Review: Good to Go in the Prius Two Eco

canadys-corner-2016-prius-two-eco-5Need greater fuel efficiency? Want style? Crave the latest and greatest technology for your ride? Check out the Toyota 2106 Prius Two Eco. This fourth generation Prius proudly builds on its predecessors successes, and yet debuts with its own identity.

The Eco has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive and an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. Exterior accents include Bi-LED projector low- and high-beam headlights with auto on/off feature and 15-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with two-tone wheel covers and P195/65R15 tires.

The Eco has a lot to offer considering it is priced at the lower end of the six new grades of Prius’ for the year that truly offer something for everyone. Only the Prius Two is lower. One morning, I had the wonderful opportunity to get lost during this test drive, and didn’t mind a bit. I went round and round in circles relaxing in this longer, wider and lower-to-the ground hatchback that sparkled in the color, Blue Crush Metallic.

The interior, layered in comfy cloth seats, is even more spacious than previous models. Overall, handling and maneuvering is seamless. I’m sure the new double-wishbone rear suspension helped to steady the ride. The shark-fin antenna topped off the new aerodynamic feel and the rear view window was a bit larger. So while I knew I was driving a Prius, I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. This styling changes are sure to give Prius fans a pep in their step while also improving fuel efficiency.

Another feature captured my attention, but in an alarming way. Upon approaching the car one night, I noticed that the lights were on inside. I was a bit freaked at first because I thought I had made a virgin-Prius driver move. Yeah, I thought I left the car running. But in reality it was a safety measure to make sure I did not enter a dark environment. The lights had came on once the system detected my smart key. The safety conscious aspect should be no surprise. canadys-corner-2016-prius-two-eco-3

The 2016 Prius is one of the first Toyota models to offer Toyota Safety Sense P, an innovative package of driver assist technologies that, under certain conditions, can detect obstacles and automatically apply braking if necessary to help avoid collisions.

I’ve experienced this type of technology with the higher-end vehicles, and was pleasantly surprised to know drivers on a budget can have this protection as well.

Standard for the Eco is the Entune Audio system. The Entune Multimedia Bundle offers a host of basics for today’s savvy and budget-minded driver, including: 6.1 in. touch-screen display, AM/FM CD player, six speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, backup camera display.

You get the picture. Lost or not, you’re good to go.

The 2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco MSRP: $24,700; Combined City/Highway MPG: 56 MPG.
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