2016 Toyota Prius: Monthly Update for December 2017
by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
This month our 2016 Toyota Prius mostly sat around while everyone was gone for the holidays. When it was on the road, the Prius handled, you guessed it, more commuting duty. As both Rex and Josh note in the comments below, the Prius is in many ways the ultimate commuter, regardless of how the snootier among us may feel about the humble hybrid.
And yet Prius sales are actually down. Not for the extended Prius family, which is flourishing with its Primes and C's and Zumble-Zays. The drop-off is specifically for the venerable, original-flavor hatchback. It could be that the plethora of other Prius options are taking their toll on the non-plug-in hatch, but Travis (and his dad) think it might just be the new generation's looks.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Our Prius managed almost 600 miles in December. Over that distance it averaged a respectable 50.2 mpg, bringing the car's lifetime average up one-tenth to 49.7 mpg. The Prius continues to be an impressively fuel-efficient commuter, especially considering the toll L.A. traffic takes on most of our efficiency attempts.
Average lifetime mpg: 49.7
EPA mpg rating: 52 combined (54 city/50 highway)
Best-fill mpg: 57.2
Best range: 513.1 miles
Current odometer: 15,999 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I ran the numbers, and it turns out I've contributed nearly 20 percent of the logbook comments for our long-term Prius as of this writing, virtually all of them positive. Why? Well, aside from the outdated stigma the Prius carries in certain car-connoisseur circles, what's not to like about this thing? It gets like 45 to 55 mpg no matter how you drive, it's small on the outside but big on the inside, and with the powertrain updates (and discarded pounds) for this generation, it'll even scoot through city traffic with verve. The styling still looks screwy, sure, but this Prius is plenty good enough to make aesthetics seem insignificant." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager, content strategy
"My father, a Prius early adopter, just made the switch out of the Prius family. He picked up his first Prius back when you had to put down a $2,000 deposit just to get in line for one, and if my math is correct, he's owned five late-model Toyota hybrids including three Priuses and two Highlander hybrids. He's committed to the idea of having a fuel-efficient daily driver even if he's got a '70s American hot rod in the garage. So it was a big move when he traded in his old Prius and went with a Chevy Volt instead. This latest round of styling changes was just too much to bear, and incentives on the Volt are excellent right now. I haven't found any generation of the Prius attractive, but I definitely agree with him in thinking that this current gen's look is a deal-breaker, no matter how committed you are to the cause of fuel economy. That's especially true now that there are several better-looking options available." — Travis Langness, staff writer
"I'm going to be Captain Obvious here: The Toyota Prius is a commuting marvel. I'm not even sure the gas gauge went down. I even floored it a few times. I usually see it go down a tick on any other vehicle but not the Prius. Sixty-plus miles and counting." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"Airy and spacious, the front cabin in this Prius is pretty comfortable." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"I can't wait until we're allowed to project critical displays onto the windshield. I'm not saying a full-on Minority Report or Tony Stark kind of thing, but I'm not a fan of the instrument panel display being in the center." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres