27.4 ft3 Cargo
With 5-seats, a total hybrid range of 588 miles, an EPA-estimatedMPG of 54/50/52 city/highway/combined, 50.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the seat folded, excellent safety features and an MSRP of $24,525, the 2021 Toyota Prius hybrid is an incredibly popular car. The EPA says you’ll save over $4,520 by driving one for 5 years.
Prius is a Latin word meaning "first," "original," "superior" or "to go before.” They’re all apt descriptions for the world’s most popular car, which has been the first to do many things, and continues to reign superior in many ways.
Since its launch more than two decades years ago, Toyota has sold in excess of 6M members of the Prius family. Having been the most popular hybrid in the USA for years, that crown has been snatched away by another Toyota, the RAV4. Yet the Prius still posts blockbuster sales. Though many consider its looks odd, it runs with one of the most efficient gas-electric hybrid systems ever. Which is incredibly appealing to drivers looking for great range and incredible MPG. Toyota is a world master at perfecting hybrid drivetrains. The Prius – an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV) – is an example of this. The hybrid has zero evaporative emissions from its fuel system. The EPA has classified it as a SULEV – a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle. Toyota’s 15-year (or at least 150,000-mile) warranty on its emission-control components is one of the best in the business.
J.D. Power has compiled extensive statistics concerning Prius drivers. The data strongly indicates that retirees favor this hybrid hatchback, viewing it as a money-saving form of transportation. Fuel economy is important to Prius owners. J.D. Power data shows that 93% agree that a first consideration when buying a new car is MPG. Prius owners are also concerned about the environment, with 87% agreeing that they will pay more for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly. Safety is another important factor to Prius owners, with 86% agreeing that they will pay extra to ensure that their vehicle has the latest safety features.
The revamped exterior of the 2020 model causes double takes. Toyota has tried to make the Prius a little edgier with blackout headlights, black badging and 17-inch black alloy wheels. Yeah, the car still looks a little out there, with its unusual angles and slants. Toyota calls the look “iconic” and explains its striking features are purposeful. Its sleek lines, active shutter grille, aero stabilizing fins and underbody panels work in tandem to smooth airflow, which of course, maximizes fuel efficiency. So pardon the pun, but if you go with the flow, you’ll benefit greatly in terms of the car’s range and MPG.
The 2021 Prius comes in three trims: L Eco (MSRP: $24,525), LE (MSRP: $25,735), and LE AWD-e (MSRP: $27,135).
All trims are powered by a 1.8-Liter, 4-cylinder Aluminum DOHC 16-Valve Hybrid Engine and a Permanent magnet AC Synchronous Motor on the front axle. If you opt for All-Wheel Drive, a second e-motor is added to the rear axle. If you experience snowy or icy roads during the winter, the AWD will come in handy, providing extra traction. The car’s hybrid components are covered by an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty.
Peace of mind is provided by Prius safety ratings. The hybrid has earned a 5-star rating from the National Highway Safety Administration and a 2018 Top Safety Pick Award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The car is installed with Toyota’s excellent Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0, which comes standard, includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Road Sign Assist (RSA). Also included are Hill Start Assist Control, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and an integrated backup camera display.
In-Car Entertainment includes: a 7-in. touchscreen, six speakers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, & Amazon Alexa compatible, a USB media port, two USB charge ports, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, plus SiriusXM with a 3-month trial subscription. An 11.6-inch multimedia display is available as an option.
Standard on all trims are: a Smart-flow climate control system with pollen filtration; a 4.2-in. color dual Multi-Information Display (MID) with customizable screens including Energy Monitor, Hybrid System Indicator and ECO Score, ECO Savings Record, Drive Monitor, ECO Wallet, ECO Diary, climate control, driver support systems and audio system content; 60/40 split fold-down rear seats; Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC); Smart Key System and Push Button Start; Power door locks and a front 12V auxiliary power outlet.
J.D. Power auto reviewer Liz Kim says: “Many people view cars simply as a means to get from here to there. The Toyota Prius lets them do it in one of the most efficient, smartest ways possible. You will feel a thrill every time you see the tiny totals from your infrequent fill-ups at the gas station. The Prius remains one of the most rational, affordable, and easy ways to lower emissions and use less fuel, whatever your motivation.”
Car & Driver reviewers say: “The original Prius helped make hybrid vehicles mainstream back in the early 2000s, and it continues to be one of the most recognized hybrid nameplates. Toyota has always been about making the world a greener place by maximizing fuel economy and minimizing emissions. The compact hatchback is losing ground to newer hybrid alternatives such as the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Niro, but the Toyota brand maintains an unrivaled reputation for reliability.”
Motor Trend reviewers say: “The Prius is Toyota’s popular hybrid hatchback that emphasizes fuel efficiency above all else. Now in its fourth generation, the Prius continues to set the benchmark for hybrid vehicles across the industry.”
REVISED MAY 2021
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