By Cars.com EditorsOctober 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2010 Toyota Prius. It competes with the Honda Insight and Volkswagen Golf.
<v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com and this is a 2010 Toyota Prius. If you haven't seen one before, you're probably hiding under a rock. What's new for this year, is a car gets 50 miles per gallon combined.
It also packs some new technology and it's pretty affordable. The overall shape of the Prius is very much the same as before. However, the front end is much more aggressive looking. If you walk around the back though it's almost identical to the previous generation. The real story of this car though, is the efficiency. Whenever anyone asks me about the new Prius, they always ask, does it really get 50 miles per gallon? And the simple answer is yes, it does. We've tested this car over hundreds of miles in different weather, in different traffic, and it always returns at least 50 miles per gallon. To get 50 miles per gallon, it's pretty simple. You turn the car on and you just go. The Toyota has actually four different driving modes of this car. There's a normal mode, which is just on when you start the car, there's an eco mode, which adjusts the air conditioner and some other settings, you got a little better mileage here and there. There's a power mode, which is a little more responsive, offers a little more thrilling ride, although it's really not that thrilling. And then there's an EV mode. EV mode is all electric. Now you can't use it all the time. You have to have your battery fully charged, and it can only go up to 25 miles per hour, but in bumper to bumper traffic the other day, I used it for about two and a half miles and it got my mileage up to 60. There are a few different screens that Toyota uses to show you how you get the best fuel efficiency driving this car. However, I don't find most of them that useful. What I do like kind of shows the correlation between what your right foot is doing on the gas pedal, how fast you're going, if you're trying to go too fast, it'll show you if you're not getting the best efficiency. And if you're going just right, getting the maximum efficiency. That one, I do like a lot. Because your eyes are focused up on the display screen so much in this car, Toyota's built into this new technology called Touch Tracer and it's standard across the Prius lineup, and basically your steering wheel controls have these nice rubber pads for volume control and stereo controls as well as the temperature and the trip computer and that cool fuel efficiency display. Now, what it does is you kind of just lightly press before you actually press down on the button and the display will pop up over your speed and show you what you're about to press. The point is you shouldn't be looking down at your steering wheel. You should keep your eyes as close to the road as possible. And that way, you know, you're hitting the right button. The biggest improvement with the new Prius is how great a daily driver it is. The ergonomics are improved. The interior is really nice. It's spacious and there's a lot of cargo room too. Now the Prius is a best-selling hybrid on the market. And after taking a look at the 2010, I can see why. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kicking tires.net.
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