2016 Toyota Prius: Monthly Update for February 2017
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.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Prius continued its miserly ways, notching 48.6 mpg for the month. This is just a shade above its current lifetime average, so it's nothing if not consistent. Our Prius continues to fall short of its EPA-rated fuel economy, which is almost certainly a product of the car being driven in a manner that is inconsistent with the way it is driven on the EPA cycle. Specifically, one often finds oneself dipping deep into the Prius' accelerator travel in order to summon meaningful thrust, and there's an attendant impact on fuel economy.
This is true for nearly every car, however, and because of the peculiar mathematical nature of mpg as a measuring stick, the Prius actually isn't so wildly off its ratings that we're alarmed.
Average lifetime mpg: 48
EPA mpg rating: 52 combined (54 city/50 highway)
Best fill mpg: 57.2
Best range: 468.5 miles
Current odometer: 8,046 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The new Prius isn't objectively quick if you look at our track-test numbers, but it's much more responsive than its predecessors. There's less of a delay than there used to be when you mat the throttle, and there's enough juice to hit openings in rush-hour traffic with confidence. Acceleration has long been a weak spot for the Prius, but Toyota did enough this time around to make it feel respectable." — Josh Sadlier, Senior Manager, Content Strategy
"It's been a while since I drove our Prius, so I was a little surprised by how loud the gas engine is when it fires up. I always remembered it being fairly unobtrusive, but having driven so many other hybrids lately, the Prius seems a little less refined in this area." — Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
"The interior design is funky but functional. I appreciated the easy-to-use and clean climate control interface. That touchscreen, though. There is no direct-to-nav button, so it's a series of taps to do anything related to navigation. Still, this Prius definitely drives better than those before it, and the seats are surprisingly comfortable." — Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor
"I continue to feel that the Prius is underappreciated as a practical everyday car. It's known for its extraordinary fuel economy, obviously, but it's also a pretty roomy hatchback with decent backseat space, and the asking price is downright reasonable by today's standards. I've been saying this for years and I'll say it again for the new-generation model: If you're looking for a versatile hatchback on a budget, give the Prius a chance. The mpg is far from the whole story here." — Josh Sadlier