Spacious, solidly built and well equipped, the Prius’s cabin does the car plenty of credit. For the first-time driver getting acquainted, it was always one of the first clues that you were about to drive something much more relaxing and advanced than an ordinary economy car.
And in the new-generation version, that sense of cocooning simplicity, calmness and technological sophistication has increased by quite a large increment.
Those upgrading from the previous Toyota Prius will immediately notice how much lower they’re sitting in the wide and comfortable driver’s seat, and how much smaller is the wheel rim in front of them.
They’ll be familiar with the car’s unconventional instrumentation: nothing directly ahead but a small head-up display, with a digital speedo and a much improved multi-function trip computer housed in a wide binnacle spanning the centre of the dashboard.
Instead of a rev counter, one of the trip computer screens provides a power usage meter, which may seem like a gimmick but is actually useful enough to help you gauge how much electric oomph is available at urban speeds – and thereby boost your economy return.
So the layout and interface logic are broadly unchanged. Fascia volumes have decreased, though, and, together with a lower scuttle, contribute to a pleasantly airy and spacious ambience in the front of the car.