2010 Toyota Prius Ride & Drive Review

Third-gen Toyota Prius test drive

Third-gen Toyota Prius test drive

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For most of the week last week, a 2010 Toyota Prius (third gen) served as my every-day driver. I drove it like I would have driven my own car. I didn't take it on any long road trips, because I didn't have any distant destinations. I didn't take it to a test track to see how many miles I could squeeze out of each gallon of gas. I just drove it around town, back and forth to school, work, the grocery store.

My very first impression of the car could best be summed up as a yawn. I liked the Prius, but I didn't LIKE like the Prius. It seemed bland. (Read my first impression review here.) But then, on only my second full day with the Prius, I warmed to it. (Read my second day review here.) It's not flashy. It's light on gimmick and flair. But it serves its purpose in a way that made me suddenly understand why it's the best-selling hybrid in the United States.

While the Prius doesn't boast any interactive virtual plants, it does have a clear, intuitive instrument panel. The interior may not be plush, but it is comfortable and roomy, and aside from the extreme difficulty my five-year-old had fastening the rear safety belts, the vehicle is completely serviceable. The iconic Prius profile is still easily recognizable, having only been tweaked a little to allow for more headroom. The rear cargo area is huge, with plenty of room for the types of things I had to stow. I was amazed at how pleasant the daily driving experience was — smooth, quiet, peppy when I needed it to be. But perhaps most important of all, across my week of city driving, I got an average of 46 miles per gallon.

Honestly, if I was in the market for a new car, I would seriously consider the purchase of a third-gen Prius. I still find their new TV commercials a little creepy, but my few hours with the Prius made me a believer.

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Comments (10)
  1. By the time I can afford a Prius, I hope they'll have changed the body design a little bit. As it is it's still a very nice-looking car, though. Great review Jennifer.

  2. I drive an 010 prius for work. Doesn't get better than 25 mpg in the city. I don't get where all the hype over 46 mpg comes from. It just doesn't get that. Of course, the car hardly ever hits the freeway...

  3. anonymous here must be working for Hummer or maybe Lincoln.....:)....but i could tell you that in the worst driving conditions the 2010 prius will get 36 mpg city.......so either his car is defective and needs servicing.......or he doesn't even has a Prius , but needs to take its mpg as close to a Navigator as possible.......

  4. I forgot to tell you.....with very little care , you get 55 mpg city...no hypermiling...just common sense

  5. To the anonymous poster, perhaps you have demanding road conditions (steep hills, rough roads), bad climate (cold, wet), or perhaps you have an aggressive driving style or there could be a problem with your vehicle (under-inflated tires?). There are a number of factors that might result in lower mpgs. I have seldom seen my mileage lower than 46mpg on a tank (even in winter or with long distance highway trips). My highest tank average was over 62mpg in my 2007 Prius. There are a number of online resources that might help you to achieve and often exceed the EPA ratings for your vehicle, including priuschat.com or cleanmpg.com. Good Luck!

  6. This is a review of the Prius that I actually agree with. After the smug wafts away, you're left with a really practical and efficient daily-driver.
    The Prius isn't the car for everybody, but my wife's 2004 Prius really takes care of a disproportionate amount of our transportation needs at my house!

  7. I would normally think that the blogger who claims only 25PMG would be a plant working for FORD or GM, but I have to say if you read EDMUNDS.COM for 2009(not the III 2010)real world driving comments the 09 it seems for many folks WAS getting only about 30MPG !:(
    I am confident that the totally redesigned 2010 is much much better and will really get 36+min...
    ...is that worth for me abotu 27k with any option ? Nope....But a slightly USED 2010 one owner that i get in 2011 for about 17k WOULD be great car :)

  8. 25 mpg? Seriously, I don't think I could get that low if I tried. With very minimal effort I am averaging 58mpg in my '10 (very little highway driving).

  9. I drive 07 prius and average about 51-52mpg on combined city and highway.... hard to believe you have only 25mpg...
    Anyway, I'm totally satisfied with my 07 prius, and looking forward to buying 3rd gen prius soon!!

  10. I'm averaging 48 to 53 MPG in "ECON" mode in my 2010 Prius and 48MPG in my 2005 Prius. My wife with her lead foot can bring that down to 46MPG at worse. Could not get 25 to 30 MPG if we tried!

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