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#12

in Affordable Midsize Cars

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

Some reviewers say an abundance of hard plastics makes the 2014 Toyota Prius’ cabin look low-budget. Others say that a modern design, contrasting colors and quality materials make the interior a pleasant place to spend time. Test drivers find the front seats are comfy and write that there’s plenty of head- and legroom in the rear seats. They say the audio and climate controls are clearly marked, but can be hard to reach from the driver’s seat. The Prius’ cargo space is great for a midsize car, and it offers more cargo room than most hybrids.

  • "Materials quality in the Prius is also disappointing, with harder and cheaper plastics than other cars in its price range. The corduroy-like texturing on the climate and audio controls seems nice at first, but collects oil from the skin and causes circular dark spots on most buttons." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback features an interior as modern and different as its exterior. The contoured dash looks particularly handsome with its 2-tone panels, although on base models the gray-colored plastic and fabric look a little dull.” -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "Hard plastic dominates. Many of the interior panels give off the impression that this car was built to a price." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Cabin ergonomics and the displays that monitor the activities of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system are top-notch." -- Automobile Magazine (2010)
  • "With the Prius, Toyota made a number of good choices on both materials and eye-pleasing color combinations." -- Cars.com (2010)

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Seating

The 2014 Prius comes standard with cloth seats and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and SofTex faux leather-trimmed seats are available. The Prius has comfy, supportive front seats, reviewers say, and the back seat offers ample legroom and a decent amount of headroom. Critics complain that the steering wheel doesn’t telescope far enough out to accommodate taller drivers.

  • "Sadly, taller drivers still have to contend with a steering wheel that's placed too far away. Even though there's a telescoping column, it doesn't come out nearly far enough to enable a comfortable driving position." -- Edmunds
  • "Legroom and foot space are ample. Headroom is good, too, though the very tall might wish for a bit more. The seat isn't wide enough to accommodate three adults for any length of time." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Yet the 2010 feels very accommodating in back—plenty of knee room and toe space for big folks." -- USA Today (2010)
  • "Even with the base model's fabric seats, there's plenty of cushioning on the bottom and plenty of support for the back." -- Cars.com (2010)

Interior Features

The 2014 Prius comes standard with a six-speaker CD audio system with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, push-button start and a proximity key system. Available features include a head-up display, navigation, a backup camera, dynamic radar cruise control, lane keep assist, a moonroof with solar panels that power the ventilation system, remote air conditioning (which can cool the Prius down before you get in) and an eight-speaker JBL audio system with Entune, which includes Bing search capability and Pandora Internet radio connectivity. Toyota’s Safety Connect telematics system is also available, which includes a stolen vehicle locator, an emergency SOS button and roadside assistance.

Test drivers praise the Prius’ standard touch-screen display for its modern design, but they’re frustrated that the optional Entune suite of apps requires registration. Audio and climate controls are well-labeled, but can be hard to reach from the driver’s seat, they add. Critics say the Prius’ virtual gauges can be hard to read if you’re wearing sunglasses.

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  • "The standard touchscreen operates many of the Prius' high-tech features and is, for the most part, smartly designed. The Entune system in the Prius Three and above can be a hassle, though, since you have to install an app on your phone and register for an account; plus, you always need an active data connection to use Entune." -- Edmunds
  • "On the Prius II, audio and climate controls are logically arranged, if just out of easy reach for some drivers." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Digital gauges themselves, though, were nearly unreadable if you're wearing sunglasses, and still hard to read without them. No excuse for high-tech Prius being behind the curve." -- USA Today (2010)

Cargo

The 2014 Prius has 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is excellent for a hybrid car. Reviewers say the Prius’ hatchback design gives it more cargo room than other midsize cars. There’s plenty of interior storage space, they add.

  • “However, the Prius remains highly versatile. The hatchback body style provides considerably more cargo capacity than a typical midsize sedan, and the backseat offers plenty of space for passengers." -- Edmunds
  • "Prius offers hatchback versatility with 60/40 split-folding rear seat backs, but be wary of the sloping glass roof panel when loading tall items. There's a large underfloor bin at the rear of the cargo area that can hold the roll-up cargo cover when it's removed. Cabin storage is plentiful, and includes a large bin under the raised center console, upper and lower gloveboxes, and a two-tiered console box." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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