Instead, we'll take a look at the Toyota Prius--a hybrid car with a reputation as a not-so-mean green machine that's instantly recognized everywhere it goes.
|The Prius is instantly recognizable thanks to its very distinct styling.|
What's it Like?
In a word, the Prius is neat. The interior looks futuristic and revolutionary--the way I envisioned car interiors in fourth grade. It's airy, brightly colored, and has a surprising amount of room. 4 big guys can sit in this car.
There was a powerful JBL stereo system courtesy of the B-Package included with the tester, which also threw in stability control, anti-theft, fog-lamps, Bluetooth and more.
Most of Pruis's controls are mounted to the small steering wheel--including the stereo, telephone hook-up, and a button to cycle through various functions on the touch-activated display screen. Climate controls are mounted on the wheel too. Imagine the mayhem that might ensue if the driver became chilly while driving on a twisty road!
Admittedly, it's not a car set up for extremes of comfort or handling. But what it does provide is a quiet ride that only becomes harsh on very pitted, torn-up roadways. In that situation, you'll feel and hear everything. But on the open highway or well-maintained city streets, it's really no different than driving just about any other softly-tuned small car.
The steering ratio is quick and eager, though it's an electric system which lacks feedback. It's almost too easy a car to steer in some instances, though the enthusiasm for changing direction is appreciated in parking situations.
Prius has 110 horsepower and a CVT transmission, so it's safe to say you won't be getting into any trouble with it. Initial acceleration is gentle and laid-back, though once rolling the Prius passes other traffic reasonably well. Some forward thinking and forward looking is still required, but the binoculars can stay in the glovebox.
|Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive produces 110 hp in the Prius.|