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Toyota Prius in the driving report (2016)

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Toyota Prius in the driving report (2016)
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For 19 years now, the Prius has earned incredible respect, but has not yet earned any driving pleasure euphoria. Its raison d'etre is based on three points: consumption, consumption and consumption. In order to reduce this to just three liters per 100 km according to the - Hüstel - EU norm, the hybrid sacrifices other criteria more consistently than almost any other car - such as attractive design, for example. This also has a disturbing effect on number four in its hara-kiri lines, because number three was already on a very respectable path. But well, there is now a drag coefficient of 0.24 and - let's be honest - even uglier studies were made in the past to achieve such a good value.

Toyota Prius 2016: Less Performance

What is also somewhat disturbing is the 14 hp less that the new 122 hp Prius now has as a total system performance compared to its predecessor. Is there a car that had less need for a reduction in power than Toyota's flagship saver? But we give the all-clear right away: The 0.2 seconds that the new one takes from zero to 100 km /h longer than Generation III are not noticeable in normal traffic. The Prius flows bravely and is characterized by a significantly lower noise level than before. The large family of cats that used to howl from the depths of the power-split hybrid system at strong accelerations has now become a small, sonorous, humming kitten. There are many technical reasons for this.

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The fourth generation of the Toyota Prius.

Toyota dedicates a total of five pages in its press kit to the extensive drive optimization measures the intake and exhaust system, the cooling unit, the exhaust gas recirculation, the control software, the smaller electric motors andconcern the battery. Toyota has de-throttled, downsized and improved, but basically the Prius remains surprisingly constant: The predecessor also had a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine with a lean Atkinson cycle and variable valve control, and Toyota has been using the more energy-dense metal hydride battery for 19 years a.

Metal hydride battery in the Toyota Prius

A defiant anachronism in these lithium-ion-driven battery revolution times. But that's just the way it is when a company has battery technology under control in a cost-effective and reliable manner and does not necessarily need large power capacities. If it is not absolutely necessary, Toyota will not experiment. The purely electric driving experience of up to two kilometers has therefore only been expanded a little. The smaller battery now sits under the back seat and therefore creates even more space in the interior, which also looks pleasantly airy. The weight of quite lush 1450 kilograms has hardly changed. But here too, Toyota has to be credited with the fact that, contrary to popular populist opinion, they correctly did not recognize weight as the main consumption offender.

On the contrary, his full demeanor and the new chassis architecture make him even more relaxed and glide more comfortably over undulating roads. We save the Waku-Doki-Schmu of the press kit for - directly translated - the exciting and stimulating driving experience. The Prius is very safe on the road and drives a touch more dynamically than before. Handling fans will certainly not be encouraged by this.

Which is not bad, because nobody expects that from this low-emission vehicle that VW would like to have in its program right now. After all, with the so-called TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), which is being used for the first time in the Prius, Toyota has its very own modular transverse construction kit á la VW.

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For 19 years now, the Prius has earned incredible respect, but has not yet earned any driving pleasure euphoria.

And that brings us to consumption, which of course is clearly plentiful on our first tripoptimistic factory specification sprinted past. With a very quiet driving style and an average of just under 50 km /h, the Prius achieved 4.4 liters per 100 km, according to the on-board computer. A low number that most diesel engines on the road would be very happy about. But the consumption issue is very fragile in these savings regions. Anyone who opts for monstrous 17-inch wheels instead of the standard 15-inch wheels for the Prius for optical reasons will consume ten percent or 0.3 liters more gasoline.

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Sober cockpit in the new Toyota Prius.

It remains to be mentioned that the interior is much higher quality than before and the infotainment is still not intuitive works. But Starwars fans with a little imagination will recognize Darth Vader crouching on a Stormtropper - now look again at the picture gallery above. The spacey low-consumption spectacle from Japan starts from 28 150 euros. In any case, the normal full hybrid drive is not dead yet and has a few more episodes ahead of it.

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