Toyota Prius Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

The Toyota Prius remains a pioneer in its segment when it comes to going green. First released in 2000, the hybrid family car is currently in its fourth generation, and is well-known for its impressive efficiency, surprisingly responsive engines and distinctive design. As the world’s most popular hybrid car, this Toyota has also built itself a solid reputation for reliability. If you’re in the market for a comfortable family hatch that’s cheap to run, the Toyota Prius has you covered.

Visit the Toyota Prius model page to explore available cars and learn more.

What we think about the Toyota Prius

A class leader bar none, the Toyota Prius is a great family car with incredible hybrid tech.

Pros

+

Efficient engines

+

Cheap to run

+

Quite comfortable

Cons

Slightly pricier than rivals

Driving experience can be better

The first generation Prius entered the market as a four-door sedan, but all others are five-door hatchbacks. The second generation (released in 2004) was more environmentally friendly thanks to the smaller and lighter NiMH battery. The third generation brought key improvements in technology as well as a plug-in hybrid variant. The current fourth generation offers an improved feel on the road an comes in four trims. Other members of the Prius family include the EV-mode Prius Prime, the longer Prius+ and the compact Prius c.

Driving performance of the Toyota Prius

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

Driving thrills weren’t the Prius’ prime concern for a long time, and for good reason. The older generations are known for their near-quiet ride with good responsiveness. The latest 2016 model, however, is surprisingly agile. A dynamic platform with light steering means you can enjoy great feedback from the car. It’s not particularly fast, but there’s a strong response right from the get-go. The ride is still super-quiet even when the petrol engine kicks in, with the only cabin noise coming from the super-eco tyres.

Safety and reliability of the Toyota Prius

Our Safety Rating9 / 10

All Toyota Prius models from the second generation have scored the full five stars on the Euro NCAP safety test. Airbags, an anti-lock braking system that prevents skidding, and traction control are standard across the board. The latest generation includes Toyota’s comprehensive Safety Sense system which adds LED headlights, lumbar support and adaptive cruise control. You also have the option to choose from a host of driver assistance packages. As always, Toyota’s reputation for reliability is excellent.

Under the bonnet of the Toyota Prius

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

The 2004 Prius uses a 1.4-litre VVT-i engine that takes the car from 0 to 60 in 10.9 seconds. The 1.8-litre powertrain in the 2009 model clocks 0-60 mph in 10.4 seconds. The latest generation models come with a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with a 53 kW electric motor. Both the hybrid and plug-in clock the same time for 0-60 at just under 11 seconds. All generations use the E-CVT gearbox which has had significant improvements over the years. The Prius is designed for city use, and the petrol engine only kicks in on the motorways.

What you'll find in the Toyota Prius

Our Design Rating7 / 10

As the poster child for green cars, the Prius’ design is driven by aerodynamics, which it perfected right from the 2004 model. As a result, the basic silhouette – a swooping design with a low bonnet – has remained unchanged through the years. The latest generation ditches the curvier formula and brings in sharp styling elements. while the LED headlights definitely help it stand out at night. It might be an acquired taste, but there’s no doubt that it makes an impression.

Comfort and interiors in the Toyota Prius

Our Comfort Rating9 / 10

Given that the basic design hasn’t changed much, all Priuses score equally in terms of comfort and space. There’s enough room for four adults, but it gets uncomfortable for an extra adult in the back due to less headroom. A large boot means that it’s easy to lug big and bulky objects, and the design ensures hassle-free loading and unloading. There are plenty of cubby holes in the cabin to stow smaller items. In the Business Edition on the latest generation, you get a handy charging point for your phone.

toyota prius dashboard

What features you'll find in the Toyota Prius

Our Features Rating8 / 10

Going with the older models could be a slight compromise for in-car entertainment, as you only get a CD player and satnav on some models. On the latest generation, you’ll find a central touchscreen infotainment system that runs the Toyota Touch 2 software, which is a breeze to use. You can choose from four trim levels to personalise the car to your needs. Upgrading to the top-tier trims brings in heated seats and leather upholstery, as well as bigger 17-inch alloy wheels.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Toyota Prius

Our Fuel Consumption Rating9 / 10

As fuel efficiency is the USP of the Prius, you can expect great results on this front. The older models delivered about 50 to 70 mpg, but these figures are based on an old testing method that wasn’t quite as accurate. Using the stricter WLTP testing method for the latest generation, the fuel efficiency stands at 68.4 mpg for 15-inch wheels and 59.6 mpg for 17-inch wheels. If you opt for the plug-in variant, the results are a staggering 235 mpg, even with the stricter tests.

Running costs of the Toyota Prius

Our Cost Rating9 / 10

The older models have delivered well in terms of running costs, and the latest generation should continue treading the same path. Emissions have increased from 70 g/km to 78 g/km in the standard 15-inch models from 2009 to the 2016 generation. The Prius comes with a standard five-year warranty along with a separate 12-year anti-corrosion and perforation warranty. Note that insurance could be on the higher side for older models, but the 2016 generation sits at a comfortable group 14. Incredible reliability means you won’t have to worry too much about visits to the mechanic, even if you’re purchasing secondhand.

Our verdict of the Toyota Prius

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Toyota Prius is spacious, comfortable and cheap to run – there's no better formula for a good family car.