2001 Toyota Prius

  • 2001 Toyota Prius Base Hatchback

    Base Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
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      1.5L I4
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2001 Toyota Prius Review

Has its faults, but still one of the best hybrids available.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Compared to other cars, the 2001 Toyota Prius seems like a bit of a mixed bag. It has a so-so interior and a pretty good exterior. It contains an underwhelming engine that wouldn't satisfy a math professor's mid-life crisis.

Compared to other hybrids, though, the 2001 Toyota Prius looks like the coolest kid on the block. Toyota does something that eludes so many car manufacturers: it has made a hybrid car that looks like a regular car!

Driving enthusiasts scoff at its paltry horsepower and torque. But the 2001 Prius doesn’t care about high power. It focuses on saving fuel and not feeling embarrassed while you do it. If you care more about the environment than driving a sports car, then you should definitely consider the 2001 Toyota Prius. If nothing else, compare it to other hybrid and electric vehicles before you cross it off your list. It marks one of the most highly rated vehicles in its market.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engine: 1.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid
Transmission: continuously variable transmission
Models: Toyota Prius

What's New

The 2001 Toyota Prius has enough room for five people, which makes it one of the first family friendly hybrids. It even has room for extra cargo.


A lot of hybrid cars look goofy. You can imagine a clown driving one, or maybe someone from an alternate dimension where people don't care about looking cool in their cars. The 2001 Toyota Prius avoids this by maintaining a very common style that doesn't stand out on the road.

The Prius has a slightly snubbed nose that makes it look different from other Toyota sedans, but it doesn’t look weird. That makes a big plus for anyone interested in hybrid technology but not all of the pseudo-high-tech aesthetics that go hand-in-hand with saving gas.


If you, like many, think the Toyota Echo has a goofy interior, then you probably won't feel too impressed by the 2001 Prius. The gauges and controls have a very similar layout on the center console. This makes it easier for Toyota to release the Prius in more markets around the world, but it also makes the interior design look cartoonish and confusing to most drivers.

However, the 2001 Toyota Prius offers some good things about the interior that could make you forgive its odd console design. For instance, it has a tall stance that offers plenty of head and foot room even for tall passengers. It comes standard with a trip computer, climate control, and low fuel warning that could probably go off about once a month, assuming you drive quite a bit. Optional features include an in-dash six-CD changer and a CD deck.

Performance & Handling

If you expect to find a lot of power in a 2001 hybrid, try not to feel disappointed. The 2001 Toyota Prius employs a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that offers a meek 70 hp and 82 lb-ft of torque. Even with its relatively low weight of 2765 pounds, that doesn’t impress anyone. You have to keep talking about the Prius’s excellent fuel efficiency. Otherwise, none of your passengers care.

The 2001 Toyota Prius also draws power from an electric motor. This motor adds 34 hp for a grand total of 104 hp.

The first time someone tries to snub you for the car's lousy power, just remind him that you can get up to 52 mpg. With an 11.9-gallon gas tank, you can take the Prius 600 miles without stopping once to refuel. That might have naysayers changing their tunes.

For its lack of power, the 2001 Toyota Prius offers pretty decent handling. Many people expect it to drive like a toy car, but it handles like a real car. Drivers don’t feel other cars barreling down on them, and the wind cannot blow you clear off the interstate.


The 2001 Toyota Prius comes with numerous features that appeal to families. Some of those features include four-wheel ABS, electronic brake force distribution, ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes, and an anti-theft alarm system.

While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does not rate the 2001 Prius, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration gives it four stars for passenger safety, three stars for driver safety, and four stars for rollover safety. All NHTSA ratings use a five star system.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Prius: 42/41 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent features
  • Terrific warranty

You Won't Like

  • Doesn't match the power of gas engines
  • Higher hybrid price

Sum Up

Has its faults, but still one of the best hybrids available.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Insight
  • Honda Civic Hybrid

See the New 2016 Prius.

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