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Best hybrid out there!

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 6/12/2016 Sandy

A few months ago I was in the market for a hybrid, so I test drove a Prius 2, Prius 4, Prius V, Honda Civic hybrid, and a Ford Fusion hybrid. In the end I went with the Prius 4 and I absolutely love it! I’m amazed by the fuel efficiency and the luxurious feel of the car. Here are some of my impressions, which I hope are helpful to anyone considering this car:1.The fuel efficiency is unbeatable! I have a long commute with stop and go traffic, and on average I get 65 MPG per trip, but I’ve gotten as high as 69 MPG. The car goes 700 miles on a single tank of gas! Even with gas prices being low right now, I’m saving a lot of money and I’m saving time by not having to make weekly trips to the gas station. I have over 2,000 miles on the odometer and I’ve only refilled the tank twice! (It came with a full tank when I bought it.) There is an “Eco” mode you can put the car in to make it even more efficient, but I haven’t experimented with that yet.2.It handles the best of all the hybrids I tried. It has great maneuverability and the acceleration is surprisingly good for a hybrid. It was noticeably better than the Prius V, and better than the Honda Civic hybrid. The acceleration in the Ford Fusion was equivalent but the Fusion didn’t feel as nimble. The Prius also has a “power” mode to boost acceleration when you need it.3.The Prius 4 has so, so many nice features on the interior! The Softtek material has the look and feel of leather, but it doesn’t get as intensely hot in the sun as leather. I got the all-black interior and it’s really sharp looking. The navigator and Bluetooth work well and the interior is quiet enough for phone calls even at high speeds. There are many nice features on the dashboard for anyone who likes data-driven information – ranging from real-time fuel efficiency to what the current road’s speed limit is. Compare that to the Ford Fusion hybrid, which has a picture on the dashboard of leaves growing to indicate how efficient the car is at any given time.4.Plenty of room for kids. I have two kids and two kids’ car seats, and there is plenty of room for them and their seats. The latches that you attach the seats to are very easy to access. The backs of the kids’ car seats do limit visibility out the rear window somewhat, but between the reverse camera and the blind spot monitors, I find that it really doesn’t matter.5.The 2016 model is a big improvement over the older Prius models. We had a 2005 Prius in our family for 10 years, and while we loved the reliability, we hated the brakes and the visibility. The 2016 Prius brakes are much smoother, and the visibility out the rear is good, plus it comes with blind spot monitors which I’m crazy about – they make changing lanes so much safer and easier! By comparison, I thought the visibility out of the rear window of the Ford Fusion hybrid was poor and it had a much smaller (4”) screen on the dashboard, so the reverse camera wasn’t very helpful. The Prius has a large screen with a high resolution picture. Also, compared to our 2005 Prius, this one seems more steady on a windy day – you don’t get the feeling that you’re being blown around because you’re in a light car.6.I love that the Prius has been around for a long time and has history, which makes me less worried about repairs and resale in the future. At the time I was car shopping (spring 2016), Honda had pulled all its hybrids from the market and the only thing I could test drive was a 2015 Civic hybrid, and it was literally the last one available in my area. It drove OK but I would’ve had to buy it “as is,” which made me nervous, knowing it was already a year old and there were no others being manufactured. Also, since the Prius has always been a Prius, there are no weird compromises – for example, the Ford Fusion hybrid has a split-level trunk because Ford had to retrofit the back of the car to accommodate the hybrid battery.There are a few quirks about the Prius, but for me they weren’t deal-breakers:1.The entire dashboard is centered, meaning that even the speedometer and gas meter are slightly to the right instead of directly behind the steering wheel. When I test drove the car I thought that might bother me, but I quickly got used to it and now I don’t think about it anymore.2.I’m a petite person with small feet, and ergonomically the driver’s side feels a tad large for me. I’ve adjusted the driver’s seat up high so I’m comfortable, but the petals are slightly higher than I wish they were. They’re manageable, I just wish they were a little more centered under my foot. A tall person will be totally comfortable in this car.3.By default, the Prius beeps steadily while you have it in reverse. It’s considered a safety feature. I didn’t like the beep though, so I had my dealer turn it off and now the car just beeps once when it’s put in reverse.Overall I give this car five stars, easily! To me, it drives like a luxury car and the gas efficiency is truly astounding!

Average Rating : 5

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