2005 Toyota Prius

  • 2005 Toyota Prius Base Hatchback

    Base Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
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2005 Toyota Prius Review

A reliable and economical family car that provides basic transportation and fuel economy but little else.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Toyota Prius basically serves as a full-size family sedan with a different type of power system and drivetrain. Its selling point: the hybrid powertrain makes it earth friendly and helps it get really good mileage. The gas mileage figures stand at 48/45 mpg city/highway.

This high-quality car comes with the renowned Toyota workmanship and reliability. It also boasts some surprising features including plenty of interior room and a hatchback that makes loading and unloading easy.

The vehicle does suffer from some serious drawbacks, though. It has less power than similar cars and some online reports also suggest that the fuel economy actually doesn’t achieve the official EPA numbers.

Interestingly enough, the Prius seems to get better mileage in the city than on the highway. It actually serves as a very good car for city driving, but a poor cruiser, even though it offers a lot of legroom for a road trip. Another drawback concerns the lack of power to go over hills at a reasonable speed. People who drive cars with some power under the hood do not like the Prius.

Note that at the end of the day the Prius still remains one of the ugliest cars on the road. This vehicle’s boxy, functional design dismays a lot of drivers. Toyota still has a lot of work to do before hybrids become standard, but the Prius marks an impressive achievement. Toyota has succeeded in creating a reliable and economical vehicle that serves the average family’s needs.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door hatchback sedan
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid
Transmissions: continuously variable (CVT)
Models: Toyota Prius

What's New

The 2005 Prius shows a few minor upgrades, including a standard rear wiper and a vinyl sun visor. The Smart Key System simply remains the same as the old Smart Key and Entry System but gives it a new name.


This vehicle looks different, with a unique appearance that discourages some drivers. The hatchback makes loading and unloading easy and compensates for the lack of a trunk. Alloy wheels and all-season tires come standard. It should be obvious that people do not buy this vehicle for its looks. People who care about how a car looks should check out Honda’s hybrid offerings, which look more like cars than shuttle crafts.


The best feature of this car’s interior comes with all of the room it offers. Both the front and back seats offer around three feet of headroom and 51 inches of hip room. That makes it a very comfortable car to ride in and drive. Like most cars these days, it has an interior air filter, climate control, a rear wiper, and a rear defogger. The upholstery and furnishings stay pretty basic and comparable to those in an economy car.

Performance & Handling

The 1.4-liter engine and electric drivetrain do not deliver that much power. This makes the Prius a bit sluggish because of its weight. Despite the lack of power the Prius remains a very easy car to drive. The continuously variable transmission, cruise control, standard traction control, and electric steering make for smooth in-town driving. It proves more than adequate for everyday driving needs like trips to the grocery store. The Prius may be an easy car to drive, but it does not satisfy the thrill-seeking type.


Standard safety features include emergency brake assist, an ABS, ventilated front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, electronic brake force distribution, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, and child-safety locks on the rear doors. Available safety options include stability control and side curtain airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Prius: 48/45 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Cruise control
  • Electric power steering
  • Lots of legroom
  • Hatchback makes for easy loading
  • Easy in-town steering
  • High-quality workmanship
  • Dependability
  • Standard traction control
  • Smooth driving

You Won't Like

  • Lacks power
  • Limited ability to go up and down hills
  • Boxy exterior
  • No real trunk
  • Lacks interior amenities and style
  • Lacks basic safety features like side curtain airbags

Sum Up

A reliable and economical family car that provides basic transportation and fuel economy but little else.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Honda Civic Hybrid
  • Honda Insight Hybrid

See the New 2018 Prius.

Front & Driver Side View

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