The next Toyota Prius will retain the current car's aerodynamic shape, but the interior moves upmarket

The fourth-generation Toyota Prius has begun testing in southern California ahead of a likely launch next year.

Despite the heavy camouflage, it is clear that the model keeps its aerodynamic wedge shape, with a sharply raked windscreen and flat rear end, while the interior borrows much from the Lexus CT200h to reflect the Prius’s more premium positioning in the Toyota range.

The top half of this test mule's dashboard is pure Lexus, but the centre console sees the controls significantly repositioned, suggesting the production car could feature a lower centre console than its upmarket cousin.

Little is yet known about the hybrid powertrain that will be used in the next-generation Prius. The electric-only range is set to be improved, as is the packaging of the batteries to increase boot space.

The 1.8-litre petrol engine to which the electric drive system is mated is likely to be carried over, but with further improvements to its performance and efficiency. 

Our Verdict

Toyota Prius

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

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10 June 2013

The Prius was the ninth best selling car in the US last year (236,659 cars, up 73.4% from 2011). I find that amazing. I'm not sure how many are sold in the UK but it will be much less than that. That must make the USA the single biggest market and, hence, Toyota USA can now call the shots on how the next gen Prius turns out. No coincidence it's testing in California, then...

9 June 2013

I have read that the 2014 model boasts 90mpg, more power from the same engine and the 4WD. Any news on that?

10 June 2013

The fact the Prius is moving "upmarket" only confirms that it is being aimed at those who want to be SEEN to be green as opposed to those who really WANT to be green ...

Roll on the TRULY AFFORDABLE green car ...

10 June 2013

shame I was hoping it would be more affordable.

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10 June 2013

Is this just the usual car company drivel to justify a higher purchase price? Seems to be the norm nowadays.

10 June 2013

I'm guessing the move upmarket is to keep the model viable.  With the hybrid technology moving into other cars outside the Prius brand, it makes sense to make the Prius the flagship car to trail and demonstrate the latest improvements.  Otherwise why have it at all?

OTOH, being the best hybrid model in terms of aerodynamic shape, it's a shame it's not the most affordable.  Perhaps it could be the flag bearer and still have a back to basics entry level model at a normal price?

10 June 2013

Anyone who's had the misfortune of being in a current gen Prius will know that moving the interior upmarket is about as difficult as making a cream cracker more palatable by not eating it dry. It's a horridly brittle and sterile experience with all the style and charm of an original Fiat Strada - but with animations to tell you how much fuel you're saving in the oasis like calm moments inbetween the banshee shrieking of the engine, as it lurches in and out of regualr combustion use.

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