It happened to be that the Toyota Prius was a niche car, a moving proclamation of counterculture eco mindedness. Today the Prius is so universal that it is regarded as the default commuter choice in the minds of many consumers. With the 2016 Prius, the fourth generation of Toyota’s standard bearing nameplate, the formula is still the same. It’s still comes as a four door hatchback with a hybridized four-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels.
There’s a wider array of trim levels on available now. The 2016 model is to be offered in six flavors: Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring. “Touring” trim levels bring more features while the “Eco” model is even more conservative with fuel than the base version.
What’s New Under the Skin?
The 2016 Toyota Prius is produced on an all-new platform that will under pin several future Toyota brand, including the future Corolla. The new Prius moves on the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the predecessor, though the new car is a hair lower and wider and a couple of inches longer than them.
The structure is stiffer, too, which coupled with relocating the hybrid battery from the cargo area to under the backseat made possible by the adoption of a new rear suspension layout. The old Prius’ pedestrian twist beam rear suspension is no more available. And in place of it is a double wishbone layout, which is enhances wheel control for improved ride and handling.
Frankly, the double-wishbone arrangement added back about 100 pounds that were offset by weight-saving measures elsewhere in the 2016 Prius’ construction. The end result is that curb weight hasn’t changed a much; depending on trim level, the new Prius weighs between 3,010 and 3,080 pounds (the 2015 Prius is 3,042 pounds). Though the new car is however no lighter, its center of gravity is lowered by an inch, another suggestion that the new Prius will drive more keenly.
New Under-the- Hood Option
A revised edition of the existing 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine gives out more efficiency and sends 95 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Combined with the revamped electrical side of the Prius’ hybrid equation, the total system output is kept at 121 hp. This is less peak power than the outgoing model, which produced 134 total system horsepower.
Despite the power deficiency and similar weight, Toyota thinks the new car’s acceleration to 60 mph in 10.6 seconds matches the old model. Basically, the new car draws more greatly from its electrical components at low vehicle speeds than does the outgoing model. Thus, the 2016 model’s low speed thrust is juicier, and this is enough to offset its peak power shortfall in the sprint to 60 mph.
A nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery is still used, but only in the entry-level two versions. All other 2016 Prius models comes lighter, more capable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack. The less costly Ni-MH battery (also used in other global regions where Li-ion disposal/recycling are trickier) allows the base version of the new Prius to fit in at exactly the same base price as the 2015 model.
One behavior familiar to hybrid owners is found absent in the 2016 Prius: There are no telltale high-voltage orange electrical cables under the hood. For 2016, automakers shrunk the inverter and power electronics so importantly that these components are now integrated directly into the top of the transaxle.
In the bargain, the orange cables and their attendant copper losses were rejected thus reducing clutter and then boosting electrical efficiency. So much space was liberated up front that the traditional 12-volt battery was relocated from the cargo area to the engine compartment. The continuously variable transaxle, too, was rebranded in the interests of packaging and reducing parasitic losses.
Official EPA fuel economy numbers are still forthcoming, but Toyota’s own projections keep the new Prius at 52 mpg combined 54 city/50 highway, a 2-mpg improvement over the outgoing model. Also notice that the 2016 Prius’ numbers were divined in compliance with the EPA’s more rigorous test guidelines that is effective for 2017 models.
Eco models are estimated to achieve 56 mpg combined 58 city/53 highway, courtesy of lower-rolling-resistance tires and a slight weight reduction. While the Eco’s fuel-sipping ways are impressive, the savings may not be important to some buyers, as at today’s fuel prices it would take more than a decade for the Eco model’s fuel savings to pay off its $500 purchase premium over the base 2016 Prius model.
The new Prius gets up its feet with more sophisticated style than the old car. The ride quality has far less busy ness at the rear and the car drives along the intended path more faithfully than the 2015 model.
The car moves off the line briskly, leaving no reasons to doubt the Toyota’s acceleration claims. It also has a blends of its regenerative and friction brakes more seamlessly, and the engine has noticeably better noise isolation. Wind noise was obvious at the A-pillars, however.
the new car’s newfound adroitness simply offers its drive like a more expensive car, and it’s the kind of improvement that is noticeable even in routine driving well under the ultimate limit of tire grip. It’s not a sports car, however, the changes to the rear suspension have produced a real difference you can feel every time you drive it the car.
Fortunately, the revisions to the interior style promises to be more universally well received. The first thing to be noticed is the new car’s lower seating position. The hip point is a significant 2.3 inches lower, so sitting in a Prius no longer feels like you’re kept on top of a stack of phone books. Headroom is more generous than in the old version too. There’s a telescoping wheel as standard, but its adjustment range is abit limited.
The older car’s floating center console was binned, which opens up the sense of space in the cabin. Materials are now noticeably less cheap-looking (and feeling), while the full-color central information display is much easier to read than the outgoing monochrome blue-green affair.
Cargo volume has been appreciably increased to 24.6 cubic feet (that is 27.3 cubic feet for models without a spare tire), an increase of 3.0 cubic feet over the old Prius. This comes at the expense of a decrease in backseat legroom.
Standard options on the 2016 Toyota Prius are keyless entry, full LED lighting, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth compatibility and active grille shutters. Higher trim levels come equipped with power seats, 17-inch wheels, a more capable and larger multimedia system and wireless smartphone charging (assuming you have a Qi case).
Other optional equipment available in various packages are semi-automated parking, a moon roof and a head-up display. Tech-hungry buyers should focus the searchlight on the Prius Three and Four, which offer adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and a collision prevention system that can detect and respond to pedestrians. These higher trim levels also have blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alerts as standard equipment.
Base prices start from $25,035-$30,835, both of which are unchanged from last year’s car. Considering the tangible improvements made to the vehicle, maintaining then pricing is however a good surprise.
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