2010 Toyota Prius two-tone leather interiorEnlarge Photo
2010 Toyota Prius high-voltage battery packEnlarge Photo
The new 2010 Prius aims to take out the competition and according to a review from Business Week, Toyota has hit the target.
As the Prius rolls out onto showroom floors, customers begin placing order for the first mainstream vehicle to be rated at 50 + mpg. But the new vehicle is not only about gas mileage, Toyota has stepped up and produced a car with better acceleration, more features, a lower base price, and more high tech gadgetry.
According to Thane Peterson at Business Week, "Toyota has done a masterful job redesigning the Prius. The 2010 Prius is the first mainstream model to be rated at 50 miles per gallon up from 46 mpg before, even though it's noticeable peppier than the previous version. The new Prius also is surprisingly spacious, with rear seats that verge on being downright roomy."
The new vehicle now uses a 1.8 liter engine that churns out 98 horsepower. The engine is linked to two electric motors. Total output now comes in at 134 hp compared to just 110 hp from the previous version.
With all of the updates and enhancements to the new Prius, Toyota has found room to cut the base price by $1,000 versus the cheapest outgoing Prius to $21,750; that is if you can wait until September when the Prius I model comes out. For now, buyers will have to settle for the cheapest model, the Prius II starting at $22,750.
How does the new version drive? According to Peterson, it is not a sporty car. The new vehicle feels better connected to the road, but still offers little in the way of satisfying the enthusiast driver. As Peterson said, "To me the car still has the stiff, awkward feel of a gigantic toy. The whole (driving) experience is a little unsettling until you get used to it."