2016 Toyota Prius: Testing the Smaller Backseat
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.
In the top photo, the driver seat is slid all the way back, because that's where I need it to be in pretty much every Toyota/Scion product. As you can see, there's a decent amount of legroom behind me.
Turns out it's just enough to accommodate my knees without rubbing, though my shins are touching the base of the seatback down below. In other words, a 6-footer can still fit behind another 6-footer, so this backseat will probably seem just fine to most shoppers.
I will say, however, that the new Prius' rear quarters feel closer to compact than midsize, and that's a departure from the previous two Prius generations. In 2010, for example, I wrote that "rear-seat riders enjoy as much legroom as they'd have in a typical family sedan." Whether the shrinkage will irk anyone other than lanky Uber passengers remains to be seen.