Three 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
* 1 year update: Great car still. I've been getting about 45 mpg for some reason though. Maybe because I'm turning up the heater in this colder climate? Still cannot seem to find a better engineered, efficient, smart, and better built (Japanese) vehicle out there. This car is all about progress, functionality, and work - the Prius, Version One. The other Prius (Two and up) have more flash and options than needed. Would definitely buy this car again in the future. * Update - The car's low to the ground sports car feel has it's negatives... The lower front end is prone to acquire scrapes and damage, therefore I have to be extra careful when approaching dips, bumps, railroad tracks, etc. Overall, the car is more susceptible to damage due to being aerodynamically lower for the sake of efficiency and driving feel. Toyota has really put a lot of effort and engineering to make this Prius have characteristics of a sports car, but without compromising the versatility and everyday drivability of the car. It's still difficult to find such a capable car with as much r&d and experience under it's belt from so many years, and that's also why I admire it so much. If there was an option for 6 stars for this specific vehicle, I would be the first to check that. I am a very picky individual and my taste in choosing my vehicles are very unique, in my opinion. First off, I highly prefer vehicles fully manufactured in Japan. Guess what? The Prius is one of them. Most importantly, Toyota has truly made a huge leap with their redesign on the new Prius. Yes, the exterior design gets a lot of heat and negativity, but if you have the courage to look past that and focus on the essence and beauty of the vehicle, it truly is an engineering marvel. The L.E.D lights - front and back - are state of the art and look like laser lights, especially from the rear. The interior is like I've never seen before, and when I sit in, it feels so driver oriented - I'm thinking Toyota has taken ideas from their sports car - the 86. The road holding and balance is so incredibly tight and smooth. The steering has so much richness and it's very well weighted with an expensive feel. I opted for the version 3 since it seems to have the best value with its features - nav, L.E.D lights, lithium ion battery, 3 door smart entry, alloy wheels with two tone cover, Softex steering wheel, etc. The Prius is struggling to sell as of late - probably due to the low fuel prices, plus folks aren't comfortable with the polarizing looks and are taking their time to get used to the latest design which represents the future. And so I took advantage of Toyota's incentives to push these vehicles. Got a fair deal with their 0% financing along with over $3k off the purchase with no trade. I've owned nothing but sports cars in the past, and the latest Prius doesn't make me miss them whatsoever. It's packed with so much excitement if you know where to look and how to appreciate. It's only been 200 miles since my purchase, and this car is the very best one I've experienced - and trust me, I'm all about that experience.
We replaced a 8 year old Prius with a 2016 Prius 4 touring. We loved our old Prius and find some of the changes in the new a little quirky. The white console accents- really? White cupholders? i give them another week before they get stained with coffee. Our old prius was noisy, and this new one also has a lot of road noise. The roof peaks over the front seats and they feel wonderfully roomy. The back seats are a bit squishy on head room. The cargo room in the back seems bigger than in the older car. The new safety features- like blind spot monitoring and lane departure are wonderful. The car handles well and feels zippy. The range- 800 or so miles- on a tank of gas is incredible. The screens are easy to read. The navigation system displays on the main console screen, but also can show directional instructions up by the speedometer.
The car is really great. Dealers are all over the place with regards to familiarity with it, however. More upscale features such as sun roof, GPS, power seat and heated seats are indeed available in the four trim level, but those require a bit of effort (worth it) to find. That's where the quality of your dealer matters. Back to the car. The dashboard and roof are relatively low, giving you a great view of the road around you. And I really like the sunroof - it sits far enough forward and i wide enough that you really feel the presence of the sky. I had a 2007 Prius 5 which survived 251,000 and was still getting 47 mpg until we sold it. Since I posted original review my mileage on the new Prius kept getting better and better. I use ECO mode and am a pretty efficient driver, but still... It crept past 54, then 55, 56, 57, 58 and seems to be settling at 59 mpg! It's crazy! 200 miles and the tank is like 3/4 full.
update - Oct 29, 2016 - 10,600 miles on the car and I'm still delighted with it. Mileage has averaged 62 mpg -- by actual measurement, which is about 3 mph lower than the dash readout. My daily commute is 60% highway and 40% local roads but not much bumper to bumper. I always drive in ECO and drive sedately but at or above speed limit and definitely not hypermile-ing. No mechanical problems with the car. Still like the same features as in the original review - esp great headlights, comfy interior, enough power, great but touchy brakes, and esp love the rear cross traffic alert, the auto braking, and other driver tech package features. Original review: I have 2600 miles on a 2016 Prius Four. I have previously owned a 2007 Prius and currently still own a 2012 Prius, which my son now drives. Though I've been hugely satisfied with the previous generations, this 4th gen Prius is even better. The gas mileage is averaging 60-62 mpg over the 2600 miles by actual measurement (not via the electronic read-out which is about 2.5 mpg higher). I don't accelerate or brake hard but I drive at or above the speed limit. My commute is 60% highway 40% city driving. The car accelerates a little faster than the previous gen. I got both the Advanced Tech package and the deluxe equipment package. The interior is very nice though not Lexus luxury. Great JBL sound system. Power driver seat with excellent power lumbar. The nav touchscreen is large and is not washed out in bright sun light. Speedo etc is not located so much differently than previous generations and is easy to adjust to. Headlights are fantastic - super bright, automatic low/high beams plus DRL. Nice heads up display on the windshield - easily seen but not distracting and you can turn it off if you want. When using the nav, the heads up display shows turn arrows. Neat! The dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning, and blind spot warning are highly useful. The best tech feature for me is the rear cross traffic alert, which greatly eases the worry about slowly backing out of a spot with obscured side vision. It detects cars 2-3 seconds before they cross behind you, leaving plenty of warning to brake. Large color backup monitor - via nav screen. Toyota wisely moved the transmission lever back to the dash and improved and lengthened the armrest. My 2007 had the best armrest ever made and then the 2012 backslid to a center console with trans lever. The 2016 corrected the error. Cons: not many and not very bothersome. The rear legroom is a bit less but still adequate. The rear headrests fold down - much like the 2012 -- so the rear visibility is about the same. No spare - not a deal breaker - so a little more rear cargo space. The brakes are touchy. Wind and road noise are supposedly better than previous models but seem the same to me (i.e. perfectly acceptable). The driver position is a bit lower than the 2012 - visibility isn't hindered as the window sills are lower - but I have easily adjusted (while admittedly preferring the old, higher level) On balance, this is a very significant upgrade. The tech package is worth every penny. Note that the Prius Four Touring does not have a sun-roof.
Three 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I've always driven sports/sporty cars, 65 Sunbeam Tiger, '70 Datsun 240Z, (30 years of driving station wagons) and 10 years of Pontiac Fieros. I know how a car should handle, and I learned to drive very smoothly and so have always gotten the most mpg out of a car. At 65, when I retired in 2011, I decided that I didn't want to be that 'old guy' driving the 20 year old Buick. I had been following the Prius since its intro and finally decided that Toyota had gotten it right and purchased a Prius 3. Since then every time I get to the end of the warranty (about 18-24 months) I get a new one. Loved the handling (for a sedan) and have pitched it around Watkins Glen race track. In power mode my Prius did the published 10.1 0-60 and that's quite quick for a lower cost sedan with a 95 bhp motor. But the electric motor kicks in like a F-1 KERS when you hit the pedal or Power mode button. The interior was clean and functional with comfortable seats and the all electronic dash, monitoring and mid-dash displays. All the bells and whistles. The only real objections I had with the '11, 13, and, '15 models were the rear window wiper bar, (you don't notice it after a while and it doesn't really hamper vision) and the safety limitations on function use, like GPS or address searches while driving. Heck, if it can tell the passenger doesn't have the seat belt buckled, it should be able to tell you have a 'navigator' to use those functions and not impair a lone driver's safety performance. Additionally Toyota needs to adjust lighting....low beams are too bright and way too many folks think you have high beams on. I find myself driving in the 'parking light' position which puts plenty of light on the road using the DRL bulbs. Don't get confused if you use the DRL lights in daylight and then have them on at dusk. For some reason Toyota thinks oncoming traffic needs to see you coming at dusk/ dawn/ rain but not traffic behind you. With DRL the tail lights don't light up, only brake lights, ('Hey buddy, you're tail lights don't work.") so cars behind won't see you in fog. Mpg on those cars was (not by Toyota's calculator, which is always 2-3 mpg optimistic) combined city/hgwy; '11-50.9, '13-48.8, and '15-48.0. My new wife and change in driving patterns are likely the reason for the slight decreases. When I saw the 2016, I wasn't impressed with the redesign as it looked too much like everything else now than before and a little too angular with less character for me. The seats are narrower and lower, and I'm a big, old guy, so I prefer the older ones, but I've gotten used to the newer. The hood is chopped and easier for the driver (especially shorter ones) to see the actual front of the car. The back-up cam is improved also. The dash is more stylish, readouts, center console, shifter and cup holders improved. Toyota switched the positions of the battery and gas tank and lowered the car a little, so there's no longer as much leg room in the rear, unless the driver and passenger are short. The rear storage area is a little smaller too and the car now has a spare tire, but it still allows a lot of bags of recycling stuff when the seats are folded down. I prefer the old package cover system. The interior is more directed to a younger crowd, but everything is very easy to read and reach; and sun glare on the dash is no longer a problem. Ride and handling are improved, road noise down and the doors no longer sound like tin. The CVT is great and the drive choices have changed. The old system was Evo or Power, The new system has an EV mode (strictly battery), or a Drive mode, which gives a choice of Normal, Evo or Power. I'm really not sure what Normal is as I only use Evo and Power is just as easily obtained with your right foot as the CVT just sees it like passing gear in an older car. No trouble passing slower traffic and if you don't use the brakes on hills, you're soon doing 60-70 as it coasts along upping the mpg and recharging the battery, It seems like the ABS has been improved with less frequent easy 'lock-up'. I've find the Prius hi-mile tires (all years) iffy in the rain ( I never tailgate) and last year tried a used set of 215/40x17 Nitto Neogen tires with a more aggressive tread for snow. A little better for that, but they were way better for stopping in the rain and no appreciable change in mpg. With all of this, I expected the car to have gotten 'heavier' with less mpg. But no, and I don't know how Toyota did it but for the first 3000 miles I've had the car my best tank was 63.0, the worst 57.1, overall for 3k 60.8. This is by my calculation not Toyota's which says 63.5. We took the 2016 from PA to New Orleans and back on a 12 day vaca.... 2970 miles, 53.8/mpg, $108 for gas. Update at 32k (real) gas mileage is 55.5 combined. Love these cars and cant' wait for the '18 and just hope they don't stick on one of those 'big mouth bass' grills that seem so popular. I'd rate the first 3 as 8/10. The 2016 is a 9/10 to me.