Toyota Prius everything you need to know

Prius – everything you need to know

Read the comments below to see the full discussion about the Toyota Prius. If your question isn’t answered here, please feel free to take a look at toyota.co.uk, or ask us in the comments below.

Please note that this blog post was first published in 2009, so some references to specification, equipment, fuel economy, emissions and other features may not reflect the latest version of Prius – you can find out up-to-date information here.

If you want to find out how to maximise the fuel economy of your Prius, take a look at this blog post.

Read our other blogs about Prius here.

The following topics have already been discussed:

PRODUCT:
– Customisation: options, availability and costs (including audio; roof rack, cycle rack, towbar; leather)
– Difference between second-generation Prius and new third-generation Prius
– Wheel size
– Miles per gallon
– Satellite navigation
– Bluetooth and phone sync

TECHNOLOGY:
– How a full hybrid works
– Battery charging
– Battery lifespan and replacement

COMFORT:
– Heated seats
– Cold weather driving

MAINTENANCE:
– Servicing: frequency and costs

GENERAL:
– Delivery lead times
– Depreciation
– Warranty
– Road tax
– Insurance

Thanks for all the interest in the new Prius.

Comments (3,133)

    1. David,

      Li-ion batteries are currently being tested but aren’t expected to go into production models for quite some time.

  1. I am considering the New Prius as my next company car.

    The pre-budget statement said that electric cars would be exempt.

    Will this include the Prius?

    1. The Prius is not solely electric, it is a hybrid, so it won’t qualify for electric vehicle exemptions.

      However, as a company car as the employee you benefit from a low 10% benefit in kind on which you pay tax, and the company gets 100% relief against profits for tax.

    2. Hi Keith,

      Ref a Prius as a new car. The 10% tax will stay for at
      least another 2 years. I have a fully funded company Prius along with fuel which is provided and I am currently saving almost £200 per month on my monthly BIK tax bill compared with my previous VW Passat diesel.

      1. Steve

        Have you considered whether the fuel is actually costing you more in tax than it would if you paid for the private fuel yourself? That is often the case, unless you are doing high private mileage, and taking into account the fact that the Prius uses it so efficiently so paying for private fuel wouldn’t cost you as much anyway…

        Brian

  2. Hi, I took delivery of my new Prius on Friday and I’m very pleased with it with the exception of not being able to connect my Samsung G600 using the bluetooth connection. Any idea why and what I can do to fix the problem ? Thanks.

  3. I want to know I order my prius in december 2009, but is it too late now to fit the LED lights with dusk sensor or LED PACK

  4. Hi, I have recently ordered Toyota Prius. 2009 Model. and the delivery date is first week of March
    I want to know does this Model also has the same braking problems or gas pedal problems like what is happening with current new modes, as Toyata recalling lots of its cars in Japan???

  5. what are the features? is their heated seats? does it have a cupholder? that sortastuff. because i am doing a review of it . thx laurax

    1. How can you be doing a review of it if you don’t have access to one to be able to answer these questions yourself?!

    2. Their is four cuphoders and two plastic bottle holders and all sortsastuff, Laura.

      Your readers probably don’t need to know much more than that.

    1. Jane,

      Looking at the website, I see:

      Five Year Hybrid Powertrain warranty
      Three year / 60,000 mile mechanical warranty
      Three year unlimited mileage paint warranty
      Twelve year unlimited mileage anti corrosion perforation warranty

      Hope that helps.

  6. I have seen on the internet, that there is a radar based cruise control. Is this available in the UK, and If (as I plan to ) order the T Spirit, is this standard ?
    Thank you

  7. I have some winter tyres for my Corolla Verso and was wondering if they could be used on a Prius; tyre specs are Firestone Winterhawk2 205/55 R16. Thank you

    1. Craig,

      The Prius is available with 15″ or 17″ wheels, so i can’t really see a 16″ tyre being of much use to you.

  8. Can anyone help. I took delivery of Prius T Spirit last Thursday. Did not notice until this morning that the “T Spirit” lettering grade is missing from the back of my car. All I have on the left hand side is the lettering “Toyota”. Rang the dealer and he said it should be there as it is factory fitted. Oh dear…quality control at its best. How can the dealer miss it in the PDI as well? Any Prius owner having similar issues??
    Thanks

    1. I was at the Dealership yesterday, and I understand that it is new policy to omit the model number on all models not just Prius. This is being done by other motor manufacturers as well.

      1. Thanks Alan and John. Your replies have re-assured me of Toyota quality and piece of mind for me. Shame my dealer sale person haven’t a clue of the new badging policy.
        Cheers

  9. I’ve heard that “hybrids” are town cars and unsuitable for regular motorway use. I do 12-15000 mile pa inc 6-7000 motorway. Am I better going for a 2.0 Diesel? John

    1. Your question is obviously subjective, so no-one can give a definitive answer. “Better” can be measured in so many ways. However, a number of Prius drivers on online communities who do a lot of motorway driving are more than happy with the results, not only in terms of efficiency but also the smooth, relaxing drive that the Prius is.

    2. John,

      I think you partially answered your own question. You clearly believe that motorway driving applies to no more than half of your mileage, so you do most of your distance on “urban” roads which are more suited to a hybrid.

      With mostly motorway driving, my father in-law gets about 60mpg out of his.

  10. just bought a prius can i drive it the police say i can’t cause of the problems that have been found and my insurance will not cover me

  11. Well said Peter G.
    I entirely agree with your comments and hopefully if other owners also take the trouble to add support the Press may begin to take a balanced view rather than supporting the mass hysteria that is being generated at the moment.

  12. Goodnesss! Your MD took a hammering on the Today Programme. In the interests of moderating the issue I’ve emailed this to them:
    .
    I have a 4 month old Prius. The issue with the brakes is that when decelerating gently, the car uses electric regenerative braking. On encountering a slippery patch, the car switches to mechanical anti lock braking. The driver feels a slight lurch and a change in brake pedal feel as this happens.
    .
    I found this slightly odd the first time it happened, but soon got used to it. It does not occur when braking hard because in that instance the car is using its mechanical brakes anyway. It does not affect the car’s overall stopping distance.
    .
    I’m not worried about having it fixed, and if offered a fix I would want to be reassured that the car’s ability to generate electricity from wasted braking energy is not compromised by earlier intervention of the mechanical brakes.
    .
    Peter Gledhill

    1. Peter,

      I was aware of this phenomenon well before I got my T3, basically the prius chat forums in US were buzzing heavily since January 09 regarding this topic. Also I agree with your view that this is something we can live with if regeneration capacity is compromised when fixed.

      However, Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi’s admission that they discovered (and fixed) an issue with ABS makes me wonder whether there was another issue. Furthermore, during snow last month, I did notice that ABS was not as effective as it should be, certainly my parners 3 yr old nissan micra seem to be much better. So I think what we require is a proper clarification from Toyota UK regarding this.

      I do however understand Toyota UK would be overwhelmed with support issues these days when every dick & harry who wanted to get at Toyota (for making superb cars like the Prius) seem to be making a big fuzz over the recall.

      Thanks
      Jay

      1. Jay, as you say, it’s typical of modern journalism to give the hype but not the facts. I’ve read at least one article that says the problem is exactly as I’ve described, but others that are much less clear.
        .
        Performance in snow is probably not the best comparison of anti lock systems as snow introduces several confounding factors. I have to say that when braking hard, the Prius has the most powerful brakes of any vehicle I’ve driven.

  13. Very interested in the PRIUS but very disapointed when I read that in EV MODE and with a fully charged battery is onlt 1.2 miles. Is there any method to increase this distance. Surely this is a priority city millage with zero immisions.A lovely car but to expensive reduce spefication alittle offer them as extras and I would buy one tomorrow

  14. Is there a choice of interior colour? If not, is the light grey and black combination shown in your website gallery the combination on offer? Is it possible to get a Spirit with 15@ wheels but without the solar sun roof? And is it possible to get dusk-sensing lights without buying the LED package? Thank you.

  15. Hi Melissa,

    I am very keen to know your reply to part 1 of Stephane’s question regarding Toyota UK’s ETA on fixing Prius ABS issue.

    Thanks!

  16. Hi Melissa,

    “Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said Thursday that Toyota discovered there were design problems with the antilock brake system and corrected them for Prius models sold since late January, including those being shipped overseas.”

    Which is a good news for new owners… but communication seems far far more evasive about retrofitting the fix to car affected… I know that the recall/customer relation department is very busy for the moment but do you have any ETA for a recall regarding this issue?

    Now on something completly different, I noticed that UK T Spirit are currently delivered with (at least) GPS 2009/2010 Ver.1 and CDDB 01727. Any upgrade for earlier adopter stuck on 2008/2009 Ver.1 and CDDB 01029?

    Also, while GPS update once/twice a year is totally acceptable, new CDs are released weekly and CDDB, by definition, is a very dynamic database. Any chance of Toyota release a self upgrade mechanism (via the Firewire port behind the screen, or a self burned DVD for example)?

    Thanks,
    Stephane

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Another question about the Toyota management of the ABS issue. Why Toyota denied any knowledge of the problem for so long, until pushed (hard) by US and Japan authorities, while in the background have developed and released a new ABS for car shipped from January…
      It dents the trust relationship between customers and providers. Cars are full of electronics, codes have bugs, problem happens. We all know that, and I don’t have any problem with it as long as my provider tell me (regularly) “We found that issue, fix released, come and upgrade”. What we need to re-establish trust is transparency not denial… (Just my two cents)

  17. As part of the TV news reporting of the recall on several Toyota models as a result of instances of accelerator sticking mention was also made of a potential brake problem with the Prius. Can you confirm that this is the case, if so which models are involved and if I need to take my car to the dealer immediately for a check of the braking system?

    1. Brian, my apologies for the very late reply to your question. You should have now received a letter notifying you of the voluntary recall. Please let me know if not. If you have any questions or concerns about the recall, please ring our Customer Relations team on 0800 1388 744.

      Sorry once again for having missed you.

  18. Has anyone else noticed that in Toyota’s latest TV advert it’s a case of “don’t do as Toyota does, do as Toyota says”. The Prius shown in the advert has both the solar roof AND alloy wheels, something that Toyota says is not recommended!!

    Having now done over 3000 miles in my Prius, I’ve managed to quieten most of the rattles and other unwanted noises. Fuel consumption is c.58 mpg overall and is usually better in “normal” mode than economy (by anything up to 2 mpg) which, in turn, is better than using the cruise control (when conditions permit), again by another 2 mpg or so (based on averages from multiple similar journeys over the same route).

    1. Are you sure the alloys were the 17 inch ones? Even the 15 inch wheels provided on Tspirit with solar roof (and the T3) are alloy under the plastic covers. Maybe they took them off for the advert?

    1. Yes! This has been covered already on this blog, if you use CTRL+F. There are official Toyota bars, and if not already available for the new Prius no doubt the manufacturers of generic bars available in Halfords, etc will soon have fittings suitable for the 3rd Gen as they did for the 2nd.

    1. Hi Graham
      Yes. it will be fitted by the dealer. I finally collected my T-Spirit this afternoon. Got the reverse drive beeping to one quick beep and once near an object, the parking sensor takes over.

  19. Finally collected my new prius T spirit with the a moon roof after waiting 6 months. Noticed no model badge on the tailagte, Reported to the dealer who said Toyota no longer fit the Model badge. Thought this was strange but would like confirmation of this new policy.
    +

  20. I need a conformity certificate for my Pruis to renew my Alternative Fuel dicount with TfL. I seem to remember being abl to donwload it last time. What is the simpest way of getting one please?

  21. What weght can the car carry? 4 adults plus 4 golf bags and small bags of clothes will fit in space but will combined weight be too much?

    1. Peter
      When we go camping we have 2 adults, 2 children, back seat and boot stuffed as full as possible, loaded roof box and bike rack strapped to the back with 4 bikes. It takes a bit more energy to get & keep the car moving(!) but it still copes fine with motorways, hills, etc. Admittedly we haven’t done it with the new 3rd gen Prius yet, but did a number of times with the 2nd gen.

    1. Sayyid
      I believe that a hybrid Auris was unveiled stateside last month, expected to be available in the UK around the end of the year?

  22. what is the max towing weight of the prius? and how suitable to tow trailer tent mgw 1000kg ,thanks d harrison.

  23. I have a recommendation for the next generation Prius.

    I’ve found a minor but annoying design fault in the rear window wiper. It’s snowing here in Scotland at the moment and when I wipe my rear window it just pushes the snow down onto my back spoiler blocking my rear vision. If the wiper moved from bottom to top instead of top to bottom the snow would be wiped completely off the vehicle.

  24. Hello,

    Due to the likelihood of car tax increases I am toying with replacing my 10 year old Corrola which has never let me down 🙂 with a Prius, which in body shape is the spiritual successor.

    My budget won’t stretch to a new one, so I am thinking of one around 3 – 4 years old. The intelligent Park Assist is something that impresses me and I am aware that it was standard on 2007 and later T-spirit models. I am also aware that it was an option for 2006 T-Spirit models. Unfortunately there seem few around where the original purchaser selected this option. I see that the question was asked on 24 January 2010, but no answer has been forthcoming, so I’ll ask again, is it possible to retrofit IPA please?

    1. Hi John, according to our Technical Department it is possible. However, they warn that the total cost of adding IPA may be prohibitive. You may be better off seeking a car with IPA already fitted – although I do understand they are hard to come by.

      1. Thanks for this – so I take it that means more than the £400 for the option when new?

        In many cases the jump in price between 2006 and 2007 models puts the latter over my budget – probably because of IPA. I am in no immediate hurry and just plan to keep looking until the right car comes up. Hopefully those planning to upgrade their Prius in March won’t be put of by what seems to me overhyped negative press coverage regarding seems to be a software glitch, meaning increased choice for me 😉

  25. could you please give me a price for th Prius T Spirit with solar roof for export to North Cyprus, will not be driven in UK, thank you.

    1. Steve

      The BIK will be 10% of the list price of the relevant model, including whatever extras are fitted.

      For a 20% taxpayer the tax cost will therefore be 2% of the total list price.

      1. And of course an employer would, under current legislation, be entitled to a 100% tax allowance on the purchase of a new Prius. The same applies to a Sole Trader.

        1. In reality a sole trader is unlikely to get 100% tax relief, because there will nearly always be a restriction for private use of the car. Only if they could show that they never used it for private purposes would they get 100% relief.

          Having said that, they will still get a business use proportion of 100%, rather than a business use proportion of 20% or 10% which would be the case for most cars in the year of purchase

    1. Legally, not a problem. Mechanically, there are major issues; the Prius can’t tow.

      This thread is getting a bit unwieldy, but if you press CTRL+F then type “tow”, your browser’s search function will reveal the previous 52 references to the word

      Pete

  26. I got 52 plate toyota Prius which I can’t get it started I think HV battery needs recharging. Can it b recharged or do I have replace HV battery. What would you suggest could go wrong???
    Thx..

    1. Javed,

      The high voltage battery should be recharged during normal driving. Consult with your local dealer if you feel you have any specific technical issues.

      1. Ben
        This raised a question in my mind. If the HV battery is “flat” can the car be “started” using the conventional 12v battery so that the car can move and then start to recharge the HV battery ? Or does everything revolve around the HV battery ?
        Graham

        1. Hi Graham,

          Apologies for the late response on this. The answer is yes: the car will start using the 12v battery if the nickel hydride battery is completely discharged. As you thought, driving using the 12v battery and engine will then charge the nickel hydride battery.

  27. Can I purchase mud flaps for my 2010 Prius and get them shipped to the U.S.A.? Toyota does not stock or sell them here. Many thanks!

    1. Yes, just one reversing lamp – and just one rear fog lamp.
      2nd gen had two of each – a regrettable cheapening of the Prius!

  28. Crash tested?
    .
    Well, not sure if I’m the first to try out the Gen3’s crumple zones, but yesterday, I was following a large van at about 30mph when the van braked sharply, then immediately put his reversing light on and reversed briskly in to the front of my Prius.

    I later learned he was collecting charity clothing bags that people leave on their doorsteps. He was driving along looking at doorsteps, and had spotted a bag, overshot, and then reversed to be in the right place to pick it up, having not noticed I was behind him. The driver is a gentleman who doesn’t speak English and has only been in the country for a few weeks. His boss tells me that he says I drove in to him, so the insurance claim is going to be messy, but I do have a witness, a man who would have been stepping out to cross the road if my Prius hadn’t been in his way.

    Back to the Prius- I didn’t feel a thing- the front bumper absorbed the entire impact of a large van dong 5mph. The van’s rigid steel bumper was undamaged. It hit the Prius across the grille, just above the main part of the Prius bumper structure, but despite this the damage was contained in the front plastic moulding. No lights were broken, the bonnet still opens and shuts. the headlamp beams appear to be still more or less aligned.

    It seems the brochure’s claim that the car is designed for minor collisions to be easily repairable is true, although North Herts Toyota are preparing an estimate at this moment, so I’l let you know what transpires

    Pete

    1. Phill
      Try CTRL+F then “motability” – you’ll find that this question has been answered a couple of times already on here

    1. Hi there,

      Although a number of models have been recalled in the USA, the UK models affected have not yet been confirmed. We will post further information when it becomes available. For the official Toyota GB statement, please read this post.

      1. I believe that the problems affect models manufactured in the USA and Europe. All UK Prius are currently built in Japan.

  29. As environmental impact is almost soley measured by CO2 emission, what is the total CO2 produced by the production of a car like this? Disposale of a car like this must be hard without causing damage. Please could you let me know why I should buy one of these rather than a secod hand audi a3 1.9 tdi 110.

    1. As I understand it the car has been designed so that as much of it as possible can re reused/recycled at the end of its life. There is probably something explaining this on the Toyota website. Also a lot of the internal plastic on the new model is recycled rather than new, reducing oil consumption.

    1. Check with your dealer. Mine quoted £200.

      There are brackets that fit inside the top of the door frames and are tightened with a special hexagonal key.

  30. You have confiremd that a tow bar cannot be fitted. Can a bike racks be fitted to the back? or only the roof

  31. We have just ordered a Prius T Spirit and want to know if Digital Radio is standard, dealer fit option or factory fit only and how much please?
    Regards
    Anil

      1. As for how much, the fitting cost will vary between dealers, so ask your dealer (you would have probably been better off asking before you placed your order!)

  32. I understand that there is no towbar available at the moment. Is this situation going to change.

    I am looking at the prius as a company car dur to the low Co2, does it qualify at 10%

    1. Robert
      It is highly unlikely that will change with the current model, since it is the drive/control system that prevents the Prius from towing.

      On the company car side it is most definitely within the 10% band, and is likely to remain so for the life of the car, even if the band gets lowered. The threshold for 10% charge is currently 120g/km, new Prius 89 or 92g/km depending upon model!

      1. However these figures in the brochure refer to the luggage capacity up to the roof – so the rear window would be obscured…

    1. Have a look at http://www.hybridsynergydrive.com and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle.

      Briefly, it’s a petrol engine whose inlet valve stays open until half way up the compression stroke, which effectively gives an expansion ratio larger than the compression ratio.

      Compared to a conventional petrol engine, it is less powerful for a given capacity, but with greater efficiency which approaches that of a diesel engine. Atkinson engines have very poor low speed torque, which is why they never caught on until paired with an electric motor to fill the gap in their torque curve.

      It was invented by James Atkinson, from Hampstead, in 1882.

  33. What are the company car tax rates for the Prius T Spirit for the next few tax years (based on latest government budget information)? Does it stay at 10% or rise to 15% in 2011/2012? Thanks.

    1. Peter

      There have been very few, if any, complaints about reliability on the Prius-UK yahoogroup, and in the JD Power UK Customer Satisfaction Survey the Prius came first overall in 2007 and 2008, and second overall and top in the ‘upper-medium’ size category in 2009.

      So the short answer is probably “very”!

  34. Hi
    We have a 2007 Prius and are thinking of buying a roof box-could you tell my the height of the car and roof box together to see whether we will be charged extra to travel through Eurotunnel .
    Thanks

    1. Sam
      That’s going to depend upon the height of the roof bars and the roof box that you have/get! If it’s important though then you should use that as part of your criteria in researching which box to get.

      If you need roof bars for a 2007 Prius then I have some second hand Toyota branded ones…. halfords also sell generic ones with fittings for the 2nd gen Prius.

  35. Hi everyone,

    Sorry we’re a little behind in replying to you all – it’s been busy here at Toyota HQ. I’m going to try to get back to as many of you as possible today.

    Thanks for your patience.

  36. I’m interested in the Prius T-Spirit model but not sure whether I need the optional ipod dock. without the ipod dock how does music get loaded onto the hard disk drive? Is there a usb port somewhere?

    1. Hi Phil,

      iPod integration kit (which I think is what you may mean by ‘dock’) or not, the only way to get songs onto the HDD is by transferring them from CDs in the CD drive. USB ports are only built in on the T Spirit if the iPod integration kit is ordered as a factory-fit accessory, but as I say, you can’t transfer music to the HDD via USB.

      The iPod integration kit’s functionality is to allow you to control your iPod via the steering wheel controls and, if applicable (as it is in your case), the navigation screen. The iPod will play through your speakers; no music is transferred. If all you want is to be able to play the iPod through your speakers (i.e. you don’t mind not having steering wheel and screen integration), all Prius grades have an aux jack as standard that you can use to connect your iPod.

      I hope that clarifies things, but feel free to get in touch again if not.

  37. Is it possible to add bluethoot, SatNav and iPod deck on Prius T3 model and what is the additional cost per item?
    Thank you.

  38. DAB Radio with Prius.

    The Prius \brochure says you can enhance your toyota radio to receive DAB broadcasts, but the configurator and price list do not list this as an option

    1. It’s a dealer fit option. Although the European Toyota site has a full online configurator, on the UK one it only includes the main options, not all the dealer fit options.

    2. The button on the T-Spirit’s radio that is labelled “AM-DAB” sits facing you as you drive. The fact that it doesn’t actually activate DAB reception unless you have paid extra to have the dealer fit DAB receiver is a bit annoying.

  39. Hello,
    I recently purchased a 2006 T-Spirit Prius (GJ06WDT) and I had hoped that I would be getting the Intelligent Parking Assist but sadly after purchase I realised I only have sensors. Is it possible to retrofit the IPA kit? Where? At what cost please?

  40. On a cold morning does the heater in the saloon work? Does the car have windscreen heaters and electric mirrors?

  41. I have an automatic Aygo still less than two years old (by 4 weeks0 and twice within the last two months, not realising but now understanding, reading other queries, that my accelerator pedal stuck. Once in a town and just lately travelling down a 1 in 12 winding hill in Devon, car showed ‘5th gear’. The only way that I could slow down was to keep pumping the brakes.
    If I take this in to the service dept can I be assured that this part (sealed unit) will be changed? If so, will I then be given a further warrenty on this?
    I was q uite frightened by the whole experience and feel now quite unsafe in the car.

    1. I only visit this site as a prospective Prius owner but I feel that I must reply…..

      What you describe sounds like quite a serious fault, if it were my car I would get it to a garage as soon as I could.

    2. Hi Brenda,

      Thank you for getting in touch about your Aygo, and I’m sorry that you’ve had a frightening experience.

      I’d like to refer you to Toyota’s Customer Relations department. Please call them on 01737 367 600 and tell them that you’ve come via the blog. They will be able to answer your questions on the parts and warranty.

    1. William

      That is impossible to answer because it constantly changes, depending upon driving style, terrain, journey speed/acceleration/deceleration and state of charge of the battery.

      1. Hi William,

        Brian is right in that there is no specified proportion of time that is spent driving using the electric motor. You can opt to drive using only the electric motor (EV mode), but you can’t drive like this for long stretches: the battery provides you with enough charge to drive up to 1.2 miles at a maximum speed of 31mph, and to recharge this battery you must switch out of EV mode and drive using the engine again. The percentage of time you are able to drive using the motor, then, varies depending on driving style and all the other factors Brian listed.

        I hope that answers your question and isn’t too confusing. Let us know if you need any further detail or clarification.

  42. hi,
    taking deivery of Tspirit on friday
    in econamy mode at roud about or junction, will it be SLOW to pick up acceleration or perhaps slow to react. Thus a differant driving attetude. Would appreciate an honest answear to this .
    Regards John

    1. The ECO and PWR buttons do affect the response of the accelerator. I suggest start driving in normal mode (PWR and ECO off) to get used to the Prius. You will find acceleration fine. You can then experiment with ECO later if you so wish. If you floor the accelerator, you will get full acceleration regardless of which mode you are in. The Prius is pretty economical in any mode so you don’t need to do everything in ECO. Some USA posters have discovered that PWR mode can give more mpg than ECO mode in the right conditions.

    2. Agreed. My peculiar work routine involves about a dozen journeys of half to one mile per day. The car insists on running the engine’s warm up cycle for each, even if I try to do the shorter hops in EV mode. PWR mode gives me better economy figures than ECO. I think this is because the extra load on the engine allows it to warm up more quickly, so it can then switch off and complete a greater proportion of the remaining distance on electric power

      Pete

    1. The “gearstick”, doesn’t change any gears, it’s actually a switch. The car reverses simply by sending a reversed current to its main electric motor/generator. The petrol engine is unable to apply drive directly when reversing, although if the battery is flat, the petrol engine will run the second motor/generator to produce electricity.

      If you put your foot down, the car silently whooshes backwards very briskly!!

    1. Above the number plate, under the lip is a button which you press to open the boot. Car has to be unlocked first. If you have the full SKS system, you can unlock the car from the boot too otherwise you have to use the keyfob (or drivers door).

    1. Hi Naveed,

      Although you can only go up to 31mph on battery power alone, the only limit to how fast you can go using the engine is the top speed of the car, which is 112mph. You should be able to drive 715 miles on one tank.

      1. 715 miles on a tank of fuel.

        has anybody managed to achieve anything near that? my best was 505 when the final block on the fuel gauge started blinking. Computer MPG was 69

        1. When the last bar starts flashing, I have managed to do a further 50 miles before chickening out and filling up. There is usually still some fuel left in the tank. If you have nerves of steel (or a spare tank of gas), you could try for a 100 miles on the flashing bar although running out of fuel is not recommended.

          1. Alan,

            From experience (as I had to have my fuel tank drained to satisfy Toyota whilst looking int o my engine miss firing) I can confirm that the flashing light starts when there is 10 liters in the tank, who would drive much further once the warning blinks start?

            My 505 miles at 65 MPG was on a long trip to Germany, all motorway driving, I got 37 Liters in the tank and the computer read 68.9 MPG. my last 25 miles was on flashing fuel gauge.

      2. Note. You won’t get 715 miles from a tank at 112mph! You can get 500 miles from a tank at 60-70 mph and going easy on the throttle.

  43. Does the new Prius still have the “handbrake” in a position to be operated with the foot? Does it have “hill start assist”?

  44. I currently own a 2007 prius and my only disappointment was no heated wing mirrors otherwise the car is perfect and I will be upgrading to the new model at the end of the year. Does this have heated wing mirrors?

    1. Hi Geoff,

      I’m happy to report that the third-generation Prius does indeed feature heated wing mirrors.

      If you’ve any other questions about your perfect car, please let us know!

  45. I NEED TO FIND OUT THAT CAN ALL GARAGES REPAIR PRIUS HYBRID IF YES DO THEY NEED ANY SPECIAL EQIPMENT OR IS IT DEALERS ONLY HOW MUCH A FULL SERVICE WILL COST APPROX.

  46. Can the Intelligent Parking Assist on the Prius be used at night or inside a multi-storey car park? What view would the rear camera give in such conditions?

    1. The camera gives a very good image with the light from the reversing lamp. This being the case, the automatic parking function would probably work but I haven’t tried it.

    1. No, because technically it isn’t automatic anyway.

      ‘Normal’ cars have a series of fixed gears, usually 4 or 5, that can be changed between either under the control of the driver (manual) or of the car in accordance with predetermined criteria (automatic). In both those cases it is changing between fixed gear ratios.

      The Prius does not have fixed gear ratios, it has “continuously variable transmission” – that means that there is no changing of gears to do, whether manually or automatically. it is a result of the hybrid drive having three components connected together – engine, wheels and motor/generator(s), whereas conventional drive systems just have the first two. The combination of all three, and the fact that the motor/generator(s) can rotate in either direction to send energy to or from the batteries, is what gives such flexibility and negates the need for fixed gear ratios. There are animations on the internet which show the sun/moon/planets gear system in action.

      1. As a consequence there is continuous acceleration throughout the speed range of the car, particularly useful when tackling steep hills.

  47. I thought I’d re-submit this as it seems to be have been hopped over ”Seeing as in 2011 , daytime running lights and Tyre pressure monitoriny systems will be mandatory , when will these facility become standard on the new Prius .”
    Many Thanks

    Paul
    Reply Seeing as in 2011 , daytime running lights will made mandatory Also Tyre pressure monitoriny systems mandate is also just round the corner , when will these facility become standard on the new Prius .
    Many Thanks

    Paul
    Reply Seeing as in 2011 , daytime running lights will made mandatory Also Tyre pressure monitoriny systems mandate is also just round the corner , when will these facility become standard on the new Prius .
    Many Thanks

    Paul
    Reply

    1. The new Prius has TPMS and DRL in countries where this is mandatory. It’s not mandatory here so they aren’t an option.

      1. That was not what I asked , I asked when these features would be available in the uk ..like a bit more specific than …’when it becomes mandatory ‘is it in the next couple of months or the end of the year or in 2011 even ?

    2. Hi Paul,

      Sorry I haven’t been able to answer your question yet – don’t worry, you haven’t been forgotten about.

      I’ll have a look into this for you and get back to you as soon as I can.

      1. Hi Alan

        I take it that that photo is the one of the T3 in the snow ?

        I cannot see the wheels up close and they do not look like standard alloys.

        Could you – or anybody – send me a closeup picture of a T3 15″ alloy without the orrible plastic covers ?

  48. I have just bought a new Prius tSpirit. I occasionally want to carry bikes – where can I get a a bike carrier for it?

    1. Halfords, or a cycle shop? I have had 2 boot mounted racks on my 2nd gen Prius, and although I haven’t tried fitting to the new one yet the shape is very similar so don’t anticipate any problems

    2. Hi Russell,

      Thanks for the question, and congratulations on your new purchase! Sorry for the delay in replying.

      All rear-mounted Toyota bike racks are mounted on a tow bar, and Prius does not have the capacity to tow. However, you’ll still be able to carry bikes on your T Spirit: there is a bike holder that fits onto the roof rack. I’ll be able to come back to you with the part number later this week, but your dealer should be able to help you out, too.

      1. Hi Russell
        What Michelle says about rear mounted racks is incorrect. There are racks that strap onto the boot, for example this: http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_251011_langId_-1_categoryId_165515 and this: http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_251011_langId_-1_categoryId_165515
        (assuming that those links work)
        I had the Halfords one on a 2nd generation Prius, and now have a 4-bike boot mounted rack (which I haven’t yet tried on the 3rd gen Prius, but was fine on the second and they are very adaptable so there shouldn’t be any problems).

        What you need to be aware of on these is obstructing the rear lights & number plate, since as has been noted somewhere else on this blog the Prius is not wired for an external lighting board (and I don’t think it can be).

        1. Brian (and Russell),

          I assure you that I’m perfectly correct in stating that no Toyota-manufactured rear-mounted bike racks are suitable for Prius. Toyota is of course unable to comment on or endorse any third party’s offering. As I said previously, there is a bike carrier that mounts onto a roof rack, both of which were designed and built specifically for the third-generation Prius and both of which are currently available.

          1. True, but Russell’s question was about suitable bike carriers, not just Toyota branded ones!

  49. Hi.

    About to order a Prius T Spirit… could you please tell me whether they come with floor mats and mud flaps?! Can’t see anything on the site.

    Thanks.

    Jon

    1. They are accessories and are not supplied as standard. Haggle with your dealer if you want some (or pay list price).

    2. Hi best to barter, had mine fitted as part of the deal, they are not cheap if you have to buy them. You could buy the mudflaps and fit them yourself. worth a haggle

      1. Interesting posts. But the owners manual says “If SAE 0W-20 oil is not available, SAE 5W-30 oil may be used. However, it should be replaced with SAE 0W-20 at the next oil change.” Does this mean I should ask the dealer to use 0W-20 oil if they can?

          1. Melissasd,

            Why “If possible”?

            The manual clearly states that 0W20 should be used and if not then it must be replaced at the next service.
            If the dealer uses other oil on the annual service then are we allowed to return and have a full oil change free of charge?
            Surely all dealers should be using correct oil and there should be no additional charge (I have read that some dealers are charging more for the correct oil to be used). Otherwise, we could be talking about invalidating warranty.

        1. Some good, valid questions there, Kev. I will double-check and come back to you on these.

          I said ‘if it’s possible’ as Alan had said ‘if they can’. My meaning was, ‘Yes, do ask the dealer to use 0W-20 oil if they can’. Sorry this wasn’t clear.

          1. Mellisa,

            Any feedback on the question of what oil dealers should use on service (0W20 being stipulated in the handbook).
            Presumably, any service costs should include the correct oil, incorrect oil could invalidate warrenty and the handbook states that incorrect oil should be replaced at the next service which I would assume,should not be at the owners expence as the dealer has not followed correct proceedures. Surely, we should not have to ask that the correct oil is used.

    1. Hi again Alan,

      I am now able to give official confirmation of the recommended service grade for third-generation Prius: 0W-20. All Toyota Centres have been issued with revised guidelines outlining this.

      For further detail, please see this reply. Thanks.

  50. In the brochure for the new Prius the size of the luggage compartment with the rear seats up is given with it filled to the roof (446 litres)

    What is the capacity of the luggage compartment when it is filled to the level of the luggage compartment cover i.e. without the luggage obscuring the rear window?

  51. Why do the MPG figures differ from those quoted for the same vehicle in the United States –

    US Figures MPG: 48 mpg Hwy, 51 mpg City

    UK 72.43 mpg

    Please explain the very large difference

    Ivor

    1. Hi Ivor,

      The answer’s actually very simple: it’s because the test criteria in the US are different. I can’t speak for Toyota Motor Sales in the USA, but I can confirm that 72.4mpg is the correct figure in the UK.

      1. The real answer is that UK gallons are bigger than US gallons so you can go more miles on a UK gallon than a US one.

    2. Hi Ivor,

      The main reason is that an US gallon is not an Imperial (UK) gallon.

      The UK one is 4.55 litre and the US only 3.78 litre. So obviously you make less mileage (with less petrol…)

      1. 1.200 949 925 5 gallon

        I cannot seem to get much better than 60 mpg using the conversion maybe I am missing something – about 12 mpg at the moment – Maybe there is a difference in the length of an American mile to a UK mile – Please advise.

        Ivor

        1. Ivor

          It is quite likely that the standard tests used to determine the consumption figures are also different.

        2. Yes, 50 miles per US gallon is almost exactly 60mpg per Imperial Gallon. The US test methodology is also different, and in many people’s view, more akin to real world consumption. You have to drive very carefully indeed to get 72mpg, but 60 is a much more realistic target.

          P

    1. Hi Gillian,

      The Prius is a hybrid – that is to say, it uses a combination of electric power and a petrol engine. Currently, Toyota has no electric vehicles (EVs) that are available commercially, though concepts such as the FT-EV II exist. There’s also the plug-in Prius which can be charged by literally plugging it into an electricity supply, but it’s still a hybrid.

      We’ll keep you updated on all hybrid- and EV-related news via this blog.

  52. Hello
    I cannot find the model name of your latest Prius on the website. Could you please tell me if it’s a 1.8vvti T-Spirit Hybrid CVT 09 ? thanks

    1. The new 2010 prius has a 1.8 petrol engine where as the previous prius had a 1.4 engine so yes the one you mention is the new 2010 model (gen 3)

    2. Hi Michelle,

      That’s it, yes. The T Spirit is the grade of Prius – there are two other grades, the T3 and T4. All have 1.8l engines and CVT transmission.

      Just to clarify: in the US, the current, third-generation Prius is known as the ‘2010 model year’ Prius. We prefer not to use this term because it tends to confuse (the car was released in 2009, not 2010), plus the US grades are different from the UK’s. Rest assured, all information you find on toyota.co.uk will be up-to-date and accurate, and refer to the latest Prius.

  53. At last I am the proud owner of a new Prius, I picked up my TSpirit on Friday and so far, so very good. I have had a tinker with my iPhone 3GS and it connects via bluetooth with no problem and gives full access to telephone functions, including importing contacts with no difficulty at all. It also connects as a bluetooth player – you have to register it as a bluetooth music player through the audio setup menu (in addition to registering the phone on the telephone system) but it’s quite straightforward. Using the bluetooth connection for music, the car’s navigation/audio screen only allows play and pause interaction, but the sound quality is very good. Receiving a call disconnects the bluetooth player but making a call doesn’t (the system simply switches modes to return to music after the call finishes). Reconnecting the player is a simple press on the connect button on the bluetooth audio screen. If you were last listening to the iPhone as a music player and don’t switch the radio off, when you get back in the car the system switches on the iPhone’s iPod and starts playing so you open the door without a key, start the car without a key and get your music with your phone still in your pocket – it’s quite a trick.

    1. Lucky you Martin…I am still waiting for my T-Spirit since August 09. I guess the long wait must be due to solar/led/protection packages added to it.My car should arrive at the dealer any time tomorrow as I was inform. Happy driving all.

      1. If it’s any comfort mine was also ordered in August with solar and LED so you’re only a couple of days off the pace. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed…

  54. Dear Toyota,
    Am thinking about purchase of a Prius T spirit but may end up with very low usage if I have a knee replacement operation (I currently drive a manual) Will low use cause battery life problem ?
    Need an automatic and always had the Prius on my wish list – but is it wise if it is not driven for a while if I end up having a knee operation. The problem is that I do not know how long it will be before the operation is needed and it might be 2 years away. So is low use in two years time with maybe stopped for 20 weeks going to do the battery in. Look forward to a speedy reply as I have a dealer waiting for me to place an order. Many thanks
    george

    1. I’m sure they recommended turning the engine on every week or 2 with the previous gen prius and I am not sure the current prius has the same recommendation. I would always have the car engine on for a few minutes every 2 weeks on the drive way.

    2. Dear George

      Nice to speak to you earlier. The response to your question comes from our Technical Team:

      “If a New Generation Prius is left unused for 20 or 30 weeks, the 12V Battery will become discharged (flat), as any other vehicle’s 12V battery. A good practice would be to disconnect the 12V battery, provided that the vehicle is garaged in a secure location (as the vehicle’s alarm system will not work if the 12V battery is disconnected).”

      I hope that gives you a clear answer?

      Regarding your question on Auris HSD, this is an exciting development for us – not least because this is the first full Hybrid to be built in Europe. We can forward your more information (including engine details) as this becomes available towards the launch of the car?

      Regards

      Simon

    3. I don’t know if this will help but I had this problem when I used to use a motorcycle during the summer months.
      I used to just leave my car (Can I say XJ6) sitting on the drive.
      Following a few flat batteries I fitted one of these dashboard trickle charge solar panels to keep things topped up.
      Following an accident I went to use the car again this month…. It started first time – not bad after standing 7 months with alarm etc left switched on.
      I will be fitting this to my new Prius so the 12v battery is kept topped up.
      Hope this helps – good luck with the knee.
      Paul F.

      1. This will not work I am afraid as it seems the car cigarette lighter socket to which most solar chargers fit, is only active when ignition is on in the gen3 prius. I am contemplating checking with my dealership whether I can have the socket hard wired to battery as in most other cars.

        1. Sorry didn’t make it clear, I’ve hard wired this solar panel to my last three cars without problems. Always make sure you have a in line fuse protecting the car/solar panel. If in doubt get an auto electrician to do it for you.
          It even kept a bad battery topped up so is a winner for me.
          Anyway just thought I would pass on something that works for me.

  55. Can you please let me know the space available for transporting luggage in the Prius if some of the seats are removed.

    1. I also would like to fit a tow bar, but you can’t, the car isn’t built to use one.

      If you look through the previous posts you will see it explained in more detail

  56. Am I correct in thinking that the built in Sat Nav comes as a standard ftting in the Spirit.
    Can a Spirit be ordered without the Sat Nav?

  57. Driving in snow? Going up slight hill car came to a stand still, could not spin wheels to get grip vsc. What does one do in this situation?

    1. I do not understand your problem, we drove our (wife’s) Spirit all the time in the last snow/ice period and the car was superb driving between our home and office up and down hills, felt more like a 4 wheel drive…………..much better than my BMW 730d which is absolutely hopeless in the snow! My tip….just be gentle with her – just like the wife!!

    2. Spinning your wheels in snow will just make the ice under the wheels more slippery! The Prius stops because traction control decides that it is unable to get any grip. Two possible approaches are: 1) turn the steering wheel from side to side whilst applying GENTLE power (putting the car in ECO mode helps!)
      2) put some old car-mats under the front wheels!

  58. Can the NiMH batteries be repaired or boosted in some way over time as my NiMH rechargeable batteries usually loose their storage ability after a certain number of recharges!

  59. when my car was returned by the dealer following a service my remote locking no longer worked although it works 100m up the road. Did something happen during the service ? Advice please. Thanks

        1. are we talking about the doors locking when you drive off?
          I’ve had that in previous cars but never in my Gen 2 T4 or Gen 3 T Spirit

    1. Regarding the sudden fault with my remote locking. It has solved itself. Last night and this morning it wouldn’t work when parked on my drive. Tonight when I returned from work it worked again. Strange but true !

      1. Brenda

        There was certainly an issue with 2nd gen Prius where interference from certain radio devices could prevent the remote locking from working. I had this happen a couple of times. One way that a number of people found to open it was to hold the remote fob at different places around the car while trying to unlock it, including under a wheel arch! Failing that the mechanical key, although very stiff, can be used to unlock the door, although (if it’s the same as the 2nd gen) the car needs to be started to reset the alarm.

      2. Brenda, If your key fob lock does not work, it can sometimes be an indication that a door or the tailgate is not properly closed.

        Alan

      3. The key fob battery may be going flat- this problem usually presents itself with reduced range, intermittent operation, or a reluctance to work when the key has been in a cold place

  60. Hi Mellisa,

    Is there any chance of cleaning up the blog.

    It is so difficult to fine original comments to track any answers

    1. I would agree, but with a further suggestion.

      I access this blog by using [http://blog.toyota.co.uk/new-prius-everything-you-need-to-know] I notice that it tells me that certain questions have been asked.

      Why can’t we click on those headers to view those topics?

  61. Seeing as in 2011 , daytime running lights will made mandatory Also Tyre pressure monitoriny systems mandate is also just round the corner , when will these facility become standard on the new Prius .
    Many Thanks

    Paul

  62. I am considering purchasing a Prius and want to know if the Blue tooth provided supports Blackberry blue tooth?

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I am thinking of upgrading to a Blackberry mobile and I tested one out on my Prius Bluetooth and it worked perfectly.
      Transferred all of the contact date etc at the press of a button. So go ahead and get one.

  63. How does the Prius provide heat on a cold start-up slow/local journey of only a couple of miles in the kind of weather we have recently had?

    1. The windscreen demist has a small electric heating element, but the main heat for the cabin is, like any other car, provided by hot water from the petrol engine’s cooling system. The petrol engine does switch on and warm itself up at the beginning of every journey (even if you don’t want it to, as when choosing to do a very short journey in EV mode). The engine has a few novel features to facilitate a quick warm up and retention of heat when running on electric power, so the heater provides warmth to the cabin faster than in many other cars.

      P

  64. Forgive me if this has already been asked.I am interested in ordering a t-spirit prius and i understand that the solar roof can only be ordered in on 15”wheels and no spare . Why is Why is this and what would be the results of fitting 17” wheels after purchasing the car .
    Thanks

    Paul

    1. Hi Paul,

      This has already been asked, but not to worry at all! It’s a weight management issue: the solar roof weighs 25kg, which when combined with the 17″ wheels makes for a significantly heavier car. At this point the fuel consumption is affected. Consequently, Toyota does not recommend fitting 17″ wheels after purchase.

  65. Can i get a USB/IPOD intgration kit for my T4 prius 2010 model and much does it cost me including fitting.
    Will it work on T4 as it does not have atouch screen?
    Will the integration kit allow me to control music on a USB stick from the steering wheel controls?
    thanks

    1. Hi Shanker,

      Yes, the iPod integration kit is available for and compatible with all grades, whether or not you have a screen. I can’t tell you how much it will cost including fitting as the labour costs vary from Centre to Centre, but excluding fitting the cost is £138.90.

      You will definitely be able to use the steering wheel controls using an iPod. I’m not 100% sure whether you can play music from a USB stick, but I will check this out for you. I know that music cannot be transferred to the HDD on a T Spirit via USB stick, but on a T4 this should be no issue.

      I hope that’s clarified things. I’ll be back in touch about USB sticks soon.

  66. I own a 2010 Prius in UK bought few months back. I would like to add the dusk sensor feature to my car. Any suggestions please

    Thanks

    1. Hi Vasu,

      Unfortunately the dusk-sensing headlights are only available as part of the LED Technology Pack which cannot be retrofitted. Sorry about this. Thanks for getting in touch.

  67. I have a new Prius on order – a T4 Spirit. Is it front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. I’ve rung the dealer and they just don’t seem to know. I can’t find any information in the brochures. Can you help?

  68. Are there any plans to re-introduce the previa into the UK?
    I’m seeing plenty here in China but find no reference to them on your Web pages.
    Regards
    David Walker

    1. Hi David,

      Apologies for the late reply; I’ve been chasing down some info for you. I can tell you that there are currently no plans to reintroduce the Previa. The current UK model it is most similar to is Verso.

      I hope to have some more information for you soon – do bear with me.

  69. I WANT TO KNOW..THIS STEERING SYSTEM…WITH RACK.OR WIRE TIPE.OR .WIRE LESS..OTERWISE WHAT IS THE ADVANCED..SYSTEM

    1. Hi Chamila,

      There is a rack and pinion type steering gear assembly, plus vehicle speed sensing type electric power steering (EPS). This system assists your steering by generating assist torque using a power steering motor and a reduction mechanism. The EPS system only activates the power steering motor when you turn the steering wheel, thereby reducing energy consumption when driving straight, which in turn should improve your fuel economy.

      The torque sensor, power steering motor and reduction mechanism are all in one compact structure, and the EPS system lacks the pipes, vane pump, pulley, and power steering fluid of hydraulic power steering systems. These mean the EPS system should prove very reliable and serviceable.

      I hope that’s answered your question – let me know if I’ve misunderstood!

  70. I am about to purchase a second hand 2007 prius. I have had the car checked by the RAC and have been told that the service history has been lost from the car computer, likely secondary to the battery going flat. Can you tell me how to get the service history programmed in the car computer again, and how much, if anything, this might cost? THe paper copies of the service history are available; the car has always been serviced by toyota dealers.

    1. Hi Sophia,

      This is a very good question. I imagine that a Toyota dealer would be best placed to help you here – have you asked one? In the meantime I’ll look into this for you.

  71. Does the new model prius have roof bar capability and if so would they be different to the last model as I have an 06 Prius at present

    1. Hi again Ian,

      Yes, the new Prius does have a roof rack option, but because the shape of the roof has been changed the rack for second-generation Prius will not fit a new car. The new roof rack costs £139.36 plus fitting.

  72. Melissa

    I saw on a US site that the Solat roof will only operate the fans above 65F ..about 18C ..is this this correct. (Summer seems a long way off)

    regards

  73. i am starting a buisness up and was told if i buy a pruis, i could claim the whole amout back from the tax man due to 0 emmisions etc, is this true ?

    1. No, not quite – that would mean that they were giving the car away to all businesses! You can claim 100% tax relief though, i.e. you can get relief for the full cost against taxable profits in the year of the expenditure. (As opposed to either 20% or 10% for most cars, depending upon emissions).

    2. If the car buyer is a sole trader or a partnership there is potentially a much greater tax break that could actually pay for the car alongside the tax/NIC saving.

      This tax break is called Working Tax Credits plus if applicable Child Tax Credits.

      It all depends upon how much %age business use the car has and the overall business profit plus very importantly overall family circumstances.

      Here’s a rough example. A couple have 2 children. The normal family income is £25,000 pa. Normally no tax credits except standard Child Tax Credit of £545 a year.

      Spend £20k on a brand new (important: NOT s/hand) Prius. It gets used 75% for business and 25% for private use. So, £25,000 x 100% x 75% is deducted off the profit. This equals a £15,000 deduction off profit. So the £25,000 profit falls to £10,000. At this level of family income the total tax credits (WTC + CTC) entitlement is £8,155 -ie. £7,610 more than had they not bought the car. A quirk of the tax credit system is that if the next year’s family income is no higher than £25,000 more than this year that they buy the car, then *again* they get £8,155 of tax credits!
      So, tax credits in total of £16,310 potentially available for buying a car for £20,000. And don’t forget the tax/NIC savings too, ie. 28% of £20,000 x 100% x 75% in this case, ie. £4,200 for just one year.

      So in this example the business person (not a director, but rather a sole trader or partner) gets £4,200 off his/her tax bill one year plus extra £7,610 x 2 in tax credits off HMRC TCO. A total cash bebefit to the family of £20,510 – which, amazingly, is only £420 short of the cost of the car!

      For more information (Tax Credit rate) see HMRC WTC2 booklet and advice along the above lines an acccountant who understands tax credits (NB. many qualified accountants don’t as its not part of their exam syllabus!).

      NB. The figures will be very different for higher or lower income figures and
      essentially Tax Credits are based on *the whole family* income. The Tax Credits I quote are *not* applicable to limited companies, but in perhaps a smaller scale could apply to the directors of a Ltd Co.

    3. Information from the horse’s mouth is here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2008/bn11.pdf If self employed or a company purchase, buying a Prius reduces your taxable income by the cost of the car x percentage business use, in the year of purchase, so for a 40% tax payer, a £20,000 Prius will knock £8,000 off this year’s tax liability if business use is 100%, or £6,000 if 75%.

      As David has pointed out, the benefits may be even greater if buying a Prius pushes your taxable income down to the level where you qualify for child tax credit.

      The other group that will score heavily from next April is people earning just over £113.000. As well as paying 40%, the six and a half thousand pound personal allowance is taken away on a sliding scale between £100,000 and £113,000, so using a Prius to reduce your taxable income from, say £114,000 to £99,000 would get your personal allowance back as well as the 40% tax relief.

      P

      1. Ignore the reference to company car purchase in Peter’s response above – treatment for company cars is very different for sole traders. The company can claim 100% deduction against its taxable profits, and the employee is taxed on the benefit of private use, valued at just 10% per annum of the list price of the car (most cars are between 15% & 45% based upon emissions).

        For individuals the personal allowance recovery between £100,000 and £113,x00 means that the effective tax saving is 60%

        1. Sorry not to be clear, for companies I was referring to the benefits for the company purchasing the vehicle, not for the company car driver.

          P

        2. The other group I forgot to mention is self employed people earning over £150,000. From April those poor people will be in the new 50% tax bracket, so for them buyng a Prius will attract 50% tax relief

  74. Please send me a list of Bluetooth enabled phones that are available in UK and work with 2004 Prius. Are profiles other than A2DP and AVRCP utilized ?

    1. Hi Shannon,

      The price depends on the grade and options you choose. All Toyota Centres should have full lists of options and prices, but the T3 starts at £19,504.

      With its full hybrid powertrain, the new Prius is one of the most technically advanced cars on the market. Even though Prius comes with high standard equipment levels, it is competively priced when compared to rival D-segment vehicles.

      Running costs for Prius are low thanks to the high mpg, low CO2 emissions (meaning Prius has £0 road tax and is exempt from the London Congestion Charge), and low insurance grouping. Plus your maintenance costs would be low, too: the Hybrid Synergy Drive technology has proved to be reliable as well as advanced, with Prius having the lowest warranty claim level of any current Toyota model.

      Do get back in touch if any of that is unclear, or if you have further questions.

  75. Taking delivery of my new Prius 1.8 T-Spirit in Feb 2010.

    Conflicting information from Toyota & Dealership. Does the T-Spirit have fitted as standard a USB connector for my Ipod classic or not.

    In the centre console does it have a USB Aux socket or not, can this not be used for an Ipod or not.

    Do I really have to spend 299.00p on a Ipod Interface kit or not, to work with the cars Sat Nav,Radio,Cd/HDD. YES or NO

    Please help

    1. Hi Charles, this isn’t going to be any help directly but Melissa may be able to follow things up. I have had a basic query unanswered since last August about what the ipod/iphone integration kit does and no-one has managed to answer, either here or at the dealership. I have cancelled the kit for my new TSpirit on the basis that £300 is a lot to pay for something when nobody knows what it does. Good luck with finding an answer…

      1. Thanks Martin – yes, unfortunately the iPod/iPhone integration issue is a long-standing one which we’re still looking into. Sorry that you’re still in the dark on this but it hasn’t been forgotten about at this end, I promise.

        Charles, hopefully I’ll be able to answer the rest of your questions later today.

        1. Mellisa Couldton

          Since my blog to you with regards my February delivery of Prius T-spirit, question re Ipod Interface kit.

          Your last blog 11th Jan stated you would be back in touch later that day, as yet not heard. I am aware time is ticking away as the dealership have ordered this kit for me at a cost of £299.00p which is alot of money on top of cars RRP.

          Some of the comments on the blog suggest these are a waste of money some say they already exist erh erh.

          Toyota do I cancel this kit not !!

          The dealership will not be happy with me if I either cancel it or they start installing this kit for no reason.

          Charles

    2. Charles, there is a standard 3.5mm socket as standard at the base of the rear of the central sliding console. Provided you have a suitable lead (3.5mm male to male for ordinary headphone sockets) audio from any mp3 player/phone/handheld/or even personal cassette player(!) can be played through it.

      Obviously it doesn’t give control integration, but allows you to play through the car’s own speakers.

    3. Hi Charles,

      I would go against it, it’s very expensive with very little advantage (very limited control, just going up/down playlist without any proper display/feedback). I had the bad idea to order it and don’t use it, the 3.5mm jack (or Bluetooth) a lot more practical…

    4. Hi again Charles,

      Apologies for the delay – I’ve been trying to get back to everyone as quickly as possible, but hadn’t realised that your issue was quite so time-sensitive.

      The T Spirit does not have a USB connector as standard – it is added at factory level if you order the integration kit. There is an aux-in jack located in the central console as standard, which, as Brian rightly states, can be used to connect an MP3 player to play music through the speakers. (Note that you cannot transfer any data or files, including MP3, to the HDD via any connector.)

      As you know, the advantage with the integration system is that you can control the music via the sat nav display. Ultimately it is entirely your decision as to how important this functionality is to you, and so whether you go ahead with the option or not.

      1. Perhaps you could clarify whether this factory fit
        interface is actually the full ‘USB Interface” which
        is factory fitted as standard to U.S. models with
        navigation? This give full control and display of
        iPod and USB drives from the navigation touch screen.
        Or is it still the old UK dealer fit iPod interface with
        strictly limited functionality (it emulates a CD changer)?
        When will the full “USB Interface” upgrade kit be
        available in the UK for the TSpirit? In the U.S. it has
        been available as an upgrade for earlier built cars
        since it became standard fit in September.
        Thanks,

      2. Hi Melissa

        I picked up my Prius T-spirit yesterday Sat 14th February 2010 from the dealership,after your reply to me on 12th January 2010 with regards to the iPod Interation kit.

        I whent ahead with the purchase of this Kit £299 after what you had said, this was supplied by Toyota and fitted by the dealership and does NOT work, nor do they know why it does not work.

        I traded in my Auris T-spirt which I bought the iPod Interation for as well.I left this in the Auris.

        I took out my iPod ” classic” when I got there,they stated just a few minutes job after connecting the iPod USB and a couple of controls it should search and they connect.

        After 40 min,s it had not connected, dealership when’t away scratched a few heads, then read the iPod intregration kit user manual. Then then stated that my iPod will NOT WORK, as it is not a NANO, NANO G2, and iPod generation 5.

        Somewhat confused as the iPod manual is dated September 2008 bar code PZ420-00266-me. This is long before the launch of the 2010 Prius 1.8.

        As I checked this out with TOYOTA and the Toyota dealership before I whent ahead and ordered this kit, I would have not entered into this sale. I should have been informed at the onset my iPod will NOT WORK.

        The dealership stated I should consider buying an iPod NANO, as my own iPod “classic ” is only two (2) year old and cost me £190 I am not very happy.

        Nor am I happy to spend yet another £137 for a iPod Nano which may or NOT work, considering that I have already spent in excess of £23,000.

        please favour me with a reply.

        Regards

        Charles Lea

        Ps There are a lot of negative comments on the Toyota ownersclub website about this iPod intergration kit for the 2010 Prius T-spirit NOT working.

  76. anybody experienced the loud ICE noise and vibration. it seems to be happening quite a bit in the US and I have experienced it on three occasions since Sept (4000 miles)
    Example is available on you tube under “2010 prius engine knocking”

    1. Hi there Adrian,

      Thanks for your question, and for your emails. The warranty on all hybrid components of the Prius is five years, while the warranty on other part is three years (or 60,000 miles), which is standard across all Toyota models. Of course, extended warranty packages are also available. Please see this section of Toyota.co.uk for further details.

    1. No – if you search this thread you will find that this has been answered many times already, including some explanation of why.

  77. Hi Just done an oil change on my 2010 T Spirit at 1296 miles just after running in mileage. It was very easy but you do need the correct tool to get the oil filter casing off, the filter kit has a paper filter also an O ring and a sump washer, these comes in the filter box, The Toyota part number is 04152-37010. the oil you can get from
    http://www.japarts.co.uk/shop/ 0 20w the price is about £39 but is a good oil also has the recommended specs, it comes in 4LT. containers I bought 2 as the engine holds 4.2 LT so I will have some spare. The special tool you can get from here http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B001I6CH4M/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&qid=1262430954&sr=1-2&condition=new Cost just under £7 free postage it works great but is a tight fit on the filter housing which is a good point, just put a small amount of grease on the inside of the tool and it fits good and can be pulled of easy when done.

  78. I can see that a TPMS system is mentioned in the forums but there is no mention of it in the UK specs. Is TPMS available for the UK?

    1. Hi Paul,

      TPMS (correctly identified as the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System – thanks, Alan) isn’t available on UK Toyotas, I’m afraid. Often the forums have originated in the US, hence you will sometimes get discrepancies in specification cropping up.

  79. I have an 07 Prius – looking to change to new model asap – took test drive and found the new central console to have significantly reduced leg space in the front. After driving for a couple of hours I found it very uncomfortable due to contact points on the leg from the console. I’m 6ft 4 and found the previous model is much more open at the front giving more space. If I order the new car can anything be done to make any minor amendments to the central console to give a bit more room? Thanks.

    1. Hi Graham,

      Sorry to hear you didn’t find the third-generation Prius as comfortable when you had a test drive. I’m not aware of any padding that exists specifically for the central console I’m afraid. However, I do know that there are some tall Prius drivers out there – is anyone able to offer Graham any solutions?

  80. I have current Prius – having test drove the new model to change I have found the introduction of the new central console restricts leg room resulting in contact points on the side of the leg. In essence it’s enclosed the “cockpit area” and reduces lateral leg room. Can anything be done about this such as fitting of padding to enhance comfort from contact points? I’m fairly tall at 6 ft 4in so maybe this is not a problem to everyone but the new model just didn’t feel as comfortable? Many thanks

  81. How do i deice my car on the drive. With my car i can run it and make sure it has clear windows before i set off.

    1. You can do the same. The Prius is a petrol/electric hybrid so when you want lots of heat to defrost the windows, the petrol engine comes on and generates heat just like a normal car.

    2. Hi With mine I put a small electric heater in the car 15 mins before I need to go, this makes the car nice and warm as well as de icing. This is a mains heater 1000 2000 watts soon does the job

  82. Hello,
    im interested in buying a “green car” but i was wondering what the fuel consumption is, also how much is the road licence? Thanks

    1. Fuel consumption depends upon how you drive it, type and length of journey, but the quoted figures in accordance with the standard tests will be on the main Prius website. Remember that because these are produced in standardised conditions they are almost invariably for all cars higher than can normally be expected in the real world.

      Personally I have actually achieved an average of mid 50s in October/November, and low 50s even in the current cold (which reduces the mpg) and with a roof box on.

      Road fund licence is free!

      1. It does depend a lot on how you drive it. In September I took the car from Coventry to Luton airport and as it was brand new I wanted to know how many digits were on the head up display. I can tell you that the display can display 3 digits… However I did manage to get 69.9 mpg on that trip and no points! In the cold I have noticed it has decreased quite drastically but now that I have *checked the tyre pressures* the mpg has returned to the high 50’s. T3 model.

    2. Hi Lauren,

      The official combined fuel consumption for Prius is 72.4mpg with 15″ wheels and 70.6mpg with 17″ wheels. These figures are certainly achievable – a number of people have reported back to us on the impressive mpg their Prius is achieving – but mpg certainly does depend on factors such as temperature and driving style. Making good use of Electric Vehicle mode (which uses no fuel and causes no CO2 to be emitted), for instance, will really help your fuel consumption. And yes, the road licence is £0!

      Thanks for your questions. Feel free to get back in touch if there’s anything else you’d like to know.

      1. The general consensus amongst owners about use of EV mode is that it is overall more efficient, under normal circumstances, to let the car decide when to turn on the internal combustion engine and when to use battery only.

        Having said that, there are circumstances when you know what’s coming better than the car does and so would want to use EV mode – such as a short journey or just moving the car a little when the engine shouldn’t be needed at all, or a journey that is predominantly downhill and can therefore be done on battery/gravity alone. Also when in a stop/start queue and it is unnecessary for the engine to start.

  83. Please can you advise how I can override the VSC on my Prius. It is stuck in snow and will not move as whenever I press the accelerator the orange vsc warning light comes on and the car loses power. My ten year old corsa has no problem moving on the same road on the snow – why does the petrol engine shut down completely when any slight imbalance is detected – this is very dnagerous.

    1. I don’t think you can. You need to be very gentle with the accelerator and try to creep to get going. I’ve found the third gen much less liable to the traction control kicking in when you don’t want it to than the second gen model.

      1. I had the same problem yesterday trying to car the car on to the drive. It may sound obvious but turning the steering wheel a small amount left / right helped and gave me enough traction to move the car front / back to get the car out of the dip. I was driving in the Scottish mountains earlier this week on untreated icey roads and I can let you know that the traction control was fantastic. Don’t try to switch it off, it isn’t dangerous it was a life saver.

    1. Thanks for that, Alan!

      Toyota does not make an estate version of Prius and has no current plans to develop one, but like Alan says, the boot isn’t small. The rear seats also fold flat which should give you plenty of room. I hope that helps!

  84. why has the garantee on the drive train and batteries been reduced to five years from the previous models 8 years

    1. I believe it is because, now it’s in it’s third generation it is no longer risky technology,and has proved it’s reliability. Five years is Toyota’s standard term.

    1. My dads Gen 3 seems to be fine with the normal tyres you get with the car, he was really impressed when it slid and the traction control came on got it out the skid.

    2. If you fitted snow tyre for estate roads they would work fine but when used on gritted/clear roads they would not only wear quickly but give you less grip.

      More or less the same with tyre chains, great on snow covered roads but on clear roads they would hurt the tyres. You would have to greatly reduce your speed as well.

      Your normal road tyres will do fine.

      (I am speaking of UK roads here)

    1. Top speed of the 3rd gen is about 110mph I believe (the 2nd gen was 104mph) – certainly more than you’ll ever need on a UK public road!

    2. Hi George,

      We like keenness!

      Brian is right about the speed. However, just to confirm: Prius is not an electric vehicle (EV) but a full hybrid, meaning it can be powered using the engine, a battery-powered motor, or a combination of both. Using the hybrid battery alone, the top speed you can reach is 31mph.

      Keep an eye out for the plug-in Prius, though, which is also a full hybrid but thanks to its lithium-ion battery is able to travel at speeds of up to 62mph using battery power alone. Trials are starting soon and it should be available commercially in 2012. And we’ll be the first to let you know if the FT-EV II, an EV concept car with a top speed of over 60mph that was launched in Japan last year, is going to be produced commercially and sold in the UK.

      Thanks for your question, and don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further questions.

  85. Hi,
    My name is Shane Richards, I am doing the Level 3 Engineering Diploma for South Leicestershire College at Lutterworth College. My teacher has asked me to Email you about the task he has set me wondering if you could provide me with some help. I have been set a task that I am struggling on and I was wondering if you could possibly help me by providing the answers you can for the questions that I have sent in the attachment? If you could help me out, it would be greatly appreciated. The Topic I have chosen to designate on is the hybrid cars, as it is a new technology that is trying to save the planet so I think it is very important to the world.
    Regards,
    Shane Richards,
    Lutterworth College

  86. Having owned my Gen 111 since Sep 09, I was pleased to be achieving up to 70mpg during the first 2000 miles. However I now struggling to achieve 60mpg on similar runs.
    How much of this drop would you realistically expect as a result of the cold weather over the past few weeks?

    Regards

    Kev

      1. Wow, how do people only get 50 or less from the Gen3. My gen 2 was achieving 55 min and eventually 65 per tank when I got rid. My best ever trip was 70mpg on a run from Chesterfield to Skegness and back.

    1. A lot depends on driving style & speed and length of journeys, but unlike Peter I’ve certainly found it better than the 2nd gen I had previously. Over Christmas, in the cold (when it is less efficient) and with a roofbox on I still got mid 50s.

      1. I realised I didn’t actually answer your original question – yes, it is usual for consumption to be worse in winter (and was on the 2nd gen). One reason for this is that the ICE has to run more to get it up to the minimum operating temperature

        1. Cheers Brian,

          Can’t wait for the weather to improve. The Gen 3 seems to be effected more by the cold weather.
          I agree the gen 3 mpg is better than the gen 2 by about 10-15% so I’m expecting to hit high 70’s eventually

          Kev

  87. im interested in buying a new toyote prius in near future ,is there any chance to order this car in left hand drive specification ?

    1. Plenty of them in Europe and the USA/Canada. If you want to buy a LHD in the UK, have a word with your Toyota dealer or two.

  88. please can you suggest where I could get roof bars and/or a roof box for 5 door 2005 T3 Prius and how much theye would cost. Thanks.

    1. Hi, good to be able to post comments after a few weeks of problems.

      I have a T Spirit Gen 111 which periodically is creating a very loud engine noise and extreme vibration when started. Not possible to identify in advance, when it is going to happen but it seems to be when the car has been unused for a few days. The local dealer is being very helpful offering to store my car for a weekend, giving me a courtesy car and then having me present to start the car after a few days. Hopefully the noise will happen again.
      Has anybody else experienced a similar problem?

        1. Mmm, cold weather does not appear to be the problem as the first time it happens was early Oct.
          It has only happened two other times, both on cold mornings, but the noise is very very loud.
          The second time it happened, my neighbor was in her car reversing from the drive with windows closed. She stopped and checked her car as she thought she had a problem. Imagine how loud that must have been

      1. Hi Kev,

        Sorry for the late reply, but it’s great to hear that you’re able to comment again (we had the web team look into it for you) and that your dealer is providing you with a courtesy car. I am however sorry to hear about this problem. Let me know what the dealer says/has said and if it remains a mystery, we’ll look into it further.

      2. Hi Kev,

        Had the same problem a few days ago. Immediately turned the car off, tried again with same result. Turn it off again immediately (don’t want to make any damage).
        Then switched it on in EV, drove it a few meters, switched off EV. Seemed to have done the trick, or might just be pure coincidence… Hope I won’t be able to confirm any time soon.

        Melissa, could you please try to dig this a bit further? Is it investigated by Toyota Japan?

        Thanks,
        Stephane

        1. My dealer was able to recreate the noise by removing one of the cables to one spark plug. Effectively, they say that the engine is miss firing.
          Toyota have said that it may be bad fuel and have suggested draining the fuel tank, cleaning it out and then refill the tank. Personally I think this is a bit of a fob off by Toyota as it has happened three times on three different tanks of fuel, but has not occurred on other tanks of fuel.
          Anyway, I’m running the car nearly dry, carrying spare fuel in the boot just in-case the timing/fuel gauge are wrong, and will let you know what happens.

        2. Stephane, can we correspond ref the engine noise. I have a feeling that this might be a gen3 problem and I am trying to find others with similar experiences so that I can pursue the problem with Toyota if they do not come up with a solution.

          my email is Kevin.hobson3@btopenworld.com

      3. Hi again Kev,

        I spoke to someone from the technical department this morning. He agreed that it sounds like the engine is misfiring – the source of the noise is the engine’s connection to the hybrid transaxle. He said that there are a range of possible root causes that could result in an engine misfire but that if your dealer had pinpointed ‘bad fuel’ (which I take to mean poor fuel quality), then that is probably correct. Can I just check: does the noise occur when you’ve used a particular brand/kind of fuel from a particular petrol station? If so, it may be worth shopping around.

        The specialist also confirmed that Toyota is not aware of any manufacturing defects that could result in engine misfire on the third-generation Prius.

        If I find out anything new, I will of course get back to you.

        1. Hi Melissa,

          The dealer has identified bad fuel as a “possible” problem and by draining the fuel tank and starting from fresh they hope to prove or disprove this idea. However, I have used 4 different petrol stations (Morrisons and Tesco different locations all at 95 Octane) on 8 different occasions.
          I’ve identified two stations I had filled up from from which the noise occurred about 3 days after filling up. However, I have used the same stations without problems as well.
          The dealer has advised me to use a non supermarket brand, which I certainly intend to do, but I’m finding it hard to believe that three separate tanks of bad fuel are the culprit, especially as I am hearing of others with the same problem who have used Shell and BP fuels with the same octane.
          I will let you know how things go in the future, but om not feeling to optimistic.
          Regards

          kev

        2. Hi Melissa,

          I doubt the “bad fuel” explanation, or the Prius might be over-sensitive. I had the problem using a tank of BP Ultimate, Kev using standard 95. I’m aware of a few other peoples on Prius UK forums who had the same issue.
          And there are (long) lists of affected people in the US too (see http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii-2010-prius-care-maintenance-troubleshooting/70128-rough-engine-start.html for example).

          Could you please pass me the detail of a technical product manager so we can centralise all the experience and try to progress the problem, it might just be an easy to fix software glitch.

          Thanks,
          Stephane

    2. Hi Ian,

      Sorry for the late reply. Have you tried your dealer? They may stock the roof rack, or be able to source one for you. The shape of the roof has changed so the roof rack for new Prius will not fit a 2005 Prius, but as a guide, the roof rack for new Prius costs £139.36 plus fitting.

  89. what is the current reccomended price per private mile for a company car driver as prescribed by H M Customs and revenue for the Prius?

    1. Here’s HMRC webpage links which should have the information that you require:-

      http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/travel.htm
      and
      http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cars/advisory_fuel_current.htm

      The way I usually see it work, if we are talking about a company car driver is that NO private fuel is provided. Instead the company car driver records business mileage and is then tax-free reimbursed at the prescribed rates for fuel. The prescribed rate for Prius 3rd gen is currently 14p per mile (per second web page link).

      As the recommended fuel mileage rates are based on engine size and fuel type, disregarding the hybrid fuel saving, there is scope to make a *tax-free* profit out of the 14p per mile rate in the circumstances that I outline.

  90. overall length and hight & width of the car Price range and if possible value of Trade In of Honda Civic Executive 03 reg milage approx 90000

    1. Hi Bryan,

      Just to confirm the official dimensions from the brochure (all figures are in mm):

      Length: 4460
      Height: 1490; T Spirit with solar roof: 1505
      Width: 1745 (not including wing mirrors – please see this thread for more on this)

      In terms of price range, the T3 starts at £19,504, whereas a T Spirit with metallic paint, leather seats and a solar roof (for instance) costs £25,925.70. There are also some option packs available across some or all grades (T3, T4, T Spirit) which I haven’t included here. All Toyota Centres should have full lists of options and prices.

      As for the trade-in price, no-one at Toyota HQ can calculate this for you but your dealer can.

      I hope that’s clarified everything. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  91. Hello, I am currently a third year student at Coventry University studying Automotive Engineering. I’m writing my Dissertation this year about Hybrid Powertrains in Spark Ignition vehicles, and am just wondering if you could provide me with any information regarding the hybrid system used within the Prius, and historically in the older Prius. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Gavin Smith

    1. Hi Alun,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. The service schedule is as follows:

      After 10,000 miles: intermediate service (30 minutes)
      After 20,000 miles: full service (one hour),
      After 30,000 miles: intermediate service (30 minutes)
      and so on.

      The costs vary Centre by Centre. These timings (and the costings you would be quoted) apply to a standard service, so if any additional work was required then there would be additional costs involved.

      Thanks for your question!

  92. I am out of UK for 3months at a time I leave my present vehicle on charge during this period what action would I have to take to ensure the Prius would be fully charged and ready for the road on my return

    1. Hi Archie,

      The 12v battery is like any other car’s 12v battery, meaning that it may go flat if left for a length of time, though you can use a trickle charger (I assume this is what you mean when you say you leave your present vehicle ‘on charge’ – unless you have a PHV or EV?). The 12v battery operates entirely separately from the hybrid battery, which is charged as you drive and shouldn’t go flat through lack of use. Either battery can be used to start the car. In short, then, there are no special considerations to take when leaving a Prius as opposed to a non-hybrid.

    1. Hi Hugh,

      The nickel metal hydride battery should not need replacing – it is designed to last the lifetime of the car itself. If you ever do need to replace it, it will cost £736.38 (ex. VAT and fitting). The 12v battery, on the other hand, is the same as in any other car, as will be its lifespan.

    1. From surplus energy from the internal combustion engine, whether by driving the generator when the engine is running, or recovered from the momentum of the car when coasting/braking.

  93. Can you supply me with more information about the sun roof/solar panel ventilation system on the new prius? Considering the extra cost there is very little information available about it, including from our local dealership. I would ideally like to see one on action on a demonstrator

    1. Just waiting to collect my new Prius which has the solar roof. It’s stuck in the snow at the moment, but as soon as I get it I’ll let you know what I think of the roof. Should be before next weekend, I hope…

    2. Hi Liz,

      Sorry for the delayed reply, and that you’ve had trouble finding authoritative information on this.

      The functionality of the roof is demonstrated clearly in this video from Toyota USA. Not mentioned in this video is that you can switch the air conditioning system on remotely using your key fob up to three minutes before getting in, providing the hybrid battery has some charge. You don’t need bright sunlight to use it, either – it should work fine unless the car is in shade or the roof is very dirty.

      Unfortunately I don’t think any of the demonstrators have a solar roof, but I’ll double-check for you.

  94. please outline the differences in power, size and performance between the initial 1.5 prius engine and the recent 1.8 engine. Please also detail the sicomparative sizes of the different vehicles – is the 1,8 bigger? Thank you.

    1. Hi there Craig,

      Sorry for the delayed reply to this. I’m not sure if you mean the actual engines themselves or if you’re instead looking for a comparison of the second- and third-generation cars, so below is a brief comparison of the cars. Let me know if you’d like to know anything more specific. (You can also request a Prius e-brochure here or compare the third-generation Prius against other Toyotas and other manufacturers’ vehicles here.)

      MPG (combined): G2 65.7; G3 72.4 (15″ wheels), 70.6 (17″ wheels)

      CO2 emissions (combined) (g/km): G2 104; G3 89 (15″), 92 (17″)

      Max. speed (mph): G2 106; G3 110

      0-62 mph (seconds): G2 10.9; G3 10.4

      Drag co-efficient: G2 0.26; G3 0.25

      Max. torque (Nm/rpm): G2 115/4000; G3 142/4000

      Vehicle length (mm): G2 4450; G3 4460

      Vehicle width (mm): G2 1725; G3 1745

    1. Electric cars and pollution.

      The current on sale Prius is NOT a plug-in model.
      It’s batteries are recharged by two means : firstly regeneration when braking and secondly the petrol engine.
      The overall “pollution” of UK cars is generally measured by CO2 emissions from which you’ll see the Prius is extremely low for the size of car.

      Regarding other Electric cars, ie. the sort that you plug in to charge (including some Prius out on test at the moment) the pollution from charging depends upon the power station that supplies the energy. It is generally accepted that treating pollution at source (as in the Power Station) can be more effective than treating it at source of consumption (ie. the car).

      1. Hi Dean,

        DavidMG is right in that the third-generation Prius currently on sale is not an electric vehicle (EV), nor a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) but a petrol hybrid. For clarification and a detailed explanation of how regenerative braking charges the hybrid battery, please visit this page. (This whole site is very informative and clear – I’d recommend reading through it all if you want a full understanding of the hybrid system.)

        DavidMG is also correct in that the CO2 emissions for Prius – 89g/km (combined cycle) – are exceptionally low for a full-size D-segment family car. (To see how Prius compares to other Toyotas and other manufacturers’ models in terms of CO2 emissions, performance and running costs, try out the Toyota Comparison Calculator.)

        However, there is a significant difference between EVs and PHVs. EVs – such as the FT-EV II concept unveiled last year – run on electric power only and so emit no CO2 through driving. In this way, electric cars do not pollute the air. PHVs, however – such as the Prius PHV which is being tested this year, as DavidMG quite rightly says – are still petrol hybrids and so still emit CO2 when driven using the engine.

        There are two main differences between Prius PHV and the current petrol hybrid Prius to bear in mind with respect to your question. The first is that the PHV can be charged by plugging it into your domestic electricity supply or designated charging point. The second is that the PHV is equipped with a lithium-ion battery instead of the current petrol hybrid Prius’ nickel hydride battery, meaning that the PHV can be driven further on electric power from a single charge – 14 miles instead of the one mile that the current Prius is capable of. Because of this, the overall CO2 emissions are much lower: a predicted 41g/km.

        However, the emissions over the life cycle of the vehicle may be taken into account too. This video concerns the life cycle of the current petrol hybrid Prius (so please ignore the third ‘driving’ section as it won’t apply), but it outlines the kind of processes that go into building a car and the considerations taken by Toyota.

        Apologies for the late response but I hope that’s clarified everything and answered your question. Do get in touch again if you have any other questions. Thanks.

        1. Note that the toyota comparison tool mentioned by Melissa only has data up to May 2009. The data for the Prius seems to be more Gen2 like (99 BHP?). Maybe Melissa could double check?

          1. Hi Alan,

            99 DIN hp is actually the correct figure (second-generation was 77). I’ve double-checked and all other Prius specs are correct, though the costings are to be revised. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, though – we’re looking into getting more recent data.

          2. Isn’t 99bhp just the petrol engine? When combined with the electric motor, don’t toyota quote something like 134bhp?

    1. Hi again Russ,

      By ‘seat fixing mount’ do you mean the mechanism that allows you to move the seat forward and back? As I said in my last reply, the amount you are able to adjust the seat position is increased in the third-generation Prius. Beyond this, however, Toyota HQ has no ability to adjust specific seats on specific cars. I would contact your dealer as they will know exactly what can be adjusted at both factory and dealer level.

      Alternatively, I know that there are one or two regular users of this blog that are taller than average – would anyone be so kind enough as to tell Russ how they make the most of the Prius’ driver’s space?

    1. Hi Lorna,

      Sorry for the late reply. Toyota stopped making the Celica in 2006, but some dealers may still have used Celicas available for purchase. You can search for used cars in your area here.

      Do let us know if you have any further questions.

    1. Hi Russ,

      While the driver’s legroom hasn’t been increased in the third-generation Prius, the front seat travel is longer and the steering wheel has telescopic reach and tilt – both of which should mean more flexibility and comfort in terms of driving position. In addition, the front seat redesign means there is 2cm more rear passenger legroom. Any Toyota Centre will be more than happy to demonstrate these changes during a test drive.

      Sorry for the late reply, but I hope that’s answered your question.

    1. mr’ng,

      Oil consumption will vary greatly as it’s affected by engine speed, ambient temperature and other factors. For example, lots of short journeys will create a very different oil usage pattern when compared to long journeys.

      Whilst you should always monitor oil level, as indicated in the owner handbook, using the dipstick; it’s unlikely you will ever need to top up the oil outside of the standard service intervals of the car.

  95. i recently purchaseda new Prius. it shows Aux connection on the radio but how do i connect an Pod or other MP3 palyers to rdio? thanks.

    1. There’s a standard 3.5mm socket at the base of the rear of the central sliding console. Provided you have a suitable lead (whether 3.5mm male to male for ordinary headphone sockets or via adapters for awkward/proprietary devices) audio from any mp3 player/phone/handheld/or even personal cassette player(!) should be able to be played through it.

    1. Hi Jannes,

      Apologies for the late reply. If you are asking whether there is a choice of Prius engines, the answer is no: all grades of the third-generation Prius feature a 1.8l VVT-i petrol engine. Do get back to us if that doesn’t answer your question.

  96. I bought a 2007 Prius T-Spirit but am having trouble finding an infant car seat that fits. Can you tell me which brands can fit in the car?

    1. That surprises me. We had a number of different seats in our 2nd gen Prius, from very wide/tall ones to simple boosters, and never had any that didn’t fit. The only thing that we needed to do was remove the car’s own headrest.

      In what way did the seats you’ve tried not fit?

    1. Charging of independent Sat Navs like TomTom.

      The current (3rd generation) Prius has two 12v sockets – one is inside the centre storage console and the other is front centre ahead of the console low down below the dash. This is an improvement over the previous model (2nd gen Prius) where only one 12v outlet was provided.

      My £60 (from Morrisons)NavTech / NavMan SatNat is kept inside the centre console and plugged in there and is kept charged this way. It only comes out of the console to be used when necessary.

  97. Hi -I have a Dec 2007 registered Prius. and wondered whether any update is now available for the Sat Nav, and how much this would cost

  98. cab both the back and front passenger seats fold flat to make use of the full car legths for long item carrying?

  99. I have two questions about the Prius.. 1. Can you set the interior temperature with the solar panel system. 2. Does the car have remote start. (ie from my house when it’s -3 outside to get the car warmed up)

    1. Spot lights.

      The current (3rd generation) Prius T3 grade DOES have spotlights (unlike the previous 2nd generation model).

    1. Hello Maxim,

      Huge apologies for the late reply. It’s been pretty busy here post-Christmas.

      This is a very good question. There are isofix points on both left and right passenger seats, so it is possible in theory to install two child seats and have a mid-sized adult in the middle. However: the feasibility and, more importantly, the legality of this depends on the size of the child seats. If either child seat rests on any seat belt buckle, or interferes with the middle seatbelt in any way, then they do not meet safety requirements and cannot be used. I would advise taking both seats to your dealer and fitting them in a demonstrator to test this.

      Thanks for the good question!

    1. Hi Beth,

      I’m so sorry for the delayed reply – there’s been lots of catching up to do since the Christmas break. The Prius takes unleaded petrol.

      If you have any further questions, do get in touch – I should be able to get back to you much quicker in the future!

  100. Please tell me (us) why questions are answered out of sinc. I asked 2 questions on the 16th with no answers yet, but a question asked on the 21st has been answered already?

    1. Hi Mike,

      Sorry to have kept you (and others) waiting. We answer all questions as quickly as possible: if we know the answer to a question and can answer straightaway, then we do; if we can’t answer straightaway, then we put questions to other teams at Toyota. Others still must go to Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. We still respond as soon as we get the answer. This process can take some time unfortunately, but I’m not ignoring you, I promise!

      To answer your questions:
      You’re right about the different layouts. I just went out in the snow with the Prius brand specialist to check our Prius, and can confirm that the correct steering wheel layout can be seen on page 30 of the brochure, whilst the correct gearstick is shown on page 13. Well done for spotting these! Apart from being right hand drive, the layout should be exactly the same as in those shipped to Europe, so this shouldn’t be the source of brochure inconsistencies. (Also, please note that page 41 shows a T4 that has been fitted with a nav system; it’s slightly different to the one that comes with a T Spirit.) But thanks for the brochure feedback – it’s always useful to hear, and will be passed on.

      As for the hatchback door, we think this can be done using the key fob, but unfortunately we cannot test this at the moment. I wonder if any current T Spirit owners would be kind enough to confirm this?

      Irregular use and short journeys won’t adversely affect your car in any way. In fact, the car should excel on short journeys: hopefully you’ll get to use EV mode a lot, and achieve high mpg.

      I hope that answers your questions. Do let us know how you get on with your Prius when it arrives!

      1. From Alan Stockley, via e-mail:

        “I’ve just been out to my G3 T Spirit. The key fob opens all doors including the hatchback door when operated from outside the car. It also operates the ‘smart entry’ system to open all doors when appropriate contact is made with a door handle or hatchback door. The fob also carries a key but there is no key slot in the hatchback – only on the front doors.”

  101. Can you explain to difference between the Toyota Prius 1.8 VVTi T Spirit Hybrid CVT Auto 5dr and the Toyota Prius 1.8 VVTi T Spirit Hybrid LTH CVT 5dr Auto? what does LTH stand for. Thanks

    1. Hi Lance,

      I was as puzzled as you, but actually it’s very simple: it’s the same car with leather seats. These can be added as a factory-fit option on the T4 and T Spirit grades for £1395 (inc. VAT but not fitting).

  102. How much will i save if i was to change from my current car which is a honda civic 1.8 sport 06 plate to a toyota prius t spirit 06 plate?

    1. Hi Asea,

      It’s difficult to compare used models, but a quick search on WhatGreenCar shows that the second-generation Prius emits less CO2, has lower VED and better fuel economy than the 2006 Honda Civic. The new third-generation Prius improves upon all of these factors, with band A VED (i.e. £0 to pay) and no Congestion Charge if you live in London (plus, it won WhatGreenCar Car of the Year awards on both sides of the Atlantic this year). Consequentially, you should definitely save money on running costs if you switch, but how much it is hard to say.
      To compare current models, check out the Toyota Comparison Calculator.

    1. Hi there,

      Prius is automatic, in a sense: it has CVT transmission (Continuously Variable Transmission). This enables a smooth transition between the motor and the engine. For a fuller explanation, please see here.

    1. Hi Matthew,

      The 12v battery runs these, as it would in any other car. The high-voltage nickel hydride battery is a part of the hybrid system and does not affect these processes nor the status of the 12v battery.

      I hope that’s clear, but if not, do get in touch and let me know.

    1. Hi Steve,

      The nickel hydride battery (the hybrid battery) is charged automatically through regenerative braking and engine heat that is stored as you drive. It functions completely independently of the normal 12v battery, so even if the hybrid battery is out of charge you will still be able to start the car, for example. The hybrid battery can supplement the engine or, when in EV (Electric Vehicle) mode, propel the car using electric power alone. You can drive for up to 1.2 miles at speeds of up to 31mph in EV mode. The frequency with which the hybrid battery requires a charge is dictated by how much you drive in EV mode, therefore.

      All the above applies to the current third-generation full hybrid Prius, but there is also a newly-launched plug-in Prius. This can be charged by plugging it into the household mains. Plug-in Prius is not yet available commercially but more information on it can be found here.

      I hope that’s clarified things, but please do get in touch again if you have any further questions.

  103. Hi. I haven’t taken delivery of my car yet and I was wondering…as a retired person I dont drive my car every day, and the journeys I do make are usually short…between 6 and 20 miles. Will this iregular use and short journeys adversly effect the car in any way?

  104. i understand that the Prius runs on petrol and battery power. How long is the battery life and how much would it cost to replace the betteries? If I have this all wrong can you please explain.

    1. Hi there,

      You are correct in that the Prius can run on petrol, battery/electric motor, or a combination of both. The high-voltage nickel hydride battery is charged as you drive and so should never go flat. With a charged battery, you should be able to drive using battery power only for just over a mile, at speeds of up to 31mph. There is a normal 12v battery too, so you’ll be able to start your Prius regardless of the amount of charge in the high-voltage battery.

      In the longer term, the high-voltage battery should not need replacing – it is designed to last as long as the car itself does. However, if ever you do need to replace it, it will cost £736.38 (ex. VAT and fitting).

      Hopefully that’s clear – let me know if you have any further questions.

  105. Why so many inacuracies in the `New Prius` brocure? Different steering wheel layouts (Pages 13 and 30) Here too we see the gear stick showing different layouts. Come on Toyota, lets have a dedicated brocure for the UK market.

  106. how far will it drive on electrec and does it have to warm up first?

    and what can I expect out on the open road with M.P.G.?

    and will it revert to electrice after a journey through the next city.

    when will the all eclectric cars be ready in UK.

    1. Hi Johnny,

      The Prius will drive for approximately one mile on electric power only, at speeds of up to 31mph. You don’t have to be warmed up to use it, though some people have reported that it works better when warmed up (see here). You do need to have charge in the high-voltage nickel hydride battery to use the system, however. The battery is charged as you drive normally using the engine. In other words, no matter how far you have driven, if there is charge in the high-voltage battery (clearly displayed) then you should be able to drive in EV mode

      The mpg figures depend on the wheel sizes. For motorway (extra urban) driving, these are:
      15″ wheels: 76.4mpg
      17″ wheels: 74.3mpg

      As for when electric cars will be on sale in the UK: this is a very good question! This week Toyota announced that a plug-in Prius will be available as a commercial vehicle in approximately two years’ time. The FT-EV II, a smaller concept, was unveiled earlier this year and a brand new Toyota hybrid concept will be revealed at the Detroit motor show in January, so there’s plenty to look forward to on the electric vehicle front – hopefully some of these concepts will make their way to the UK in their commercial forms in the future.

  107. I notice in the Prius brochure that a DAB radio is an option – however i can not find a price of this option or indeed request it during the configure programme on the Toyota website. Can you confirm that a DAB radio is available for the new Prius and what the price is?

    1. Hi Mark,

      Sorry for the confusion! I can confirm that a DAB radio is available as an option on all grades, and costs £370.85 inc. VAT but not fitting.

      The website doesn’t list the full complement of options, which explains why you didn’t see the DAB radio in the car configurator. For the full list and pricings, you’ll need to visit a Toyota Centre.

      I hope that clarifies things, but let me know if not.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Yes, though it depends on the exterior colour. Seats come in a dark grey with all exterior colours except Orion Blue, which has light grey seats. If you opt for leather seats in the T4 or T Spirit, these come in a dark grey also, though other colours may be released soon. I’ll keep you up-to-date on that.

      Just to clarify: the third-generation Prius, released in the UK in August, is referred to in the USA as ‘2010 Prius’ (DavidM-G gives his view of this here).

  108. I am interested in buying a new prius 2010 and wonder what the safety factor is in comparison to say the Rav4 4wd. Is the height of the Rav 4 a factor in causing roll-overs in comparison to the Prius??

    1. Hi again Don,

      I just spoke to the RAV4 specialist, who told me that the RAV4 has a four-star Euro NCAP rating. In addition, All Wheel Drive, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control all help to stabilise the car. There is no data we are aware of that shows RAV4 is more likely to roll over than Prius.

      I hope that helps, but do get in touch if you have any further questions.

    1. Hi there,

      The maps are Navteq, but you cannot order additional discs as the data is stored internally on the car’s hard disk drive. Map updates are released by Toyota Motor Corporation every 9-18 months, and are installed at a Toyota Centre by a qualified technician. However, no updates have been released for the third-generation Prius as yet. I hope that helps.

    2. Hello again,

      I’m pleased to tell you that an update has now been released and will be available to third-generation Prius drivers soon. For further information, please see here. Thanks.

    1. Hi Ridz,

      The battery doesn’t go flat – it is charged when you brake or drive using the engine, and is designed for regular charge and discharge. You should be able to drive drawing power from the hybrid battery alone for about 1.2 miles, at speeds of up to 31mph.

      As for the lifetime of the battery, it should last as long as the car does and shouldn’t need replacing. The warranty covers all hybrid components for five years.

      I hope that’s answered your question. Please do get in touch again if not.

  109. your site mentions presafe and active cruise control (radar) – can you confirm the car has this or is this a mistake?

    1. Hi Rupert,

      No, Prius does not feature active/adaptive cruise control. I’ve put someone from the web team on it, but could you also reply with the link so we can double check? Thanks!

  110. Does anyone have a Gen 3 with bluetooth and a LG Cookie phone that works with the car? I am looking at purchasing this phone for my dad since he cannot store contacts on the cars HDD, but have been told by the car phone warehouse that they don’t offer refunds or exchanges if it won’t work.

      1. I’ve checked that site out a few times and it only says the LG Cookie will connect and allow incoming calls but won’t do anything else. The problem with the list is it’s too basic, My dads current phone, Samsung G600, will connect, make calls, accept calls and will transfer contacts to the car. However it will not retain the contacts on the car, when the contacts are transfered to the car it will keep them untill the ignition is turned off, after which point all the contacts have been deleted.

        I would rather see a more technical version of the list which tells you exactly what can be done with the bluetooth, since any phone with bluetooth will connect to the car and accept incoming and outgoing calls but some features wouldn’t work.

  111. Well after my long 16 week wait I took delivery of my T Spirit today, I am very pleased with the look of it, is in white and looks good with the black roof and spoiler, also the hints of blue that are around, but now need to get some miles on the clock. I also hope I will not get many problems. Sad I could not get the radar pack,

  112. Regarding the Bluetooth compatibility list (again!) –
    When I received my Gen3 TSpirit I found it would not stay
    connected to my Nokia N82, even though my Gen2 TSpirit
    worked perfectly with the same phone. Now I have checked
    the ‘techdoc.toyota-europe’ compatibility guide it appears
    that although the Gen2 (system 05 EMV) fully supported all
    Nokia N-series phones the Gen3 (system 08 Mid AVN)
    supports virtually none. Can you confirm this is correct?
    I’m amazed that Toyota would drop support for Nokia’s
    flagship phones which surely must be a popular choice for
    us ‘technologically aware’ Prius owners. Will an update be
    available to fix this? Perhaps other Gen3 owners have
    more experience of N-series compatibility before I have
    to buy a new phone?
    Thanks, Richard

    1. I’ve looked at the techdoc bluetooth page and can’t say I’m surprised it doesn’t work since it is a old phone. I would expect all bluetooth phones are able to connect but depending on their age some might experience some problems. I have found that the samsung G600 won’t work but from reading about what’s needed to get full functionality from the cars bluetooth you would need bluetooth profiles that is only on newer phones, I have found these profiles are only on phones made between now and September 2008 however there might be older phones that have the profiles needed. Your user manual has information on the required profiles needed.

    2. I’ve looked at the techdoc bluetooth page and can’t say I’m surprised it doesn’t work since it is a old phone. I would expect all bluetooth phones are able to connect but depending on their age some might experience some problems. I have found that the samsung G600 won’t work but from reading about what’s needed to get full functionality from the cars bluetooth you would need bluetooth profiles that is only on newer phones, I have found these profiles are only on phones made between now and September 2008 however there might be older phones that have the profiles needed. Your user manual has information on the required profiles needed.

  113. Can you advise, please, if anything can be done by your technical team to improve the volume on the satnav and also the reversing sensor bleep.The latter is inaudible with a full load in the boot. Both are far inferior to those on the previous Spirit.

  114. Hi Melissa , Hi Peter G
    Thank you very much both of you for a detailed response!
    I have tested the steering situation as you ( Melissa) explained, and when the car is stationary no “binding” can be felt and steering is smooth. Only when driving on normal, flat roads,in slow or high speed, the poor self centering can be noticed. So,I do not suspect any binding of the steering rack, but merely a steering geometry being out of spec. However, I have been to a Toyota center and when I tested one of their demo cars, I had a similar sensation . So, the garage manager ( not very experienced in terms of the G III Prius) claimed this had to be “normal”. I objected to his conclusion, as I have been driving many, many different cars during 40 years, and never experienced such behaviour.Even with an electric powersteering system, similar to that of the Prius. Aparently, according to Peter G, this is not “normal” and therefore I will contact a different dealer and ask a more experienced tech to test my car.
    I will inform my findings in this forum in due time.

  115. Hi Melissa,

    Just saw your post about auto-dim mirror and customisation.
    Speaking of customisation:
    Any reason why the European (at least UK) models don’t have the auto-lock customisation the US have: The ability to select if the door lock automatically while in gear, above a certain speed, all unlock automatically or just the driver one?
    Any chance to get it as a firmware update?

    Thanks,
    Stephane

  116. Hi Melissa
    Any news from technical team regarding my question about “poor self centering of steering wheel ” dated nov. 6th. ???
    Kind regards Tor

    1. Sorry Tor, I haven’t been able to get an answer from technical yet. I haven’t forgotten, though – hopefully I’ll be able to respond properly by tomorrow morning. Do bear with me!

    2. Tor

      I refrained from posting because I thought the technical team were sure to return rapidly with advice that you have a serious problem.

      I’m happy to confirm that in my Gen3, I can take my hands off the steering wheel and the car continues to run straight. Furthermore, if I nudge the steering wheel slightly to either side, it immediately self centres. This works at any speed.

      From you description of a binding sensation as you slightly turn the wheel, I suspect the problem is in the steering rack or linkage rather than the suspension geometry.

      If you have any suggestion of something sticking or binding in the steering, you should phone the dealer for advice on whether it is safe to even drive the car to the dealer- they may wish to collect the car on a trailer rather than run the risk of worse steering malfunction as you drive the car in to them

      Pete

    3. Hi Tor, sorry for the delay on this.

      In short, this doesn’t sound normal. Is there an EPS warning light at all? This will tell you if the power steering has malfunctioned. If not, try being stationary with the ignition on and turning the steering wheel from lock to lock several times. This should pinpoint any potential abnormalities in the operation.

      Driving conditions, i.e. speed and the camber of the road, can also affect self-centering. Does the problem happen constantly, or only some of the time? If the latter, it could be that a change of conditions brings about the problem.

      Either way, I would follow Pete G’s advice and contact a Toyota Centre as soon as possible. I would ask them to inspect the suspension geometry and the steering system thoroughly.

  117. Hi Melissa,

    I have still not heard any thing, is there any news from Technical yet about my electrochromatic mirror? I received an out of office e.mail from Simon Rutherford and he was due back on the 6th!
    Thanks

    Steve

    1. Hi Steve,

      Apologies for the wait – yes, I have now spoken to the technical team. The first thing the specialist I spoke to said is that the dimming function on the mirror requires both sensors to be uncovered (untouched in an ideal world) in order for it to be functional – so I’d take the tape off! This is because they are synergetic: the back sensor detects the amount of surrounding light (i.e. determines whether it’s night or day), and the other detects the light level reflected in the mirror. The bigger the difference between the levels of light, the more the mirror will dim.

      It’s hard to tell without knowing how light it was at the time and what speed you and the other drivers were travelling at, but the specialist guessed that the only time the system might not work would be if the car behind became very close very suddenly (as a result of quickly pulling in behind you, say), meaning their lights were obstructed by your Prius’ tailgate. In such a situation, there may not have been enough time for the sensors to respond, especially if the car behind did not remain behind for very long. Does this sound like the kind of situation you’ve been in? If categorically not, do let me know and we’ll investigate further.

      No one else has complained direct to Toyota about the functionality of this system – be it in a Prius or in any other model that features it – so Toyota does not have a ‘fix’ planned as such. It’s not a feature that is customisable, either. However, we think it should be, so the technical team is going to request that in future generations of Prius, auto-dim is placed under the customisation menu so that customers can choose the speed of the system’s response. There’s no guarantee that this will be implemented, but we can ask.

      1. From my 6 week’s experience with a MkIII Prius, I’d say that the rear spoiler is just in exactly the right position to block out the headlamps of any cars behind, so its not surprising that the auto dimmer doesn’t work! I don’t have the auto-dimming mirror (had one in my last car), & have only once had to dip the mirror manually myself.

    2. Hi again Steve,

      I should have asked – have you mentioned this to your dealer? If not, I would definitely approach them as they will be able to identify the problem fully and provide details to our technical team.

  118. Hi,

    I’ve got a family member who is having trouble when they sit in the back of my G3 Prius.

    The seatbelt tensioner engages whenever they lean forward, which means that once they sit back again, they are unable to move forward. The only thing to do is undo the seatbelt let it retract all the way and then do the belt up again.

    We have tried many other cars, including some Toyota’s, and this doesn’t occur with any of them.

    Is there anything I can do, the dealer gave us a blank look and said they could do nothing.

    1. Melissa – I am just about to order a T Spirit and having reviewed all 710 comments have noted the question on heated
      seats – think your latest update was on 3 September to CC. Any further information on this?

      Thanks

      1. Hi Brian,

        Impressive stuff, having been through the whole thread! My last reply was here, but unfortunately the answer remains the same: there is no news on heated seats at the moment, I’m afraid. Do let us know how you get on with the T Spirit when it arrives, though.

    2. Hi again,

      What you describe is apparently normal for the Prius’ Automatic Locking Retractor mechanism, according to page 90 of the owners’ manual. It’s a safety feature, designed to hold a child seat firmly (see page 144). However, the specialist I spoke to said that it kicks in only when the seat belt has been extended completely – are you finding that it happens more often than that?

      Sorry if this seems like the virtual equivalent of a blank look, but I’m afraid that it probably can’t be altered if it’s a built-in safety feature.

      1. In my experience this is indeed normal – it was the case on our old 2nd Gen and is the same on the 3rd Gen. If the belt is pulled too sharply then it has to be fed all the way back in, irrespective of how much the belt is extended at that time – it’s a bit of an annoyance when you have to disconnect it from a child seat to do so, but we’ve got used to it!

      2. Therein lies the problem.
        If a large person gets into the back of a Prius and puts on the seatbelt. They will probably have to pull it out to it maximum length to fasten it. Therefore being immediatly imobolised.
        Even a smaller person only has to lean forward to far to have the same problem.
        My advice to anyb ody with larger freinds who might sit in the back. Don’t get a Prius.

        1. Hi Kev

          I’m pretty sure this is the same in all Toyota Cars. You really to have to pull it out the full length and pull it to the side to engage a sort of ratchet effect that locks the seatbelt as you have experienced. Once it is engaged you can only disengage by pulling it fully out and to the side again. The length you have to pull it is far beyond where you would have to pull it normally.

          Hope this helps

    1. That’s right – cheers Mike.

      Some people have had issues with iPhone compatibility. For more please see this thread and also this one. As I explain, it’s a difficult one to rectify as Apple releases software updates so regularly that it’s difficult for accessory manufacturers to keep up.

  119. Dear Melissa
    During my initial driving ( only about 3 weeks) of my new Prius Gen III, I have found a strange behaviour of the “self centering” ? of steering wheel after a small movement especially to the right direction.
    It feel`s like the steering rack is somewhat binding ?, or maybe some issue with the EPS system or wheel angles ? However, this is mostly noticeable when turning the steering wheel very little(maybe 10-15 cm or more ) and then it seems not to go back to center properly when released.You have to bring it back to center manually. When steering in opposite direction , the self centering works more normal and is centering the SW more correctly.
    Could you check with your technical team if this is normal behaviour for new Prius or if this can happen due to poor adjustment of wheel angles during predelivery inspection.

  120. Further to Alan Colvin’s post about the NAVTEQ website. I’ve looked at thefeedback form which brings up the latest version of their mapping and shows that everything I have found out of date on the Prius database is already updated on the NAVTEQ site. The problem clearly lies with Toyota for not including the latest available NAVTEQ mapping. With the launch of a new ‘model’, which is what the 3rd gen Prius is, it is a big minus for Toyota.

  121. Oh, Please, please,please put my mind at rest concerning running in.

    Durring the first 1000 miles I used CC on four occasions to do 20 mile trips each way at 50MPH for two trips and 65mph for the others.

    I’ve since done a 1000 mile trip starting at the 1500 mile point at between 60 & 65 mph.

    I won’t have damaged anything durring the first 1000 miles would I?

    1. Hi Kev,

      I don’t exactly remember to manual wording but I don’t think 20m qualify as long constant speed… I was more thinking about the full 1200m on CC. I wouldn’t be too worried if I was you!

  122. Mellisa,

    Some advise please.

    I’ve just completed a 1200 mile round into Germany and used the cruise control (CC)all the way. (Brilliant)

    Only thing is, should there be any difference in running CC in Power Mode and Eco Mode? i tried switching between the two, and couldn’t really see a difference at all.

    Must say though, pulling out of a service station onto the M1 requires Power Mode. i had to appoligise to one lorry driver who encountered me still accelerating in Eco at 50mpg when I had to filter into the inside lane.

    1. Hi Kev,

      Really interesting question – I’m not sure if this has come up before. I’ll ask about this, but perhaps other users who have fully broken in their Prius will be able to comment on your experiences?

      Speaking of which, I don’t know if you have seen Stephane’s comments on acceleration but I expect you two might have an interesting discussion. He doesn’t mention Power mode specifically though.

      1. Sorry if this does not relate to previous comments but I didn’t know how else to get in to the system.

        I have a Mk III Prius TSpirit & have loaded several CD’s on to hard disk. I have then created a playlist from some tracks but I cannot find how to play the created playlist either in the hand book or on screen. Can anyone help please?

        1. Good question, Phil. I’ll ask for you.

          Not to worry about posting in another thread; it can be hard to find your away around! However, for future reference, if you’d like to start a new topic, there is a ‘post a comment’ box at the bottom of the page.

        2. Hi Phil,

          Sorry for the delay in getting back to you; despite the simplicity of your query, our technical specialist was stumped by this one! However, he sat in our Prius this morning and worked it out for you:

          1. Press the ‘Audio’ button at the bottom left of the screen
          2. Press the onscreen HDD tab
          3. Press ‘Select’
          4. On the ‘Select album’ screen, a ‘Playlist’ tab will appear at the top (the system recognises the playlist as an album)
          5. The title of the playlist should appear. Tap it and the music should begin playing.

          He even shot a demonstration video! I can’t upload a video to a comment, but I’ve stuck it on YouTube for you. I hope that helps – let me know.

    2. Hi Kev,

      I don’t notice much difference with CC between Eco and “normal” mode. MPG is very similar and acceleration slightly better in normal but barely noticeable in CC.
      From my experience CC is less fuel efficient than manual speed control.

      Hope you did this after your first 1200 miles as the manual states “avoid constant speed” during break-in period (so no CC I suspect). (Which is 1200 miles in UK manual I think and only 600 in US ones).

    3. I really think there’s no problem with the instruction to “vary the engine speed”. Even with the cruise control set, the engine speed varies with the slightest gradient and with the state of charge in the battery.

      I have to say, though, that a 1000 mile running in period is really unusual these days, and I only found out about it through obsessional reading of the handbook. I can understand that people who only read the handbook after the event feel annoyed that they weren’t informed.

      Pete

      1. Regarding the instruction book and running in, it’s a pity that the index to the instruction book does NOT include “running in” !

    4. There seems to be no difference in the cruise control operation in the three modes.

      This really is a missed opportunity, Toyota! The cruise control completely contravenes the ethos of “Eco” mode.

      As Stephane says, fuel consumption worsens with the cruise control engaged. I am sure this is because of its over enthusiasm in maintaining an exact speed, and in quickly resuming the set speed on pressing the resume button. On an uphill gradient, or on resuming, the engine revs, the display moves in to the red “Pwr” area, and the fuel consumption display plummets.

      If, in Eco, the cruise control allowed the car to slow a bit on uphill sections and resume more gently, economy would improve and the driving experience would be the more relaxing experience that most of us want when “cruising”.

      Pete

      1. Hi Kev (and hello too to Stephane, Pete and David),

        Apologies for the delay in responding to this – it’s my fault entirely.

        Essentially, the cruise control system has a single purpose: to maintain constant speed. Therefore, by selecting this option, you are choosing to maintain constant speed at the possible expense of other systems or benefits (being in Eco mode so as to achieve better fuel economy, for example). It’s like an override. As such, there is no difference in operation between the modes.

        It sounds obvious, but to achieve and maintain the best possible fuel consumption whilst using cruise control, the easiest and best thing to do is to set your speed as low as possible.

        That said, all your comments on cruise control have been noted. As always, if you have further questions, do get in touch.

  123. Hi,

    I’ve seen many comments about postcodes on the G3 Sat Nav and just wanted to tell people about a problem that I had that may help.
    When I first went to enter a post code the system started to fill in the post code, giving me all available options, but in many cases I was unable to enter the final part of the code. I queried this with the dealer who told me that this was normal and I would have to live with it. unsurprisingly, I was not happy, so studied the system in great length, to find that on the destination screen there are two pages, the second page allows full input of a post code and this works perfectly. It even got me and my son the Germany and back with little difficulty (One dead end street meant a 200 Meter detour. Just shows that the dealers haven’t got a clue or the time for us sometimes.

  124. Hi Melissa

    I’m still mostly delighted with my Gen3 Prius T-Spirit, but I do have to agree with the several comments you have received, and continue to receive, about problems with the SatNav system.

    This is my third Prius T-Spirit, having previously owned two Gen2s.

    The Gen3 SatNav has one major improvement over the Gen2 system – full UK postcode entry.

    However, the map database is much inferior to that on the Gen2. It is outdated and also has some glaring navigation inaccuracies.

    For example, Conduit Street (off Regent Street in London’s West End) has been there for several hundred years.

    On my Gen 2 system I could enter it as a destination, but it’s not recognised in the Gen3 destinations database, although when you are in Conduit Street it’s name does correctly show as the road name on the map display.

    It’s not an easy task for the database and system creators to test and check every aspect of the system, so users’ help in identifying and reporting problems should be both welcomed and suitably rewarded.

    Accordingly, I would suggest that the following be brought to the attention of Toyota’s management:

    1. A means should be provided (e.g. a website page)for customers to report database errors/omissions and navigation problems. This would enable the problems to be collected, investigated and corrected, for the ultimate benefit of all customers.

    2. A database and system update version should be made available as soon as possible, and offered as a free of charge dealer-installed update to any existing customers who have taken the time and trouble to identify and report problems.

    I hope that is helpful, and look forward to a response from Toyota.

    Kind regards,

    Alan

    1. Hi Alan,

      Once again, this is great feedback – thanks! You might not know that we are currently in the process of developing a forum; once it is up and running a topic on sat nav comments/suggestions can be set up very easily – great idea! Any developments on this front will be posted against the thread linked to there. Rest assured though, I am collating everyone’s feedback on sat nav (and everything else!) – nothing is missed.

      As posted here, sat nav updates are released approximately every year by Toyota in Japan (Toyota GB is not part of the decision-making process here). As soon as an update is released I’ll be able to post the details on the blog.

      1. Thanks again for the prompt and helpful response, Melissa.

        I’ve taken a look at the NavTeq website, and they have a very good online report form for users to submit any problems with their maps, and they say that they welcome users’ input and they promise to investigate everything which users report.

        I’ve made a report to NavTeq of the one problem I mentioned earlier, and look forward to their response.

        This is probably the best way for users to report map problems, as these will then get straight to the source, and this should therefore be the quickest and most effective way to get the map data updated.

        NavTeq say that they usually issue map updates four times a year, but it will then of course be up to Toyota Japan to decide when and how to make updates available to Toyota customers.

  125. Hi.

    I am just about to order a Prius TSpirit and wanted to know more about the DAB Tuner. Does the TSpirit come with a DAB radio already fitted or would I need to purchase this seperately?

  126. Sorry to add my last comment on Satnav. I have just found the previous posts. I share their disappointment at the poor value of the installed Satnav and look forward to an early response from toyota.

    1. Regarding the Sat-Nav I have several issues that I hope will be fixed by next software/database revision:

      – Postcode database incomplete: It’s the second time now that a postcode I’m trying to get to is not in the database. Both cases are old houses with the same postcode for ages (so it’s not a “not updated – build last year” issue)

      – Several times the SatNav tell me to “turn right (or left)” while on a A road just because of a (small) street junction.

      – On the opposite several times no indication on where to go (the satnav probably thinking that I should “stay on current road”) even when at T junctions.

      All those are database issue that could easily be fixed (for free, I don’t want to have to pay for fixing glitches).
      There are only a couple of sources covering Europe (Teleatlas (TomTom) and Navteq (Nokia)). From the look of the Toyota update website for the older SatNav it looks like it’s TeleAtlas sourced.
      All the other satnav vendors using the same sources have far more reliable/updated maps/database.

      Software issue/improvements:
      – Direction volume needs to be higher (especially at higher speed) and audio fading selectable/higher.

      – Post code entry: Automatic switch from Alphabetic to Numeric keyboard. Not a big deal but would be nice.
      – Bluetooth audio auto-reconnection when switching source

      Design flaw:
      – The whole iPod integration kit, totally useless.

      Melissa, could you please try to get information about update plans as my dealer seems unable to get any information from Toyota… (The same applies to GraceNote database which age even faster than the satnav one).

      Thanks,
      Stephane

      1. It’s interested to see what other people say about the sat nav. I just recently went to Germany and used the sat nav, it worked perfectly while on motorway and side roads in germany however the roads in the ports weren’t on the screen. The sat nav became very confusing when trying to get out of the port. The only other problem that I encountered was the sat nav tried taking me down a street which according to the map lead to a main road which then went onto the motorway only to find out I couldn’t get through as it was a dead end.

        As for Postcodes, I have tried several post codes and have never had a problem with not being able to find 1. Are you sure you are using the proper official post code for the street?

        1. Hi Mike,

          I’m sure the postcode were correct, used on postal address by the persons living there and double checked against my girlfriend TomTom without any problem.

          Those are only a few incidents but having the car for less than 2 months I think it’s far too many already (considering the small number of journey made, 2 out of probably about 20 to 30 postcode, is 5% to 10% errors) and obviously you encountered some issue too (the “major road” being a dead end – The port probably being a private area I don’t expect a (correct) map there).

    2. Hi Alan,

      Not to worry at all – glad you found the posts. The most up-to-date and informative one is this one here – I thought I’d include a link just in case you hadn’t seen it.

      Stephane, thanks so much for this really detailed feedback. It’s great to know in detail what you want and don’t want. I expect you have already seen it, but the above link outlines where we are in terms of updates. I still haven’t heard anything about dates but will ask again if there is any news. Also, the nav system is made by Navteq, I believe.

      1. Hi Melissa,

        Thanks for your fast reply (as usual 🙂 )
        The satnav unit itself is made by AISIN (a Toyota subsidiary) but it seems that you are right and the maps are licensed from Navteq.
        It would be interesting to make a comparison of the database of the Prius III and another DVD based AISIN/NavTeq (like the Lexus or even a TNS510).
        Would you be able to organise that at Toyota if we build up you a list of errors (easy for postcode, missing road; far less for main/secondary road and missing instruction issue)?

        1. I’m not sure of the feasibility of this, but I can certainly check it out. I’m already building my own list of sat nav comments but as I just said to Alan, in the future a dedicated forum thread will probably be the best solution. As you know, though, we’re still working on that.

  127. I took delivery in Sep of my 3rd Prius. The new car is a delight with one problem. The Satnav database is 08/09 Ver 1. The Dealer is unable to tell me if this is the latest version of the database or if an update is planned. The current database is missing information that I know to be at least 2 years old.

    I am told by Toyota Customer Services that an update is not planned (why?). The Dealer needs a new tool to carry out an update but it is not yet issued (why?). There will be an additional cost to update (why, when off the shelf systems update free?)

    The only disappointment with the new car.

  128. The brochure for the Prius says there is a “low temperature warning” – which I presume to be a frost warning / skid risk. However, checking the manual on my new Mk3 T Spirit, I can find no reference to such a warning. Is this an error in the brochure, or is there a low-temp warning? If there IS a warning, how is it displayed? NB This is in the July and the latest (?October?) brochures.

    1. 12v battery dead tried to open door using key no responce.Can you suggest how to get into the car without breaking a window

      1. Sorry for the delay, James. I hope you’re running again, but if not: the 12v battery is the same as that in any other car so there is nothing Prius-specific I can suggest. If I can I will get back to you with further advice ASAP.

      2. Hi again James,

        I just spoke to a technical specialist. Can you confirm that you are in a third-generation Prius? The advice I received is specific to new Prius.

        The actual mechanical key should still work even if the battery is dead. Can you confirm that you’ve tried the mechanical key and that you are still unable to open the car? If you’re still unable to get in, I’d advise calling the RAC and the dealer you purchased the car from.

        Good luck!

    2. The low temperature warning on the 2nd gen Prius was an amber snowflake on the dashboard display, it tended to light up at about 3 degrees C.

      Can’t say if this is the same on the 3rd gen model as the lowest temperature encountered so far is 7 degrees C.

      1. A respondent on the UK owner’s club web site has noted that at 1 degree C there was no warning on the Gen 3 Prius…. I get the impression that the feature just isn’t there… it would be good to have this confirmed though before I go skidding into a ditch the next time there is black ice!

        1. Regarding the missing low temperature (frost) warning icon this is so far the third specification reduction found on the 3rd gen compared to the 2nd gen model…

          1. No MFD / touch screen unless SatNav option
          2. Only one rear fog light & one rear reversing light instead of two of each
          3. No frost warning icon

        2. Hi Dave,

          I’m sorry you feel I’m ignoring this question. Far from it – I aim to answer all questions as soon as I can, but due to the volume of comments and questions asked on this blog, that can take some time! As I posted here, it’s been a busy week, but I hope to get a definitive answer to this question today.

      2. Thanks for your input DavidMG. I must say, considering the quality and depth of other answers, I’m surprised that Melissa has ignored this question!

        1. Got the answer…. -1 degree C this morning (according to the cilimate controls); ice on the windscreen, so definitely a chance of black ice on the road. Sadly no warnings of frost on my Gen III Prius. So it looks like the brochure is wrong – there is NO Low Temperature warning. It’s a shame, as this is a useful safety feature, & there must be a sensor somewhere on the car picking up the ambient temperature!

        2. Regarding a temperature sensor the car DOES measure and DISPLAY outside temperature. The display is low down on the console in the green background LCD display close to the Climate Control / demister etc. switches.

          What is lacking on the 3rd gen compared to the 2nd gen model is the warning on the dash display. Nothing showing like this at 2 degrees C.

          On the 2nd gen the warning was a beep plus an amber snowflake symbol.

  129. Recently bought a GenIII and have noticed something in my headlights and wondered what they are and if they work? Above the main headlights and below the sidelight bulb are what appears to be 5 LED lights. What are they for? Can they be switched on? Are they dummys or used in another market?

    I notice on the side of the headlight surround that there is a blanking plate where the amber reflector goes for the US market models but next to it appear 4 LED lights. Again can these be switched on? or are they dummies? I would find it useful if they could be switched on as anything that help visibility is useful – especially as I have a black car! lol.

    Anyone technical from Toyota know?