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Toyota Prius Review

The 2015 Toyota Prius ranks 10 out of 27 Affordable Compact 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:

Test drivers laud the 2015 Toyota Prius for its spacious cabin and remarkable fuel economy but add that its performance is underwhelming thanks to dull handling and poor acceleration.

The 2015 Toyota Prius features a four-cylinder engine and electric motor and employs an automatic transmission. The Prius gets outstanding fuel economy for the class, averaging an EPA-estimated 51/48 mpg city/highway. 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.

The 2015 Prius uses low-end materials and has a noisy cabin, according to some critics, though others consider it modern and say it is replete with storage. Reviewers say that both rows of seats provide ample support and note that the Prius hatchback is among the class leaders in cargo capacity. 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: 8/29/15

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