Car reviews - Toyota - Prius - 5-dr hatch range
Toyota's third-generation Prius hybrid is more expensive, but a better drive, too
6 Jul 2009
TOYOTA’S third-generation Prius hybrid brings significant strides in engine and handling performance, draped in a sexier outer skin, but continues to be the standard bearer for fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Toyota believes that will make it more attractive to a wider audience and so expects it to be the most popular Prius ever, despite the fact it’s significantly more expensive at both base and premium-specification levels. Offsetting a near-$40,000 starting price are higher levels of standard safety and convenience features, slightly more space and improved refinement, while the $53,500 i-Tech flagship delivers the same Corolla-like qualities of the standard Prius, but adds a host of cutting-edge Lexus technologies like radar cruise control, a pre-crash safety system and the option of a self-parking system.
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PriusReleased: November 2003
Ended: June 2009
Family Tree: Prius
TOYOTA’S quirky original Prius first emerged at the 1995 Tokyo motor show before hitting Japan in 1997, but didn’t make it on sale in Australia until 2001, priced at $39,990. It was replaced after just two years in October 2003 by the second-generation Prius, which was a five-door hatchback powered by a 57kW electrically-assisted 1.5-litre engine (up from 53kW), priced from $36,990. A higher-specification i-Tech version was also available, priced at $45,090. Before the more expensive Corolla-based MkIII Prius arrived here in July 2009, the MkII Prius was last sold at a starting price of $37,400.
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