# 5

Toyota Prius

Toyota have been improving and progressing the Prius for 20 years now after they started development on the first model in 1994. It is fair to say that they know what they’re doing. Their experience in this field is demonstrated in the Prius Plug-In Hybrid model which was released to the UK in 2012. The plug-in version is based heavily on the successful third generation model with conservative aesthetics designed with practicality in mind.

The Plug-in Prius is fitted with the latest lithium-ion batteries to increase the EV range to 15 miles on a single charge. The Plug-In model is based on the top-spec T spirit version of the Prius. This means heated seats, touchscreen sat-nav and climate control all come as standard. Everything about the car has been tried and tested over a significant period of time, other than the lithium-ion batteries which are still unproven over the long-term, so reliability is not an issue with the Prius. Toyota also provide an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty just to dispel any uncertainty.

Toyota claims the Prius Plug-in can return an average fuel economy of 134.5mpg and just 49g/km of CO2 which makes it free to tax, like all Prius models. Full charge takes just 90 minutes. Sadly, it seems that if your commute involves a lot of motorway miles then you will probably be better off buying a conventional diesel. Tests have found that at cruising speed the Prius stays around 50mpg. This isn’t bad but its certainly not what you’d expect from such a well established hybrid car with a starting price of £28,395.