With the introduction of 2017 Toyota Prius, Japanese car maker will continue its successful story on hybrid market. With a new generation that was offered to start with 2016 model we again get gains in fuel economy, and since the redesign is still fresh, we do not expect to see any obvious upgrades for 2017 version.
This all new generation of the Prius has been introduced back in 2015, but it only went on the market few months ago. This time around it seems that the rumors were true, so the car does come in two different versions, at least when looking at the battery options. Over the previous model, new Prius does come with a lot of upgrades as well as an all new bolder design which is a lot more impressive and also a bit odd but more on that later. Almost all elements of powertrain have been changed and upgraded; it is actually Toyota’s first car to use their all-new modular architecture which is also expected to be used on their future cars and crossovers.
This new platform makes heavy use of high strength steel and some aluminum, so it is quite a bit more rigid than before while being slightly lighter as well. Further changes to hybrid components make it lighter while the unsprung weight went down by quite a bit. This will allow the car to be more comfortable on the road, and it should also absorb the bumps quite a bit better than the older model while not having to use large tires with high sidewalls. Handling was one of the segments in which we could hear many complaints but with the implementation of dual wishbone at the back, it can successfully compete with similar cars and sedans on the market.
Design wise, there will be no changes for the 2017 Toyota Prius after a recent redesign. It is a bit of a hit or miss, and this is mostly because it does offer a very futuristic design despite the fact it is one of the most conventional cars on the market which managed to keep its core shape ever since it was released. This new model borrows heavily from the Mirai hydrogen-powered car which is a bit unusual, especially after Toyota said that they are not going to replicate that design. Also, the car now comes with unique wheels and upgraded low rolling resistance tires. In the front, the car comes with a very angular design with C-shaped headlights that extend towards the bumper with slim LED fog lamps. The back offers the usual liftback design but this time around the tail lights wrap around the corners of the car which is very nice, especially in the dark. Expect 2017 model to arrive during summer to dealerships.
Inside the cabin, on the other hand, the new Prius is simple yet effective. The materials have been chosen with the word “Eco” in mind, so there is no real leather or wood. Instead, the car comes mostly with renewable materials but despite that, the dashboard is soft, and the seats are very comfortable. We are pleased with changes to the interior, and we can agree that this is one serious step up over the previous generation. Rear seats are foldable in 60/40 proportion while the cargo space of 27.4 cubic feet is enough for all your daily needs, and when you fold down seats, you can use about 65.5 cubic feet of space.
The instrument cluster still sits on top of the dashboard in the middle of the car but this time around it uses fully color screens with LED backlighting. These two 4.2 high-resolution displays can be customized so you can set up what data will be displayed. Also, there is an all-new infotainment center with touch sensitive buttons as well as a more efficient climate control system. The Central position is taken by seven-inch display that can also show navigation. Another proof that this is not just an entry level car is the presence of features like heated front seats.
2017 Toyota Prius MPG
Finally, we are coming to the powertrain and improvements that allow Prius to reach 56 mpg in some cases. Engine wise, the 2017 Toyota Prius comes with a revised powertrain which now uses an all-new 1.8 liter naturally aspirated inline-four petrol engine which now provides up to 95 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque which is slightly less than before but thanks to new internals, the thermal efficiency increased to as much as 40%. The electric motor is also smaller and lighter, but it also makes less power with only 71 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque. Don’t get worried by this.
Because the total output is highly dependent on the batteries, the car doesn’t feel slower, and it will still accelerate to 60 MPH in around 10 seconds reaching a top speed of little over 110 MPH. The transmission has been heavily revised as well and thanks to the reduced numbers of gears, the frictional losses have been reduced by up to 20%. This means that the new base Prius will get up to 54 MPG in the city and 50 MPG on the highway while the Eco version, which gets a new lithium-ion battery and no spare tire, will get up to 58 MPG in the city and 53 MPG on the highway. As a result, it makes it the most efficient conventional hybrid on the market.
We have mentioned that there are two versions of 2017 Toyota Prius. The base version is offered with Ni-MH battery pack while all other versions come with lighter (about 60 pounds) Lithium Ion battery. Even this is related to trims don’t mix these two since Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring are available. Prices start from $24,200 and go all the way up to $30,000. Full price list is delivered in the table.