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2010 Toyota Prius: Reviewing the Reviews

 
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2010 Toyota Prius side

2010 Toyota Prius side

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As we've noted before, our sister site TheCarConnection.com offers deep, comprehensive car reviews, with both our own impressions from driving the car (in this case, the all-new 2010 Toyota Prius) and summaries of comments from all the other reviews done.

Completely redesigned for 2010, the third generation of the Prius--the car that virtually defines "hybrid" for U.S. car buyers--offers a familiar shape, even better fuel economy, and many more features and options.

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

Enlarge Photo

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

Enlarge Photo

2010 Toyota Prius two-tone leather interior

2010 Toyota Prius two-tone leather interior

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2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

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2010 Toyota Prius - showing round Touch Tracer controls that drivers operate with their thumbs

2010 Toyota Prius - showing round Touch Tracer controls that drivers operate with their thumbs

Enlarge Photo

TCC's Bottom Line gives the '10 Prius high marks for its fuel effiency (especially the EPA combined gas mileage rating of 50 miles per gallon), cabin space and general practicality, better driving feel, and standard and optional features. Dislikes were pretty much restricted to the limited knee room imposed by the Space-Age console design, and the general hybrid driving experience.

It did less well for comfort and quality, and only got 6 out of 10 for styling. Which is, when you think about it, an almost purely subjective quality.

In the full review, the 2010 Toyota Prius rates 8.2 out of a possible 10 points. Starting at the bottom, the styling gets a 6, even lower than the 7 awarded to the previous model. The shape and appearance, TCC says, is still "more future-appliance than future-chic."

Ratings get much better for Performance, with the 2010 Prius getting 9 out of 10. A larger engine in the new model gives the Prius better passing power, despite the slightly higher gas mileage. And every Prius now offers three driving modes: Standard, Eco, and Power, letting you dial in how parsimonious or aggressive you want the car's tuning to be.

Then there's Comfort and Quality, where the score goes back down to 7 out of 10. Still, compared to earlier generations of Prius, the interior materials are much nicer, the seats have more room, and cargo space is increased. As TCC notes, while the 2010 Prius "still isn't up to the quality levels found on Toyota's Lexus brand," it's definitely "a step in the right direction".

Safety weighs in at 9 out of 10, reflecting Toyota's generally comprehensive approach to crash safety. It includes standard stability control, and seven airbags, and offers optional Intelligent Parking Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. This latter feature actually steers your Prius gently back between the lane lines if you inadvertently drift outside them.

Finally, the Features are rated at the full 10 out of 10. Even the bottom of the four current Prius trim levels (II, III, IV and V) offers cruise control, wheel-mounted radio controls, and power locks and windows standard. Later on, there will be a Level I at an even lower price of $21,000, but Toyota hasn't yet specified how it will be outfitted.

Here at AllAboutPrius.com, we've got the all-important pricing page, which shows sticker price, the dealer invoice, and includes a TrueCar report to help you distinguish a great price from a good price (or an overpriced Prius) for your specific ZIP Code.

We also have a full gallery of Prius photos, a page of videos from around the web, and other features in our own 2010 Toyota Prius overview page. And if you need more detail, check out our Reference Guide to "30 Days of the 2010 Toyota Prius".



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Comments (3)
  1. Toyota really created and upgraded another car that will be very user friendly and will help minimize the pollution, another car to be on the list
     
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  2. thats the uglyest car I hace ever seen! dont get me wrong I have nothing agenst Hybrids I have A CIVIC HYBRID and I LOVE IT!! I get a about 60-70mpg with it… but man that prius is ugly!! hopfully the 2010 will be better looking
     
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  3. 'offers a familiar shape, even better fuel economy, and many more features and options', This is all that we needed to be changed from the previous pirus. As time goes on i am growing to the appearance of the new hybrid cars, they are more future looking if you know what i mean.
     
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