Hybrid car prices are coming down and gas prices are going up. This combination has made many families on a budget consider getting a hybrid car and the Prius is one of the top selling hybrid vehicles. In this Toyota Prius review you will learn why this hybrid is considered by many one of the best hybrid cars and how despite its small size, can be the right fit for a small family.
Although the Toyota Prius hybrid car has a sleek and sporty design, it does not seem to have the power of a sports car, or even the power of a similar non-hybrid family car. It does have a slow acceleration. However, once it gets moving the Prius drives like any other small car whether on the freeway or city streets. Eventually you will get used to the slow start and forget that you are driving a car with a different engine system than the standard small car.
The cost savings over the life of the car makes up for any drawbacks to driving and owning a hybrid car. For example, as advertised the 2010 Prius does regularly get 48 miles to the gallon. In addition, it’s not uncommon during long drives on the freeway to reach over 50 miles to the gallon. For families that take regular road trips, the gas savings can make a significant difference in the vacation budget.
Although compact, the design of the Prius interior feels roomy and makes for a comfortable ride. It has plenty of elbow and leg room in both the front and back seats, even on long road trips with the family. With two kids and two adults, there’s still enough space for a small cooler of snacks and a bag of kids travel toys. The trunk has a deep compartment making it possible to carry luggage for a family of four with strollers, if you pack well. The back seat sits three. However, when using all three spaces it does become crowded. Two large Britax car seats do fit easily into the back seat. But, if you need three full size car seats to fit in the back seat you may find the Prius much too small for your family.
As for safety, overall ratings show the Prius to be a safe car based on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests. In several IIHS tests, the 2010 Toyota Prius received a “good” rating, the highest rating from the institute. This includes a “good” overall rating for rear crash protection, frontal offset tests, and side impact tests. These safety ratings are surprisingly better overall than Toyota’s larger Camry model. The 2007-2011 Camry models received a lower “marginal” overall rating for rear crash protection. The similar sized 2009–2010 Matrix achieved a slightly higher rating than the Camry, but lower than the Prius, with an “acceptable” for rear crash protection. However, the 2010 Prius did not earn the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick award, which its competitor the 2010 Honda Civic did.
When test driving the Prius, it’s a good idea to bring the family along for your own Toyota Prius review, especially if you have car seats. This way you can get a feel for just how comfortable the car will be for all your family members. Once the entire family is buckled in for a test drive, you may just find that this smaller Toyota hybrid car is a great fit for your family, and your budget.