by Josh Sadlier, Senior Manager of Content Strategy
Where Did We Drive It?
Are we running out of things to say about our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius? As the staff's resident Prius fanboi, I like to think that the car's quiet competence has simply left most of my colleagues speechless. We refueled the Prius twice during the month of August, and that's also how many comments were added to the logbook — two.
But those tanks of gas bought us many hundreds of pleasant commuting miles to and from our Santa Monica headquarters. You just hop into this car and go, as if you're driving a well-insulated golf cart. That simplicity makes it easy to take the Prius for granted. It's also why I gladly grab the key whenever it comes my way.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Manager
Where Did We Drive It?
Activity in our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius was pretty mild this month, with Senior Writer Ron Montoya logging the most significant miles on a jaunt down to Oceanside in San Diego County. The Prius remains an attractive choice for day-to-day errands or longer trips out of town, but there are a few things Toyota could change to make it even more pleasant.
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor
Where Did We Drive it?
The 2016 Toyota Prius, much like every Prius before it, was built to shuttle people around while delivering pretty solid fuel economy in the process. That's what it does best, and that's exactly what ours is doing day in and day out. It sits, it creeps, it coasts all the while being innocuous and competent. What more could you ask out of this thing?
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Toyota Prius has been in service almost one year now. This month it spent most of its time carrying us between work and home in Blue Crush Metallic style. When it wasn't running around the city, it spent several days parked at the airport. A detour to the golf course was its only real excitement and an opportunity to reflect on its storage space. Read on to see what we had to say.
by Caroline Pardilla, Copy Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
I'd wager a guess that the 2016 Toyota Prius is probably not the first car that comes to mind when one thinks: "Vegas road trip car." The dependable hybrid hatchback just doesn't inspire an enthusiastic "Vegas, baby! Vegas!" But as something to drive for 270 miles and then forgo valet to just self-park in a casino/hotel garage, it works just fine.
Besides, our long-term top-level Prius has all the things a couple of road-trippers need for a comfortable four-hour-long haul, including a USB port and charging pad to keep devices all charged up and satellite radio for an uninterrupted soundtrack (Siriusly Sinatra and Elvis Radio for the win!). The only real nits I'd pick are the skittish adaptive cruise control and the multitude of audible alerts the car has for every occasion, including leaving the windows down when parked.
Other than my Vegas run, our Prius spent most of its time shuffling around town. Commuting, groceries, the usual daily driver stuff. Nothing too memorable, so excuse us if we don't have many comments from those trips.
by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
More city driving in our 2016 Toyota Prius! But unlike last month, we actually used more than one tankful of fuel. There was also some highway driving thrown into the mix to make things more interesting.
For some of our editors, this is now their third or fourth time in the Prius, which means more familiarity. This brings different observations and the initial knee-jerk reactions have mostly faded away. We were able to utilize the cargo space, play with the in-car technology system, and generally just experience the car as a real-world owner would.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
For most of the month of February, our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius served commuting duty for editors who live relatively close to the office. It also spent time outside our immediate team where, again, it was driven locally on short trips. This means — you got it — the total mileage accumulation was low.
In fact, it clocked fewer than 650 miles and was refueled but once during the month. No, it didn't go that distance on one tank. But there weren't enough days in this (short) month for a second fill.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Toyota Prius had a relatively quiet January, puttering around the Los Angeles area and adding 682 miles to its odometer in the process. The Prius hasn't been an ideal candidate for some of the lengthy road trips we've taken recently, but be on the lookout as we take it outside the confines of the gnarly L.A. metro area in the near future.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
There's not much to report about our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius for November. We used it as it was intended, commuting to and from Edmunds HQ and running the usual errands. Since the last update, we've logged just 876 miles, limited to mostly city driving.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Toyota Prius stayed local for the month of October. Mostly, we commuted to the Edmunds offices in it and drove it around on the weekends doing, you know, weekend stuff. The neat thing about the Prius, though, is that its fuel economy isn't dependent on the kind of driving you do. Whether it's city driving or highway driving, you'll be getting about 50 mpg.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on September 16, 2016
I was greeted by this warning when I climbed into our 2016 Toyota Prius yesterday. This was going to be an easy one. A tire rotation and safety inspection are all the service manual outlines for this 5,000-mile interval. And with the ToyotaCare plan we enjoy free scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles. It was only going to cost us time.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 14, 2016
Our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius didn't venture very far from home during the month of August. Over the last four weeks it only clocked 853 miles on the odometer, which meant it only visited the pump three times.
For those three fill-ups, the Prius averaged 46.8 mpg, a little lower than our lifetime average of 47.5 mpg (which is still about 9 percent below the EPA estimate of 52 mpg combined). But we did record a new "best range," which is nice.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 12, 2016
I drove our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius for the last six days, and I wasn't able to come to a smooth stop more than four or five times. Whether I was exiting the freeway, moving between lights or puttering around in parking lots, I just couldn't master the art of stopping gracefully.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 8, 2016
I didn't have any pieces of plywood or large automotive parts to really test the limits of our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius' cargo capacity over the weekend, but that didn't matter. When I opened the hatch to load up my running gear, it was clear to me that the Prius was designed with cargo in mind.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 6, 2016
I recently lamented the tiny rear window and high beltline in our long-term Chevy Volt, and how those two features make it hard to see out of the back of the car.
For our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius, though, it's a different story. While it might have that funky rear-spoiler/body-line thingy that gets in the way a bit, the Prius has good rear visibility overall.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on August 15, 2016
Prius or Volt?
I go back and forth over which might be the better car for me. I'm leaning 2016 Toyota Prius at the moment, but I can't pin down exactly why.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on August 10, 2016
It's been two months since we reported the fuel economy of our 2016 Toyota Prius. That's not necessarily due to laziness (although I'm not ruling it out). As James mentioned in the Prius's last update, it takes a while for this thing to need fuel. Our data set just isn't growing that fast.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 13, 2016
As long as I'm not forced to stare at it too long, I generally applaud the extensive changes that have been applied to the 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid. Suspension and powertrain improvements have morphed it into a much better driver, and the seating position has made a huge stride forward.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on July 11, 2016
Luggage and suitcases are all well and good. What I want to know about the 2016 Toyota Prius is this, can it haul my Giant extra-large mountain bike with big 29-inch wheels or not?
It's got a hatch, which is a strong start, but its roofline has been drastically lowered for 2016. And it's not a particularly large car to begin with. This was no slam-dunk.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on July 7, 2016
You'd be mistaken if you thought that the photo above indicated that our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius allowed cruise control to function when the "gear" selector is in B mode.
Because it doesn't.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 1, 2016
Will the luggage fit? To answer this question we loaded our 2016 Toyota Prius with bags in different configurations and took photos. What constitutes carry-on luggage varies depending upon who you ask. So for the sake of standardization we used the same blue carry-on bag — size (21 x15x10 inches) and red checked bag — size (30x20x13 inches).
Take the jump for photos and more detail...
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on June 29, 2016
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the 2016 Toyota Prius is night-and-day better on a road trip than its predecessors. To be honest, I've had an appreciation for this car since the second-generation model (the first hatchback) came out a decade ago. The Prius catches a lot of flack from the cognoscenti, but I've always seen it as a roomy, practical hatchback that rides softly and oh yeah, gets 50 mpg. Those are great road-trip credentials, and you don't have to buy the new fourth-generation car to enjoy them.
Having said that, there's no doubt that the latest Prius is more stable at highway speeds than earlier models. It's got more gravitas, you might say, even though it actually lost a few pounds in the redesign.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on June 27, 2016
This is what the instrument panel of our 2016 Toyota Prius looks like when you select "Power mode." Inspiring, right? There's a mode-selector button down by the shifter that cycles through Eco, Normal and Power, with the implication that you get more performance with each press ("enhanced accelerator response," says the manual on page 321).
The seat of my pants cannot confirm that. I tried all of the modes back-to-back, and yeah, maybe the throttle in Eco feels less energetic. But maybe I just thought so because I saw the "Eco mode" graphic on the dash. All I can say for certain is that there's not a dramatic difference from mode to mode.
Here's my point, though: no matter which mode you're in, the new Prius actually feels lively when you're zipping around town. And in Prius Land, that counts as real and surprising progress.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 24, 2016
[Note: Prius not shown above.]
One of the more astounding things about our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius — and its predecessors — is how immune to mistreatment it is despite its enormous technical complexity. This is not to be taken lightly. Toyota has done a masterful job of making the Prius' hybrid powertrain as reliable as the sunrise. This robustness is an industry triumph and one of the keys to the car's widespread acceptance by consumers over the years.
Which is what makes Toyota's loss at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend that much more puzzling.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on June 23, 2016
Front parking sensors are a nice feature to have — when you're parking. When you're creeping along in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Not so much.
I've driven a whole lot of cars with front parking sensors, and not once have I triggered them while sitting in traffic. Maybe there's just something about our 2016 Toyota Prius that emboldens me to get really close to the car ahead, but whatever the case, I got multiple such warnings yesterday on the slow commute home.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on June 21, 2016
Just a quick riposte to Editor Langness, who opined that the white plastic trim inside our 2016 Toyota Prius has simply "got to go." In fact, it's great and I wouldn't want a Prius without it. It reminds me of the first-generation Chevy Volt, a variety of Apple products and other techy things that are cool. I give it a mental nod of approval every time I hop in.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on June 6, 2016
Good thing: our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius goes a long time between fill ups. Bad thing: It therefore takes a long time to accumulate enough fill ups to report on its fuel economy.
Nevertheless, after two months and more than 2,000 miles, we can report that our long-term Prius is returning 48.6 mpg. That contrasts to its EPA-combined figure of 52 mpg, but we've also seen fill-ups good for 54.3 mpg and 52 mpg without any special effort on our part.
More time, more miles and more fill-ups are still needed to provide a better picture of just how efficient the new Prius can be.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 18, 2015
Our all-new long-term 2016 Toyota Prius is one of the most fuel efficient and practical vehicles on the market. We were so impressed with our initial test that we went out and bought one for our long-term fleet.
While the Prius might post some impressive numbers at the pump, we weren't expecting much at the track, especially after testing our long-term 2016 Toyota Mirai. We definitely don't foresee many Prius owners signing up for track days. Read ahead to see how the Prius performs.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 11, 2016
Our 2016 Toyota Prius has heated front seats, but you'll have a hell of a time finding the control switches. Look at the picture above. You won't find them in the usual spots, which are somewhere near the air-conditioning controls or on the center console. They also aren't on the door like some Mercedes or in a touchscreen menu.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 9, 2016
We opted to get our long-term 2016 Toyota Prius in snazzy Blue Crush Metallic, finally realizing a long-held desire to have a paint color named after a Kate Bosworth movie. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Bronze would've been the ideal, but we'll take what we can get.
Any way, above you'll see the other colors we could've opted for. Or, more accurately, two other colors and four different tones of grayscale.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 5, 2016
The 2016 Toyota Prius is quite obviously not the sort of car that is purchased for its performance. Far from it. Yet, the new Prius is nevertheless a far better car to drive than its lamentable predecessors. Read more below to see how we rated its performance.
by James Riswick, New & Used Editor on May 3, 2016
I've never been comfortable in the Toyota Prius. Neither second- nor third-generation models had remotely enough seat or steering wheel travel to achieve anything resembling a comfortable driving position. The seat didn't dip far enough down in the back, it didn't slide far enough rearward and the wheel's telescoping distance was so pathetic I often wondered why they even bothered. At 6-foot-3, I felt like I was sitting on a tiny stool with my arms reaching out as if holding a diaperless baby.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on April 29, 2016
In this installment of "does the (pick your random object) fit?" I attempt to squeeze a stand-up paddle board into the cabin of our 2016 Toyota Prius. The board measures 9-foot-2 and when stood up on end, exceeds the limits of our blog's photo-cropping requirements.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on April 19, 2016
I'm always surprised when a new car doesn't have extendable sun visors, but maybe I shouldn't be. Brent recently put our Volvo S60 on blast for this omission, and he noted in his post that our Acura MDX didn't have them either.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on April 15, 2016
The top "Con" in our current Prius review is "Less backseat legroom than before," which is unusual for an all-new model. Seems like the latest vehicles are always getting bigger these days — more wheelbase, more passenger space, etc. But the 2016 Toyota Prius' backseat bucks the trend, at least by the numbers. Duly intrigued, your moderately gangly 6-foot-1 narrator decided to conduct a rigorous real-world test.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on April 13, 2016
With both the 2016 Chevy Volt and 2016 Toyota Prius in our long-term fleet, it should be a revealing year for the two hybrids. Sure the Volt is a plug-in and changes how we compare efficiency, but the more telling observations will come from the usual areas: ride quality, cabin comfort, utility.
I wasn't expecting much from my first time behind the new Prius's wheel. Of course it's a redesign, but Toyota's a conservative company and the Prius is a bread-and-butter car. How far would they take it?
Far enough and then some, actually.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on April 12, 2016
The 2016 Toyota Prius is not a particularly attractive car. One could argue this is not a major tragedy because — let's face it — maximum mpg is the Prius' prime directive. Still, theres no point in making things any worse.
That's why our long-term test car's dealer-installed door edge guards and wheel arch moldings have to go. Not only are they exceedingly ugly, they have the cheap look of a quick-and-dirty aftermarket product, which is exactly what they are.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on April 8, 2016
Whatever you think about the exterior styling on the new 2016 Toyota Prius (I'm not a fan, but I don't hate it either), there's a piece of interior trim that I just cannot abide. Center stage, bright and bold, I'm referring to the white plastic on the center console and the lower half of the steering wheel.
by James Riswick, New and Used Car Editor on April 6, 2016
With gas prices at the lowest levels we've seen in years, it's not surprising that trucks and SUVs are flying off dealer lots, while hybrids have become passé.
Well, most hybrids at least. Even with cheap gas, the Toyota Prius was still one of the most popular cars on the market last year.
The all-new 2016 Toyota Prius is looking to build on that continued momentum with a comprehensive list of upgrades. The most notable of those improvements is a new EPA rating of 52 mpg in combined city and highway driving.