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By Mario Cywinski


Hybrid technology abounds in the automotive space today. However, not so long ago, only a few hybrid vehicles dotted the automotive landscape. One of those was the Toyota Prius, first introduced in 2000 and now entering its fourth generation. The range of vehicles under the Prius banner has also increased to include the Prius c, Prius v, and Prius Prime. Other models have also adopted hybrid technology within the Toyota family.

the 2016 model has an all-new exterior and interior design with standard LED headlamps and DRLs, a TFT gauge cluster, and front passenger seat cushion airbag. New available features include but are not limited to wireless charging, navigation system, satellite radio, power moon roof, rain sensing wipers, heads-up display, seven-inch display audio, smart entry, eight-way power driver’s seat, and power lumbar support.

Prius is powered by a 1.8 litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive mated to a CVT transmission that outputs 121 net horsepower. The system uses the engine in conjunction with two motors/ generators. New lithium-ion hybrid battery with the existing nickel-metal hydride makes the battery smaller and is now under the rear seat providing more interior cargo room

“The 2016 Toyota Prius is ready to win over new fans with bold new styling, a more dynamic fun-to-drive spirit, and rewarding fuel efficiency,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice President of Toyota Canada Inc. “Rebuilt from the road up, what we’ve achieved with this vehicle in terms of dynamics and technology makes as strong of a statement about the future of mobility as when we released the first generation and pioneered an exciting class of vehicles.”

Must have credentials for any hybrid are the fuel economy numbers. Prius fuel economy of 4.4/4.6/4.5 L/100 kilometres (city/ highway/ combined) doesn't disappoint. The Prius was named by Natural Resources Canada as a having best-in-class fuel efficiency for the 2016 model year. Prius c and v were also named to the list.

An interesting technology added to the new Prius is the exhaust heat recirculation system, which uses the exhaust gases to speed up engine coolant warm-up. This allows the hybrid system to turn off the engine earlier and more often.

New to Prius is the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system. It includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam and full-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Other safety features included on Prius are: Toyota Star Safety System, eight air bags, active front headrests with whiplash protection, and tire pressure monitoring system.

Prius competes in the mid size vehicle space and has a length of 4,540 millimetres, width of 1,760 mm, height of 1,470 mm, and a wheelbase of 2,700 mm. It offers 24.6 cubic-feet of cargo capacity. It has seating for five.

It is available in three trim levels Prius, Prius Technology and Prius Touring, each with an increasing number of standard features. Prius trim offers an upgrade package which adds Toyota Safety Sense and heated front seats.

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