Still no sports sedan, but there's improvement.
Now in its fourth generation, the Toyota Prius remains the go-to hybrid for millions of happy owners. To its credit, Toyota realized 20 years ago that hybrids would become an integral part of automotive transportation. The result of this foresight is more than 5 million Prii sold over the years – and it didn't even arrive in the US until the 2000 model year. Our experience with the previous third generation Prius wasn't the best, namely that it was dull. Like driving around in a washing machine dull.
Sure, its fuel economy numbers were impressive, but even non-enthusiast buyers like some car attitude from time to time. Fortunately, the new for 2016 fourth generation is a nice improvement over its immediate predecessor.
With a total of 121 hp on tap, our 2017 Prius tester was certainly no go-kart, but its on-road mannerisms are much more sophisticated than before. A sports sedan it is not, but it feels and looks more premium than before, and that alone matters a lot. Our Prius was nearly fully loaded with features and carried a total price of $33,549 (without taking into account tax credits). Is the fourth generation Toyota Prius the best all-around gasoline hybrid on the market? Perhaps, but the competition, namely from Hyundai, is catching up fast. Special thanks to Toyota Marin for letting us film the car.