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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.
Favorite Features

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 747 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
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

terrific vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, environmental and fuel efficient"

Cons: "Difficult to view wiper settings"

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

"Car has provided excellent reliability and service. Still have most of the original equipment after 10 years and 129,900 miles."

terrific vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 129,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, environmental and fuel efficient"

Cons: "Difficult to view wiper settings"

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

"Car has provided excellent reliability and service. Still have most of the original equipment after 10 years and 129,900 miles."

Best used car I have ever owned

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000

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: "Best mpg ever. Has only needed routine maintenance"

Cons: "I am 6'2." I would prefer more leg room."

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

2007 Toyota Prius. I see them everywhere - like it used to be with '55 Chevys!

"I have never enjoyed owning a car as much as this 2007 Prius, which I bought from a used car dealer in 2011. It had all its maintenance records and I was able to confirm its reliability with the prior owner (who bought a new Prius). My son says Prius's run on "smugness." I have to admit I get continuous positive reinforcement seeing my Prius range from 45 to 47 mpg through the four seasons of Maine."

2007 Toyota Prius. I see them everywhere - like it used to be with '55 Chevys!

Best used car I have ever owned

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000

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: "Best mpg ever. Has only needed routine maintenance"

Cons: "I am 6'2." I would prefer more leg room."

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

2007 Toyota Prius. I see them everywhere - like it used to be with '55 Chevys!

"I have never enjoyed owning a car as much as this 2007 Prius, which I bought from a used car dealer in 2011. It had all its maintenance records and I was able to confirm its reliability with the prior owner (who bought a new Prius). My son says Prius's run on "smugness." I have to admit I get continuous positive reinforcement seeing my Prius range from 45 to 47 mpg through the four seasons of Maine."

2007 Toyota Prius. I see them everywhere - like it used to be with '55 Chevys!

Best car I've ever owned! Worth every penny!

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

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: "Great gas mileage! Roomy, easy to drive."

Cons: "None."

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

"I live out in the country so everywhere I, or my family goes is a "trip". Having a car that provides such excellent gas mileage is a must, and the versatility of the Prius has been a blessing throughout the years. Everything from long trips with the car packed (5 big adults and all our stuff), to running normal errands, my Prius has handled it all without any problems or worries. I plan on buying a band new Prius once this one is paid off. I couldn't see myself needing, or wanting any other car."

Best car ever! I will buy another one.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 286,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, great gas mileage."

Cons: "Just hope you don't burn out a headlight."

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

"I have only invested $1400 in actual repairs on this car, other than oil changes, tires and brakes. The only drawback to the car is headlight changes, which are $200 each. My car currently still runs great, and I look forward to buying another one as soon as our truck is paid off (16 months). Gas mileage is still between 40 and 50 miles per gallon."

1 person out of 2 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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