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2009 Toyota Prius

Overview
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2009 Toyota Prius Review

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At the cutting edge of automotive design and technology, the 2009 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. Offering as much head and legroom as a mid-sized Camry 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 2009 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 2009

There are no major changes for the 2009 Toyota Prius. An all-new model is due out in 2010.

Driving the Prius

Driving Impressions The 2009 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.

2009 Toyota Prius Details
2009 Toyota Prius photo 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 2009 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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2009 Toyota Prius Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 830 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Car is great- headlight problem horrible

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Best NAV (2006 Prius) I have used in any car"

Cons: "headlight problem is BAD"

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

"I loved this 2006 PRIUS until the headlights started to malfunction! I know it has been a significant problem for Toyoto but I don't like their unwillingness to help out if you have over 50,000 miles (I am at 97,000)! Replacement light is > $350 + labor. Ridiculous! Also, we have one more year to go on my wife's TOYOTO RAV-4, and we like it, but........ I WILL NOT OWN ANOTHER TOYOTO ( nor will my 8 children and 25 grandchildren if I can do anything about it!). I will get rid of BOTH Toyotos ASAP."

This is an excellent car.

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 297,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable, fun to drive, great price, saves on gas"

Cons: "air conditioning does not work, it needs oil"

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

"This is the very best car I have ever owned. It has been extremely reliable,trouble free and fun to drive. It is very comfortable, roomy, with plenty of head room. It gets about 50 MPG. I have driven on all kinds of roads and all kinds of weather conditions and it always handles them with excellent precision. On long or short trips, I know I can count on this Prius. I enjoy the CD player which plays multi CDs. I have bragged about this car to my friends and some have bought their own Prius on my recommendation. This is a gem of a car with a classic design."

Nearly perfect, much better than expected, roomy.

By on Thursday, June 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Economical, low maintenance, roomy, comfortable"

Cons: "Battery warranted only 8 years, $3,000 to replace"

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

"I expected a Corolla ride, but Prius was smoother and more comfortable than my 89 Camry LE. Gas mileage was about 50, and was better on the highway. Driving comfort is very good, but the car does not steer and track precisely like Honda Civics do. For a high-tech hybrid car, the gauges are too simple. While there is a hybrid battery state-of-charge display, along with current and average mpg, there is no amp meter that shows rate of charging or discharging. But it does show if you are using gas, using battery, using both, charging the battery, or just coasting and not using or charging anything. Toyota has replaced several items under recall, even though I never experienced the stated problems. One problem that is not under recall or an officially acknowledged problem is the rubber cover over the lever of the rear hatch. The rubber turns to soft tar in warm weather, probably due to improper formulation. In cold weather, it becomes too hard to press and operate the lever behind it. Most dealer service and parts departments are familiar with the problem. Toyota Customer Service is starting to substantially subsidize repairs on an individual complaint basis, but without officially acknowledging the problem."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best and most maintenance free vehicle Ever owned

By on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 144,000

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
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Maintenance free and economical to operate."

Cons: "Seats could be more comfortable for long hauls."

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

"Best car I have ever owned. 95% of miles driven are highway miles. Service conducted at specified intervals. The only repair ever done was to replace one headlight bulb and one brake job."

best vehicle ever.

By on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 220,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "priced right. Comfortable and easy to drive."

Cons: "no cons."

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

"i owned many vehicles in the past, including Mercedes Lexus and others. I love my toyota prius hybrid " Best vehicle ever.""

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever in terms of reliability.

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Mileage is good, it is reliable."

Cons: "The least bump to it is a noticeable dent."

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

"We've had this car 10 years and haven't had any trouble with it. It has been regularly serviced by the Dealership. The big battery was recently replaced, at just under 10 years of use, so it was still under warranty."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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