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The Toyota Prius is one of the most successful gasoline-electric hybrid cars available in the U.S.. While Toyota’s foes lag behind them in the hybrid class the Prius is already on its third version. The Prius has become such a consumer hit thanks to it’s exceptional fuel economy, maneuverability, acceleration, and relatively low cost. The Prius, similar to other hybrid vehicles, uses a distinctive powertrain that utilizes a gasoline-fueled internal combustion motor with an electric engine.
The Prius is a hatchback that seats five comfortably, the motor is made up of a 1.8L gasoline engine that puts out 98hp and 105 pound-feet of torque. Combined with the electric engines and a unique planetary gearset that acts as a CVT. The combined motors total a 134hp output. When maximum power is needed both motor systems work collectively, in city traffic the Prius switches back and forth typically running on only battery power. All these things combined, gives the Prius an industry leading 50 mpg, Toyota’s rivals are left behind scratching their heads.
The Prius II is the base model and is equipped with the Hybrid Synergy Drive system, LED taillights, UV reducing glass windshield, XM satellite radio, automatic climate control, power windows, Smart Key System, fabric trimmed seats, fabric trimmed door panels, four-way adjustable passenger seat, 60/40 fold-down rear bench, cruise control, digital speedometer, MID with energy monitor, dual sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, dual-compartment glove box, under-floor stowage, and 15-inch alloy wheels.
Upgrades available on the Prius III, IV, and V include: LED headlights with auto leveling, power moonroof, solar powered ventilation system, driver and passenger water-repellent side windows, JBL AM/FM/MP3 6-disc CD changer, voice-activated touch-screen, leather-trimmed steering wheel, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent Parking Assist, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
All Toyota lines come with the Star Safety System, which includes enhanced VSC, traction control, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist. The Prius also offers other safety selections, including: Safety Connect, active head restraints, tire pressure monitors, side-impact door beams, LATCH child restraint system, child-protector door locks, engine immobilizer, and center high-mount stop lamp.
The Prius is atop the hybrid class for great reasons; it’s spacious, environmentally friendly, economical, and great looking.