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2010 Toyota Prius Review

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In Northern Ontario’s Nickel Belt, the Toyota Prius is a far-from-common sight. Away from the big city, most folks up this way drive a Dodge Ram, tow a trailer and don't pay hybrid cars much attention unless they're giving one a funny look at a traffic light.

Hybrids work best in crowded cities—not up north where there’s plenty of highway driving and minimal stop and go traffic. Of course, the Toyota Prius has sold over 1.5 million copies, and plenty of those have indeed landed in rural areas.

The Prius has now evolved into something more mainstream looking.

Generation 3
1.5 million units sounds big on paper, but it's statistically miniscule compared to all new car sales over the same period. To boost sales and help the hybrid cause, automakers are making them better than ever—both in terms of styling and functionality.

The Prius is one example. It’s now evolved into something more mainstream looking. The 'aerodynamics first' shape and trademark styling cues remain, but the updated fascia and cleaner-looking body make for a more confident appearance. The stylists have done a good job here.

Same deal inside. A unique, futuristic cockpit has been a staple of this car for years-- and the third-generation Prius takes things to the next level. The small joystick-style shifter returns, now mounted to a center console that flows from the dash towards the driver.

There's an open space beneath the console for storage, too. It’s like the Volvo waterfall console, but larger. Controls are clustered into logical groups, and the instruments are all integrated into a digital display in the middle of the dash.

Details
The optional Touring package added some nice touches like illuminated door sills, a Bluetooth phone interface, rearview camera and an awesome JBL stereo with CD changer.

A unique, futuristic cockpit has been a staple of this car for years and takes things to the next level.