Toyota Prius Comfort (2016) in the test

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Toyota Prius Comfort tested
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F ure only one thing counts for Prius customers: less. To chase less fuel through the injection nozzles than all other motorists with four-wheeled combustion vehicles. At least this is the impression given by those who follow information in relevant Internet forums. It is undercut by a tenth and the average consumption per 100 kilometers is supposedly already scratching the two-point mark. Prius number four is now fueling new negative ambitions: Toyota promises an average gasoline consumption of 3.0 l /100 km, 0.9 liters less than before. And the savings fever is likely to spread again.

The test drive begins in the center of Stuttgart - almost inaudibly: The Toyota is parked purely electrically. After all, noiseless driving is good form among hybrid drivers. However, only the plug-in version can really do it (follows later). Those who draw their juice from the socket. The Prius tested here cannot do that. It feeds its battery self-sufficiently, so to speak: on the one hand when braking and during rolling phases. Then the electric motor works as a generator. On the other hand, the combustion engine charges the battery whenever part of its power is not needed for propulsion. To make the system more economical, the 1.8-liter four-cylinder runs in Atkinson mode, which improves efficiency at high revs. Toyota speaks of an efficiency of 40 percent - a top value among gasoline engines.

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The silhouette mimics the aerodynamically favorable teardrop shape, which means headroom in the rear costs.

Excellent coordination of the two drives

The downside of this technology medal: Atkinson motors deliver at low speedsweak torque. That is why the electric motor in the Prius helps out with Newton meters when driving off. If the light turns green, the Toyota lifts itself out of the starting block without delay. Depending on the position of the gas pedal, the four-cylinder switches on after a few meters, which you can hear but not feel - the coordination of the two drives was excellent. The driver does not notice anything of the complicated gear train in the depths of the planetary gear. If you have actually caught the thrift and the right foot is only gently on the pedal, then the four-cylinder mumbles quietly to itself.

However, if you force it to perform at its best, it takes refuge immediately thanks to the continuously variable transmission high speed ranges where it acts efficiently and powerfully. The effects of the Atkinson principle are drastically audible: the 1.8-liter vacuum cleaner howls at a consistently high speed - and the pace still increases. Prius newbies must first resolve this apparent paradox for themselves. Most of them go off the accelerator with a startled howling, at least until the speed drops into an ear-friendly range. That alone already reduces fuel consumption - those who accelerate little need little fuel; this truism also applies to the Prius. And so that the driver recognizes the effects of his right foot as immediately as possible, various economy monitors help him.

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All instruments are centered. A heads-up display is available as an option.

Prius with numerous fuel-saving wizards

In the middle under a flat housing there is a multifunctional display that can be used to display the Shows energy flows as well as consumption statistics over different periods of time. More important, however, is the crescent-shaped representation, which represents the load on the combustion engine and the electric motor. So drive with foresight, let it coast down, accelerate downhill, do not overtake, otherwise the bar will turn red - and the dream consumption is over.

One dream may become another's nightmare - if it sneaks behind an upper saver got to. Because for low three-point consumption, forward-looking is sufficientDon't drive out: you have to slow down to a snail's pace. Generation four is the first Prius that not only conveys savings, but also driving fun. The driver's seat integrated deep into the chassis is a testament to the new ambitions.

For the first time also with driving pleasure

And they are not an empty promise: unlike before, the driver does not have to use the part-time Stromer brake more before every bend to save your front tires the pathetic jolts of understeer. The 1.4-tonne truck steers in precisely and also goes at a brisk pace - theoretically it makes bends as fast as it practically never has to. Fortunately, the developers did not buy agility with spring stiffness; on the contrary: Compared to its predecessors, the Prius IV flatters bad roads. This is matched by the now lower wind noise at motorway speed.

In short: Apart from the howling when accelerating, the 4.54-meter hybrid behaves completely inconspicuously in everyday life. An icon of otherness on the way to normality - not in the case, but in the content. This means that the argument “I would take a Prius if it were more dynamic” no longer applies. What might remain daunting for many is the extroverted design. Outside. Inside, on the other hand, some things have become more beautiful and many things better, above all the plastic quality and the digital possibilities. The Prius costs at least 28,150 euros, with two-zone air conditioning as standard, bi-LED headlights, lane departure warning, cruise control, traffic sign recognition and emergency braking including pedestrian recognition. The parking sensors at the front (380 euros) and rear (320 euros) are recommended - the hybrid now measures four and a half meters. Its wedge-shaped front eludes groping glances, and the jagged rear with the small window areas and the puny wiped field only allows for a glimpse of everything that is going on behind the rear

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5.1 l /100 km 5.1 liters of petrol consumed the Prius in the test means over 100 kilometers. On the eco lap, he even suffices 4.4 l /100 km.

4. Generation of the Toyota Prius withimproved space availability

In contrast, the space utilization has improved compared to the predecessor. The rear axle is lower than before, and the battery now rests under the rear seat bench. This means that more luggage fits in the trunk - just over 500 liters make the Prius suitable for families. But be careful when loading: a maximum of 377 kg is allowed. While we are already in the middle of the numbers, here is the most important: In the test medium, Generation IV comes to 5.1 l /100 km. This seemingly high value is easy to explain. It represents a driving style that does not hinder the following traffic - and is made up of three individual fuel consumption, called Eco (4.4 l /100 km), commuter (4.8) and sports driver (6.9).

Whereby the sport driver is relative - in this mode speeds of 140 km /h or more are driven. For future Prius owners, the result of the auto motor und sport eco round should be more realistic. Here the testers move the Toyota very cautiously, accelerate cautiously, do not overtake and never exceed 120 km /h. Then 4.4 l /100 km is enough. The Prius shows its real strength on the commuter tour. When braking frequently in an urban environment, it recuperates, gains free drive energy and gets by with an average of 4.8 l /100 km - mind you, as a petrol engine. Such fabulous values ​​can only be achieved by hybrid vehicles. And so the Prius fulfills its mission: to consume less than all the others.

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