Here’s the number that many will consider central to the Prius’s success or failure: 62.5mpg. That’s the result our True MPG testers obtained from the car, on 15in wheels and so best configured for low rolling resistance.
A handful of similarly sized hatchbacks have done better, among them Honda’s Civic 1.6 i-DTEC, but none would match the Prius for stop-start efficiency in traffic. Over a busy mixed route on a few occasions, the car indicated better than 70mpg during our tests.
Toyota expects to charge you a premium, of course, putting the Prius on a level with German premium-brand five-doors on showroom price. But it also bundles a lot of equipment in as standard – LED headlights, active cruise control, colour touchscreen infotainment with DAB radio and plenty of active safety equipment even on entry-level cars.
Our advice with speccing up a new Prius, is to opt for the Business Edition trim, which adorns the hybrid with heated seats, parking sensors, head-up display, keyless entry and a wireless phone charger. We would also go for the 15in alloys and a spacesaver spare, while avoiding the expensive satellite navigation option.