First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
The Prius offers Toyota's in-house Entune software for smartphone integration. Setup requires a lengthy app download and account creation process. Entune's app support is meager and less intuitive than CarPlay or Android Auto (neither of which is offered). The Bluetooth menu offers better control and search functionality than most other Bluetooth systems.
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Standard features for the L Eco include 15-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED running lights and taillights, heated mirrors, keyless entry (driver door only) and ignition, automatic climate control, dual 4.2-inch driver information screens, adaptive cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a 60/40-split folding rear seat.
The Prius offers little in the way of driving enjoyment and refinement. Still, the steering effort is pleasingly weighted, and responses to your inputs are accurate—making the handling feel almost lively. Feedback from the road is non-existent, though, and feels numb on-center. Braking is a common gremlin for hybrid vehicles, which use a mix of regenerative and friction braking. Inconsistent or numb feedback from the pedal, as we experienced in the Prius, is often the trade-off and, combined with the low-rolling-resistance tires that most hybrids wear, can make for longer braking distances in our testing than we would expect from other similar-size non-hybrid vehicles.
In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax. Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations' International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.
The Toyota Camry is a family-sedan archetype, a seasoned veteran to which upstarts are inevitably compared. Gone, however, is the sleepy style of Camry's past. Today's Camry is lower, sleeker and sportier, but it doesn't sacrifice interior space in the bargain. The Camry's standard engine is a somewhat coarse four-cylinder that balances power and fuel economy, but the optional V6 offers spirited performance in high-end models. Serious fuel-watchers will want to consider the Camry Hybrid and its eye-popping EPA rating of 52 mpg combined. Although the Camry's subpar infotainment system and intrusive safety features drag down its standing among the best in this class, it's still a fierce rival. See the Camry in our Sedan rankings