2016 Automobile Review- The Latest Toyota Prius
Toyota is one of the most reliable carmakers for the mass consumers till date and it is not a surprise why there are still so many Toyota cars on the roads in Singapore. Thanks to Toyota Singapore, we had the privilege to own the latest Toyota Prius for half a week and we had lots of fun zipping around Singapore in this fuel efficient and futuristic hybrid car. With more than 8 million hybrids sold worldwide, the Toyota Prius is a modern-day icon that is so efficient that it remains unrivalled.
The “Triangle Silhouette” that defined the second and third-generation Prius models has been reimagined. In profile, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. The hood is lower, and in fact the name badge on the front is at the same height as on the Scion FR-S sports car.
The distinctive roof peak has been moved forward by 170mm to further reduce drag while still ensuring ample rear-seat headroom. Edgy character lines run along the side from the front fenders. One is just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler. The rocker panel features a distinctive light-catching upward-facing surface that begins at the lowest part of the vehicle to highlight its stable low stance.
New standard Bi-LED headlamps dominate the Prius’ front fascia and give it an unforgettable face. Automatic headlamp levelling keeps the beam focused on the road and helps prevent blinding drivers in oncoming vehicles.
The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides and leave one of the most evocative night-time signatures on the road today.
A palette of seven exterior colours includes an all-new Toyota hue, Hypersonic Red. A newly developed treatment process yields a deep and vibrant lustre highlighting the external forms. Perhaps red will be the new green!
Overall, the Toyota Prius exudes a sharp and confident design that is truly a head-turner.
The Toyota Prius brought not only a futuristic trend to exterior design, but also to interior configuration, delivering mid-size room in a compact package.
The intuitive concept of former Prius generations continues, anchored by a centrally mounted gauge panel. The information displays and the center display wrap around the instrument panel, showing a layered structure. A seamless flow from the instrument panel into the door trim creates an open, airy ambience.
The soft instrument panel and trim surfaces convey a smooth, warm feel. Features that drivers use on a regular basis, including a new electric fuel lid release, are placed close to hand for intuitive operation. The look may seem futuristic, but the driver does not need an advanced degree to use the controls.
In the 2016 Toyota Prius, the electronic information cluster appears to float through a carefully carved, almost invisible rear surface. The new panel features dual 4.2-inch full-colour TFT multi-information displays, and their content can be changed using steering wheel controls. To suit the mood, the display background colour changes depending on selected driving mode. Choose Power mode, and the background becomes racy red. Select Normal mode for a soothing blue glow.
The display provides a multitude of readouts for hybrid energy information and much more, but best of all, the driver can choose how much information to receive by selecting either Simple or Segmented display modes.
A driving support display shows the status of features such as radar cruise control, Lane Departure Alert and other systems. The driver can cycle through the Multi-Information Display content using steering wheel-mounted switches. After the vehicle is turned off, the display will remain on for 30 seconds to show elapsed time, distance travelled, average fuel economy, Eco Score result, and driving advice to help enhance fuel economy.
The most critical element of the new Toyota Prius interior becomes apparent only once underway; quietness. With a lighter, more efficient hybrid system and greater usage of high-strength, light-weight body materials, Toyota was able to significantly increase noise control measures without hurting the vehicle’s fuel economy or performance.
New noise-control features and materials throughout the body, engine compartment and cabin combine to give the 2016 Prius a serene passenger cabin. A sound-insulating laminated windshield glass and numerous new sound absorbers in the dash structure reduce noise intrusion.
The 2016 Toyota Prius may be the most comfortable way to conserve fuel. Amenities abound in this roomier, quieter model, with comfort and convenience manifesting in many details. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel comes wrapped in urethane synthetic leather.
The air conditioning system uses a new, quieter electric compressor, and the Smart-flow mode focuses airflow only to areas where occupants are seated in order to help maximise fuel economy and comfort. The system’s slim climate control panel conveys a luxurious feel with piano black finish for the switches and chrome accents. Each control is arranged directly underneath its corresponding display, for intuitive operation.
The Toyota Prius comes ready to connect with your world through its Entune Audio systems. The Entune Audio system comes as a standard and it includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle (6.1 in. touch-screen display, AM/FM CD player, six speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology), plus Siri® Eyes Free mode and an integrated backup camera display.
Of all the cars that we have driven this year, the Toyota Prius offers the smoothest and quietest driving experience. There is no doubt about it.
When I first sat in the driver's seat of the Toyota Prius and pushed the Start Engine button, nothing seemed to happen as there wasn't any sound of a roaring engine (you know that usual engine sound when you turn the ignition key?) but when I shifted the gear to 'Drive' mode, the car moved off in a quiet fashion.
What I really like about the whole driving experience with the Toyota Prius is the smooth transition from gear to gear and the rapid acceleration that it offers. The car handling in terms of cornering and braking is also superb too. There's everything to like about the Toyota Prius and if there's one thing I don't like about the car, it has got to do with travelling at high speed as I felt like I was floating/flying on the road. I suppose this is only normal for an eco-friendly car because the weight of the car ultimately affects fuel efficiency and the Toyota Prius is designed to be lightweight.
While turning heads, the new Toyota Prius design slices through the air with a 0.24 coefficient of drag, among the lowest of current production passenger cars. The sleek shape is aided by myriad details to keep the wind going on its way.
Overall, the Toyota Prius is a fun car to drive and despite being heavy footed throughout, we managed to achieve 18km/litre (which could have been better if there wasn't the frequent peak hour traffic jam).
If you have been eyeing on the Toyota Prius for a while now, there is no better time to own the all-new Prius because from now till 7 September 2016, Toyota Singapore is having some attractive promotions and if you purchase a Toyota Prius during this period, it will come with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty.
At the time of writing, the price for the all-new Toyota Prius 1.8 - Sedan Auto Hybrid starts from SGD$136,888. For more information about the latest Toyota Prius, you can visit Toyota Singapore Official Website or head down to their showroom for a test-drive!