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2008 Toyota Prius

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2008 Toyota Prius Review

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At the cutting edge of automotive design and technology, the 2008 Toyota 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.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're concerned about the environment, this car produces minimal greenhouse emissions in stop-and-go driving. Speeds below 30 miles per hour are handled by the electric motor -- the gasoline engine comes on only when you need more power or are driving at highway speeds. Nothing says "I'm Green" like a 2008 Toyota Prius parked in your driveway.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If saving money is as important as saving the planet, you can buy a Toyota Corolla for a lot less money and still get pretty good fuel economy and low emissions. The Prius' long-term ownership costs are an unknown, as is the life of the battery pack and the cost to replace it.

What's New for 2008

For 2008, Toyota will increase Prius production and add more packages to the already lengthy option list.

Driving the Prius

Driving Impressions The 2008 Toyota 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. As the Prius gets up to speed, the car's computer brain signals the gasoline engine to switch on, at which point the electric motor surrenders control in a seamless operation that is virtually undetectable. The differences between driving the Prius and a conventional gasoline-engine car are very subtle -- silent acceleration from rest and gasoline-engine shutdown at stops.

Push-Button Start
Although offered on more and more vehicles at all price levels, push-button start still qualifies as one of our favorite features.

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.

2008 Toyota Prius Details
Interior

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 systems. 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 2008 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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, 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.

Optional Equipment

Options include DVD navigation, JBL audio with Bluetooth hands-free communications, xenon headlights, leather seats, satellite radio, six-disc CD/MP3 changer, auxiliary audio input jack, garage door opener, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), rear backup camera, Smart entry and starting system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Under the Hood

It may look nice and simple, but beneath the Prius' hood is a complex array of computers, wiring and mechanical intricacy. 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: 48/45

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2008 Toyota Prius Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 859 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Best reliable car on the market!

By on Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great gas mile,Dependable,Smooth ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am a full time student and i drive for Uber part time.The Prius is the most reliable transportation you can get if you are on budget and don't want any headaches.I have totally recommend this car to anyone."

Like...love...if only...

By on Saturday, January 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Milage, low maintenance"

Cons: "Leg/head room, exterior paint job"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have my Prius almost 10 years now. Drives better than I thought it would. MPG is great. Best milage is at 50-55 mph on freeway. This averages about 50 miles per gallon. Only major repair was for new water pump (about $1,000). Needed a new 12v battery, and have changed tires once since getting the car. Two of those tires needed replacing though. Interior finishings seem low-end...rear door handle and power window control have fallen apart. Dashboard looks low-end. Biggest surprise is exterior paint job gone flat after just a few years, and I kept my car up with regular washing, waxing, etc. Other than oil changes, very little mechanical work has been needed (no tune-up yet, etc.). Was told I need new spark plugs though. Overall very happy with car, especially how little maintenance has been needed, and the great milage. I'm 6'2", so the head/leg room driving it is a bit tight for me."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

A good reliable car

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this car since new in 2004. I have had no trouble with it at all. The only major work done on the vehicle is that I've replaced the front right wheel bearing, Front inner & outer UV joints. It still has the original traction and starter batteries from the factory, original breaks, never had to have a front end alignment and tires wear is true. The only thing bad on it is that the drivers side sun visor won't come down all the way."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Most reliable car.

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "50 mpg,nice ride, perfect commuter car"

Cons: "style very unique"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"With over 91000, the only thing I had to do to this car was to have the oil changed every 5000 miles, a new set of tires at 45,000 miles(replaced with michelin tires) replace the starter battery and that is it."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Monday, December 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Priced right for its value..."

Cons: "Interier Leather package could be better."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am the original owners. I installed heated front seats through the dealer which was the only option that was not available is 2009 that I wanted. It has been the most reliable car that I have owned including "Luxury Vehicles". Colleagues have joked on my move to the Prius. When they get into the car, see how comfortable it is and how it handles the road, they have a different opinion. Not bad in the snow! I have 125,000 miles and it rides like new."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

best vehicle ever

By on Sunday, December 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 195,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good power, economy, handling, quiet!"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Definitely the best car I ever owned. Versatile and roomy for 5 passengers or a whole lot of cargo and ability to take camping."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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