The Toyota Prius is a complete surprise
Written 3 years ago by Rebecca Donnelly
The Prius has been a total surprise to me, I was all set to dislike it because of how it looks and then I drove it. There’s nothing like getting behind the wheel of an electric powered car, it’s the whoosh or energy from the batteries and the torque that get you. When you reach the limit of power for electric you need a hybrid.
Until now hybrids were seen as white goods, there was very little in the way of character it was all about the numbers and saving the environment. In reality if you wanted to drive down a motorway most hybrids just ran out of power and would run away screaming.
Not today, the granddaddy of hybrids has changed everything. The Prius started it all with mass produced hybrid cars and, until now, it was fairly poor. It was always to light and the engine was never able to cope with higher speed driving, I will say that city driving has always been a strong point for the Prius.
The new Prius is solid, roomy, clean and above all slightly cool. That’s saying a lot for a car that, from certain angles could frighten the birds. Being pretty and aerodynamic is very hard, just ask any F1 team as they are the pinnacle of wind movement but have lost anything even remotely good looking or sounding for that matter.
The Prius is a challenging look but there’s no doubt in my mind that anyone who drives it will find out just how cool it really is. Don’t let the petrol put you off, in real world driving I got 4.6ltrs average and that’s 61mpg in old money. There are many diesel cars I drive that can’t manage that, so how is Toyota doing it with a 1.8ltr petrol?
At low speed it uses the battery only and that’s the hard bit for all cars, getting moving is where the bulk of the energy is being used. Toyota solve this by using the battery at town speeds and a mix of petrol and battery at higher speeds, they’ve also changed the gear ratio to deal with motorways.
Right now it’s the best hybrid on the market but I doubt that will last long as every other car company will be bringing out a hybrid version very soon. The one thing Toyota have in its favour is that Prius has a long history and that all important name.