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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 770 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

Most efficient car ever

By on Saturday, July 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

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
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economical. Feels like a full-sized car. Reliable."

Cons: "Handling is sluggish. Too much road noise at speed"

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

"More than adequate size for four full-sized people. Fuel mileage overall in low- to mid-40's with regular gas. Maintenance is cheap. Somewhat noisy, and handling is clumsy, but controllable. Had it for 8 years, and it is truly a carefree vehicle!"

First Prius and Loved it

By on Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,458

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
9/10

Pros: "Loved the 50MPG I got with it."

Cons: "Love the newer 2013 Prius more"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I would still be driving this vehicle but do to circumstances I own a leased 20013 Prius.Have to sell this one"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever, great gas mileage,very safe car

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Great price, best fuel economy"

Cons: "Needs more cushion on front seats."

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

"I have 2 Toyota Prius, I have had 3 total. I am so happy with them, I have them for personal & use them in my business. I do not ever want to own a vehicle now that is not a hybrid. Why should I, when the gas economy is 36 in worst winter driving conditions, to 48 in best summer conditions. They are very safe. The one that I no longer drive, was wrecked & driver walked away, with nothing but a bruise and a little stiff. The only thing I think they should improve, is to add more cushion to the front seats. I added foam under a seat cover."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

LOVE LOVE LOVE

By on Monday, June 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 144,469

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: "great gas miliage, safe, perfect for anyone"

Cons: "leather seats get hot!"

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

"The Prius is amazing! Not only do I get great gas mileage (averaging 47 miles to the gallon), but I can fit my family of 5 comfortably in it. I also fit my great dane inside!! The trunk area has a lot of space. Perfect for getting groceries or packing up for a trip. The only negative for me is the leather seats! I live in the south and they get hot!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great vehicle. Very roomy interior, great mileage

By on Thursday, June 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "large color back-up camera, U-turns great"

Cons: "interior not very dressy"

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

"This has been a great and reliable car. Not especially exciting to drive, but easy, comfortable, and extremely economical. Great on a long trip. Doesn't have great acceleration, but not bad. Can do a u-turn in very little space. Love the big back-up camera! Also like the backup warning beep - wish they had extended it to outside also, to warn walkers. Friends like riding in it, as the interior is very spacious, great seat and leg room, but no luxury here. Cargo space is great, I've hauled really large boxes and long items, surprising most Home Depot and Lowe's loading assistants. I've always loved the keyless entry! A very safe option for ladies. I hate to trade this car, but now need a car higher off the ground with bad knees and back. Will sorely miss this friend."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I'm a Prius Believer!

By on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

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
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "MPG and overall value"

Cons: "Could use some interior features added."

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

"I own a 2005 Prius that I bought used in 2010. I had been skeptical of the Prius prior to owning, but I'm sold now! Gas mileage per tank has ran from 43 mpg up to 51 mpg, depending on the type of mileage, speed, etc. Ideal speeds for optimal mpg seems to be between 45 and 70. Interior feels bigger than it looks. Hatchback allows more space for hauling/storage than it looks. Service has been good and I recommend the Prius for anyone considering a hybrid and/or needing good gas mileage!"

3 people out of 3 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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