Friday, January 15, 2016

Autoweek Takes On The 4G Prius, With Three Authors

2016 Toyota Prius review: Fun? Maybe...just maybe


Author One:
The important change? Toyota has made the Prius fun to drive. I said it – fun. Unlike the previous generations that were capable as wheeled appliances, but lacked any of the interesting driving characteristics that actually make a car enjoyable behind the wheel, the new Prius handles well and delivered enough power to surprise me.
Author Two:
On autoweek.com we said the new Prius is a “Prius that doesn’t drive like a Prius.” I don’t know if I’d go that far. I’d say it drives slightly better, but still like a Prius.
Author One:
Compared to the previous generation, this Prius feels faster despite having less net horsepower. 

Author Two:
The 95 hp figure is actually 3 less than the outgoing model; the 121 hp combined is 13 less. Even with less power the car somehow feels about the same accelerating away from lights and such. Not noticeably faster or slower.
Author One:
The interior is similar to that of the previous generation, with some notable differences. 

Author Three:
Well, I don’t hate it. Toyota’s reputation for conservative styling is so strong that it has persisted in the face of a number of recent, genuinely zany looking cars and trucks. Maybe this wacky Prius will be the impetus for a reappraisal of the Toyota line’s styling; it has been for me. The interior could do without the white, Volt-inspired center console, though it’s generally more attractive than the one it replaces. 

Author One:
The newest Prius won’t convert the nay-sayers, but people on the fence about stepping into the most recognized hybrid on the planet might be swayed by how much better it is compared to previous generations. 
Author Three:
Toyota also made a point of telling us that this Prius is more fun to drive, and also admitting that "fun" isn’t something that Prius customers have asked for. (You probably know a Prius driver, try for a second to imagine what fun means to them.) It isn’t a Miata, but it’s now a car that encourages you to see how much speed you can carry through an on-ramp. Sure, going from punitive to smirk-inducing isn’t exactly climate-science, but I’m not going to fault Toyota for the effort.

Speaking for myself, I rather enjoyed the different perspectives. I suppose, for some readers conflicting opinions presented together in one piece might be confusing but I find it confers a depth many reviews consciously avoid.