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#17

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $24,200 - $30,005
Invoice: $22,748 - $27,930
MPG: 51 City / 48 Hwy
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Toyota Prius Review

The 2015 Toyota Prius ranks 17 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Prius, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Toyota Prius is ranked:

The Toyota Prius is a dull performer, according to critics, with lethargic acceleration and bland handling, but they like its excellent fuel economy and spacious cabin.

The 2015 Toyota Prius has a four-cylinder engine, electric motor and automatic transmission (CVT). The Prius’ fuel economy estimates of 51/48 mpg city/highway are superb for the class. Most reviewers think the Prius is sluggish and struggles during hard acceleration, though some note that it has enough power once it gets up to speed. Test drivers agree that the Prius delivers a bland driving experience with excessive body lean, numb steering and spongy brakes.

Some critics think the 2015 Toyota Prius has a modern, attractive interior, and they like its convenient storage spaces, though others think there are too many low-rent materials and too much road noise. The Prius hatchback has one of the biggest cargo areas in the class, and reviewers like its spacious, comfortable seats in both rows. The digital instrument cluster is hard to see, according to some test drivers, while others find it easy to read. The 2015 Prius comes standard with a rearview camera, Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB inputs, a six-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, push-button start, proximity key and automatic climate control. Available features include navigation, a moonroof with solar panels that power ventilation and remote air conditioning systems that can cool the car down while it’s parked, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, satellite and HD Radio, Toyota’s Entune smartphone app integration, an eight-speaker JBL audio system and Toyota’s Safety Connect telematics system.

  • "Thanks to some very clever drivetrain programming, you'll get excellent fuel economy almost regardless of how heavy you are on the gas pedal. It does this with all the practicality of any hatchback, with a decently sized rear seat and plenty of cargo room. These days, the Toyota Prius faces stiff competition from the more refined Ford C-Max and Chevrolet Volt - both of which are more engaging to drive - but remains the hybrid to beat." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 Toyota Prius remains the quintessential hybrid car and a solid all-around choice, though other, newer hybrids are more enjoyable to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "We’ve never gotten too excited about the Toyota Prius around here. On one hand, as an extreme fuel sipper with a distinctive design and contrarian appeal, the Prius is laudable in the manner with which it eschews traditional luxury and conspicuous speed in favor of high-tech eco features, utter thrift, and unconventional hatchback living. On the other hand, with skinny tires, a loud cabin, terrible rear vision, and a boomy ride, the Prius has been the exact opposite of fun to drive." -- Car and Driver (2010)
  • "The Toyota Prius is a fine midsize car that just happens to achieve some of the best fuel economy we've ever experienced. There are some compromises, namely in terms of acceleration, rear visibility, and a somewhat cheap-looking interior. In the grand scheme, these are fairly minor niggles given the car's decent ride, accommodating cabin, and exceptional cargo versatility." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Toyota calls its Prius an ‘Eco-Icon,’ and the latest generation should have plenty of available gadgets for technological and environmental die-hards." -- Cars.com (2012)

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Other Cars to Consider

Test drivers think the Honda Accord Hybrid has plenty of power, particularly from a stop. They also praise its seamless engine start-stop feature, which saves fuel when the car is stopped. Critics also like the Accord Hybrid’s strong brakes and balanced handling, saying it feels a bit sporty on a winding road. The Accord Hybrid’s cabin is liked for its upscale materials and attractive look.

The Volkswagen Golf TDI gets very good highway fuel economy with its diesel engine.  Reviewers also like its athletic performance and upscale cabin, which the Prius can't compete with. 

Compare the Prius, Accord Hybrid and Golf »

Details: 2015 Toyota Prius

The 2015 Toyota Prius is available in five trim levels: Two, Three, new-for-2015 Persona Series, Four and Five. The front-wheel drive Prius has a four-cylinder engine, electric motor and continuously variable transmission. The Prius Plug-in, larger Prius v and smaller Prius c are reviewed separately. The Prius was last redesigned for the 2010 model year. Since it sees no major changes for 2015, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 to 2015 model years.

See 2015 Toyota Prius specs »

Review Last Updated: 12/9/14

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