Toyota's second-generation plug-in Prius has been revealed, with claimed fuel economy of 202mpg and CO2 emissions of just 32g/km
Steve Cropley Autocar
23 March 2016

Toyota has unveiled its second generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid, at the New York motor show. Described as its latest technology flagship, the new car can reach 84mph in battery-only mode or travel up to 31 miles without help from the petrol engine.

The car, which reaches British showrooms at the end of the year, returns 202mpg combined and emits just 32g/km of CO2 - the best figures yet achieved by any plug-in hybrid.

The new Prius Plug-in Hybrid looks little different to the regular Prius launched recently, but it gets new LED lights front and rear. The car is 165mm longer than the outgoing model, 15mm wider and 20mm lower with an impressive aerodynamic drag factor of 0.24, delivered by such sophisticated measures as a double-bubble rear window and an automatic radiator shutter which closes when cooling air isn't needed by the engine.

Solar roof charging panels

Solar panels on the roof charge the battery when the sun shines and a gas injection heat pump system keeps the air conditioning working when the car is being driven in battery-only mode

There is also a larger, 8.8kWh lithium ion battery that, despite its extra capacity, takes just two hours and 20 minutes to charge. Toyota avoids quoting a kerb weight for its new model, but insists this has been “kept to a minimum”.

The Prius Plug-in Hybrid's petrol engine is an improved version of Toyota’s 1.8-litre four, with new big-capacity exhaust gas recirculation system and improvements to its combustion that lift its overall efficiency to 40%, making it, according to Toyota’s claims, the world's most efficient mass-produced petrol engine.

‘More engaging’ driving position

Toyota is at pains to portray the Plug-in Hybrid as a true driver’s car. It gets what designers call a “more engaging” driving position, a high centre console and the cabin layout of a luxury coupé, with a “dominant” centre cluster featuring 4.2-inch TFT screens and a wireless phone charging tray.

The driver-orientated theme continues with “more precise and responsive handling” thanks to a new double wishbone rear suspension, revisions to the familiar Prius’s MacPherson strut front end and a lower centre of gravity, which also reduces body roll, improves stability and sharpens the steering. The car is exceptionally quiet, Toyota says, helped by a new sound insulating laminated screen and special front window glazing.

The plug-in Prius has never sold as well in the UK against the regular Prius, and the recent announcement of a reduction in the government subsidy for PHEVs won’t help this new model. But Toyota bosses believe demand could change “in a heartbeat” if CO2 outputs for cars in cities were dramatically cut, which they see as a realistic prospect.

Our Verdict

Toyota Prius
All-new Prius blends hyper-low CO2 with credible real-world pace

The Toyota Prius is an easy and very visible route to greenness

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23 March 2016

But surprised that it doesn't go further on electricity only, considering how compromised the styling is. Looks like another tax break special, just more peculiar looking.

23 March 2016

Really like this new Prius. The glide away from rest is so much nicer than the constant spluttering of regular stop/start, for one thing. And I like the way its looks reflect its purpose. Sounds like it finally drives pretty well too.

24 March 2016
androo wrote:

The glide away from rest is so much nicer than the constant spluttering of regular stop/start, for one thing

Exactly this! Stop/start isn't so bad in a manual where you effectively control it with the clutch pedal, but in an auto (as I have now) it's infuriating that the engine continuously cuts in and out when creeping up to a roundabout for example. Hence I find myself turning the function on and off. This alone, has got me interested in a hybrid or even full electric for my next car.

And I think this version of the Prius looks rather good, for the type of vehicle.

23 March 2016

Progress due to the Kia competition, excellent for the consumer. Anyhow before people go on and on about real world figures I bet you'd get a pretty high figure if you had a round trip commute of no more than 30 miles and charged it up every night on cheap rate electricity.


Hydrogen cars just went POP

23 March 2016

Finally competition is here to egg Toyota to improve its Prius. More competition would lead to more innovations and improved MPG.

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