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Toyota Prius+ review

Toyota Prius+ review 2012

Pundits who 15 years ago thought Toyota mad for throwing its weight behind hybrid technology must now be eating their words. In that time, Toyota has sold four million full hybrid vehicles. Toyota has sold 2.6 million versions of the Prius in the last ten years.

Flushed with the success of the original Prius, Toyota has decided to build a Prius family, which will include a plug-in and the seven-seat Prius+ reviewed here.

This new people carrier is available in two trim levels, the Tat £26,195 and T Spirit at £29,495.

The T4 has 16” alloy wheels, seven airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, ABS, Hill Start Assist, head-up display, push button start, multi-function trip computer and eco-drive monitor, climate control, all electric windows, cruise control, fully adjustable steering wheel , smart entry, automatic wipers, radio/CD six-speaker with Bluetooth and USB, rear parking camera, panoramic roof and rear sun shades.

The T Spirit adds 17” alloy wheels, JBL 8-speaker radio/CD, touch screen for audio with satellite navigation, advanced Bluetooth and leather upholstery.

Despite the extra seats the Prius + doesn’t look like an MPV being just 135 mm longer than the standard Prius, 30mm wider and 80 mm higher.

The Prius+ offers highly versatile seating configurations
It is obvious that a huge amount of thought has gone into making the Prius+ family friendly, with very convenient operation of the two rows of rear seats. Access to the third row is excellent and the car can quickly become a van for trips to the re-cycling centre.

No Prius is designed for press-on driving and it is likely that potential buyers will not be looking to be the first away from the lights. Once you adapt to driving for economy not speed the Prius+ becomes a very restful driving experience. The car certainly cruises quietly at motorway speeds with very little road noise. It handles well with responsive steering, good brakes and a particularly compliant ride.

The only worrying thing about this economy is that while 68.9 mpg might be claimed the best I could achieve, even driving extremely slowly was 55 and quite honestly a 1.6 turbo diesel could achieve this while driving at more normal speeds.  Having said that, the claimed figure means no road tax, no congestion charge and only 10% benefit-in-kind tax. It is the only seven-seater to achieve that.

Incredibly, the higher specified T Spirit emits 101 g/km of CO2, just 1 gram above the magic 100
While the Tversion emits just 96 g/k CO2, meaning road fund licence and congestion charge exemption, the more highly specified T Spirit unbelievably emits 101 g/km so if you want the bigger 17” wheels and extra kit of the T Spirit you will have to pay both road tax and congestion charge and also suffer 4 mpg heavier fuel consumption. This may be why Toyota is predicting 70% will buy the cheaper model.

Toyota Prius+ review 2012


Toyota Prius+ T4


1.8 4-cylinder petrol and permanent magnet synchronous electric motor


98 bhp @ 5,200 rpm (petrol engine)

81 bhp (electric motor)


142 Nm @ 4,000 rpm (petrol engine)

207 Nm (electric motor)


Electric continuously variable automatic transmission




0-62 mph 11.3 seconds

Top Speed:

103 mph -165 kph

Fuel Consumption:

claimed combined – 68.9 mpg


96 g/km

Emissions class:

Euro 5


4,615 mm


1,775 mm


1,460 mm


1,495 kg / 3,289 lb


2,780 mm


Front McPherson strut; rear  torsion beam springs

Boot capacity:

232 litres , 7-seats. 784 litres, 5-seats and 1,750 litres, 2 seats.

Turning circle

11.8 m


No other 7-seat hybrid in Europe






Very practical family people carrier with very versatile seats. No road tax or congestion charge and the lowest BiK band (10%)


Surely the clever Japanese engineers could have lost 1 g/km of CO2 in the high-spec model to get below the magic 100!

© Robert Couldwell. June 2012
For publication on WintonsWorld

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