Monday, November 17, 2014

The 2015 Toyota Prius Continues to Lead the Way

The Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid vehicle on the planet and the 2015 model lineup doesn’t show and hint or sign of slowing down at all.  When the word hybrid is mentioned the Prius is the first thought that comes to mind with its wedge-shaped design and unbelievable fuel efficiency that has become synonymous with the name of the Prius.  The Prius of today offers plenty of room for a full carload to enjoy the ride to whatever destination is chosen along with having a generous amount of cargo space to ensure an overnight or weekend adventure can be had along with the enjoyment of the awesome fuel efficiency.  Competing with the Ford C-Max and Chevrolet Volt, the Prius is more popular even though the others are much more enjoyable to drive.

For the 2015 model year, the Prius gains a new special edition model in the form of the Prius Persona Series Special Edition with adds dark finish 17-inch wheels, heated outside mirrors, dark chrome accents on the inside, an can be painted in either Blizzard Pearl or Absolutely Red.  With the Prius being all about fuel economy the car offers a reputation as part of the Toyota lineup that has been built upon the ideal of dependability and longevity which help make the Prius an awesome car to upgrade to from other models ensuring owners will enjoy excellent resale value with its time to trade in or sell.

The driving experience inside the Prius is mostly about fuel efficiency and many Prius owners have made a game out of how high they can get their fuel efficiency to go with careful driving.  Even though this can be fun, the Prius is equipped with a decent suspension and reasonable steering system allowing the car to be a safe vehicle to own and ride in.  The Prius does not offer a very quiet cabin, but it’s certainly quiet enough to be able enjoy whatever musical selections are chosen by the occupants.  Adding to fuel efficiency can be accomplished by accelerating carefully and by shutting off the air conditioning while at stoplights making this “game” much more fun.

The single engine offered for the Prius comes in the form of a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine plus a 60-kilowatt electric motor.  This gas powered engine comes in with 98 horsepower and 105 lb.-ft. of torque while the electric motor has 80 horsepower and 153 lb.-ft. of torque for a net horsepower of 134 horsepower when the two systems are working in concert.  This engine pairing is attached to a continuously variable transmission which helps the car to experience a fuel efficiency of 51 city/48 hwy mpg.  

The Prius does offer a plug-in model that uses a higher-capacity lithium-ion battery giving the car an electric only range of 11 miles.  This additional benefit adds a bit to the overall fuel efficiency of the car which brings it to 51 city/49 hwy mpg and when in electric only mode the fuel efficiency comes in at 95 MPGe.

The interior of the Prius does appear to be something out of a science fiction movie or what might be expected to be found in a spaceship.  The Prius has a contoured dashboard and a sweeping center console that offers plenty of storage under the center stack.  The interior offers a lot of great little places to put a variety of items that will be easy to find again when needed.  The materials of the Prius are soft and comfortable and the space inside is excellent for carrying both people and gear.

The outside the Prius is very recognizable as the leading seller among hybrid vehicles.  It has a sharp and continuous line from the front of the car up over the hood and to the roof which sweeps back to the hatchback of the vehicle.  This shape allows the wind to move over the car easily with very little resistance.  The shape also gives more headroom to the car for all inside to be able to ride with comfort and not be impeded by the doors or roofline.  The Prius is a great hatchback to carry odd shaped objects with some added cargo space in the back and folding rear seats.

The standard equipment for the base model Prius Two hybrid offers a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, automatic climate control, a height adjustable driver’s seat, automatic up/down on all windows, push button starting, two 12-volt power outlets, a 6.1-inch touch screen audio display, Bluetooth connectivity and the Touch Tracer display which displays which wheel mounted control pad is being used on the center console display.  The Prius Plug-In model adds a navigation system to its standard equipment making it a very well equipped plug-in vehicle.

The optional equipment offered for the Prius come in the form of the different model levels.  The Prius Three, Four or Five.  The list of optional features includes an upgraded audio system including Entune, a navigation system, a heated and power adjustable driver’s seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, fog lights, active cruise control, a head-up display, the Pre-Collision System, Lane Keep Assist and Intelligent Parking Assist.  Adding some or all of these awesome features allows the Prius to be a very enjoy able car to drive as well as continue to put a premium on fuel efficiency for any owner.

Starting out at the base Prius Two model the starting pricing point comes in at $25,500 to enjoy the great fuel efficiency of this top selling hybrid vehicle.  Each move up the model ladder brings an increase of about $2,000 to the price of the car which brings the Five model in around $31,000.  Once packages are added to the car, a fully loaded Five can ask for more than $40,000 but offers a great deal of awesome equipment for anyone to take full advantage of.  the Plug-In model starts around $31,000 and can increase by about $5,000 when the Advance package is added.

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