Today, even supercar companies and ultra-luxury brands have a hybrid model. However, there is only one name that comes to everyone’s mind when you say “hybrid car”, and it is the Toyota Prius. Today, Toyota has unveiled the fifth-generation Toyota Prius, marking 25 years of its hybrid model.
Introduced to the world in 1997, over 5.05 million units of the Toyota Prius have been sold to date (from all 4 generations). Toyota says the total sales of the Prius are equivalent to reducing at least 82 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as of March this year. In Malaysia, the third-generation Toyota Prius was officially sold, but only briefly.
From the outside, the fifth-generation Toyota Prius is much more exciting to look at than all of its predecessors, and it is by intention. Toyota says the Prius needs more than just its core strength as an “environmentally friendly vehicle” to continue being the “vehicle of choice” for the coming generations. As such, it features “stylish designs that users will fall in love with at first sight”. Looking at the pictures, Toyota might be right to a certain extent.
Built on the second-generation TNGA platform, the new Toyota Prius can achieve a lower centre of gravity and fit larger 19-inch wheels. The chassis has also received additional reinforcement to provide increased rigidity and improved quietness. With a Macpherson strut suspension setup in front and a double wishbone setup in the rear, the Prius is said to provide a “captivating driving performance”. Oh, and if the front end looks familiar, that’s because its the same “hammerhead shark-like” design as the electric bZ4x and bZ3.
Powering the fifth-generation Prius are three choices of powertrain:
- 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid – 223 hp (metric)
- 2.0-litre series parallel hybrid – 193 hp (metric)
- 1.8-litre series parallel hybrid – 140 hp (metric)
The new addition is the 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid system that makes 223 hp (metric) and launches the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds. Looks like Toyota wasn’t messing around when it said the fifth-gen Prius would provide a “captivating driving performance”.
The 2.0-litre series-parallel hybrid system is said to make 1.6 times the power its predecessor made. Also included in the powertrain choices is a 1.8-litre series-parallel hybrid system that makes 140 hp (metric). The fifth-gen Prius also gets Toyota’s latest e-Four system that improves uphill performance on low-friction road surfaces and provides greater stability when turning.
Inside, the Prius looks like a sombre spaceship. Toyota has used “island architecture” to provide a “low-stress” and “spacious” interior that makes it easy to concentrate on driving. The main highlight in the cabin is the “illuminated warning system” which is essentially the ambient lighting with active functions such as alerting the driver to detected objects through flashing lights before the audible warnings come on.
As for safety, the new-generation Prius comes with the latest Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) package as standard on all variants. It also comes with the Toyota Teammate advanced parking assist that comes with remote function.
In Malaysia, the only current hybrid offering from Toyota is the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid which fetches a price of RM139,991. Previously, the Toyota Camry was also offered with a hybrid powertrain.