Toyota Reveals More Aggressive, Economical Prius for 2016

Last night, Toyota unveiled the 2016 Prius that features smaller, lighter hybrid system components, higher-energy density in the batteries, and an internal combustion engine touting ground-breaking thermal efficiency (more than forty percent) leading to an estimated 10-precent boost in fuel economy.

Exterior

From nose to tail, the 2016 Prius is a more aggressive looking model than ever before. Sharp headlamps and dynamic side panels make the hybrid sedan fall in line with other Toyota offerings rather than stand out for its uniqueness (that’s the nice word for it) as it has in the past- something we see as a plus.

Toyota notes that in addition to a slightly longer body, the 2016 Prius has a lower hood and a distinctive roof peak that has been moved forward. We’ll have to see how much that changes the feeling that you’re driving a fishbowl that the 2014 model gave us.

On the back end, the rear spoiler has been lowered, hopefully giving drivers the ability to make practical use of the lower section of the rear window.

Buyers will have the option of getting their 2016 Prius in one of seven paint jobs including the new “Hypersonic Red.”

Interior

Toyota calls the new Prius’ interior “premium” citing, ” advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and have high visual impact.” Among those features are the wrap-around dash design (that looks a lot like an elongated version of Darth Vader’s helmet), form-hugging seats, ease of controls (though not the visual appeal of controls– Check out the center stack where the shifter is located. Yikes!) and improved visibility put the driver in complete control.

Filed under “We’re Going to Need to See This in Person” is the available premium white ornamentation in the lower sections of the cabin that Toyota says is “reminiscent of fine bone china.”

The Drive

Toyota’s calling this Prius fun to drive. That’s right. That’s what they’re saying. They’ve even dared compare the front end to the Scion FR-S possibly in the hopes of getting potential buyers to believe the new Prius to be sporty.

While we’re not sure about it’s sport drive, we do know that the 2016 Prius does have an all-new rear double wishbone suspension and more rigid body that should make it feel slightly better to handle than previous models. Given the upgrades from the 2014 Prius to the 2015 Prius v, we have to say there is hope.

Safety

The 2016 Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking.  TSS bundles safety technologies including:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Automatic High Beams

The new Prius will arrive in dealerships early next year.

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