SEATTLE, July 22, 2018 — There’s no question that the Prius has been the butt of many jokes via Social Media but there’s also no question about its success. It ushered in the hybrid market in a way that hadn’t been done before. Additionally, its body styling has been rather polarizing but that hasn’t stopped the countless hundreds of thousands of buyers from picking one up.
It’s not everyday that you see a car with a worse fuel consumption rating while on the Freeway than around town but that’s what we have here. Its rated at 58 miles per gallon in the city and dips to 53 miles per gallon on the freeway. The reason? During top and go traffic the engine shuts off and at lower speeds, it uses more battery power.
The secret behind the Prius’ high fuel rating is its Synergy Drive System. It uses a combination of a gasoline-powered 4-cylinder engine that’s paired with two electric drive motors and a CVT (continuously variable transmission). Its total output is a paltry 121 horsepower and it’s really starting to show its inadequacy in light of competitors that are currently out on the market that vastly have improved EV performance.
Going back all the way to the original Prius, it’s been difficult to figure out why the design team at Toyota has always ushered in its awkward body lines. Of course, there are wind-tunnel models that help shape for obtaining a shape that’s less prone to wind resistance, but really? Granted, this current generation is a bit better-looking than its predecessors, it still doesn’t scream ”cool”.
Even though the 2018 model hasn’t changed a great deal since 2016, there is a larger screen available – 11.6 inches to be exact. You’ll find it in the model four touring trims.
>For those who haven’t been keeping up with the Prius, it introduced quite a number of new features for the 2017 model year and just about every one of them transferred into 2018.
Those included moving from a nickel-metal hydride battery to an industry standard lithium-ion, which saved weight. A revised rear suspension for better overall ride quality and finally, its current exterior design language. In addition, the Two Eco model has a few factory adjustments in it to raise its fuel consumption up to 58 miles per gallon.
Call me old school, but I’m not sure I’d ever get used to not having the instrument cluster right behind the steering wheel. Everything in the Prius is mid-dash. Your speed, vehicle information, fuel tank gauge – everything. For those not used to this, it can be a bit unnerving at first.
Charge it up!
If you want to give your Prius a bit of a boost, you should consider the Prime model – it’s the plug-in version that allows you to give it a big enough charge for 25 miles on pure electric. Additionally, the Prime model offers a tablet-like screen on certain trim levels that make it more competitive to plug-in vehicles from other manufacturers. You do give up some cargo space on the Prime model, however.
Similar packages are available on the Prime models that we see on the standard Prius line, including the option for the 11.6 in infotainment screen.
There’s no question that the single-biggest selling point to the Prius is its fuel-economy and that’s perhaps backed-up that it’s a Toyota and so many associate that with reliability. Unfortunately, however, the competition has made great strides and have produced cars that offer a more spirited driving experience without some of the oddities surrounding the Prius (exterior styling and performance).
That said, there’s no doubt that the current line-up of Prius – especially with the new plug-in version – should cater to its loyal fanbase and perhaps win over a few converts in the process.