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Home » Green Car News » Green Toyota Cars

Improved 2012 Toyota Prius hybrid

18 January 2012

2012-Toyota-Prius-hybrid

 

As Toyota plans to introduce full hybrid technology across its core model range, it continues to refine the quality, performance and owner-appeal of Prius, still the world’s best-known and best-selling hybrid vehicle.

 

  With over 20,000 sales in the UK to its credit since its launch in 2009, the third-generation Prius has been made an even stronger proposition. As ever, the appeal of Prius is underpinned by its outstanding efficiency: in its latest guise it continues to deliver 89g/km CO2 emissions – the lowest level in its class – and combined cycle fuel economy of 72.4mpg (the figures for models running on 17-inch wheels remain 92g/km and 70.6mpg).

The new year brings improvements inside and out. The front of the car has been given a new look, in line with Toyota’s new design approach, while in the cabin there are new front seats, new upholstery and new soft-touch surfaces that combine to give a higher quality feel.

Equipment levels have been raised, notably with the introduction as standard on all grades of the Toyota Touch touchscreen control system. The advanced Toyota Touch & Go Plus multimedia and navigation system is a standard feature on Prius T Spirit and an option onT3 & T4. This brings with it Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, USB port and an on-board connectivity feature that allows access to a raft of on-line information services sourced through Google Local Search using a compatible mobile phone.

Extra stiffness in the bodyshell and changes to the suspension and steering column have increased comfort and steering feel.

UK sales of the revised model range will begin in March, with on-the-road prices from £21,350. Later in the year Prius will grow, with the introduction of the ultra-efficient Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Prius+, the world’s first seven-seat full hybrid MPV.

Exterior

The 2012 Prius is right on-trend in terms of Toyota’s new design approach, which introduces a stronger focus on the lower part of the car’s front end. The new styling brings a new bumper and a larger lower grille that gives the vehicle a low and wide look. There are new clear-lens headlights, too, and the LED daytime running lights have been relocated in the bumper beneath the turn indicators, while the foglights move to within the lower grille.

T Spirit models now use LED headlamps, too, which come with a washer system, while all versions gain new power-folding heated door mirrors. At the rear the combination lamps have a new look, and there are new-design wheelcaps for the 15-inch wheels on the T3 model.

The styling changes add an extra 20mm the car’s length, but Prius’s wheelbase and its highly efficient aerodynamic performance (Cd 0.25) are unchanged.

The 2012 Prius is available in eight exterior colours, including new Dark Blue and Cabernet Red metallic.

Interior

Detail touches in the 2012 Prius combine to raise the perception of quality in the look and feel of the trim, surfaces and upholstery. New, darker materials are used for the dashboard and T4 and T Spirit models gains a new black seat trim. Silver inserts have been added to the centre console and air vents and the hybrid system start button gains blue illumination.

The front seats are new and offer wider adjustment, both fore and aft and in height range, making it easier for the most comfortable driving position to be achieved.

Toyota’s attention to detail can be seen in the redesign of the centre console box, which now has a built in cupholder that can be used without having to open the box lid. The 12V power socket, USB port and AUX audio input terminal have been moved to the front of the box for easier use.

On sale in March, prices from £21,350.

     

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