Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius was introduced in the 2001 model year. It went on to sell a large number of vehicles quickly and became a standard for other fuel economic vehicles introduced later to the market. Toyota was one of the first manufacturers to introduce a gas and electric hybrid vehicle to the marketplace.

The Toyota Prius has a drive train that mixes together a combustion engine with an electric-powered motor. Lower emissions and spectacular fuel economy has brought the Prius into its third generation, and is still in production today.

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About the Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is known first for its fuel economy. Current models get 51/48 mpg city/highway. Old models get great fuel economy as well, even with engine depreciation. Those in the market for a hybrid vehicle who can't afford a 2012 model, used Toyota Prius vehicles are reasonably priced and reliable.

The inside of the Toyota Prius is also impressive. Most models have a strong entertainment and accessories package. The inside of the vehicle also has a lot of extra cargo space and room for the family.

Don’t expect any major differences switching from a regular car to a Prius. While earlier versions had a slight learning curve, the new models are a simple and fun drive.

Toyota Prius Features

The 2012 Prius is available in four different trim lines: the Prius Two, Three, Four, and Five.

All models have a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with a 98 horsepower output from the gas engine, and a 73 kW output from the electric motor. It runs 153 lb-ft of torque. The car is equipped with power-assisted ventilated front brakes that regenerate the battery at each stop.

Differences begin to appear in the trim lines on the exterior of the vehicle. Projector beam headlamps are included on all vehicles, but the auto on/off feature only appears on the Prius Four. The Prius Five has headlamp cleaners also. LED tail and stop lights keeps power consumption to a minimum.

All of the car's trim lines have 15-inch, five-spoke wheels except for the Prius Five, which has 17-inch wheels. A power tile or slide moon roof is available as a package option on the Prius Three and Four.

The Prius interior is fully stacked. Automatic climate control with a filter is included on all the models. A 6.1-inch touchscreen controls the entertainment system. Each trim model has an added feature. Etune is available, connecting you to Bing and Pandora for a wide music selection. The top models have JBL speakers for better audio quality. Premium HDD Navigation is available as a package option on the Prius Four and Five.

The display on the inside of the Prius is very intricate, showing fuel consumption, average fuel economy, distance to empty, average speed, energy monitor, and ECO Savings Record.

The Prius One starts at a reasonable $24,000 and rises to $29,805 for the Prius Five.

Toyota Prius Evolution

The Prius was first introduced in the United States in 2001, four years after its release in Japan. This was only the second hybrid vehicle model to enter the U.S. market. The first generation model was large, somewhat uncomfortable, and still had a few bugs, but it was extremely popular. It had a 1.5-liter engine producing 70 horsepower.

The second generation, introduced in 2004 and running until 2009, added a lot of new improvements. The car size shrunk but had more cargo area and more comfortable seating. The 1.5-liter engine was smaller in size but produced 76 horsepower with 82 lb-ft of torque. Net horsepower was 110, a great output for such a small and light vehicle.

The second generation model did lag behind when it came to the interior styling and console. There are large differences between the second generation and third generation interiors. The third generation updated the dashboard introduced some new innovations like a telescoping steering wheel. The second generation wheel did not adjust or telescope, preventing taller drivers from having a comfortable ride. Also, the third generation touchscreen performs well but is sometimes washed out in sunny conditions.

If you are looking for a superior hybrid, you can’t go wrong with one of the most trusted companies in the business. It is a good idea to skip the first generation models when buying used to avoid some of the design flaws. Drive both the second generation and third if you have an opportunity to find out which vehicle you prefer. A used second generation vehicle is often a good deal.

Select a Toyota Prius Year

2018 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2017 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2016 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2015 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2014 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2013 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2012 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

Two new Prius vehicles join the hybrid fleet since the Toyota Prius first debuted back in 1997 and current, third generation design went on sale in 2009 as a 2010 model.

2011 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

Aside from a safety recall involving reprogramming the ABS, the 2011 Toyota Prius remains the same as it was last year. The Prius gained 24 horsepower over the last generation, better fuel economy (51 mpg city), quieter ride, improved handling, new looks, cooler eco gauges, nicer interior, and more space inside -- more cargo space, more legroom, more shoulder room, and more headroom.

2010 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2009 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2008 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The 2008 Toyota Prius is fuel-efficient and affordable.

2007 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The 2007 Toyota Prius is best known as one of the earliest mass-produced hybrid vehicles, and it enjoys popularity amongst consumers concerned with fuel economy.

2006 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The first hybrid automobile that came on the market was not the Toyota Prius.

2005 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The 2005 Toyota Prius basically serves as a full-size family sedan with a different type of power system and drivetrain.

2004 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

If the newly redesigned 2004 Toyota Prius could be summed up in one word, it would be ""more.

2003 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

The 2003 Toyota Prius is a full electric/gasoline hybrid in production from 1997 to the present.

2002 Toyota Prius

Compact, Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

The 2002 Toyota Prius has made headlines for its unique and environmentally-friendly hybrid technology that combines gasoline and electric power to propel the engine.

2001 Toyota Prius

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

Compared to other cars, the 2001 Toyota Prius seems like a bit of a mixed bag.