2014 Toyota Prius Three: Good car in search of an update

11 Sep 2014 | 1,470 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds   I can remember when the Toyota Prius seemed to be such a futuristic car. From the out of this world hybrid gas electric hybrid system to its exciting looking future world dash board to the shape of the dashboard to its gee whiz profile, the Toyota Pruis, seemed like it was from a galaxy far. awayNow, in the year of Our Lord 2014, theres little that differentiates Prius from other hybrids onthe road. And today, Little has changed with this car since its inception, other than a few new Prius models. In other words, there nothing other than good gas mileage to recommend the Prius Three. Its rivals have long since surpassed it in content, styling, interior presentation, and desirability. Even Toyota's newset model for Prius, the little Prius C is much better  on many levels and is a more desirable car. There also is a plug in hybrid version of Prius Three. Our test model had a base price of $25,765. That price includes the Hybrid Synergy Drive system, alloy wheels with covers, Toyota's well regarded Star Safety system, with stability controk, traction control, electronic. Brake force distribution, brake assist and Smart Stop Technology,  all kinds of air bags, rear spoiler, halogen lamps, climate control, full power accessories,  Entune and navigation, touchscreen with backup camera six way adjustable driver seat, push button start and many other features. TbIs car carries a 8year/100,000 mile warranty for the battery and other hybrid parts, three year, 36.000 mile basic coverage, five year, 60,000 mile powertrain coverage and five year, unlimited miles corosion perforation coverage. Our tester's fuel mileage was rated at 51 city and 48 highway, and 50 miles per gallon overall. I hasten to point out that the Prius has many wonderful qualities far beyond fuel economy. It's wonderfully quiet and reassuring to drive it.  It feel like a huge comforter on wheels, so satisfying it is to drive and ride in. Its quite "Mother's womb" like in ambiance. Fit and finish is beyond reproach, and it actually feels pretty peppy underway. Where the Prius Three falls short is in presentation. The interior that once looked so space age now looks simply tired and overly spartan. In all fairness, there are other versions of the Prius four door sedan that look much nicer and we highly recommend you consider one of those. And that's because the  materials on our version inside look cheap and faded and the navigation system is badly outdated and hard to use with a small screen. plug ins for BlueTooth and IPODS are so hidden in the conssole you can't find them without pulling over. In other words, the Prius Three is an excellent car.....in search of a comprehensive redo. And if the market is any indication, Toyota had better jump on it...fast.  Sales of Prius have fallen off rather dramatically as of late, and that's as good a sign as any that it's time for an upgrade, particularly in styling and presentation, at the least, with a complete redo far more preferable.    

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