By KBB.com Editors
At the cutting edge of automotive design and technology, the Prius is propelled by a hybrid powerplant consisting of a battery-powered electric motor teamed to a gasoline engine. The two units can work in tandem or individually, allowing the Prius to earn uncommonly good fuel economy figures while producing extremely low (and, under certain conditions, zero of currently regulated) emissions. Unlike many fuel-efficient sub-compacts (in fact, the roomy Prius actually qualifies as a midsize sedan), the Prius can comfortably accommodate four adults, has a surprisingly smooth ride and can be loaded with such high-tech features as a rearview monitor and DVD navigation. For environmentally savvy families seeking to conserve both fuel and the great outdoors, the Prius is second to none.
If you're concerned about the environment, this car produces next-to-zero greenhouse emissions in stop-and-go driving. Speeds below 30-miles per hour are handled by the electric motorthe gasoline engine comes on only when you need more power or are driving at highway speeds. Nothing says "I'm Green" like a Prius parked in your driveway.
Test drives have not achieved the claimed 60-miles per gallon city figure (our best numbers were around 45 miles per gallon). Long-term ownership costs are an unknown, as is the life of the battery pack and the cost to replace it.
For 2007 the Prius receives front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags. A new Touring trim debuts and includes a firmer suspension, 16-inch wheels, integrated fog lights and xenon headlamps.
Driving Impressions The Prius is a very technologically advanced machine that employs a 1.5-liter gasoline engine rated at 76 horsepower and a battery-powered electric motor that generates 50 kilowatts (67 horsepower). The...Prius emits no sound when started. One simply pushes the start button, selects D from the dash-mounted shifter and depresses the accelerator. The Prius moves forward in utter silence because initially the electric motor is doing all the work.
The Prius's push-button starter is just one of the many futuristic features found inside the car.
Graphic Power Display
The graphic power display lets the driver monitor the interaction between the gasoline engine and electric motor, even when you can't feel it.
The Prius's long wheelbase provides 112-cubic feet of interior space, nearly matching the mid-size Camry. However, with its rear 60/40 split bench seat folded down, the hatchback Prius can undoubtedly carry far more cargo than Toyota's bread-and-butter sedan. The center dash houses a large LCD screen that shows the power transfer map between the gasoline engine and electric motor, as well as the display for the climate, rear backup camera and navigation system. There is even an optional remote key fob transponder that tells the Prius you are its owner, allowing the doors to be unlocked and the car to be started without the use of a key.Exterior
The Prius' design is still unconventional, but somehow palatable to the everyday consumer. Compared to the first Prius, the 2007 model is much larger, with a fastback rear hatch design, bigger wheels and tires and a wider stance. A generous serving of side glass makes for good visibility, and the big rear hatch opening can swallow a 25-inch TV with no problem.
Every Prius features a 76-horsepower 1.5-liter gasoline engine teamed to a 50-kilowatt (67-horsepower) electric motor. Also along for the ride is a CVT automatic transmission, anti-lock brake system (ABS), air conditioning, rear defroster, power locks, power windows, heated power mirrors, illuminated remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with CD, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, tilt-wheel with touch controls, rear wiper/washer, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system and alloy wheels. The Touring trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a larger rear spoiler, xenon headlamps and fog lights.
Options include DVD navigation, JBL audio, xenon headlights, leather seats, satellite radio, six-disc CD/MP3 changer, garage door opener, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), rear backup camera, Smart entry and starting system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
It may look nice and simple, but beneath the Prius' hood is a complex array of computers, wiring and mechanics. Do-it-yourselfers will be lost. The engine itself is a basic Toyota four-cylinder internal combustion unit, aided by the electric motor that delivers its power in the form of impressive torque. Power to accelerate and pass is surprisingly strong, and the Prius rarely feels bogged down, even with a full crew onboard.
1.5-liter in-line 4 with 50-kilowatt Permanent Magnetic Synchronous Electric Motor
76 horsepower @ 5000 rpm/67 horsepower @ 1200-1540 rpm (110 net horsepower)
82 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm/295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 0-1200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 60/51
By Goat Lady on Monday, March 02, 2015
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Dead Hybrid Battery
Pros: "Looks great, 50 mpg"
Cons: "Seats have no support, lots of road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"If you buy a Prius, plan on selling it before the battery warranty expires because there's a good chance the battery will fail shortly there after. I bought the (six year old) car for $11,500 with 89,000 miles and 2 years later at 125,000 the battery died. Just sold it for $5500. Cost to operate the car was actually more than any other vehicle when you consider the depreciation. Toyota still denies that battery failure is very common, when in fact it is VERY common between 100-120,000 miles. I regret not buying a Corolla, the gas mileage is just a bit lower."
By Grams on Monday, February 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, low gas mileage very stylish, proud"
Cons: "no cons"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"my third Toyota and the best by far. I love the mileage, i get the same with this as I did with the Prius C about 42-45 in town My first toyota was a 2007 Rav4 that I bought in march of o8 i loved it but it is my least favorite I gave it to my daughter after I pd it off.my prius c was totaled and now I can't afford a new one any more , I am 71 with 6 children and 12 grandchildren & 7 great grand children. Prius are the best car ever made. Will never buy anything else."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Bob on Monday, February 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage"
Cons: "Road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Slightly cramped driving position for anyone over 6'1". Road noise is substantial. Gas mileage gets better with age. maintenance costs minimal, even at the dealer."
By Bill on Friday, January 30, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 169,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliabilty, great gas mileage"
Cons: "tall drivers might not be as comfortable as short"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We drive the car 30 miles each way to work and back. In the Summer our mpg is in the mid 50's overall. in Winter its in the mid to high 40's. We have had only one paid repair in 8 years. We replaced the 12 volt battery recently not because it was dead but it was 8 Years old. We still have the original Brakes and the mechanic has told us they are about half used. We did replace the plugs at 70K miles and again at 140K miles only because it was short money and it did make a small difference in how the car ran. The manual says not to change them until 150,000 miles."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By southern on Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "drves well . killer stero & 6air bags...20_24 mpg"
Cons: "I add a quart or oil ever other sevice... clean it"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Its gotten my daughter thru high school...she v graduate 25 college credits. Time for another vehicle. To take thru college now...need to sell or trade up"
By Austin on Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, easy to park"
Cons: "Not an attractive vehicle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I I have driven this car all over the place in the two years that I've owned it. It isn't the prettiest car on the market, but you can't beat the gas mileage. I also never have worried about if it will start or not, it's very reliable. Online you'll find that you're supposed to get over 50 MPG, but in my experience the real number is around 45 if you're driving on highways."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful