Toyota introduces the fourth-generation of its popular gas-electric hybrid car with the 2016 Toyota Prius. Whether you are a current Prius owner, had a Prius in the past, or considering a Prius for the first time – choosing among the many Prius trim levels and models can be daunting at times. Not to worry, here is a guide to help you decide upon your next Prius.
The smaller Prius C is no longer the MPG champion in the Prius lineup, although it’s still the value leader with a starting price of $19,560. Prius C is rated at 53 MPG in the city, 46 MPG highway, and 50 MPG combined. This is still a very useful car for city dwellers and those who like the manageable size of a sub-compact car and more conventional interior design with a floor-mounted gear selector.
The roomier Prius V occupies the other end of the spectrum. It is a hatchback with enough interior passenger and cargo volume to rival most five-passenger crossovers. The Prius V starts at $26,675 and the EPA ratings are: 44 MPG in the city, 40 MPG on the highway, and 42 MPG combined. This is a car for those who require a voluminous interior to transport people and their stuff in comfort.
2016 Toyota Prius
The fourth-generation Prius is built on Toyota’s new global car platform. It brings a new shape, style, more efficiency, and more choices to the car that continues to define what a hybrid car can be. It comes in six distinct grades: Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four, and Four Touring. Yes, the naming conventions are a bit odd, but the value-minded 2016 Prius Two starts at $24,200. The Two is the only new generation Prius that uses the older nickel-metal hydride battery technology. It’s nothing bad. But it’s a proven entity and the new car gets an improved 54 MPG city, 50 MPG on the highway, and 52 MPG combined. This is better than the smaller Prius C and shows how technology is moving forward.
You don’t have to stop there. The Prius Two Eco is a new offering for those who must squeeze every ounce of fuel out of their hybrid. It uses lithium-ion batteries for a slight weight advantage and further optimized aerodynamics to receive outstanding ratings of 58 MPG in the city, 53 MPG on the highway, and 56 MPG combined. The Two Eco model starts at $24,700.
All the other grades of the Prius use lithium-ion battery technology and are rated the same as the Two at 54/50/52 MPGs. All cars receive an independent rear suspension setup that is aimed at improving the driving dynamics. Although Toyota engineers worked hard to shrink the size and weight of most components, the new suspension system adds some weight back in, and the new Prius weighs approximately the same as the outgoing model.
Another noteworthy item is that the standby battery is now a conventional lead-acid unit and finds space under the hood, thanks to the reduced size of the hybrid control unit and the CVT transmission. Speaking of the powertrain, the updated 1.8-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combine for a total net value of 121 horsepower. Toyota does not list total torque output, but the car has a slightly improved power delivery than before to provide for brisk around-town bursts.
The interior and cargo volumes remain about the same, and the hatchback design retains all of its utility. The top Four Touring grade of the Prius starts at $30,000. And you can option the car with the latest suite of driver-assistance and convenience technologies for a price that reaches to $32,540, including destination charges.
|Starting Price||EPA mpg||EPA interior volume||Cargo volume|
|2016 Prius C||$19,560||53/46/50||104.5 cu-ft||17.1 cu-ft|
|2016 Prius||$24,200||54/50/52||117.7 cu-ft||24.6 cu-ft|
|2016 Prius Two Eco||$24,700||58/53/56||117.7 cu-ft||24.6 cu-ft|
|2016 Prius V||$26,652||44/40/42||131.5 cu-ft||34.3 cu-ft|
Which 2016 Toyota Prius is best for you? This is a question that you are now hopefully better prepared to answer. Prius C is ideal for those looking for a small and nimble package. Prius V is for those looking for best roominess and utility. The all-new Prius hatchback is now the most efficient Prius in the lineup, and this is hard to argue with.
Your choice will again become a bit more complicated at the end of 2016 when the next generation of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid, the 2017 Prius Prime, goes on sale.
Take a look at this Everything You Ever Wanted to Know video featuring the 2016 Toyota Prius.