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#13

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 13 out of 42 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 2015 Toyota Prius gets outstanding fuel economy and has a roomy interior, automotive writers say, but its lackluster acceleration and drab handling contribute to dull performance.

The 2015 Toyota Prius is outfitted with a four-cylinder engine, electric motor and automatic transmission. At an EPA-estimated 51/48 mpg city/highway it has exceptional fuel economy for the class. The Prius is sluggish and strains during hard acceleration, most reviewers say, though some report the hybrid has sufficient power once it reaches speed. Test drivers agree that the Prius delivers a bland driving experience with excessive body lean, numb steering and spongy brakes.

Some automotive journalists complain that the 2015 Toyota Prius' cabin is noisy and constructed with cheap materials, but others find the interior stylish and handsome and appreciate its handy storage areas. The Prius hatchback provides one of the largest cargo areas in the class, and critics note the front- and back-row seats are supportive. Some test drivers say the digital instrument cluster is hard to see, but 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: 4/9/15

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