Jan. 4, 2016

At a recent launch of Toyota’s all new Toyota Prius, the word was unmistakably that the 2016 Toyota Prius will be rewriting the hybrid rulebook that it created. With a price tag starting at $24,200 for the Prius Two model and up to $30,000 for the Prius Four Touring, the 2016 Prius line offers car buyers many choices.  

Expect a new exterior design, new hybrid system with a notable fuel economy boost, a new platform with double wishbone rear suspension and the all new Safety Sense system with automatic pre-collision braking. The 2016 Toyota Prius will also be the first vehicle based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture.

Since Toyota launched the world’s first mass production gasoline/electric hybrid Prius in 1997, worldwide sales have been more than 3.5 million. And with this 2016 introduction, it’s the all-new fourth-generation 2016 Prius that will have everyone talking. In fact, the new version of this global green icon takes the hybrid concept farther than ever and the word’s bandied around at the Prius launch this fall included “modern,” “dramatic,” “emotional.” 

As for the exterior changes, it’s longer, lower and wider than in years past and that means more room on the inside and you can also expect better handling agility too. 

Toyota executives also said there will be an increase in fuel economy anticipated at 54 miles per gallon in the city and 50 miles per gallon on the highway.

“That’s better than any mass produced passenger vehicle available without a plug,” a press release announced. “And, as before, the Prius sips regular-grade gasoline.”

A new Eco grade model is expecting ratings of 58 miles per gallon in the city and 53 miles per gallon on the highway, thanks to a lighter weight and further optimized aerodynamics.

The warranty on the Prius is also a standout at 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty for all the normal wear and tear and an additional 60-month warranty on the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. 

The 2016 Toyota Prius will give car buyers a premium interior that features advanced technology. Take note of the eye catching wrap-around dash design and form-hugging seats. It will also be a much quieter ride in 2016 too.  

Additional safety features also take top consideration with not only the Toyota Safety Sense P, but also a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.

“This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage,” Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division said.

The new Prius comes in six trims; the well-equipped entry level Prius Two for hybrid buyers on a budget; Prius Two Eco for buyers looking for even greater fuel efficiency and increased technology; Prius Three and Prius Three Touring offering a high-end driving experience; Prius Four known as the top-of-the-line; and the Prius Four Touring for drivers who want it all in one package.

Under the hood the Hybrid Synergy Drive combines the output of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2016 Prius uses smaller, lighter hybrid components, including a new lithium-ion hybrid battery that replaces the nickel-metal hydride battery (excluding the Prius Two non-Eco grade) in most models. The new battery’s smaller size and flatter shape allow it to be packaged under the rear seat, rather than beneath the luggage area and that means more cargo space.

It was also pointed out that in the 2016 Prius, an exhaust heat recirculation system uses the heat of exhaust gases to speed engine coolant warm-up. That in turn allows the hybrid system to stop the engine earlier and more often in the driving cycle when it’s not needed, for example in low-power-demand city driving conditions.

Because the Prius, under certain situations, can operate in battery mode alone, it will incorporate a Vehicle Proximity Notification System to help alert pedestrians and cyclists. A small in-vehicle speaker emits a low but noticeable warning tone when traveling below approximately 15 mph, and the sound changes with vehicle speed.

So while the 2016 Prius is at the top of the green game, it’s also proving to be ahead of the curve with its new safety features too – overall, a responsible and safe choice for driving in years to come.

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