By Otsile Kadiege
Back in 1997 Toyota introduced a new nameplate to their extensive model line up – the Prius. The latter was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car and has been a successful model which was purchased by many well-known people in the entertainment industry like Miley Cyrus, Ryan Gosling and Cameron Diaz to name a few. The new fourth-generation Prius ushers in the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform for the first time to deliver improved environmental performance and an evolved driving experience.
Outside, the new Prius carries on the bold and futuristic-like exterior design known to the Prius nameplate. Up front, the Prius sports hammerhead shark-like design achieving a high level of balance between functionality and styling, while the rear design offers rear combination taillights extending horizontally to the left and right, further accentuating the advanced design of the Prius. It’s also shod on 19-inch large-diameter wheels.
The new Prius has a total of eight body colors available, including two newly-developed solid base colors of Ash and Mustard.
Inside, the Prius strikes a balance between sportiness and sophistication thanks to black tones throughout and coordinated instrument panel and seat stitching finishes. It’s worth noting that the new Prius shares a similar design with the Toyota bZ4X thanks to a multifunctional steering wheel and a digital instrument cluster which have been carried over to the Prius.
Other highlights include an instrument panel which uses Toyota’s first illuminated warning system. In addition to providing an ambient light that highlights the interior, this new Toyota Safety Sense-linked feature is incorporated into the styling. It alerts the driver to detected objects through flashing lights before the audible warnings to create a more reassuring driving experience.
As standard, all new Prius models are fitted with the latest active safety package with advanced and improved functions (Toyota Safety Sense). The new Prius comes with Advanced Park (with remote function), an advanced driving support system. It enables easy automatic parking and exiting from parking spaces in a variety of parking situations, and with operation outside the car via a dedicated smartphone app, the car can also enter and exit parking spaces remotely.
The new Prius is equipped with a Toyota Safety Sense monocular camera at the front, a rear-facing camera for the Digital Inner Mirror, and an in-vehicle drive recorder. The data is stored on the ECU to avoid data corruption and other issues associated with SD cards and properly manage important camera data.
The new Prius comes with Toyota’s first 2.0-liter Plug-in Hybrid System achieving a maximum system output of as much as 164 kW. Toyota claims it maintains the same level of fuel efficiency as the previous model and 0-100 km/h is achieved in 6.7 seconds.
Toyota claims that the EV driving range is about 50% higher than the previous model. This means that, with improved battery performance, the new Prius can operate on EV mode alone for most daily drives.
The new Prius is also available with a 2.0-litre / 1.8-litre Series Parallel Hybrid System. The former has a total system output of 144 kW. This version comes with Toyota’s latest E-Four system. Toyota claims it offers improved uphill performance on low-friction road surfaces, like snow-covered roads, and greater stability when turning.
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