From £21,214
Toyota's facelift of the Prius is so minor you might miss it, but the car remains the leading hybrid.
Autocar
4 February 2006

What's newNot a lot. Never mind blinking, you might miss this facelift even if you keep your eyes open. The headlights have been tweaked and there’s a new chrome grille, while at the back the tail-lights now have swankier chrome-plated clusters.Extra chassis reinforcement has been added to improve cornering, plus new rear shock absorbers and retuned power steering. Inside the rear seat is 50mm wider and the hip-point drops by 6mm to add headroom. There are also some new soft-touch finishes for the dash and door tops.Additions to the options list include four new metallic paints (£325), full leather trim (£1350) in place of leather/Alcantara and, on T-Spirit models, a rear parking camera with Intelligent Parking Assist, which helps you steer into parking spaces.What's it like?It’s not the world’s best-selling hybrid for nothing. Around town it’s effortless, seamlessly switching between petrol and electric powertrains –though the ride can be choppy. Out of the city limits the weightier steering is better and the Prius corners well for a heavy car with skinny tyres.Should I get one?Prices are up £250, and £17,795 is steep for a family hatch, but Londoners will get £2k back per year on the congestion charge. Still the only hybrid that makes environmental, financial and practical sense.Alastair Clements

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