2016 Toyota Prius First Drive

Almost all carmakers these days offer hybrid options in their lineups, but it’s Toyota that’s become known for its fuel-efficient technology. Of the more than 9 million gas-electric hybrids sold worldwide, Toyota-made vehicles account for roughly 8 million – and more than half are Priuses. The undisputed efficiency leaders, the Toyota Prius is the first hybrid that got the eco ball rolling with the masses.

It’s been 16 years since the first Prius hit the road in Canada, and nearly that long since becoming the car of choice for West Coast taxi companies. The fourth-generation Prius has seen some pretty major changes – it’s lower and longer than its predecessors for less drag, has a more luxurious and sporty design, and has distinctively futuristic LED lights.

The future is no stranger on the interior either – the horizontal dash has centered displays that easy to work with and uncluttered feel. The seats are surprising comfortable, with enhancements that help reduce lower back pressure, and the same care has been taken on the rear seats as well.

In terms of battery, the base Prius has a nickel-metal hydride battery, while the Technology and Touring trims get a lithium-ion battery. In terms of performance there’s little to no difference between the two; the lithium-ion is simply lighter and used to keep the weight down in higher trim levels, which are heavier.

Read the full review here: driving.ca