2005 Toyota Prius ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: 2005 Toyota Prius

Monday, November 21, 2005

2005 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius delivers on it's promise of cleaner with more power in it's second generation. With eye-popping mileage, it has a smooth hybrid power source that's more powerful than the first generation. The four door sedan fits four tall passengers comfortably along with hatchback utility leaving plenty of room in the trunk.

By decreasing emissions by 30 percent, the Prius hybrid drivetrain is cleaner than the first generation. It earned both the SULEV (Super Ultra Low-Emission Vehicle) and the PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle).

As you've already imagined, the hybrid engine is not going to win any drag races any time soon, but it has enough power to get you through normal traffic situations. The base 4 cylinder, 1.5 liter engine can go 0-60 in 10.37 seconds. Combining the electric and gas engines gives you 110 horsepower, with a torque of 82 ft-lbs. The FWD with continuous variable transmission (CVT) can take some getting used to. CVT means there's no gears, which means no shifting. Some drivers have noted a small shudder at start-up as the engine switches from electric to gas, but it's barely noticeable.

The EPA rated the Prius at 60/51 mpg city/highway, although real world testing has indicated it's closer to the low 40's. Still, with an 11.9 gallon fuel tank, you can get pretty far.

With 16.1 cubic feet in the trunk, it's outdistanced the Honda Civic (10) and come close to the Camry (16.9). The rear seats can fit two tall passengers comfortably. The center console display is clear and easy to read. The interior upholstery is as comfortable as it gets. The innovative automatic control system runs on electricity. With a humidity sensor, the A/C compressor shuts off when not needed. Cabin noise has been rated at minimal.

In government crash testing, the Prius received four out of five stars except in the driver side frontal test, in which it received 5. Anti-lock brakes with BrakeAssist are part of the base package.

Optional equipment includes side-impact/side curtains and electronic stability control. A voice activated navigation system, xenon headlamps and a keyless entry/starting system with carry-along transmitter are also available.

Toyota has a warranty coverage on the Prius consisting of 3-years/36,000-mi bumper-to-bumper coverage with 5/60,000 powertrain and 8/100,000 for the motor, battery pack, and other hybrid-related components.

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