Toyota Prius Review
The 2014 Toyota Prius ranks 12 out of 21 Affordable Midsize 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.
Test drivers say that superb fuel economy, a comfortable ride and plenty of cargo space make the 2014 Toyota Prius an extremely practical hybrid car.
The Prius has a four-cylinder engine and electric motor. Auto writers say the Prius is hardly a rocket, but there’s enough power for getting around town, and that transitions between gas and electric power are very smooth. All models have a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2014 Prius gets an EPA-estimated 51/48 mpg city/highway, which is excellent, even among hybrid cars. Though the ride is comfortable, test drivers report that the Prius has numb steering and squishy brakes, and isn’t very engaging to drive. However, many of them are willing to overlook the bland handling because of its excellent fuel economy.
Some test drivers are impressed with the Toyota Prius’ interior, saying it has a classy design and is made with quality materials, but others think the use of hard plastics makes the cabin feel cheap. Auto writers say the front seats are sufficiently comfy and the back seat offers ample legroom and a decent amount of headroom. The Prius has a good amount of cargo space compared with other hybrid cars. Standard features include a six-speaker CD audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, dynamic radar cruise control, lane keep assist and Toyota’s Safety Connect telematics system, which includes automatic collision notification, a stolen vehicle locator, an emergency SOS button and roadside assistance. Other options include a head-up display, navigation, a backup camera, satellite radio, a moonroof with solar panels that power the ventilation system and an eight-speaker JBL audio system. Reviewers note that the touch-screen display is pleasingly hi-tech and that audio and climate controls are clearly marked, but they say some switchgear is hard to reach from the driver’s seat.
- "The 2014 Toyota Prius remains the quintessential hybrid car and a solid all-around choice, though other, newer hybrids are more enjoyable to drive.” -- Edmunds
- "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)
- "But, for the vast majority of folks who simply need a high-mileage mode of transport that is also very eco-friendly, very reliable and very much in demand, the 2012 Prius hybrid in all its forms is the hybrid of choice." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)
- "While the new Prius remains far from the top of our Best Driving Cars list, it's also now far from the bottom, where it used to reside. Not only is it the most fuel-efficient vehicle for sale in America, but it combines that newfound efficiency with the dynamics, space and experience of a normal car." -- Jalopnik (2010)
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a bit more expensive than the Prius, but it’s more powerful. Unlike the Prius, reviewers say the Fusion Hybrid’s steering has good road feel, and they find that the use of quality materials makes for an upscale interior.
Reviewers say the Toyota Camry Hybrid has a roomy interior and a quiet ride. Unlike the Prius, test drivers report that the Camry Hybrid’s brakes have a nice pedal feel, which is a rare compliment for a hybrid.
Details: 2014 Toyota Prius
The 2014 Toyota Prius is available four trim levels: Two, Three, Four and Five. The Prius is powered by a four-cylinder engine and electric motor, which are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). 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 hasn’t changed much since, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 to 2014 model years.
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