If they had told us that this was Toyota's new electric car, we would have easily believed it (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
about NIS 200,000
design, behavior, performance
We didn't like:
no rear air conditioning ports, gearbox, engine sound
When Toyota introduced the first Prius in 1997, the world didn't really know how to eat this strange car.
Narrow, tall, not the queen of grace even in relation to the not high standard of Toyota families at that time, with some strange combination of electricity and gasoline.
The Americans snorted at it from the top of their vans with their V8 engines and said that a Prius is not a car, it's a lunch box.
The connoisseur Europeans praised their ultra-efficient diesel engines and said they also got 16-18 km per liter. A few years later the situation was completely reversed. America became a nation whose fluctuations in gasoline prices brought it into bouts of neurosis. Europe found that its favorite diesel was releasing large quantities of polluting particles and we haven't talked about Dieselgate yet, and here and there the governments and regulators began to place requirements on the car manufacturers regarding compliance with an increasingly strict pollutant threshold.
Despite the lower roof, the headroom in the back was not damaged (photo: Keinan Cohen)
The result was, among other things, a hysterical run amok by all the manufacturers in the electric direction, with some making an intermediate stop at the hybrid or plug-in hybrid station.
But they are all trying to convince us that we must switch to electricity and quickly.
And only Toyota, that pioneer, kind of took its time.
And rightly so.
When its model range is paved from the bottom with the Yaris to the top with the Highlander in hybrid cars, it is far enough from the pollution threshold not to be forced to shake up its entire offering.
As of today, the big Toyota (including Lexus) has three fully electric vehicles in its range - Lexus UX and Lexus RZ and Toyota bz4X, the last two are actually a kind of twins.
It also has plans for a comprehensive electrification of its model range but more importantly, it also has time to do it at its own pace.
The mysterious failure of the bz4X's wheel nuts reminded her what happens when she rushes and doesn't do it right.
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The multimedia screen and the physical buttons are excellent, the dashboard is a bit hidden (photo: manufacturer's website)
She does her seduction dance first of all with the external appearance.
Beautiful or not is a very subjective matter and in my eyes the observer, but the fact that this car at its 4.6 meters shows an extraordinary investment in design not only on the practical side, but also on the aesthetic side, there is no debate.
It breaks sharply from everything we knew from Prius and Toyota.
If they had told us that this was Toyota's new electric car or its sporty family car, we would have believed it, but a Prius?!
Good space in the back as well, the quality of the materials is not impressive here (photo: manufacturer's website)
Here there are some compliments, some criticisms and one caveat.
It manages to look modern and up-to-date even without blowing up everything on huge screens and eliminating the physical controls for the volume and air conditioning buttons.
There is also a good amount of storage compartments, a large multimedia screen with a comfortable display and an impressive operating speed, and the arrangement of very large buttons on the steering wheel is also successful.
The criticism refers to a driving position that requires a compromise between full visibility of the tall digital dashboard and the view out of the narrow rear window.
The quality of the materials in the cabin is not very impressive, especially the fabric of the seats, which was plain and not particularly pleasant to the touch.
Here also comes the disclaimer - the cars we drove were pre-production cars and not final, so there may be more changes.
As far as the back seat is concerned, despite the exterior design and the low-looking roof, getting in doesn't require excessive bending of the head.
There is enough room for the legs and even the headroom is very good, including for tall adults.
He does lose points for the lack of air conditioning outlets for those sitting here, Toyota, have you heard about global warming?
The trunk actually pays a price for the design.
The volume is 284 liters and despite the loading opening being very convenient, it is still a very limited volume for family use.
When it shows a figure of 284 liters, this trunk is very modest (photo: manufacturer's website)
The safety systems here are of the new generation in Toyota and include a series of improvements to the existing ones such as cameras with a wider key, with better resolution, improvements to the radar as well as innovations such as their remote update (OTA) capabilities.
Capabilities that include automatic braking, lane deviation correction, adaptive cruise control and more have been added with additional extensions such as cross vehicle detection and automatic braking at intersections, lane deviation control will also detect three-dimensional objects and not just road markings, 4 distance keeping modes instead of 3, the car will know how to choose the safety position most inside the lane depending on passing by vehicles in the parallel lanes, driver monitoring, expansion of speed sign recognition on the roads.
With 223 hp, it is in a place where no Prius has been (photo: manufacturer's website)
Performance: In the past, the place where the terms "Prius" and "pleasure" met was standing at the gas station after filling up.
In this generation, Toyota decided to turn the Prius into a car that will arouse emotions even while driving.
The plug-in version, which is also the one that will arrive in Israel, is the most powerful Prius - 223 hp and acceleration to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds. These are certainly not numbers we know from Prius.
The power comes from a new 2.0 liter engine and a new electric unit, compact and stronger than before.
The combined torque figure Toyota continues to hide on the grounds that it cannot be measured, I'm not sure if it was the evasive answers or the broken English of the power unit engineer Mr. Tomita, but I was not convinced.
The 13.6 kWh batteries should carry it for a distance of 69 electric kilometers, but the final numbers have yet to be determined.
In this impression drive, it recorded 30 km per liter, but we did not have the opportunity to drive it for ranges and real test conditions.
Its very good performance is due to the fact that, in the new and third generation of the plug-in system, emphasis was placed on immediate power supply by the electric motor until the gasoline engine stabilizes in the effective rpm range. This is definitely noticeable when driving and allows the continuous transmission to receive the highest score for those of its kind - Tolerable.
Doesn't drive like any Prius before it.
And we drove them all at the launch (photo: Keinan Cohen)
Comfort and behavior:
the noise isolation in the Prius is very good, only the sound of the gasoline engine under load is difficult to filter, and it is not a sound in the sense of music, but simply noise.
The statement about the stiffening of the structure and the frame of the car and the 19-inch rims did not bode well for comfort, but surprisingly the Prius managed to cope very well with the challenges of paving the country roads around Athens.
Their unusual dimensions, with a sole width of 195 mm, are part of the overall effort to reduce fuel consumption. And despite the relatively narrow tires, the Prius not only shows obedience and high grip, but from turn to turn we also discover a car that moves like no Prius has driven before. So it's true that the general bar was very low and it's not that Toyota is aiming at the Cupra Leon customer base, but its ability on a winding road and dealing with changes of direction were definitely a very positive surprise. And if there's one place we'd love to find an improvement in, it's the accuracy and speed of responding to the steering command.
The power supply is excellent, its sound is not (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
The bottom line
With the current Prius, Toyota had a dilemma, whether to stick to the purposeful approach of an efficient and effective means of transportation or to turn to the emotional side.
Toyota decided to go the other way.
A necessary step when on the pockets of its classic customers it competes against electric cars that enjoy public hype.
The appearance, the performance and the promise of being fun to drive will also be its assets when it arrives in Israel sometime in June, according to the importer's estimates.
But its bigger challenge will be before the test on the road, but still in the showroom.
The Prius was not a cheap car before and the new one will be even more expensive.
There are no official prices, but there are general estimates, and they talk about the area north of NIS 200,000.
If that's the case, a lot of people might dismiss outright the best Prius yet and one of the more interesting Toyotas we've come across.
Will arrive around June, will cost around NIS 200,000 (Photo: Manufacturer's website)
On the technical side: Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid
gasoline engine and charged electric engine, front
wheelbase (cm) :
European crash test score
: Not yet tested
Emergency braking and emergency braking at the intersection, cruise control, guard on a lane, warning of a vehicle in a "dead zone", recognition of speed signs
not yet determined
Skoda Octavia Plug-in The
writer was a Toyota guest
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Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid