In the past year, fuel prices and SUV demands have shrunk the market for hybrid vehicles, making this one of the worst times for companies to release new hybrid models.
The new, 2016 Toyota Prius, however, vows to prove everyone wrong. During an event in Las Vegas, the company finally unveiled the hybrid we’ve been waiting for.
After a couple of spy photos and teaser images, we finally know how the 2016 Prius will look and the changes in its design are evident. Aside from the design changes, the company has improved the fuel efficiency and driving dynamics.
The change is the most dramatic we’ve seen in a Prius since the second generation in 2003. The new design benefits greatly from the New Toyota Global Architecture, or NTGA platform. Allowing a lower center of gravity, the new design adds comfort for the passengers, inside the car and improves the suspension of the car. The 2016 Prius is wider, longer and lower to the floor than its predecessor. Despite all these changes, according to Toyota, the new car is fun to drive.
Changes in the exterior include new LED headlights as well as a sharper front spoiler, making the car more aggressive and dynamic than the previous model. Toyota explained that the front of the Prius resembles the Toyota GT 86, giving the hybrid a sporty feeling.
But the most important change comes in fuel efficiency. That is what Prius was known for, a hybrid small vehicle able to deliver excellent mileage to its customers. And for the 2016 Prius, Toyota has increased the mileage by 10%. Toyota also announced that the company will release the Eco Model of the Prius that will further improve the fuel efficiency. The current Prius has MPG rating of 51 in the city, 48 on the highway and 50 combined MPG rating. Adding 10% might look small improvement, but it might be a lot in the long run.
Inside, Toyota Safety Sense makes its way into the dashboard for better safety and security. The features include driver assistance electronics for lane departure, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane prevention and braking assistance systems.
A subtle change is the new color option for the exterior. Toyota introduced “Hypersonic Red” with the 2016 Prius, claiming that the new color will “hot up” the hybrid.