The once ‘ugly truckling’ of the Toyota lineup – the Prius – now has taken a major ‘good looks’ pill and moved its desirability factor up by several notches.
Although Toyota calls it a refresh, the Prius gets a new sense of style and a simplified design language. With cleaner and more engaging lines, the Toyota hybrid halo five-door hatch features new front and rear treatment as well as sharper, sleeker headlights and rear combination lights.
Inside, the cabin incorporates design tweaks to improve ergonomics as well as changes to the interior trim whilst retaining luxurious black leather upholstery.
The updated Prius hatch features restyled front and rear bumpers that give it a more dynamic flowing appearance further enhanced by its slightly longer (+35 mm) overall length. New slimline headlights with bi-beam LEDs and a revised lower intake accentuate the sharper, sleeker aesthetic. A change to LED foglamps unify the front-light signature.
At the rear, new combination LED lights mirror the shape of the headlights by introducing a more horizontal look to emphasise the car’s width and low centre of gravity.
The Prius uses 15-inch aluminium wheels with a redesigned 10-spoke aerodynamic silver cover with eco-boosting Michelin tyres in 195-65-R15 sizing.
There is a redesign of the centre console that incorporates two cupholders, seat heating switches and a newly added wireless phone charger and the previously employed white colour treatment of the console has been replaced by Piano Black.
The current generation of Prius was launched in early 2016 and was the first model in the Toyota range to feature the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) platform series (GA-C).
The new platform houses the latest generation petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain combining a 1,8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with two motor generators to provide the optimum balance of performance and fuel efficiency depending on driving behaviour and road conditions. The total system output is quoted as 100 kW.
Fuel consumption for the combined cycle is claimed at 3,7 l/100 km, with CO2 emissions listed as 87 g/km whilst complying with Euro 6 emissions specification.
The standard specification level of Prius remains high, with convenience features such as smart entry, climate control, dual-zone cruise control, reverse camera, Heads UP Display (HUD), rain sensing wipers, 6-speaker touchscreen audio and auto-dimming interior mirror.
Safety systems consist of seven crash bags [Front (Driver + Passenger) + Curtain + Side (Front) + Driver Knee], full active electronic suite (VSC, anti-lock braking, EBD, Brake Assist and Traction Control) and ISOFIX attachment points.
A 6-services/90 000 km service plan is included with intervals pegged at 15 000 km. The warranty period on general items is 3-year/100 000 km whilst the hybrid battery warranty is stipulated as 8-year/195 000 km.
Prius 1.8 is priced at R490 200 .