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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 839 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

Great car

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"I ordered this car new and now have 117,000 miles on it...Most reliable, least problematic car I have owned...Traded some mpg for touring suspension which improves handling and still average 39 mpg driving mostly at 75-80 mph...great space, which is flexible"

Best car ever

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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

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: "Price, economy, utility, dependability"

Cons: "Lack of armrest padding! That's all!"

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

"having owned two second generation Prius, I have nothing but praise for them. These are marvels of technological genius, that function flawlessly...most dependable car on the road. Just take a look in metro areas anywhere in the world to see the prime choice of taxi drivers...its Prius, hands down. The mechanical marvel is just the beginning. The interior is the most efficient, functional, and spacious work of automotive art in existence"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Outstanding reliability and gas milage

By on Thursday, July 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 157,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "milage and reliability"

Cons: "not the best for long trips"

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

"I purchased this car new in 2005. It has been a very good car, no mechanical problems, very reliable, and outstanding fuel economy. I've had to buy tires, a new starter battery, change the oil, and replace one LED tail light in 10 years of ownership. The navigation system is nice, but I have not updated the maps in 8 years due to the high cost of the updates."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best car ever.

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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

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
10/10

Cons: "Chging headlights requires a trip to the dealer."

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

"My Prius, at 90k miles has never needed more than oil, tires, headlight and (small) battery. It's comfortable, and remarkably roomy - amazing what I can get in the back of it! And the mileage - 46mpg at 80mph w the AC blasting. I love this car."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

great car

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "gas saving. comfortable"

Cons: "goes slow up steep hills"

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

"I have had this car for 3.5 years and never had a problem. It has 142,000 miles on it. I get 45 mpg. I have taken it cross country twice with my family (two adults, two kids) and our camping gear. We all fit nicely and saved a lot on gas."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

If only ALL cars were made this way.

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 242,000

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

Pros: "Low cost to own and operate"

Cons: "Can't fit two golf bags and a suitcase."

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

"Yes, 242,000 original miles. Still driving on original brake pads. Tires changed after 95,000 miles per set. The only repair was a water pump on the gas engine side due to noise in the pump bearing. Oil changes every 5,000 miles, air and cabin filters every 25,000 miles. Fluids replaced per owners manual. Plugs replaced at 165,000 miles. At last check, batteries show greater than 50% life remaining. Complete gas records verify 50 mpg since day one. I've never owned a car before that has treated me so well."

9 people out of 10 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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