Toyota Says The New Prius Is Fun To Drive

The latest update to the Toyota Prius is the biggest one in the 10-year history of the iconic hybrid. With a completely new platform and smarter, more economical drivetrain and in-car comfort, the new Prius is 13 per cent more efficient than its predecessors -- Toyota says it'll sip just 3.4 litres of fuel per 100km of driving.

The new Prius is the first car in Australia to benefit from Toyota's New Global Architecture, a flexible modular platform that also underpins the new C-HR concept. In the Prius, it's used in a front-wheel drive configuration and promises a lower centre of gravity, more room inside and a stiffer frame for better handling. The 2016 Prius actually has an extremely low drag coefficient of just 0.24, putting it far ahead of some of its hybrid competitors.

That's one half of the improvements that contribute to a 12.8 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the outgoing model. Lighter and smaller electric motors, an improved hybrid battery and power converter, and an overhaul to the Prius' 1.8-litre inline four-cylinder petrol engine mean that the new series hybrid consumes just 3.4 litres of fuel over 100km of combined Australian driving. That's half a litre down on last generation's 3.9 litres per 100km, which itself was one of the most efficient petrol cars on Aussie roads.

Where the old Prius was more of a straightforward, A-to-B driving appliance, the new Prius even looks cooler, and that reflects the fact that it's more fun to drive -- the lower centre of gravity and stiffer chassis, along with redesigned front and rear suspension, translate the futuristic looks into real-world driving. Its overall combined petrol and electric power output may only be 90kW, but Toyota says it's nonetheless much more responsive than the old car, and there's a "power" driving mode that offers full juice from the get go.

The new Prius actually looks a lot more up to date inside, too. The dashboard's central display is a big, iPad-esque 7-inch multi-touch display, and the centre-mounted digital dash has two 4.2-inch LCDs with live-output car and drivetrain info appearing as you drive. The up-spec i-Tech model even has a wireless charging bay for your Qi-compatible smartphone in the centre console. The new car starts at $34,990, with the top-of-the-line i-Tech at $42,990; Toyota also includes its capped-price servicing, at a maximum of $140 at a time. [Toyota]



    The older prius is kind of fun to drive, if you put cruise control on you can go faster or slower with the flappy pedals and never need to use your feet! Like a video game!

      I had one for rental through GreenShareCar down in Melbourne - that's exactly how I drove it :)

      Flappy Pedals now on ios and android :)

    Might be fun to drive but it's frigging ugly.

    It was all good until the front end.

      I actually really like the trend towards low-drag front ends -- especially when you don't have a great deal of radiator cooling to do.

        It's those bottom outer driving lights the ruin it for me. The rest of it is fine.

    Could you do a comparison of ownership costs over 5 years vs say Ford Focus?

    I've got the series 2 iTech, and after 273000km I still achieve 4.4 ltrs/100km. That was a purchase 8 years ago. In that decade of time since the series 2 was released, I was expecting to see all wheel recovery and plugin mode as standard as I've championed the vehicle on it's efficiency and servicing (eg, haven't changed the brake pads from new yet, or paid more than $130 for a service). Sure, getting the 1.8 litre engine down to 40% is a marvel (1.5% less than the series 3) but I just don't see the cutting edge innovation push that was the series 2, and not enough to want me to buy a newie. BTW, the JBL stereo (in the series 2 iTech at least) is the biz!

    they have fallen at the first hurdle, making it ugly.... again.

    How can you have fun in a car that looks like that?

    'Toyota Says The New Prius Is Fun To Drive' Its like saying 'my mum says I'm cool'

    Last edited 21/03/16 7:01 pm

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