“When a vehicle is built from the ground-up with only one goal in mind, the end result can be either really good or really bad. That being said, Toyota has cranked out over five million Prii since the late nineties. They’re clearly doing something right.”
2016 Toyota Prius – All About Efficiency
Growing up my Dad always told me, “If you’re gonna do something, do it right, and give it 110%.” Surely that phrase isn’t trademarked to him, and I’m sure that’s not the first time you’ve heard it either. After driving the 2016 Toyota Prius, I’m convinced that everyone involved in the Prius project was raised on such motto as well.
For 2016 the Prius received a complete re-design inside and out, becoming a good looking and desirable car. It still possesses some of the odd traits the Prius is known for, like the white plastics and funky shifter, but unlike other brands (looking at you Mini), these actually compliment the Prius and aren’t just for show.
As part of the re-design, the Prius grew over 2 inches in length and it’s also lower and a bit wider than it’s predecessor, something that helps it look sleeker and more “normal.” As it’s expected from a slightly bubbly-shaped sedan, the interior is quite airy and extremely comfortable, and the backseat is spacious enough for a big guy like me to enjoy on a lengthy trip. All I know is that my daughters never complained once, and the 24V power outlet in the rear center console may have had something to do with that.
If carrying junk in the trunk is your thing, you’ll be pleased to know the trunk space in the 2016 Toyota Prius grew from 22 to 25 cubit feet, something that we certainly took advantage of during our many trips to the park. Fitting Josephine’s toddler bike, biking gear, picnic basket and other items were no match for the humongous trunk.
But now the exciting stuff—the engine! Okay, okay, the Prius may not be a thrilling machine, but I can tell you that it’s actually not boring at all. The new 4 cylinder engine in the Prius is built for one thing—efficiency. Paired to an electrical motor and battery, the total output is 121 horsepower, which is down from the previous generation, but the Prius actually feels faster, lighter and much more lively on the road, partly due to its new rear suspension and considerably lighter battery.
I had the chance to drive the 2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring for a week, including a 350 mile stint from the gooey-cheesy State of Wisconsin to our home in Indianapolis.
Now picture this. You fill up in Wisconsin, drive 350 miles to your destination through the hellish rush-hour Chicago traffic, you get home, you continue driving the car for 6 more days, and you still have a quarter of a tank left. Flipping seriously! Drink the gasoline, little Prius!
No, the Prius refused. It insisted on being awesome, recharge its battery using regenerative braking, hauling my family in style and comfort, but most of all, efficiency. I’ve never ever wanted a car to consume more fuel, but I really wanted to find out just how many real world miles I could squeeze out of the Prius. I will never know, because Toyota picked up the car at the end of my week, and it still had a quarter tank of fuel left in it. Darn you, Prius!
The Prius driving experience really has to be experienced to be believed. It’s very quiet, smooth, and almost refreshing. It doesn’t have any of the weird vibrations that internal combustion engines have, and it doesn’t make any sounds at all. Again, the cabin is a very pleasant place to be, and you’ll be left wondering why you haven’t considered one of these before.
Forget the previous Prius. I’m not saying it was a bad car, because that would be a lie. What I’m saying is that this new one is freaking awesome. It looks awesome, it drives awesome, it’s perfect for a small-medium sized family, and it’ll allow you to drive 350 miles across states, commute for 6 more days and not run out of gas.
What more could you want?
- Starts at: $24,400
- Price tested as: $31,827
- Ludicrous efficiency – 56.6 mpg combined average
- Great looking
- The SofTex interior may be easy to clean, but it’s rubbery and cheap feeling
- Lack of rear ac/heat vents
- Outdated infotainment system and lack of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto