Presented by Olympic Auto Sales,
Atlanta’s premier Luxury Buy Here Pay Here
The same basic egg-shaped car is still here, but the newest Prius adopted a lower, sharper, and sleeker nose. The plug-in Prius Prime smoothes over some of the more unseemly lines of the Prius, but there’s too many lines going in disparate directions: V-shaped hood, horizontal and swept back headlights, vertical “fangs” on the front bumper.
Along the body sides, the Prius shapes up its once slab-sided look with more creases and bends.
The rear roof pillar is black, jumping on the “floating roofline” trend that other automakers have followed. The rear end is tall, and the window is horizontally split in an odd way. The taillights have been tamed from prior years, but the horizontal arrangement still looks awkward to our eyes.
The Prius relies on a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 95 hp and a 53-kw electric motor the combines for a total output of 121 hp. All-wheel-drive versions, which are new this year, use separate, smaller rear electric motors to drive those wheels. Its net output is the same, although the all-wheel-drive running gear adds between 145 and 170 pounds to the car’s overall weight.
Front-drive versions of the Prius use a 0.75-kwh lithium-ion battery pack that’s more compact and more efficient, while all-wheel-drive models use a 1.2-kwh nickel-metal hydride battery that effectively uses less of its charge although its efficiency numbers aren’t far off. The nickel-metal batteries are also more durable in cold-weather climates.
Behind the wheel, regardless of driven wheels, the Prius accelerates at a modest pace, but it’s not fast. The all-wheel-drive system is designed to offer better grip at launch, and the rear motors turn off at speeds faster than 43 mph. In our limited winter testing of the all-wheel-drive version, it accelerated more confidently up snowy hills, but we weren’t convinced that a front-drive Prius equipped with snow tires couldn’t do the same.
The current Prius is more spacious and comfortable than its predecessors, specifically its front seats. The newer seats are more sculpted than the flat-bottomed cushions of previous generations. Up front, sharp color displays replaced the low-res readouts from yesteryear—the Prius’ tech inside finally matches the tech under the hood.
There’s good room up front, but rear-seat riders are treated to more leg room than the 33.4 inches advertised by Toyota. Head room may be an issue for tall torsos because the hatchback eats into available head space for tall adults.
The roofline and liftback has its perks though: under the rear hatch the Prius offers more than 27 cubic feet of cargo room, which is generous for a compact car.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.