Just before I took off on a recent holiday, a man from Toyota came to pick up a (by then) not so shiny, white, new shape Prius that he'd dropped with me the previous week. It's a sign of how much this car moves the game on from the previous generation vehicle that I was slightly sad to see it go.
We've not hidden the fact that we aren't huge fans of the previous generation car - both as a vehicle in its own right, the image that exists around it, or the generic 'type' of person who seems to drive it. We therefore went into this test with a decent level of scepticism. But the new car is in a different league to its predecessor. It's bigger, yet feels even more at home on city roads. It has a bigger petrol engine, yet is more economical. The thousands who will buy this car, especially those upgrading from the previous model, will doubtless be delighted. For the rest of us who weren't fans before, it's true to say that the Prius is now a competent car which makes a decent case in its own right - you no longer need to make excuses for its hybrid drivetrain nature.
You can read some previous musings I had while actually living with the car here and here, but a couple of weeks after it left MDB towers, three things stand out - and we've split them in to three short videos:
- The image and positioning of this new car - (includes our snapshot verdict)
- The hybrid system, how it works and its three different modes
- The car's interior design, features and equipment (and what we don't like)
For all that we were impressed with the new Prius though, we still can't get over one or two key issues and a few of the bigger picture questions it asks, rather than answers. We'll talk more about that next week in our post test wrap up and review - which will include a full details photoset.
Posted by Joseph Simpson on 2nd November 2009