Test Drive Notes Library
- Much improved suspension. Tracks well, feels more planted, not as light and tinny feeling, a lot less body lean in curves. The new, independent rear suspension makes a big difference, and removes a lot of the unpleasantness some people felt when driving a Prius. Less of an appliance on wheels, more of a car.
- The accelerator pedal encourages gentle starts. We actually preferred to leave the Prius in “Power” mode, where the acceleration is zippier. We paid a penalty in mileage. Instead of the reported 52 mpg, we only got 48.5. Sold!
- The interior continues to feel airy and spacious. Compared to the Chevy Volt, it feels almost palatial.
- Interior materials are improved (with one exception).
- Hatchback makes the Prius enormously versatile for carrying anything and everything.
- While it’s not easy to see out the back, the new Prius does retain the extra slice of rear window below the rear spoiler. While you’ll still be grateful for the rear view camera, the extra piece of window helps.
- Blind spot and cross traffic alerts are standard on the higher level Prii, and the available Toyota Safety Sense - P adds the safety stuff everybody should have now: Pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and emergency braking. Heads up display is also a nice safety add on, particularly when paired with the navigation system.
- Looks. We’ll put this in the “Likes” category because the wife of our producer saw the 2016 Prius in the driveway and said “Wow, that is one bad-ass looking Prius.” Our Producer did not agree, finding it trying too hard to look futuristic. We’ll also note that her taste in looks is also suspect, since she chose him. But we’ll let you decide.
- Overall, this is a much improved Prius. Handling, mileage, interior materials and safety equipment are all meaningfully improved. If you’ve been waiting to trade up from your old Prius, you can now feel good about doing so.
Test Drive Notes Library
- The bidet.The center console appears, on first glance, to be made of white porcelain, suggesting there is a bathroom fixture of some kind between the front seats. While that’s not a bad idea for long trips, we checked, and there is, in fact, no drainage via the cupholders. This thing is actually made of hard plastic, but it’s only available in “Kohler White,” so get used to it.
- Road noise is improved, but it’s still not great. At highway speed, it’s not easy to have a conversation with a back seat passenger at normal speaking volume.
- Braking can still be a bit grabby in the Prius.
- We found the navigation system a little difficult to follow, and you have to access it through the APPS menu, which is odd. However, having the navigation directions in the heads up display is a plus.
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