noteworthy styling changes by pointing out that "the fat-foreheaded look of the prior model is reduced somewhat, and the rear end is higher and beefier, with a nifty integrated rear spoiler." The overall effect of the styling changes, aside from making the car look just a bit more aggressive, is an industry-lowest drag coefficient of 0.25, which helps the Toyota Prius achieve over 50 mpg.
Moving inside the 2010 Prius, reviewers unanimously approve of the new styling direction for the interior. Autoblog recognizes all of "those little things that provide the 'Prius experience'...but they're slightly different and noticeably improved." "Improved" is a term used frequently when describing the interior, and Autoblog comments that the 2010 Toyota Prius' "volume and climate controls are redundant with a nifty new feature on the steering wheel called the Touch Tracer Display." Automobile Magazine adds to the praise by declaring that the Prius' "cabin ergonomics and the displays...are top-notch." In fact, the only real complaint about the interior comes from Jalopnik reviewers, who feel that the "heated seat switches...have bizarrely been located down by the driver's feet," an inconvenient location that makes them very difficult—and dangerous—to operate while driving.
The 2010 Toyota Prius, though slightly edgier and more attractive, still looks like a Prius.