• (4.7) 46 reviews
  • Available Prices: $12,758–$20,878
  • Body Style: Hatchback
  • Combined MPG: 50
  • Engine: 98-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 2-speed CVT w/OD
2015 Toyota Prius

Our Take on the Latest Model 2015 Toyota Prius

What We Don't Like

  • Busy ride quality
  • Suspension, road and tire noise
  • Dated cabin design, materials
  • Digital instrument panel appearance
  • Touch-screen washes out from sunlight

Notable Features

  • New Special Edition model
  • Gas/electric hybrid drivetrain
  • Hatchback body style with room for five
  • EPA-estimated 50 mpg in combined city/highway driving
  • Precollision system available
  • Lane departure prevention available

2015 Toyota Prius Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

Editor's note: This review was written in September 2014 about the 2014 Toyota Prius. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2015, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

The 2014 Toyota Prius hybrid is spacious and its extreme efficiency is impressive, but you have to put up with a noisy, bumpy ride and an interior that's showing its age.

The third-generation Prius has been around for five model years now, and it remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars you can buy, not counting fully electric cars; the EPA rates it at 51/48/50 mpg city/highway/combined. Toyota also sells a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius, as well as a subcompact Prius c hatchback and larger Prius v wagon that has more interior room. (To see their specs compared, click here.)

The Prius' base price is $25,025 including an $825 destination charge. Our Prius Five test car's as-tested price was considerably more — $37,267, including destination — due in part to a number of technologies, including a navigation system, head-up display and lane departure prevention.

How It Drives
The Prius driving experience is refined, with mostly seamless transitions between its gas and electric power sources. It accelerates from a stop readily, and the gas engine fires smoothly to help the car keep going. The brakes grab immediately when you touch the pedal, and for a hybrid they have good linearity and predictability all the way to a complete stop. The only aspect that may be unusual for those accustomed to conventional cars with traditional automatic transmissions is the way the sounds of the engine don't always rise and fall in a familiar way.

The Prius feels as quick as your average compact car. The drivetrain's various modes — Normal, Eco and Power — alter accelerator responsiveness. Normal is tolerable; you just have to press harder on the pedal than in most conventional cars for adequate acceleration. Eco is mostly frustrating, as a good portion of the gas pedal's travel doesn't produce any acceleration. With Power selected, the Prius feels livelier off the line, and the gas engine is quicker to come on.

The most remarkable thing about the Prius is how it gets consistently superior gas mileage. The car's trip computer showed mpg readings in the mid- to high 50s whether I was commuting to work in traffic or traveling on congestion-free roads. The Prius doesn't make you work for that kind of mileage, either; I wasn't taking any steps to maximize my fuel economy. Over the course of a few summer days I drove 100 miles, and the trip computer's average mpg stood at 55.7. Midsize hybrids that approach the Prius' 50-mpg combined rating are the Honda Accord Hybrid (47 mpg) and Ford Fusion Hybrid (42 mpg), but gas mileage for the Ford C-Max Hybrid, one of the Prius' chief competitors, is just 40 mpg combined. (See these cars compared here.)

Note that mild temperatures benefit hybrid efficiency, and all these models can be expected to exhibit lower mileage in cold weather — sometimes dramatically lower. The Prius is no exception.

To enjoy the Prius' great gas mileage you have to put up with a bumpy, noisy ride. Ride quality isn't overly firm, but it's busy, and damping could be better over bumps and cracks in the road, which produce a loud thwack. In addition to suspension noise, road and tire noise becomes bothersome at highway speeds. The Prius is a relatively light car with a curb weight a little over 3,000 pounds. That's about what the Chevrolet Cruze compact car weighs, but you get the feeling it's that light because Toyota included as little sound-deadening material as possible.

Steering response is predictable, with high assist levels; it feels like driving-simulator steering in the days before force-feedback attempted to add some realism.

Interior
The other impressive thing about the Prius is how accommodating it is. Five adults fit in the car on front bucket seats and a three-person rear bench. Headroom is limited for taller people, but there's almost as much rear-seat legroom as in Toyota's Camry midsize sedan. The middle rear seat is a little hard, but the flat floor makes this spot more practical.

The Prius is also very easy to see out of from the driver's seat. This isn't as much of a given as it used to be, as more and more cars seem to be trading visibility for distinctive exterior styling and/or aerodynamics. The Prius has a unique swept-back look, but Toyota has managed to retain good over-shoulder visibility for checking your blind spot, and the front roof pillars don't restrict your sight lines like they can in some cars. The crossbar separating the upper and lower liftgate glass is constantly visible in the rearview mirror, which I found a little annoying, but it doesn't significantly limit visibility. The rearview mirror blocked my view when making a right turn, however.

The cabin design and materials aren't that impressive. The sweeping, once-futuristic dashboard looks dated, especially the centrally located digital instrument panel. Considering the car's advanced hybrid drivetrain technology, I'm amazed Toyota hasn't updated the instrument panel to a full-color display instead of the green-on-black readout that's been there since the Prius was redesigned for the 2010 model year. The strange graining on the door trim, dashboard and center control panel hasn't aged well, either, and the optional simulated leather upholstery looks cheap. Real leather was discontinued a couple of years ago.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Most of the Prius' controls are familiar, but there are a few that differ significantly from most cars. The high-mounted, center-of-dash instrument panel is an idea that hasn't caught on despite how it lets you keep your eyes closer to the road when checking the gauges. The location wasn't jarring to me, but I've been in the Prius before, as well as a few other cars that have this layout, and I'm accustomed to it. Some drivers dislike it.

The gear selector is also different. It's a small joystick-like thing on the center console that springs back to a center position after selecting Drive or Reverse, for instance. Even though it's quite a bit different from a conventional gear selector, it's easy to use.

The optional touch-screen navigation system in our Prius Five was part of a $4,320 Advanced Technology Package that included a number of other features. The touch-screen is bordered by physical buttons that take you to specific features, like satellite radio channels or the map view. They're packed tightly around the screen and aren't the easiest to distinguish at a glance. The screen had a tendency to wash out in sunlight, which made it hard to see the image from the optional backup camera, for instance.

Pairing an iPhone to the multimedia system using Bluetooth is straightforward and I had immediate access to my contacts and recent calls from the touch-screen. The system includes Bluetooth streaming audio, so you don't have to physically connect your phone to the car to listen to stored music through the car's speakers, but the touch-screen interface has just basic controls; I couldn't skip forward or back to other songs.

Cargo & Storage
The cargo area measures 21.6 cubic feet. That's more than the Prius c (17.1) but less than the Prius v (34.3). The C-Max Hybrid has 24.5 cubic feet of space. The Prius' split-folding backseat is nicely executed and folds flat with the cargo floor when you need more space. The car's sloping roofline, however, reduces the height of the cargo area compared with a small crossover. Toyota's RAV4 crossover has a 38.4-cubic-foot luggage area.

Storage areas include upper and lower glove boxes, neither of which is very large; a small center console bin between the front seats; and a large open storage area under the center console near the base of the dashboard.

Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2014 Prius a Top Safety Pick Plus, representing the top rating of good in all dynamic tests except the small-overlap frontal test, where it received a score of acceptable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it an overall rating of four out of five stars.

The Advanced Technology Package includes a number of safety features like a backup camera, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system, lane departure warning and prevention, and Toyota's Safety Connect emergency communication system. The pre-collision system automatically brakes the car and cinches the front seat belts if a crash is imminent. (The inclusion of this optional equipment is also required for IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus designation.) Lane departure prevention will steer the car back into your lane if you drift out of it, but one editor felt the system should intervene before crossing a dividing line rather than after. A one-year trial subscription to Safety Connect includes automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle assistance and roadside assistance.

For a full list of safety features, see the Features & Specs page. To see how well child-safety seats fit in the Prius, see our Car Seat Check.

Value in Its Class
The Prius stacks up well when you look at the time it'd take to recoup its price premium over a comparable gas-only car. The Prius doesn't have a direct gas-only sibling, but Toyota's own Camry, which is a midsize car like the Prius, makes a good substitute.

Looking at base versions of both cars and assuming regular gas costs $3.47 a gallon and you drive 15,000 miles a year, the payback time is just a little more than two years. If you want to add some real time between gas station visits and also have room for more than two adults to ride comfortably, the Prius remains a great choice.

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Consumer Reviews

(4.7)

Average based on 46 reviews

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62MPG

by Deirdre from Winston-Salem on December 5, 2017

I love that this car has a stylish interior coupled with incredible reliability and cost savings. I loved it so much, I got a second one for the family 6 months later! I average 50+ mpg on a daily b... Read Full Review

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5 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2015 Toyota Prius trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Toyota Prius Articles

2015 Toyota Prius Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Prius Five

Front
A
Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Prius Five

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
G
Overall evaluation
A
Retraints and dummy kinematics
A
Structure and safety cage
M

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Small overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
G
Restraints and dummy kinematics
A
Small overlap front
A
Structure and safety cage
M
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Prius Five

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Prius Five

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $2,200 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

24mo/unlimited

Free Scheduled Maintenance

24mo/25,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years