We all know that the Toyota Prius is an economical car. We’ve driven this amazing hybrid and achieved stellar numbers even while braving horrendous gridlock. So we’re pleased that the all-new 2016 Prius still promises all this, along with a dose of fun. To drive home the point, the new model was launched in one of the most vibrant places in the world: Las Vegas.
When you lay your eyes on the fourth-generation Prius for the first time, the impression you get is that of a dynamic looker. The signature triangular shape is still there, and it’s still a hatchback. But this model is sportier and sleeker, measuring 60mm longer, 15mm wider and 20mm lower than the previous model.
The slinky front grille is set in the middle of sharp LED headlamps that give the front end a sporty character. The side is enhanced by the feature line that runs the length of the car. The rear, meanwhile, is given the same energetic treatment with stylish taillights and a discreet spoiler. To further emphasize the fun component, the Prius can be ordered in seven cool colors including Hypersonic Red--which sounds rather un-hybrid, if you ask us.
Matching the youthful vibe is the rigid chassis that hints at a thrilling time behind the wheel. Thanks to Toyota’s new Global Architecture, the Prius boasts a lower center of gravity and a dynamic suspension that is unheard of in a hybrid car. In fact, the front fascia somehow pays homage to the brand’s own 86 sports car, with the logo being the same height as that of the two-door coupe.
Inside, the 2016 Prius offers an interior that has a premium feel and high visual impact. This means using quality materials that are easy and pleasing to the eyes, along with a rich feel to them. The wraparound dashboard gives the driver the sensation that he is in control of a high-tech vehicle, albeit an easy-to-operate one.
The new Prius will be one of the first models to offer Toyota Safety Sense, a suite of safety gear that includes pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and automatic high-beam control. These help ensure that the new Prius will be one of the safest hybrids in the world.
Of course, the most important thing about a hybrid car is its propulsion. Unfortunately, Toyota hasn't released detailed information about the new Prius's power source, other than to say that "smaller, lighter hybrid system components, higher-energy density in the batteries, and an internal-combustion engine touting groundbreaking thermal efficiency (more than 40%) contribute to a significant advancement in fuel economy." The carmaker has added that the new Prius comes with an expected 10% improvement in estimated miles-per-gallon numbers.
Deliveries of this Toyota will begin in Japan at the end of the year, and in other markets shortly thereafter. For the nth time, we sure hope our lawmakers will pass the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act, so that we will finally have the Toyota hybrid at a more reasonable price.