By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
From the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2010 Toyota Prius.
Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. We're at the Detroit Auto Show, checking out probably the most significant entry this year. It's the redesigned third generation Toyota Prius. It's a car Toyota calls, it's halo car for the environmental brand image.
And it looks a lot like the outgoing Prius, probably a good thing, given that car's owner loyalty. The Prius's silhouette is the same. Toyota says it kind of moved this sort of hump where the roof arches a little bit farther rearward, that translates into a little bit better headroom in the back seat. You'll notice the rear kind of looks the same. These tail lights have been spruced up a little bit. They're still use the, the clear lens design. There's a little bit more of a spoiler here. Overall, the car is even slightly more aerodynamic than it used to be. That helps it get 50 miles per gallon combined now, that's what Toyota says. The new Honda Insight Hybrid gets in the low 40s. The old Prius even only got in the mid 40s, 50 miles per gallon combined. That's pretty good. Toyota has been slipping on some of its latest interior designs, cars like the Corolla and even the current Camry, not too impressive. This really shows that the company might be back on track. Plastics are kind of hard to the touch. That's kind of expected in the small to mid-sized car range now, but they have this nice textured appearance. They look very, very, high-end actually. All the buttons and stuff have a very, very high quality damping to them. You'll notice there's kind of a similar layout to what's in the old Prius. You've got the double glove box here. There's kind of a long area here to store things. This center section now kind of extends out. In the old Prius, it sort of was just a hump here in the center. There's a little bit of storage space underneath. Steering wheel tilts, as well as telescope now. The old steering wheel just tilted and this sort of high-tech electronic gear shifter has been moved down here to the center area. It used to be up here on the dashboard itself. There's a few real high-tech options this year. This car will have the self parking feature from Lexus. In fact, it'll pull into a parallel parking spots on its own if it wants, if you want to do that. And there's also gonna be an optional, a solar panel moonroof that actually has solar cells in it that can power the AC system entirely electrically while the car is parked to keep the car cooler. So the AC doesn't have to work so hard when you get back in, all in the name of more efficiency, certainly cool things for those of you who really want to be environmental. There's a lot of talk at this show about electric plug-in cars, extended range, electric vehicles, like the Chevy Volt. That's good and all, but really right now, a 50 mile per gallon hybrid is still one of the best cars, the most efficient cars you can buy. The old Prius had lots of loyal owners, like I said earlier, this car should have no problem selling like crazy. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other go to cars.com and our blog, "Kicking Tires".