"The 2014 Toyota Prius hybrid is spacious and its extreme efficiency is impressive, but you have to put up with a noisy, bumpy ride and an interior that's showing its age," said Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley. Check out Hanley's review for more.
Cars.com photo by Evan Sears
If we said the Toyota Prius hybrid is as remarkable as any ol' Ferrari or Lamborghini, some of you might be dismissive, to put it politely. But Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley argues that, in its fifth year, the fuel-sipping 2014 Prius continues to be nothing short of an "automotive marvel." Watch the video.
Compared to its midsize sedan hybrid competitors, the Toyota Prius hatchback's cargo space is a winner with 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the folding backseat, a feature some sedans lose in their transformation to a hybrid. Throw in a 50 mpg combined EPA rating and it's easy to see why the purpose-built hybrid is so popular.
Related: Best Hybrids for the Money 2014
The original Prius fits in the middle of the current Prius lineup that includes the smaller Prius c and wagonlike Prius v. See how well common cargo items fit in the Prius' cargo area below.
Toyota is adding a little extra spark to its hybrid Prius for 2015. The Persona Series Special Edition ties in a few unique interior and exterior components to the midlevel Prius Three trim, including 17-inch wheels with a dark metallic finish — 15-inchers are only available otherwise — plus the special edition adds a new Absolutely Red exterior color and the front occupants' footwells feature blue lighting.
Related: 2014 Toyota Prius: Car Seat Check
The Persona Series tacks on $1,235 to a Prius Three, so it starts at $27,810 with destination for the Absolutely Red exterior. Prius Three trims come equipped with navigation, a 6.1-inch touch-screen and keyless access. Add an additional $395 for the available Blizzard White exterior, which is the only other color option in the Persona Series. On the inside, this special edition pairs Toyota's black imitation leather SofTex with gray accent stitching along with chrome highlights on the shift knob ring and door handles.
The 2015 Prius Persona Series goes on sale in September. Information on updates to the rest of the Prius lineup will be released later this week.
When Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder critiqued the 2012 Toyota Prius, he called it "an exceptionally efficient car at a relatively low price for people who care more about conservation than the act of driving. Given its success, the formula seems to have worked just fine." Evidently, that formula has continued working so well that the popular hybrid has changed little in the past two model years. That comforting sameness extended to child-safety-seat installation, which remained relatively easy, garnering just a couple of minor complaints from us with regard to the head restraints and seat belts.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
Gas prices remain historically high and volatile, and one of the most successful ways automakers and American motorists have adapted is by embracing hybrid technology. Though a few full-size hybrid trucks from GM have been discontinued, 2014 sees as many models as ever. No matter why you may want a hybrid, you might want to know how well it meets its mission.
To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating. It's simply the EPA's combined mpg rating divided by the base price (meaning MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that result by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.
We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.
Although new cars offer the latest design, tech and safety features, shoppers buy more of their used counterparts: about 2.7 used cars for every new car sold in 2013, according to CNW Marketing Research. It's hard to blame shoppers. The average new car sells for around $30,000. By contrast, the average used car sold in early January 2014 for $10,843 at franchised dealerships (e.g., Bob's Honda) and $9,513 at independent dealerships (e.g., Bob's Used Cars), according to CNW.
The age of paying $10,000 for a brand-new car is in the rearview mirror. So what are the best used cars for $10,000? We crunched a lot of data, and from a pool of more than 60 candidates, here are our top 10 cars, listed alphabetically.
The severe weather that has made drivers' commutes miserable for much of this winter across much of the U.S. is also affecting global and domestic auto production. Production was expected to resume Tuesday at most Toyota and Honda factories shut down after a major snowstorm in Japan disrupted shipments from parts suppliers.
According to the Detroit News, Toyota stopped production Monday at its Takaoka plant, which builds cars including the Corolla and iQ (sold in the U.S. under the Scion brand); the Tsutsumi factory that makes the Prius and Camry; and plants in Motomachi and Tahara. All facilities but Tsutsumi were expected to resume production Tuesday. Honda, meanwhile, suspended work at its Yorii factory near Tokyo after snow affected output Feb. 14 and 15, the Detroit News reported.
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