With the all-new 2016 Prius, Toyota is looking to yet again overshadow the North American hybrid market by offering an even more fuel efficient product than before.
After showing up at an event in Las Vegas two months ago, the fourth-generation Prius instantly went under scrutiny because of its new design, namely the sharp angles Toyota decided to throw in there. However, the Japanese manufacturer says the car is more “striking” now and that technically speaking, it’s a better product.
Hard to disagree with that when looking at fuel economy ratings of 54/50/52 (city/highway/combined mpg), while a new Eco grade model is anticipating ratings of 58/53/56 mpg thanks to better aerodynamics and less weight.
In the US, the 2016 Prius is available in six different grades. Starting off, the entry-level Prius Two is basically a hybrid car for buyers on a tight budget, while the Prius Two Eco is aimed at buyers who desire even better fuel efficiency.
The Prius Three and Prius Three Touring come with better tech features and a more dynamic driving experience respectively, followed by the Prius Four and Four Touring – which is the hybrid of choice for those driver who “want it all” according to Toyota.
MSRP-wise, the 2016 Prius will range from $24,200 for the entry-level Prius Two model, to $30,000 for the top of the line Four Touring version. The Two Eco, Three, Three Touring and Four models are priced at $24,700, $26,250, $28,100 and $28,650 respectively.
Owners will also receive Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty, while additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles.
In terms of safety, the all-new Prius comes with automatic Pre-Collision braking, Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.
High-spec Touring grade models will feature 17″ five-spoke alloys with P215/45R17 tires, integrated fog lights, LED clearance lamps and a unique bumper treatment as standard. The entry-level Two and Two Eco versions come with the Entune Audio system as standard which includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle (6.1″ touch-screen, AM/FM CD player, six speakers, aux audio jack, USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology), which isn’t bad at all considering how you also get Siri Eyes Free mode and an integrated backup camera display.
Other grades feature a 7.0″ high-res touch-screen with split screen display, Entune App Suite, HD radio, HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, alongside the always popular SiriusXM radio. Prius Four grade models offer the Entune Premium JBL audio system as part of a package – you get 10 JBL GreenEdge speakers in eight locations.
According to Bill Fay, Toyota USA VP, the all-new Prius will “invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage.”
Realistically speaking, with EV prices being what they are, there’s no reason why the Prius shouldn’t continue to thrive globally. At least for now.