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2006 Toyota Prius Review
A midsize family car with the best fuel economy.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The first hybrid automobile that came on the market was not the Toyota Prius. But having four doors, room for four passengers, and a spacious trunk, it was first to offer an economy car with excellent fuel economy. In 2004, the next generation was introduced and delivered hybrid drivetrain, hatchback utility with a larger interior, and a more powerful engine than the earlier version.
A drivetrain typically utilizes a small gas engine along with an electric motor, which provides power and keeps fuel usage and emissions to a minimum. When accelerating fully, both sources work together providing maximum power. Under a lighter load conditions in heavy traffic, the Prius alternates between engine and battery power, while sometimes running on the battery's power alone. The braking system will convert normally lost energy into electricity that charges the batteries. The powertrain delivers more power considerably with less emission than the first model. Toyota made the claim that exhaust emissions are reduced by at least 30 percent compared to the first model marketed, earning two ratings with the Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) and the Super Ultra Low-Emission Vehicle (SULEV). The EPA rating is 48/45 mpg city/highway.
Engines: 1.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: Prius Base
The 2006 Toyota Prius gets a backup camera and a monitor for tire pressures. The exterior gets a new look with headlights and clusters for taillights. The interior of the automobile receives seat fabrics in darker tones, a leather steering wheel, and an optional audio jack port.
The 2006 four-door Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback comes only with one trim level including exterior standard features of a rear spoiler, variable intermittent wipers, rear intermittent wipers, rear defogger, and 15-inch alloy wheels. The optional Xenon headlights can add pizazz to the automobile. The exterior colors come in eight choices.
The interior of the 2006 Toyota Prius hybrid is impressive with an upscale look and high-quality materials. The dashboard center consists of the gauge cluster that is very easy to read and use. The standard interior features are automatic climate control, tilt steering wheel, power mirrors, locks and windows, steering wheel climate and audio controls, CD six-speaker stereo, trip computer, and front bucket seats. The options that are available include Bluetooth technology for hands-free operation, leather seats, navigation system that is DVD-based, and the upgraded premium JBL audio system that has a CD six-disc changer. Additionally, there is an option for adding the voice command system, which allows the driver to focus on the road while using the technology.
Comfortable seating for four adults is offered by the 2006 Toyota Prius. While it's somewhat smaller than the usual midsize sedans, tall adult passengers can be seated in rear seats comfortably. Climate control features are run wholly on electricity, allowing continuous cooling even if the engine isn’t running and saving on energy. It’s easy to realize why Toyota Prius automobiles are favored and talked about often today.
Performance & Handling
With the 2006 Toyota Prius, there is just one transmission and engine combination that is available. The power plant called Hybrid Synergy Drive is the system used on all of the Prius vehicles. It consists of two electric drive generators/motors and the 1.5-liter gas engine. The gasoline engine can make 76 horsepower with 82 lb-ft of torque, as the electric motors can effectively generate an equal 67 hp with 295 lb-ft torque. The overall horsepower calculates to 110 because the power sources don’t hit its peak at the same time. Nevertheless, the delivery of power is consistent and smooth.
While driving the Prius, the acceleration isn’t the quickest, reaching 60 mph from zero takes around 10.4 seconds. Even though most drivers will appreciate the fuel economy, they don’t typically worry about the lack of speed. The CVT will possibly take a bit to get used to since there are no gears to shift. Overall, the ride is pleasant and cabin noise is almost non-existent with the CVT providing seamless power with maximum efficiency.
Every one of the 2006 Prius models have standard safety features of traction control, anti-lock brakes; four-wheel and brake assist. Side-impact curtain airbags and electronic stability control are optional items. The government performed crash testing on the Prius for all types of protection and gave the vehicle a rating of four stars out of a possible five stars. During the testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Prius achieved the best rating of ""good"" when it came to protecting occupants of side-impact and frontal-impact crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Reasonably priced
- Hatchback utility
- Ultra low emissions
- Fantastic mileage
- Outstanding build quality
You Won't Like
- Not quite consistent with EPA estimates
- Less Power
A midsize family car with the best fuel economy.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Accord Hybrid
- Honda Civic Hybrid