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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

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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2009 Toyota Prius Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 800 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Very solid vehicle

By on Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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."

Love it will trade for a newer prius soon!

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This car pays for itself in gas savings!! Average 47 miles to the gallon really roomy for 4 people travels long distances nicely Will own another one !!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

What more do you need?

By on Monday, January 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 153,000

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

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

"First, the people who are complaining they had to replace the 12V battery after using it for several years, come on! All 12V batteries on all cars will have to be replaced after few years of use. I hear you complainers on the headlight issue. They do go out every 40K miles or so. They cost 40 bucks for a pair on Amazon and take an hour to replace. So it's not a big deal. There are plenty of info on the web on how to replace them. This car is the only car I would not hesitate buying second hand if it had 200K miles on it. Superbly built car with value at heart."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great vehicle; Unique, great color, ride, and mpg

By on Friday, January 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "mpg, compartmentalization, unique, fun"

Cons: "approaching 10 years old"

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

"Original owner, garage kept, always serviced at Toyota dealership. Paint is in great condition, interior is in good condition, tires are OEM and were replaced new 1 year ago. 83,000 miles with lots of interstate commuting miles. Millennium Silver with Grey leather interior. NICE!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best Car Ever Owned

By on Sunday, January 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 245,000

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Superb fuel economy and reliabiity"

Cons: "wind noise on highway"

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

"Not only is this car superb on gas mileage, but it's also the most reliable car I have owned. I can count on one hand the number of times in the past 10 years that I had to have non-routine maintenance done on the car. 50 MPG consistently and this car is still going strong...."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Incredible mileage warrior

By on Friday, December 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 235,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Best car value I've ever owned"

Cons: "Horrible Horrible lights."

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

"This car was been nothing short of amazing. Over 234,000 miles, and still runs like a champ. I do have one HUGE beef about the car, and that is the headlights. Very very expensive and have had to change them out twice now. At over $150 a lamp to replace is not good. It cannot be done easily by the owner either. I am pretty handy with working on my vehicles, but this was shear frustration. I even took it to my normal mechanic, and attempted to save a couple of bucks. Nada... light went out in a few short months. I took it to the dealership, who for the most part charges an arm and a leg, but the lights are great and they are lasting. The mileage is still going strong,as I am averaging about 47 MPG currently. Don't know if and when the "big" battery will need to be replaced, but so far... no worries!"

11 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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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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