Now in its fourth generation, the Toyota Prius family features six models, including the most economical, the Toyota Prius Two. It’s the lightest, most space efficient and achieves the highest gas mileage rating in the best-selling hybrid lineup.
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The Weekly Driver Test Drives Toyota Prius Two
While the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Camry Hybrid are all fine competition, the new Toyota Prius Two design reconfirms the vehicle’s position as the segment leader.
The Toyota Prius Two trim, my weekly driver, comes standard 15-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, taillights and headlights as well as heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a 4.2-inch information screen and cruise control with tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
The hatchback offers a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 121 horsepower that matches the motor with electric generators and a continuously variable automatic transmission. The combined EPA gas mileage estimate is 56 mpg. I averaged 57.1 mpg.
Toyota Prius Two: Good Technology
The upholstery is cloth and there are 60/40-split folding rear seats. Safety options include a rear-view camera technology is advanced for the segment. It includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and audio connect as well as voice recognition Siri Eyes Free and a USB port and audio jack.
As the most economical Toyota Prius, the Two’s lofty status is assisted by low rolling resistance tires as well as by a less weighty lithium-ion hybrid battery. There’s also a lightweight inflation kit which translates into no spare tire.
Quiet and smooth, the Prius Two advances with satisfaction. Its 0-60 mph rating in about 10 seconds in pretty good for the segment. But with its new exterior design, the Prius Two has a new sporty appearance of a vehicle that accelerates more quickly.
While classified as a compact, the Prius Two Eco as well as the Four and Touring models have surprisingly large interiors. In addition to the open feel window design, there’s 65.5 cubic feet of interior space with the 60/40 split rear seats folded. The spaciousness is, in part, a result of the battery pack’s position under the back seat instead of behind the seat, its placement in previous years’ models.
Toyota Prius Two: Unique Console
One oddity: The instrument panel is off-set a few inches to the right. It’s wasn’t distracting or uncomfortable. Instead, it was refreshing not to have the gauges and graphics that detail battery re-charging and other hybrid parameters in direct eyesight but well within the vision comfort zone when needed.
Excellent fuel economy.
Cavernous interior space with back seats lowered.
Comfortable, quiet ride.
Attractive new exterior design.
Hatchback provides obstructed view.
Off-set instrument panel polarizing.
Backseat legroom tighter than previous year’s model.
Tiny shift knob.
Facts & Figures: 2016 Toyota Prius Two (Eco)
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 10.0 seconds.
Fuel economy: 58 mpg (city), 53 mpg (highway), 56 mpg (combined), Continuously variable transmission.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $24,700.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.toyota.com.
Price As Tested: $25,760.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words on the Toyota Prius Two:
“With its new design, improved comfort, vast cabin room and superior gas mileage, the Toyota Prius Two (Eco) is a stellar value. The new design is sharp, but don’t expect to drive with any quick or fanciful maneuvering.”
Reviews on Previous Toyota Prius Models
Article Last Updated: August 17, 2016.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.