Toyota has given its Prius the lightest of tweaks for 2006. The interior gets some new upholstery options and altered hip points for the rear seat and all models get a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Outside there are new head and tail lights, a revised front grille and three new metallic colours.
The major addition is an extra option for the top of the range, the T Spirit: IPA or Intelligent Parking Assist. Not content with having a by-wire throttle and brake, the Prius will now park itself for you. The Toyota uses its rear-facing camera to show you the view behind. So far, so familiar.
But the new Prius adds a twist: so long as it thinks there is enough room, it will twirl the wheel to the correct angle for the manoeuvre. Graciously, it still allows the driver to control the throttle and brake.