2017 Toyota Prius
Designed and debuted in Japan, the original hybrid Toyota Prius was introduced to the US market in 2001 and made available to consumers in 2003. With its low emissions and excellent fuel economy, it soon became a cultural phenomenon, much like hipsters and kale. It was so uniquely prolific amongst vocal environmentalist that it was sometimes referred to as the “Pious Prius,” but with a classification as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle and 3 out of 10 pollution score in the US, it was easy to understand the appeal.
In 2016, the Prius underwent a redesign and ushered in Toyota’s fourth generation of the model, and with upgraded technology and advanced creature-comfort amenities coming standard along with a new, sexier design, the Prius has shown that being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to come with sacrifice. The first vehicle to be built on the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, the Prius is leading the brand’s goal of “making ever-better cars,” – a goal that will be critical to Toyota’s future success as the Prius is starting to see some serious competition from other hybrids and plug-ins in its class, such as the Chevy Volt and the Hyundai Ioniq. Even traditional cars such as the Honda Accord are becoming strong players in the alternative-fuel game.
However, as Prius was recently crowned both The Best Hybrid Car for the Money by US News and World Report and The 2017 Eco-Friendly Car of the Year by Cars.com, Toyota shows it’s still committed to keeping the Prius leading the pack as the company’s eco-friendly and innovative flagship hybrid vehicle. The 2017 Toyota Prius is available in a variety of different trims – the One, Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring. The base model One starts at $23,475 while the top-of-the-line Four Touring starts at $30,015.
A four-door hatchback, the 2017 Prius can comfortably seat up to five passengers and, depending on the trim level, cargo space is generous at either 24.6 cubic feet (Prius Two, Three or Three Touring) or 27.4 cubic feet in the Two Eco, Four and Four Touring. Compared to other hatchbacks in its class, the cargo space on the 2017 Prius is substantial – in fact, the 2016 redesign added 3 cubic feet against the prior Prius generation. Drivers also have the option to configure the backseats in a 60/40 split, expanding the cargo space even further.
Cloth upholstery in either Black, Moonstone or Harvest Beige comes standard on the base model, but higher level trims net features, such as leatherette upholstery (although Harvest Beige is not available on the Three Touring or Four Touring trims), 8-way power adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, and an optional moonroof, giving the Prius an air of luxury that eluded previous models.
Features, such as either a 6.1-inch or 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth and USB connections, access to Toyota’s Entune Audio (or Entune Premium Audio with Integration Navigation and App Suite in higher trims), a 4.2 inch color Information Display screen, two 12V auxiliary power outlets and climate control elevate the Prius to a higher level of luxury and offer both passenger and driver a more comfortable cruising experience than ever before.
The new generation Prius offers a sleek, refined and more sedan-like exterior. It sits lower and wider than previous model years, and the fin-style antenna and rear spoiler not only improve efficiency but also give the car a sense of style. Offered in a seven color palette, drivers can choose to cruise in either
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Blue Crush Metallic
- Sea Glass Pearl
- Hypersonic Red
- Magnetic Gray Metallic
- Classic Silver Metallic
- Blizzard Pearl
Rounding out the exterior features, 15-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels are available on the One, Two, Two Eco, Three and Four models, while the Three Touring and Four Touring drive on 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels. Additionally, LED tail lights, Bi-LED projector low- and high-beam automatic headlights and heated outside mirrors come standard. Integrated fog lights, LED accent lights and a unique rear bumper treatment comes in the Three Touring and Four Touring trims.
If the Prius is known for one thing it is its amazing fuel economy and the 2017 Prius does not disappoint. The Prius Two Eco model boasts an EPA-estimated 58 mpg city, while the rest of the lineup gets 54 mpg city, 50 mpg highway. As Toyota describes, “high-density batteries, light hybrid system components and an advanced gasoline engine” work in unison to make the Prius one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market. To wring out additional fuel economy, Toyota offers three different driving modes: ECO, which works to maximize fuel economy, EV Mode13, which relies on battery power alone up to one-half mile, and POWER, which opens up the throttle and gives the Prius a little more nip, although even in POWER mode the Prius still won’t win any awards for speed. The Three Touring clocked in a crawling 10.5 seconds to get from 0-60, but Toyota knows that Prius drivers typically aren’t looking to burn fuel with quick acceleration and speedy maneuvers.
A 1.8-liter four cylinder engine and two electric motors generate 121 horsepower and 120 pounds-feet of torque and a CVT (continuously variable transmission) comes standard on all models. Aside from the Prius Two, which runs off of a nickel-metal hydride battery, all trim levels have a lighter, more energy efficient lithium-ion battery.
While most consumers immediately jump to the fuel economy as the standout feature of a Prius, Toyota has also put considerable effort into making the Prius an extremely safe vehicle. With a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Administration and a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Toyota Prius offers fantastic safety features across the entire lineup.
Highlighting Toyota’s commitment to safety, all 2017 Prius models, including its base model, One, come equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, Toyota’s safety package, which includes:
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Automatic High Beams
- Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Integrated Backup Camera
- Intelligent Clearance Sonar
- Intelligent Parking Assist
Additionally, every Prius also comes standard with the Star Safety System, which includes additional safety technology such as:
- Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control
- 19 Traction Control
- Anti-lock Brake System
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution
- Brake Assist
- Smart Stop Technology
- 8 Standard Airbags
The top trim levels, Prius Four and Prius Four Touring, also include blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert as standard features, and optional Safety Connect, a subscription service that includes automatic collision notification, emergency and roadside assistance and stolen vehicle locator technology. In large part due to these features, US News and World Report gave the Prius a 9.3 out of 10 safety ranking.
Combined with its cost-saving fuel economy, the safety features that Toyota has added to the 2017 Prius should make it a considerable contender for families looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Another selling point for parents: the 2017 Prius offers three LATCH anchor positions for car seats whereas the majority of cars only offer two. The inclusion of the additional LATCH anchor points helped the Prius earn a Good+ rating from the IIHS.
Test the Prius’s Performance at Rolling Hills Toyota
Stop by Rolling Hills Toyota today to take the 2017 Toyota Prius for a test drive!