Aggressive is the name of the game, and this hybrid wants to play. The 2016 Prius Four Touring debuted its new attitude through a series of commercials during the 2016 Super Bowl. Remember the car chase scenes?
The body of this five-seat hatchback, with the 1.8 liter, four cylinder engine, has morphed into an edgy, sleeker, more aerodynamic look and feel that is undeniable; only showing faint signs of the tear-dropped body the world has come to know as the pioneering hybrid.
The standard and available top-notch features include: 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, the Qi compatible wireless smartphone charger, rain-sensing windshield wipers and back-up camera. It even features a color head-up display to project information, such as your speed, right on the windshield to keep your eyes on the road. I have mainly seen this feature in luxury vehicles.
I’ve tested a number of vehicles over the last few years and I’m often asked, “What’s my favorite?” Honestly, I have a favorite for every category you can think of, but the hybrid always catches my attention for fuel efficiency, spacious interior, safety features and the view.
No matter where you are sitting in the Prius, you have a great view of the world around you. Because there is so much window real estate on the Prius, I really appreciated the cargo area tonneau covering items stored in the back.
Most of us know how quiet hybrids can be, yet we are always surprised about it. The most popular question I encountered when I stopped the car to talk to people on this test drive: “Is it on?” I always smile and say, “Yes, it’s on.” Then I am required to hit the gas pedal to make the car move forward just a little bit to prove it.
After proving to people that the car was on and after being impressed with the performance through neighborhood roads and city streets, I was eager to channel the Super Bowl energy on the highway. I even drove the same color, Hypersonic Red.
When I sat in the front bucket seats, I braced for a wild ride. The escalation was respectable, but not the aggressive energy that I was expecting. However, this new look exuded an edge that made other drivers on the road take notice and move over or slow down. Whether they were slowing down to let me pass or slowing down to get a better look, I’m not sure. What I do know is that sometimes perception is all that matters.
2016 Prius Four Touring MSRP is $30,000; The combined city/highway is 54 MPG. Learn more at Toyota.