2012 Toyota Prius: new style and upgraded technology for the world’s best-selling hybrid car

2012 Toyota PriusWith Toyota’s hybrid range set to expand this year, thanks to the introduction of the 7 seat Prius+, Yaris Hybrid and Prius Plug-in Hybrid, it’s the perfect time to take a look at our award-winning 3rd-generation Toyota Prius, too. Here’s what’s in store for the 2012 model…

The new year brings improvements inside and out. The front of the car has been given a new look, in line with Toyota’s new design approach, which includes new clear-lens headlights and relocated LED daytime running lights. T Spirit models now use LED headlamps, too, which come with a washer system, while all versions gain new power-folding heated door mirrors. At the rear the combination lamps have a new design, and there are new wheelcaps for the 15-inch wheels on the T3 model.

2012 Toyota Prius

Overall, the styling changes add an extra 20mm to the car’s length, but Prius’s wheelbase and its highly efficient aerodynamic performance (Cd 0.25) are unchanged. The 2012 Prius continues to deliver 89g/km CO2 emissions – the lowest level in its class – and combined cycle fuel economy of 72.4mpg (92g/km and 70.6mpg for models fitted with 17-inch wheels).

What’s more, 2012 Prius has been engineered to be more rigid, which allows for softer suspension tuning in order to improve ride comfort without diminishing the car’s dynamic abilities. This driver focused approach is reflected by improved steering feel and additional soundproofing.

In the cabin the interior improvements include new front seats, updated upholstery, revised storage and new soft-touch surfaces that combine to give a higher quality feel. Equipment levels have been raised, too, notably with the introduction of the Toyota Touch touchscreen multimedia control system on all models.

2012 Toyota Prius

The high-spec Prius T Spirit features the advanced Toyota Touch & Go Plus multimedia and navigation system as standard. This brings Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, USB port and on-board Google Local Search connectivity to the Prius (via a compatible mobile phone). What’s more, Touch & Go Plus’s premium satellite navigation system includes advanced traffic pattern intelligence on programmed routes, voice recognition for calls, music search and play, and phone contacts search and call functions. The satellite navigation is supported by three years’ free map updates, with two updates a year. Toyota Touch & Go Plus is available as an option on T3 & T4.

Alternatively, the Toyota Touch Pro is available as part of the optional Technology Pack for the T Spirit grade. This provides features including DAB digital radio, dynamic rear view camera, lane guidance and an automatic zoom at intersections and TPEG traffic flow data.

2012 Toyota Prius

Changes have also been made to the multi-information display (on all models) to make images clearer and simpler to understand. New functions have been added including a monthly fuel consumption record, with a rolling archive of five months’ data, and an ECO savings calculator. The calculator works by the driver inputting a target consumption figure and fuel price; the system records the driving time during which consumption is lower than the target and calculates a monthly saving compared to the expected fuel cost.

Toyota 5 Year WarrantyThe 2012 Prius is available in eight exterior colours, including new Dark Blue and Cabernet Red metallic. UK sales will begin in March, with on-the-road prices from £21,560, including Toyota’s 5 year warranty as standard.

Excited about the changes to the Prius or looking for more information about the 2012 model? Let us know your comments and questions below.

Update 17:24, 24/01/12: We apologise that an incorrect price was originally published. The on-the-road price for the 2012 Prius starts at £21,560.


  1. Hi I have a 2009 prius Tspirit with the 10Gb storage for music. I will be getting a new model in the next 6 months how do i get my music of the hard drive to save elsewhere. Is it right that this is no longer a feature on the new models

    1. Hi Gary,
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Unfortunately there is no way of transferring the music off the hard drive.
      You’re correct this feature is no longer available on new models. We’re sorry we couldn’t provide a more positive answer for you, but we hope this answers your query.
      Many thanks.

    2. I found a switch in the boot that actually turns the sound on and off. Nothing in any of the manuals about this?

      1. Hello Tony.
        Thanks for post and glad that you have found this. Details would not be in the manual as it is fitted as an accessory item.
        Hope this helps.

  2. 2010 Prius

    I have rear sensors on the bumper, which used to bleep when getting near to an object, whilst reversing. The audible sound has now stopped working and I don’t know if this is a setting somewhere as there is nothing in any of the manuals provided. Any ideas to the cause of this?

    1. Hi Tony
      Thanks for your post regarding your Prius.
      Have run your question past out technical team who have advised the sensor kit is fitted with an isolation switch which is mounted in the boot area, usually in the near side rear pocket or under the floor. This can get knocked so that it turns the system off/on. However as there is no fixed mounting place it can be located in a different area. If your have trouble locating this then we would recommend contacting your local Toyota centre who can help you find this.
      Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Ashum
      Thanks for your post.
      Certain grades of Prius do have the facility to electrically fold in the wing mirrors and there will be a button by the mirror adjustment switch if this is the case. It would not be possible to add this feature restrospectively though if you do not have this in your car. The only other option is to manually push the mirrors to the side of the car.
      Hope this helps.

  3. I have just bought my third Prius T Spirit and am amazed that it doesn’t have DAB radio included. I didn’t even check beforehand as I thought all decent top of the range cars had DAB these days – even my wife’s Fiesta has it.
    Anyway, I asked the dealer to add it (at extra cost to me of course) and they put in a unit which requires a remote control to be stuck to the dash. No lights on it, no stalk control. The unit doesn’t work either – the dealer has ordered another remote, hoping this is why.
    But SURELY there is a decent way to get DAB INTEGRATED into the system of a £25k+ car in 2014 – especially one that in most other ways is so technically advanced.
    I’ve been thinking – I don’t really want a remote control stuck on my dashboard!

    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for your post.
      We do offer Digital Radio as an optional extra, which forms part of the Technology Pack on the current Prius range. We have taken on board your comments and hope the replacement remote supplied by your Dealer will resolve your current issue.

  4. I have a 2012 Prius T-Spirit (with Technology Pack), in which the Satnav exhibits a highly irritating problem, especially on longer journeys.
    When I get the pop-up message displaying “Traffic Information changed. Do you want to see alternative route”, and I select “Yes”, it initially correctly shows me a sensible alternative route. But after a while, with the same pop-up message, it goes into a mode where the alternative route indicated (if “Yes” is selected) is approximately 0.1 miles behind my currently indicated position! (I have managed to get photos of this!). Irrespective of what option I then select, the pop-up message re-occurs every 3 to 5 minutes, with the same useless information!
    Furthermore, the pop-up messages stay on the display, obscuring ‘distance to go’, or ‘time of arrival’ information. Therefore, each time they happen, I have to reach out and press “No”.
    The only way to stop this from continuously repeating, is to stop the car, switch off everything, and then re-start! Not ideal when travelling on a motorway! The only alternative is to ‘Suspend’ the Satnav guidance, which somewhat defeats the object of having a Satnav!
    When I showed my local Toyota dealer my photographs of the faulty operation, I was told “Oh, my 2014 Toyota Auris does that as well!”. He went on to say that there was nothing that Toyota could do about it, which I found unhelpful, to say the least.
    And, by the way, I was also told recently by my local Toyota dealer, that, because I had the Technology Pack fitted, no free Satnav updates would be provided.

  5. Hello Mervyn
    Thank you for your post.
    Sorry to hear about the problem you have experienced with your satnav. We have run your query past our technical team who have confirmed that you are able to switch off the traffic avoidance in the traffic info settings. This will prevent the messages being displayed. With regard to the free updates, we can confirm that these are only applicable with Touch & Go +.
    With regard to your other satnav issue, we have referred this to our technical team for their information and will advise you of the outcome.

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