The Test: Toyota’s flagship hybrid is known for its environmental friendliness, but not necessarily for being the smoothest ride on the road. That changes this year. While the prior Prius suffered from vague steering and excessive body roll, this edition features a redesigned suspension, is far stiffer, brakes hard without drama, and corners predictably.
A sports car? With a 1.8-liter engine, definitely not, but it’s a helluva lot of fun to drive. This Prius is also roomier, since Toyota shrunk the rear battery, freeing up a 27 cubic feet of cargo space, enough to fit two mountain bikes with wheels off. On top of that, the suite of high tech features now comes with automated parking. Still, not everything needs an overhaul. One holdover attribute that we like: the aerodynamic body (which saves even more gas).
The Verdict: A more athletic and efficient Prius that drives more like a car, less like a robot on wheels.
$24,200; 58 city mpg/53 highway/56 combined