2013 Toyota Prius liftbackEnlarge Photo
Toyota's Prius hybrid has undoubtedly done more to raise awareness of green vehicles and improving fuel efficiency than any other single model on sale today.
First launched in the U.S. in 1999 and styled by a design team in California, the Prius name has since been applied to two further generations and by May 2008, over a million had been sold.
Click here for a full review of the 2013 Toyota Prius.
There's a wealth of information out there on it and our Ultimate Guide to the model should help you decide on whether it's the car for you.
For information on the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, please see our dedicated Ultimate Guide to the model. We also have a guide to the 2012 Toyota Prius V - the Prius wagon, and a guide for the 2012 Toyota Prius C hybrid subcompact.
There can't be many out there who don't know at least a little about what makes a Prius, but thankfully it's easy to understand the basics.
The 2013 Prius uses a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine. This, plus an electric motor/generator, puts power through a planetary gearset (which Toyota calls 'electronic Continuously Variable Transmission, or e-CVT) to the front wheels. Mechanically, it's simpler than it sounds and a factor in the Prius' excellent reliability record.
The Prius is no longer the most advanced hybrid vehicle on the road, but it still delivers the results: Official combined economy is an EPA-rated 50 mpg. In city driving that rises to 51 mpg, and drops to 48 mpg on the highway--though all this depends on your driving style and road conditions. Prius pricing starts at $24,000.
So what's the world's most popular hybrid like to drive? Pretty good, as it turns out, but you can read about that in more detail by reading some of our drive reports below. Alternatively, scroll up the page a little to find a link to our full review of the car.
Prius pricing and sales
The Prius has been on the market for quite a while now in its current guise. Details are starting to emerge of its successor, expected in 2015, but until then there's plenty of information available on the current car. You can follow its success too--with one million sales in the U.S, two million in total, three million, and then four million Toyota hybrids. When will five million appear? You have to expect it fairly soon!