Buying guide. Toyota Prius 3; Economical and reliable … sometimes worth it?

The third generation of the Prius will arrive at the dealership in 2009. It is currently combined with a 136 bhp engine (98 bhp 1.8 l internal combustion engine and 60 kW / 81 bhp electric motor).

Longer (15mm) and wider (20mm) than the previous generation, the Prius provides better headroom for the rear seat occupants.

In terms of aesthetics, the Prius has a fairly fragmented design that may keep some people away, but its strengths are elsewhere: efficient motorization and complete equipment. Attention, it is impossible to tow with the Prius.


The driving position is designed for people of average height. Readability is good under these conditions. The average quality of hard plastic on the dashboard is disappointing as it is easily scratched. Photo DR

Drive in anticipation

With a 1.8-liter internal combustion engine and electric motor, a cumulative horsepower of 136 horsepower is sufficient, but the engine’s characteristic race feels amazing when accelerating.

I regret the slightly heavier front axle and the less informative direction. To really take advantage of that silence, you need a calm ride that prioritizes expectations and smoothness.

Inside, the comfort is good and the comfort is correct, but the damping is pretty stiff. Driving posture is not good for tall people.

The posterior shape does not promote posterior vision and it remains fairly mediocre. Photo DR

The posterior shape does not promote posterior vision and it remains fairly mediocre. Photo DR

Fully equipped

The program has three finishes: active, dynamic and lounge. From the first level, you will have access to seven airbags, ABS, automatic air conditioning, a CD radio with steering wheel control, electric and heating mirrors, fog lights and even a keyless start, but no cruise control.

A rain sensor or cruise control is available for the dynamic finish. The navigation system has a built-in parking assistance device. The lounge finish has LED lights, leather upholstery and heated seats. All models are equipped with a head-up display.

Compared to the 2nd generation, the cabin is less important and the height to the roof is higher. The quest for aerodynamic efficiency has gone through this. Photo DR

Compared to the 2nd generation, the cabin is less important and the height to the roof is higher. The quest for aerodynamic efficiency has gone through this. Photo DR

Reliable

Despite some precautionary recalls, reliability can be considered excellent. There were some problems with the combustion engine (slamming in very cold weather before 2012, power shortage before 2013).

Some front axle bearings have changed, and by mid-2013, the battery fan may have overheated the element. The advantage of the Prius is that it is moderately costly to use.

You can regret the lack of body protection elements and the plastic inside is sensitive to scratches.

At 445 dm3, the 3rd generation trunk provides the correct volume. Folded seat, it can reach 1,100 dm3. Photo DR

At 445 dm3, the 3rd generation trunk provides the correct volume. Folded seat, it can reach 1,100 dm3. Photo DR

What can make you buy

In addition to reliability, reduced consumption is an asset. Count 3.8 liters / 100 km with a light foot and count 5.5 liters without paying attention.

In order to reduce consumption, you can choose from three types of driving: eco mode, which consumes less, EV mode (up to 2km or 3km), which forces 100% of electric vehicles, and power mode, which increases acceleration.

You need to avoid long journeys on the highway, which is the weakness of the Prius blaming the weight of batteries that are not currently in use. If not, the energy performance is excellent.