With 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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.