Well it looks like all the scrapping between Honda with its Insight and Toyota with its Prius is, as we recently said, going to pay dividends for buyers of Hybrid cars in the UK.
The next generation Toyota Prius will start delivery in the UK in August, and Toyota has just announced that it will be keeping prices the same as the outgoing model – pretty much. Which if you’re determined to buy a Hybrid is good news. The new Prius is much better equipped than the old model, and marginally better looking.
Additions to the basic spec on the new Prius include a head-up display, keyless entry and start and a multi-function steering wheel. And of course you get a bigger engine and, hopefully, a better drive. Models higher up the range also benefit by getting 17″ alloys, Bluetooth and better audio. And prices are staying the same apart from in the middle, where the new Prius T4 increase by £835.
We weren’t lovers of the original Prius. To us it was all smoke and mirrors; a car bought by the pious to impress the world. It wasn’t pleasant to drive and, if you factored in the cost of production and the battery eco-costs, a pretty eco un-friendly car.
But the new Prius looks, at least on paper, to be a better bet. We can’t comment yet on how it drives (as we haven’t driven one!), but it can’t be much worse than the old model. You are certainly getting more for your money (which has more to do with the competition than any eco-altruism on Toyota’s part) but for us the Prius is the wrong way to go. You’d be much better getting a proper car, with proper handling and a proper gearbox that is at least fun. Something like the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic or the Vauxhall Corsa ecoFLEX. Yes, they’re both smaller, but when you factor everything in they are so much cheaper, more eco-friendly and nice to drive.
We’d love to be proved wrong. But until we get a new Toyota Prius to play with we’ll have to stick with our opinion. Not a good buy.
New Toyota Prius UK Prices
Toyota Prius T3 £18,370
Toyota Prius T4 £19,990
Toyota Prius T Spirit £21,210