More than 10 years ago, Toyota brought the first-generation Prius to the United States and started the hybrid-fever that has swept our nation. Now that more than one million Prii (Toyota’s preferred plural of Prius) are running U.S. roads, Toyota has decided to expand the family tree.
Before the end of this year, there will be four Prius models to choose from. There will be the proven third-generation Prius (MSRP $24,000) that everyone has grown to love, plus the new, larger Prius v, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid with extended electric range and the all-new compact Prius c. Regardless of your vehicular needs, there is a Prius that is perfect for you.
The third-generation Prius receives a host of upgrades for 2012. Visual enhancements include updated taillamps and headlamps, as well as a new front fascia and rear bumper. The Prius also receives several interior upgrades. The biggest news is the upgraded audio and infotainment systems. The available Toyota Entune® system is a collection of popular mobile services that include Pandora® Internet Radio, Bing® and many more. As well as the Entune system, there is also an available eight-speaker JBL® GreenEdge™ system that includes an eight-channel JBL amplifier. GreenEdge technology uses much less electricity than a normal speaker system, enhancing the range of your new Prius. While much has changed for the Prius in 2012, its best feature has been left intact: Hybrid Synergy Drive. The familiar hybrid system has been upgraded and enhanced over the years, and the newest Prius can achieve and EPA-estimated 51 mpg in city driving and a highway rating of 48 mpg.
If you’re looking for even better fuel economy, look no further than the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The Plug-in gives buyers all the benefits of the Prius Liftback and adds extended electric vehicle (EV) operation capabilities. The 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid will allow true EV operation at speeds up to 62 mph for a range of up to 15 miles. Retaining the Hybrid Synergy Drive of the original Prius, the Plug-in seamlessly switches into hybrid operation at a preset battery charge level. Charging the new 4.4kWh lithium-ion battery takes approximately 2.5 to three hours when using a standard 120-volt household socket. If using a 240-volt outlet, recharging is accomplished in 1.5 hours. The new Plug-in Hybrid also has the same luggage space and five-passenger seating arrangement of the standard Prius. The benefit of this EV addition is evident in the manufacturer-estimated 87 mpg equivalent (MPGe) rating for combined driving.
The Prius v provides extra room and extra versatility to the Prius family of vehicles. Not only is the new Prius v larger than the standard Prius, it offers a tremendous increase in storage flexibility as well. The Prius v comes with a 60/40-split/folding rear seat and a fold-flat front passenger’s seat. With the second-row seats folded, the Prius v offers 67.3 cubic feet of cargo space (compared to 21.6 cubic feet in the standard Prius), dwarfing the storage of larger crossovers like the 2012 Honda CR-V, which has just 37.2 cubic feet of space behind the seats. Despite being a larger vehicle, the Prius v delivers an outstanding, EPA-estimated 44 mpg city.
The newest member of the Prius family is also the smallest. The all-new 2012 Prius c is designed to be at home in an urban environment with its engaging driving experience and compact size. The Prius c is not only smaller than the other cars in the Prius family, it weighs less as well. At 2,500 pounds, the Prius c is more than 500 pounds lighter than the standard Prius (3,042 pounds). This weight reduction contributes to the superior urban maneuverability and impressive fuel economy of this hybrid subcompact. With an EPA estimate of 53 mpg, the new Prius c boasts the highest-rated city fuel economy of any car without a plug.
Like all Toyota models, the Prius family of vehicles features Toyota’s Star Safety System™ as standard. This system includes Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. All Prius models also include at least seven airbags as standard (Prius c has nine standard airbags).
Safe, practical and engineered for the world around you, it is easy to see why more than one million Prius models have been sold in the U.S. alone. Come in today to find the perfect Prius for you, and join the hybrid revolution.