Prius named Top Gear City Car of the Year

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It’s been a great week for Prius. The full hybrid made the Green Car Journal Green Car of the Year shortlist and then was named WhatGreenCar Car of the Year, and now it has another award to its name: Top Gear City Car of the Year.

Announced in a special issue of the magazine, the awards are selected by the Top Gear TV, magazine and online teams, who aim to honour the most exciting and innovative cars to be launched in the last 12 months. The Prius is nothing if not innovative; Top Gear praised its technology and the “awesome numbers” of 72.4mpg and 89g/km for “a proper family five-door hatch”.

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“You have to admire the Prius. It’s a testament to Toyota that it has refined this car over three generations to arrive at something quite ground-breaking,” said Conor McNicholas, BBC Top Gear Editor.

And we’re inclined to agree. Prius’ ability to run purely on electric power over certain distances makes it ideal for slow moving city traffic (not to mention the improved fuel consumption and CO2 emissions that come with that). There is perhaps no better place to put that performance into practice than in the heart of London, where Prius remains exempt from the Congestion Charge.

We think the Top Gear award is another sign of the broadening appeal of the latest generation of Toyota’s full hybrid. New Prius has been in very high demand in the UK, attracting more than 4,000 customer orders since going on sale in August.

Comments (20)

  1. Hi Melissa
    Too delivery of my T-Spirit last Tuesday. My Bluetooth connected first time to my Blackberry 8800 and I was able to upload the address book, but on disconnecting, I am unable to connect the device at all. I have tried deleting the phone and reconnecting but to no avail. The phone has no problems connecting to other devices e.g my PC so I dont think it’s the phone. The fact it connected first time means it cant be a compatibility issue. Have you or anyone else got any ideas?

    1. Hi Vin,

      Some tips from my own experiences of BlueTooth handsfree ownership.

      1) If you have problems connecting automatically, ensure “auto-connect” is enabled on the car and that the handsfree kit is authorise (on the phone) to automatically make Bluetooth connections.

      2) Ensure the phone isn’t connected to any other BlueTooth devices. I’ve sometimes had the odd problem and found that I had mistakenly left my headset turned on.

      3) Try a manual connection, if it fails the problem could be on either end. First try turning off the ignition to the car and fully reboot the system. Try connecting again. If that fails, reboot the phone and try again. The bluetooth stacks on phones have a tendency to crash, in my experience and a reboot will often fix it.

      4) If deleting a Bluetooth device, to start again, ensure it’s deleted from both ends – i.e. on the phone AND the car. Otherwise, one device will still have a pairing which it will try to re-use and this will confuse things no end.

      It’s definitely a positive thing that it did work once and I’m quite confident that the Bluetooth hung on one end or the other afterwards.

      So, in short, I’d recommend you delete the pairing from both ends and then reboot both devices and try again. When pairing successful, ensure auto-connect enabled on the car and that the car is fully-authorised on the phone handset.

      Good luck!

      1. Ben,
        You seem to be an expert so hopefully you will be able to help me.
        I took delivery of my prius today, and being a bit of a technophob it is like the starship enterprise at the moment. It has the sat nav and hard drive and i was reading one of your postings about ripping cd’s into it, how the hell do I do this, any chance of an idiots guide of how to do, with the emphasis on idiots guide.
        Cheers,
        joe

  2. I have just taken delivery of a new Prius T3 Spirit with iPod integration kit. I connected my iPod through the usb port under the armrest and selected CD Changer. The music started to play but no information with regards song, artist, album or playlist were displayed on the touchscrenn display. It came up with the text “no data available” in all categories which obviously there is.

    Secondly I connected my mobile through bluetooth and received calls and also dialed out. But when I tried to transfer my contacts I was shown the message “operate the phone” What does this message mean?

    Could you help or advise me with a solution to the above problems. A reply to this email would be much appreciated.

    Regards

    Brian Hudson

    1. Hi Brian,

      Can you please clarify which model Prius you have? Is it a T3 or a T-Spirit?

      For further clarification, can you confirm which cable you are using to connect your iPod to your car? Is it using a USB cable or a 3.5mm headphone jack plug? When connected, can you successfully skip tracks using the steering wheel controls?

      With regard the Bluetooth query, you are require to send the contact information from the phone handset to the car – instructions for how to do this would be provided by your phone handset manufacturer.

      You seem to have already found the option on the car end of the system to initiate the transfer, at this point you would then choose the option on your phone to send the contacts. The exact results will vary, depending on which handset you are using.

      Hope that helps.

    2. Could you please tell me which model iPod you have connected to your Prius Integration Kit, as I have just taken delivery of my New T-spirit tried connecting my iPod classic does not connect why !!

      Charles Lea

  3. 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. Jon,

      I chose the option on the toyota.co.uk website to “Download an eBrochure”.

      In here, both mudflaps and carpet mats are listed as Accessories – they aren’t fitted as standard. Consult your dealer for pricing.

  4. F.a.o Ms Mellissa Coulton

    I have just placed an order for a New Prius T-spirit in Pearl White.

    The car I am trading in is a Auris T-spirit 2Ltr diesel which I have had for 3 years, when I bought the car I had fitted a Bluetooth phone kit & a Ipod intregation kit fitted as extra’s.

    I am aware the Prius T-spirit has Bluetooth for phone fitted on this model.Would it be possible for you to ask your technical people for me with regards to my Ipod which I would still like to use in the Prius,the salesperson stated why would I still use my Ipod as the T-spirit has a 10gb hard drive disc in the Sat Nav,Radio/Cd Rom drive.

    This would mean me having to load ALL my Cd’s back into the car’s hard drive, is there any way I can copy direct from my Ipod’s hard drive to the Pruis hard drive.

    Does the Pruis T-spirit Sat Nav,Radio/Cd unit harddrive that is fitted have a USB socket or other sockets on the back which can be used for my download.

    At present I use I-tunes as my music libary then tranfer them to my Ipod, then conect Ipod backup inside my old car AURIS Ipod intragation kit.

    Toyota parts dept have stated they sell for the Pruis T-spirit a Ipod Interface Kit @ £290.00p fitted I am reluctant to spend this sort of money again, if I knew that I did not need one to do what I am trying to do ie: a USB socket or another type of socket fitted to the unit.

    My view is I would have thought it was possible to transfer data from Ipod hard drive to Pruis hard drive with just a wire, not a full blown peace of kit.

    Hoping you can help

    Charles Lea

    sorry I have gone on a bit

    1. Charles,

      The Prius includes a 3.5mm “line in” socket as standard, allowing you to plug in your iPod or other mp3 player for playback.

      If you want better integration, you can buy the kit which provides a USB socket allowing steering wheel control of the iPod.

      The on-board hard drive is intended for people who don’t wish to use an iPod and allows them to easily rip there CDs into the car for future use. This allows them to have instant access to more albums than was ever available in a CD changer without having to have lots of discs rattling around in the glove box. I don’t believe there is any way to transfer your existing music rips from your iPod to the internal hard drive as your iPod supports many different codecs, some of which wouldn’t be compatible with the internal hard-drive system.

      Unless you want to rip your CDs again, your best option is to use the USB integration kit and your existing iPod.

      Note: This isn’t an official response from Toyota, just a summary of my own experiences with my father in-laws car. Hope it helps.

  5. My father-in-law has a new Prius and has found that since the weather turned cold that the inside of the windscreen gets wet with condensation very quickly and needs demisting more than his Yaris. Is this known behaviour and is there any way to avoid it?

    @Jeremy – The best solution for testing bluetooth compatibility is simply to try it. Perhaps book a test drive with your dealer and explain that you want to test that function whilst you are there.

    I’ve had many Nokia’s over the years and compatibility varies greatly. Sometimes there are even bugs that mean it doesn’t work when it should or even works when it shouldn’t – it all depends on the firmware in your phone.
    My father-in-law has a new Prius and a pretty old Nokia phone but he’s got it working handsfree on bluetooth without much effort. He enters the names/numbers manually into the dashboard but he can call and talk to people with no issues.

  6. Hi Melissa

    Thanks for the information to date. Auris hybrid would appear to have more carbon emissions than Prius, so maybe is not worth waiting for.

    Any progress on the head restraint issue? – this is one of the issues holding me back from ordering a Prius at the moment. The other is confusion over bluetooth compatability – it appears that the new Prius is less compatible than before with Nokia phones (I have been trying to find out if a Nokia 7100 s3 (type rm438) works…

    Thanks, Jeremy

    1. The nokia 7100 will probably connect to the new prius but you won’t be able to store contacts on the car for the phone as they will probably be deleted as soon as your disconnect the phone and turn the ignition off. This is because the 7100 does not have Phone book access which the prius uses to store contacts on its hard drive for the phones. The new prius uses state of the art technology, The bluetooth side only fully works when a phone all the required profiles which means only phones made between the end 2008 and now will fully work with the car. And even then some phones might not have the required bluetooth profile to do certain things with the car such as listening to music through the cars speakers. I use the sites Phone arena and phone scoop to find all the information out about what phone has what.

  7. Not sure if this is the right place, but I have a couple of questions re Prius/Auris…

    I have been considering the new Prius, so slightly concerned about reports of rattles on the blog. The Prius is a bigger car than I would ideally have, so I am also interested in the Auris Hybrid – one question for the moderator – will it have adjustable lumbar support, unlike the current Auris? If not, I will be back to a Prius (or Golf Blue Motion).

    So far as the Prius, I would have bought the previous Prius but for lack of adjustable lumbar support… New one has one – fantastic! However the head rests are too far forward for my partner to sit comfortably (she will not be a regular user of the car). The dealer tells me that they are not adjustable in any way (and that this issue has put off a number of other people). The only solution would be turn one round when she is using the car – however, I assume this would effect the active system in the event of a crash so I am sure you would not recommend this approach. Any ideas?

    Thank you

    Jeremy

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      Yes, this is the right place! Welcome to the blog.

      The finer specifications for Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive have not yet been announced, but I’m happy to ask the Auris brand specialist to see if he can pass on any info about adjustable lumbar support. I’ll ask about the Prius headrests too.

      In the meantime, you may well have seen these, but in case you haven’t: here is a post about Auris HSD being built in Britain, and here are some pictures and some more information about the Auris HSD concept. Altogether, that’s pretty much everything we have on Auris hybrid.

      1. Hi Melissa

        Any news on the headrest issue? I have actually bitten the bullet and placed an order for a T4, but would still like to find an answer before the car arrives!

        Thanks, Jeremy

        1. Hi Jeremy,

          So sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I can now confirm that while the rear headrests can be removed, the front headrests are non-removable and largely non-adjustable, though they can be adjusted for height. A technical specialist told me that any moderation of the front headrests may result in the active headrest system working incorrectly or not at all, thus presenting a safety issue. Indeed, page 87 of the manual advises that “failure to [observe precautions] may result in death or serious injury”, so we recommend that you do not have your headrests adjusted by a third party.

          Sorry that this is not ideal for you and your wife. However, it’s great that you decided to stick with a Prius in the end! Do let us know how you get on with it when it arrives.

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