Our Prius cross country test drive – where we’re going and why

Simon (Toyota blog editor) and Alex (from Toyota HQ) are now on the road, having just met with our first test driver: Lionel in Essex. We thought it would be helpful to tell you a bit more about the itinerary and the route for this Prius cross country test drive.

What we’re doing
Simon and Alex are heading off on a road trip to test the fuel economy of the third generation Prius. We’re driving a T Spirit with 17″ wheels, and our route will take us on a 1,500 mile journey around the UK. On the way we’ll be knocking on the front doors of people who have left comments here at Today, Tomorrow expressing a wish to test drive the car ahead of its official launch in August. Some of these people already have a Prius, some are thinking about buying one and a couple are openly sceptical. But they all want to see the car so we are taking it to them.

Along the way we’ll be putting the official fuel economy figure of the car – 70.6 miles per gallon – to the test – just like we did with the Toyota iQ earlier this year. We’ll also be asking our guest drivers to see how efficiently they manage to drive the car. This way, we’ll be putting the car through its paces using different drivers in different driving environments.

The route

Day one
We’ll begin at Toyota GB’s headquarters in Epsom and then set off to visit our first enthusiast, Lionel in Essex. After this first test drive we’ll head to Norwich to meet Hamza who is bringing along a friend who has already ordered his next generation Prius.

Day two
The second day sees Simon and Alex setting off on a long haul from Norwich to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. They’ll give Adam – our third guest driver – a chance to go for a spin. He’s a sceptic who thinks the Prius might be “all hype”. From Newcastle we’ll head to Hartlepool to meet Ray for the second test drive of the day.

Day three
Sunday begins with a test drive with Peter in Northallerton. Peter’s on his second Prius and can’t wait to get his hands on the next generation car. After this there’s a long drive up to Glasgow and a driver swap – Alex will return to Toyota GB HQ and will be replaced by Charlie.

Day four
Our Glaswegian test driver is Mark. He works from home so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find him. He’s considering buying a Prius and we know he’s pretty excited about our visit. The rest of day four will be spent driving from Glasgow to Liverpool, where Simon and Charlie will stop for the night.

Day five
We will head off first thing on what might be the most scenic stretch of the trip through Wales (plenty of opportunities for photos). We hope to be at Janet’s house in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire in time for tea.

Day six
We’ll be driving back to Toyota GB in Epsom – tired but happy.

How you can follow us
We’ll be writing posts here and producing video and photos as we go.
You can also keep up with progress by following us on Twitter.
View the Prius economy test drive route in a larger map

The rules
We’re not trying to set a unrealistic record for mpg in the Prius – the point of this drive is to see what our guest drivers think of the new Prius and to test out the mpg in a number of different situations. We’re keeping an overall record of the distance, speed and economy for the whole 1,500 or more that we drive the car, and a separate, individual record of each driver’s stint behind the wheel.

We’ve set ourselves a few rules:
• We’ll use lights where necessary, and demist when we have to.
• Our route will include motorways and A-roads, and we’ll keep up a safe speed on both.
• We’ll obey all road traffic rules, and respect red lights.
• There’ll be two of us in the car, together with several days’ luggage.


  1. Hey Guys

    Thanks a lot for driving out here, it was a very cool thing to organise and I hope the drives aren’t too tiring.

    For anyone on the route, definitely try to arrange a meet, the car is spectacular!

  2. Oh NOOOOOOOO !!!.

    I might have missed my chance.

    I didnt realise you are doing cross country travel with a chance to try out the 3rd gen Prius.

    Simon, You are stopping for the night in Liverpool on day 4. Any chance you can squeeze me in, Pls ?
    I am based in Wigan & work in Liverpool. I will turn up at any hour you ask me to.

    Cant wait for your reply.


  3. As someone billed as concerned the new Prius is “all hype”… all I can say is wow! Once the leather interior option is available my order is being placed. No ifs, not buts! The heads-up-display is quite funky, and the integration of it with the sat-nav is really cool, although personally I would’ve preferred it in a blue or red colour rather than the green. Still, its a small price to pay for a car that simply rocks, has all the toys this boy could want, and keeps the missus happy with its family-friendly features. I’m sure those lucky enough to get a test drive will agree and for those that don’t – trust me, you are going to love it!

  4. Good question – can you tell us when the leather option will become orderable? It’s strange you can order cars but not with leather. Thanks.

  5. Very cool idea – glad to see that Toyota is out ther talking to, and meeting with, real drivers.

  6. Hi all – thanks for your good wishes. We had a brilliant time and enjoyed both meeting people who’d left comments here, and seeing more of the country from the Prius.

    @Andy – hoping to find out details of the leather option and will report back soon.

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