2016 Toyota Prius: Monthly Update for January 2018
by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Toyota Prius traveled a scant 600 miles in January. Most of those miles were for commutes to work, trips to the gym and running errands. Not terribly exciting, but it's a good example of how most people will actually use this vehicle.
In this month's logbook entries, there were a couple of observations on the Prius' interior, the comfort of the driver's seat, its handling in the canyons, and even a rare compliment on its looks.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
There were only two fill-ups in January. The Prius averaged 49.4 mpg this month, which is consistent with our lifetime average of 49.7 mpg. This consistency is what makes the Prius so good. Drive it normally and you're going to get great fuel economy. Drive it like, well, a Prius driver, and you'll get exceptional fuel economy.
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: 16,676 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I like to make up terms, a lot, so I'm going to call all the space above the driver's shoulders and forward to the windshield fake space. It's space that doesn't benefit any of the occupants, it's unusable, and it makes the driver in particular feel small, like they're sitting in a cheap plastic hot tub. I'm not advocating we all sit with our faces pressed against the windshield, but the Prius seems to be extra roomy in the weird place." — Kurt Niebuhr photo editor,
"I'm apparently in the minority, but I don't find the Prius' interior particularly offensive. It's not high-end (why would it be?), but it's functional. Sure, the white plastic trim has an antiseptic quality, but it looks clean and bright. Editor Josh had even given it props for its techy vibe à la Apple. On the way to the gym, I did discover that my water bottle didn't quite fit in the cupholder. And coming out of the gym parking lot at the ticket machine, the Prius' parking sensors went into overdrive. Annoying. Still, I'd rather have overreactive sensors than no sensors." — Kathleen Clonts, copy chief
"Put me in the same camp as editor Will Kaufman, who finds it hard to get comfortable in the driver's seat. For me, there's just not enough thigh support, and I found myself jutting out my left leg toward the driver's door. A long road trip probably wouldn't be a lot of fun. I also agree with Will that an extendable sun visor (and a sturdier one) is in order. In L.A., you tend to use the visor quite a bit, and besides it being too short, it felt flimsy." — Kathleen Clonts
"The Prius does well in canyons. The steering felt responsive navigating the curves, and I hit a coveted 90-plus Eco score coming downhill. Besides a bit of tire noise, it was an able performer." — Kathleen Clonts
"Sure, the back end is kind of boxy and big, but I don't feel the hostility to the Prius' exterior that some of my co-workers do. Its Blue Crush Metallic color also stands out nicely from the crowd, which I dig." — Kathleen Clonts