First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
Toyota debuted the new Prius (2010 US model year) at the January 2009 North American International Auto Show, and sales began in Japan on May 18, 2009. Toyota cut the price of the Prius from ¥2.331 million to ¥2.05 million to better compete with the Honda Insight, leading some to wonder whether increased sales of the Prius might come at the expense of sales of other vehicles with higher margins. Competition from lower priced hybrids, such as the Honda Insight, also made it difficult for Toyota to capitalize on the Prius's success. As of June 2013, Toyota has sold about 1,688,000 third-generation Priuses worldwide.
The Prius is all about fuel economy and the base L Eco's 56 mpg combined EPA estimate is difficult to ignore. Unfortunately, the L is a little light on features. As such, we recommend getting the LE. It comes with some useful upgrades, such as blind-spot monitoring, a rear wiper and a traditional spare tire, while keeping the price reasonable. The LE is also available with the Prius' new all-wheel-drive system.
In Latin prius is the neuter singular of the comparative form (prior, prior, prius) of an adjective with only comparative and superlative (the superlative being primus, prima, primum). As with all neuter words, the Latin plural is priora, but that brand name was used by the Lada Priora in 2007. Despite the "official" plural form used by Toyota USA, "Priuses" is widely used in English.
This is one of the least expensive luxury midsize cars in its class, and you can get a lot with just the base trim. But should you opt for the 3.3T Sport ($55,250), you can get an upgraded engine, better wheels, added performance and features from the base model’s two option packages. Still, the standard G80 arrives with leather upholstery, an infotainment system and more. Choose between three trim levels, although the base trim comes with features that are better than many other standards in its class. It has a 3.8-liter V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive (all-wheel drive is an option).
I am home... this car is where I belong. In less than 24 hours of ownership, this is quite possibly my favorite car ever (and I've owned 17 cars in my life). Took delivery two hours away and recorded a solid 62.5mpg on the highway (keeping in mind the break-in requirements). The CVT is perfect (I came from owning a line of late-model Subarus, and throttle tip-in and rubbery-band effect were terrible in the Subarus). The Prius rides like a much larger car - feels solid on the road, very very smooth and quiet. Happy to have the AWD for my slippery, slopey, snowy driveway in winter. Roomy interior! Steering still carries the artificial electric boost and feel that most Prius drivers will instantly recognize. Coming from the superior Eyesight package available in Subaru, I'm not as thrilled with Toyota's Sensing package, but it is what it is. Entune is terrible, and I didn't think I would miss Apple Carplay, but I do. And one small fault: it would be nice to backlight the shifter column to see the shift patterns in the dark (I know they are on the dash, but something about the shifter having it backlit is better to me). No dealbreakers here... the car is simply phenomenal... I love coasting through traffic and starting off effortlessly. Well done.
There are two principal battery packs, the High Voltage (HV) battery, also known as the traction battery, and a 12 volt battery known as the Low Voltage (LV) battery. The traction battery of the first generation Prius update (2000 onwards) was a sealed 38-module nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack providing 273.6 volt, 6.5 Ah capacity and weighing 53.3 kg (118 lb) and is supplied by Japan's Panasonic EV Energy Co. They are normally charged between 40–60% of maximum capacity to prolong battery life as well as allow headroom for regenerative braking. Each battery pack uses 10–15 kg (22–33 lb) of lanthanum, and each Prius electric motor contains 1 kg (2 lb) of neodymium; production of the car is described as "the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world." The LV battery is essential to starting the car and providing initial power to the computer.
But it's the shift in consumer tastes toward compact crossovers that has most impacted the Prius. Toyota's own RAV4 Hybrid is neck-and-neck in sales this year, even with a base price that's almost $4000 higher and fuel economy numbers that start with 3s rather than 5s. If you're looking for an answer to the "Why all-wheel drive? Why now?" questions, this is it. It doesn't hurt that Toyota is already selling a nearly identical all-wheel-drive Prius in Japan, simplifying this marketing move.
Simply put, the Prius AWD-e is more sure-footed and capable on snow — precisely what the added mechanicals intended to deliver. We'd also like to point out that these vehicles were equipped with the standard low-rolling-resistance tires that are focused on fuel efficiency rather than traction. Switching to all-season or snow tires would likely yield even better results.
The Honda Accord Hybrid offers an EPA-estimated 48 mpg combined rating. It comes close to challenging the Prius and gets higher scores elsewhere to even things up. The Accord's interior is especially nice and there's plenty of adult-sized space in every seat. Counting against it: a throttle that can be touchy at high speeds and longer-than-average panic braking distances.