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
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.
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.
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.