2012 Toyota Prius Review
The 2012 Toyota Prius isn’t the best-handling car or fastest, but test drivers say its excellent fuel economy ratings will appeal to green car shoppers.
Automotive journalists say that if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car, the 2012 Toyota Prius should be high on your list. Its fuel economy ratings are some of the best in the industry, excluding all-electric cars. For 2012, Toyota introduced the all-new Prius Plug-in. Like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, the Prius Plug-in lets owners charge the battery by plugging it into a standard wall outlet. Reviewers like that the Prius Plug-in’s battery can be recharged in three hours or less, depending on the wall outlet’s voltage.
The 2012 Prius is well-liked by reviewers for its quiet cabin, spacious trunk, high-tech electronics and comfortable ride. The Prius gets knocked for its soft suspension, squishy brakes, numb steering and lackluster acceleration. Reviewers say that if fuel economy is your top priority, the Prius is a top contender and worth a test drive. However, if you’re looking for something engaging to drive, this isn’t the car for you. They say its hybrid powertrain is extremely boring when you’re behind the wheel.
Other Cars to Consider
Although the Honda Insight is the Prius’ obvious contender since it looks so similar, it ranks poorly among hybrid cars. A better car to consider is the Ford Fusion Hybrid. It has a higher base price, but test drivers like its roomy interior and good fuel economy. Although is uses more fuel than the Prius, test drivers say it’s a good option if you’re looking for a green car with the practicality of a midsize sedan.
If you’ve got more money to spend, the Chevrolet Volt is worth a test drive. It features a similar drivetrain to the Toyota Prius Plug-in, but the Volt’s drivetrain is more versatile. The Volt’s electric-only range is longer, and it’s more efficient when operating on electric power alone. However, the Prius does get better fuel economy in gas/hybrid mode.
Toyota Prius: The Details
The 2012 Toyota Prius comes in two versions: hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The Prius hybrid is available in four trim levels: Two, Three, Four and Five. The Prius Plug-in hybrid only comes in two trims: standard and Advanced. Some entertainment features have changed for 2012, but overall, the Prius sees minor changes. The Prius Plug-in is a new model for 2012. The larger Prius V and smaller Prius c are reviewed separately. See the full list of 2012 Toyota Prius specs.
- "The Prius PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) is essentially just a Prius whose nickel-metal hydride battery pack has been swapped for a far pricier, far heavier, and far more potent lithium-ion pack." -- Car and Driver
- "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
- "If you make a lot of very short trips and like the idea of reducing your fuel costs with at-home plug-in capability, the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In should work out well." -- Edmunds (Prius Plug-in)