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, 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:

– 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

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

– Heated seats
– Cold weather driving

– Servicing: frequency and costs

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

Thanks for all the interest in the new Prius.

Comments (3,142)

  1. What are the dimensions of the nickel-hydride battery in my 2010 Prius 3 T Spirit, and of the space needed to accommodate it in the car?

  2. I am looking into having a Prius as my next car, but I drive up to 50miles a day at up to 80miles an hour, Is the Prius built to cope with this?

    1. Meron,

      Whilst the prius can do what you want from my view of I having a Prius for 2 months is that economy at higher speeds on the Motorway is not as good as a decent diesel. However you do gain on A roads and town driving. Test drive one as they are great cars but have their + & – as with any other cars and may not suit your style of driving.

      1. Having covered7k in the last 6mnts mainly on motorways, I can say that the ‘trick’is to try & maintain a constant speed,avoiding accelerating & braking, use cruise control if fitted & average 63.1 MPG likeme
        The thing that I can’t understand is that the Prius is honed in a windtunnel has a lightweight chassis & running gear & the hybrid autos us still more economical,so why is there no talk of a ‘plug-in-auris!

        1. Paul
          “Having covered7k in the last 6mnts mainly on motorways, I can say that the ‘trick’is to try & maintain a constant speed,avoiding accelerating & braking, use cruise control if fitted & average 63.1 MPG like me”

          Can I ask what speed you would set your cruise control at ?

          As I am trying to get the best mpg I can.

          I find setting cruise above 70 gives less than 63mpg – my 2.2 diesel civic would give 63mpg+ at 75mph.

          Hence my comments to Meron travelling at 80mph.

          1. I easily get an indicated consumption of above 70mpg. That is on a combination of B roads, A roads, two motorways (M25 and M3), some more A roads and a bit of town driving.

            I always drive (traffic permitting) right up the maximum speed limit so again an indicated 80mph on the motorway. Key is to stay during acceleration in the ECO zone, avoid the power band as that will kill your consumption figures. When on a motorway apply a gentle pulse and glide principle, you can truly ease of the accelerator whilst maintaining speed. But what really made a big difference for me is when you are in one of the many jams, use the ECO mode button then once free flowing just press it again.

          2. Hi Burb,
            I too came from a 2.2civic & lovedits effortless motorway ability. The last time I filled it up it cost £62 ,the last time I filled up the Prius it cost £48.The Prius isn’t a diesel so don’t drive it like one, avoid braking & accelerating.
            I always set it at 80 ,it will do the same at any speed you swt it at though

          3. A colleague of mine and a wannabe(but can-never-be) Michael Schumacher character once claimed diesels are far superior to the prius, he was sighting an upcoming Ford Fiesta which does 80+ mpg and sub 100g/km to prove his point. Morale of the story… when comparing cars, pls. at least check they are in the same size category. The civic is a small car, the prius is medium sized family car similar to the Accord. I have had a baby + four grown adults + loads of stuff in the boot in the car, driven to Manchester and done 71mpg with little effort.

            My second point is, there have been numerous times I have outrun 2.0 litre tdi diesels on the road and it is hilarious to see expressions on the faces of these drivers, some even go absolute bonkers racing past as if they’ve been stuck by lightening. The morale of that story… for an average driver, most of the day-today driving is done on A roads and traffic(even on motorways), there is little advantage (or use) even if your car has hi-end torque and top-end speed/efficiency, they rarely come into use 🙂

          4. Guys,

            Any tips welcome as unless I drive sub 70 I struggle to get +60 mpg – I keep it in ECO, no excessive acceleration, EV at every opportunity.

            Yesterday 70 mile A1 journey at speedo 75 gave me 58mpg ?

            Southbound was 57mpg.

            Hints welcome as although I like the car I still don’t think I’m getting the best from it.

          5. First of all, don’t keep it in ECO. There really is no need and it can have an adverse effect in many a situation.

            Second turn your heating down 😉 In winter it will drop, warming up the car ensures the petrol engine will come on.

            But ECO is the worst thing to do unless you are in real stop/start traffic.

          6. Now the weather has turned and temperatures dropped you will find that efficiency is not as good. Speed is also a very important factor, since drag is proportionate to the square of the speed. This mean that increasing speed from 60 to 70 increases drag by nearly 40%. I would say that 58mpg at max road speed in these conditions is quite acceptable.

            I’m not sure why Jean-Paul says don’t keep it in ECO, it uses a less aggressive acceleration profile and runs the air con more efficiently so can only improve consumption under any circumstances.

          7. I made that comment as it is my experience. In addition it takes more energy to reach a speed opposed to maintain it.

          8. Several points to note:

            1. No no no to using EV mode manually. If you read past posts on this topic you will get a better understanding why but in short, when you switch to EV mode manually, the engine would come on more often (later on when you switch back) to recharge battery. Let the car electronics manage the use of battery – it will do a better job of it. On the non-plugin prius, the EV mode is just cosmetic I would say, doesn’t really help.

            2. Obviously, every driving style is different but I find that keeping in Power mode helps my driving style as I am not good at looking at the mpg reading while accelerating. By being in Power mode, the desired speed is reached quickly.

            3. I would second the already mentioned point of temporarily switching to ECO mode when in heavy traffic, it helps tone down power consumption and reduces the chances of the engine coming on.

            4. Check your tyre inflation, there have been many discussions on this topic in the us-based but in short, the usual rule applies… under inflated tyres will affect your mpg figures badly. If you have a T3 with 15-inch wheels, you can even run on slightly higher tyre pressure but I would imagine on 17-inch, low-profile tyres, that will affect confort level & you will feel the road more.

          9. I don’t see why ECO mode should take more energy to reach a given speed, the difference in acceleration terms between ECO, normal and Power modes is simply the relationship between how much the accelerator pedal is depressed and how much power is actually applied. Therefore although to get the same level of acceleration will require the accelerator to be pressed further in ECO mode and less in Power mode, the actual energy used in giving that acceleration should be the same.

            That is why as Jay notes (pt 2) the car reaches the desired speed quicker in power mode, because the pedal does not need to be depressed so far for a higher level of acceleration to be applied.

            The idea of the different modes is that ECO makes the acceleration more gentle, and therefore generally fuel efficient, unless the pedal is depressed much further.

            I agree with Jay (pt 1) that EV mode is best left alone, except in a few specific circumstances where you know something that the car doesn’t – e.g. you are just moving it a very short distance so putting it in EV mode will prevent the ICE from needing to start at all, or you are going downhill for the next little while and don’t need the ICE to kick on and off unnecessarily.

          10. In my experience Eco mode does more than just change the throttle map. It is fine for start stop traffic, but to me it seems that getting up to cruising speed it keeps the engine load for longer, thus increasing fuel consumption on every day driving including motorway speeds.

            I just use normal automatic mode ie no manual selection unless in start stop traffic and do achieve the expected mpg.

          11. Can I also add that there is a “Fourth” mode we sometimes fail to realise we have i.e. with none of the mode buttons pressed, the car operates in “Normal Mode”. I have to say I find this “Normal Mode” a good compromise at most times.

            I guess in theory, ECO mode “should” provide the best benefit, however, many prius owners (including myself) have discovered that, due to
            differences in driving styles, other modes can be as effective as ECO, I would suggest doing a search for “power vs eco” in

            Another reason why I opt for the Power mode is that, with ECO mode, I find myself accelearating too slow (compared to other cars). If I am the only road user, I really would not mind but I soon find other drivers behind my back and I end up standing on the throttle at the last minute which kills mpg figures. I would rather drive like a normal car and try to make best use of other benefits the car has to offer rather than being selfish slow lane hogger.

          12. Hi Jay

            Just to muddy the waters a little more here . The civic may be a smaller car on the outside but I can assure you that there is just as much room inside as the Prius and of course there is no comparison with bootspace
            Which would suggest that you may not have been inside one
            Besides which I think that most people who buy a Prius do so because they would like to save fuel , the quickest to burn fuel is by ‘ outrunning ‘as you put it other cars .
            Im much happier watching the mpg going up than the speedo

          13. Eco mode does indeed just change the throttle map [well, actually it uses a more efficient air-con mode as well, but in driving terms it is just the throttle map]. That means that if you accept its slower acceleration it will indeed take longer to get to the same cruising speed, but you will have also travelled further in that time. If you apply more force to the pedal you will get additional acceleration and where that acceleration is the same as in normal or power mode you will, by definition, get to the same speed in the same time and using the same amount of energy as if you were in that mode.

            The difference is merely that unless you adapt your driving style to fully compensate for it, the acceleration provided by each mode is different.

            As Jay rightly notes, applying gentler amounts of pressure to the pedal results in slower than ‘normal’ acceleration – this can be compensated by using one of the other modes or by putting your foot down more.

            Ultimately the top and bottom of the throttle maps in all three modes, i.e. at 0% and 100%, apply the same amount of acceleration, it is the profile in between that alters.

          14. Thanks to you all !

            I’ll have to try all of your tips and thoughts to see what fits best for me.

            Thanks again !

  3. Hello – 1. I drive 2008 T3 Prius, clockec around 18k in mileage. I have also experienced some issues with braking, sometime same amount of pressure leads to perfect slowing down –> Stop and other time it’s not. I have also had to press harsh pressure to get the car to stop and this gets trickier while approaching roundabouts.
    2. Are there any issues if you leave T3 Prius in garage for 3 weeks, any battery charge issues. Do you recoomend leaving the car on for 45-1 hr when powering on after 3 weeks gap?

    1. Hi Sandy,

      As with all vehicles, braking performance will be affected by a number of factors, including the condition of the road surface, wet and icy weather, tyre wear and the condition of the brake pads and discs. If you are concerned that your Prius doesn’t brake as you feel it should, please arrange to have it checked by your local Toyota Centre.
      To answer your question about battery charge, we can confirm that there should be no impact on the Hybrid battery if you do not drive your Prius for a few weeks. However, as with all cars, the standard 12v battery may discharge over time. Please consult your Prius owner’s manual for the correct way to recharge the 12v battery.

      Thanks for your questions.

  4. Hi,

    I’ve got a new 2011 T-Spirit and I just wondered if the ABS system behaves differently on this car than others. I’ve noticed on several occassions that when braking hard, the wheels often lock and the tyres skid. I’ve not waited long enough to see if the brakes will correct themselves and start automatically pumping the brake pedal before taking action myself.

    Will the ABS kick in later or is this something that a service centre should look at. There are no warning lights on the dash, except the occassional traction control warning that sometimes appears when stopped and then disappears when I drive off.


    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your question. Although it is unlikely that your Prius T-Spirit’s brakes aren’t working correctly, we advise that you visit your local Toyota Centre so they can thoroughly check your car and address your concerns. To find your local Centre, click here.

      1. My Prius T-Spirit 2010 has the same issue, I just did the service and the brakes still being awkward. I am really sorry it, when I bought this car I thought it would be a really reliable car and so far I was scary several times because of it. And in this forum I had notice the TOYOTA Department don’t take us seriously, maybe they are waiting for something serious happening to take some attitude.
        Toyota Cars this is my last!

        1. The early production models of the current 3rd gen Prius had an issue with the ABS.

          Toyota wrote to all owners offering a modification that had been implemented on later (and current) production 3rd gen Prius.

          The symptoms solved by the modification to software controlling the ABS solved the issue of extended braking distance encountered if the front wheels encountered an impeerfect road surface such as a man hole cover – put simply the old software had a “knee jerk” reaction of disengaging the brakes for a second or two causing the uncomfortable sensation of the car lurching foerward when it was meant to be breaking (in reality the braking being s=disengaged gave this horrible scenario). The worlaround until Toyota afgreed to apply the software update was to either avoid imperfect road surfaces when braking (drive around not over pot holes or man hole covers) or allow extra stopping distances.

          1. Hi DavidMG,

            Thank you for your comments. As you’ve stated, Toyota carried out a modification to the third-generation Prius braking system. Full information regarding the update was shared on this blog early last year – please click here for the details.

            It is important to recognise that brake performance for all cars is affected by a number of factors, such as road conditions, wet and icy weather, tyre wear and the condition of the brake pads and discs. What’s more, the characteristics of the regenerative braking system and its associated safety features (such as ABS and traction control) may feel different to that of a non full-hybrid car. To read our earlier reply on this, please click here.

          2. I would agree that in general, brakes would “feel” different in every car and under different conditions. However, it would be wrong for the wheels to simply lock-up and skid. Many years ago this is exactly what happened with cars without ABS. ABS was meant to solve this by automatically pumping/releasing repeatedly thus preventing wheels simply slipping. BTW This is not the same “knee jerk” issue that was fixed with a firmware upgrade last year.

            I have booked my car in for a break check even though I am not sure how they will be testing ABS. At the end of the day, I can appreciate that in the prius, ABS sits at the end of a complex control system unlike in a conventional car but its performance should not be any different.

          3. I finally went and had my car checked out at the Toyota Service centre. I had a very interesting response from the engineering which did explain some of the things that I was experiencing. Firstly, the braking in the Prius is electrical and not hydralic so that accounts for the a lot of the difference in feel and response.

            Secondly, it would appear that the locking and skidding is a normal feature of the ABS. It does release from the skid and then re-applies the braking without having to pump the brake pedal. So Toyota’s interpretation of ABS isn’t really anti-locking — since clearly the brakes do indeed lock up, even if only for a very short time — but more like ‘alittle-locking’ braking system.

            I am still a bit concerned about the performance of the brakes since this ‘alittle-locking’ system might be fine in the dry and some wet conditions, I fear that even an instantaneous skid on ice going around a bend will cause the car to lose control.

            I guess we’re only a few weeks away from being able to test the theory…Insurance company and solicitors on standby. 🙂


          4. I too had my car checked just yesterday and was told ABS is working perfectly. I am both relieved and concerned at this outcome in a way.

            Now I am beginning to think the tyres might be the weak link in the chain. Last winter, when the temp dropped below -10c, the factory fitted Bridgestone B250 ecopia tyres were skidding all over when cornering, I could feel the various stability systems desperately trying to keep the car in place. So this winter, I am going to try a set of new generation winter tyres. Some are even suggesting winter tyres be used all-year round, certainly up here in Scotland this makes sense, even in spring/autumn the weather can be harsh. Apparently with recent developments in tyre thread compound, winter tyres are as good as summer tyres in terms of wear, road noise & rolling resistance(relates to fuel efficiency). In addition, the reduction in braking efficiency in dry/summer conditions is supposed to be minimal. Can report on the outcome later-on in the year if anyone is interested.

    2. Jim,

      Can you kindly update us after your visit to your local Toyota centre.

      My 2yr old prius behaves exactly as you’ve described and often I have wondered whether it is normal, actually our other car – a nissan micra has a much better ABS and it is 4 years older than my prius. Driving my prius was no fun last winter, every time I approached a roundabout I would wonder if it would stop and several instances it didn’t, luckily other drivers did stop! Its the same observation as Jim – tires would just skid, the ABS grunt would be very short lived – as if it had given up.

    3. Hi Fabio, Jay and Jim

      Please be assured that Toyota takes customer safety very seriously. We advise any owner who is concerned about their vehicle to arrange to have it inspected at their local Toyota Centre at the earliest opportunity. As with all full-hybrid vehicles that utilise a regenerative braking system, it is possible that the braking ‘feel’ in a Prius may seem different to that of a standard (non full-hybrid) car even though the system is working correctly. This is because the braking system uses a regenerative brake control to slow the vehicle and recycle energy that would otherwise be lost. If more braking force is required and further pressure is applied to the brake pedal, a hydraulic brake booster will be automatically applied. Occasionally, it may be possible to detect the extremely short transition between the regenerative brake and the hydraulic brake booster, however there will be no loss of braking force at the wheels.

      Other brake control functions, such as ABS, traction control (TRC) and vehicle stability control (VSC) are integrated with the braking system and applied in accordance with driving conditions. We hope you find this information helpful.

    4. Jim
      A couple of points – I’ve had my GenIII Prius T-Spirit for 2 years now, and had some great fun driving in the snow and ice last winter, so I am speaking from experience.

      First the braking system – you have only been given part of the story by the mechanic – when you first apply the brakes on the Prius, it uses “regenerative braking” i.e. runs the electric motors like a dynamo to turn kinetic (motion) energy into electrical energy and recharge the battery (rather than just heat up the brakes as happens in a normal car). SO this is the “electric, non-hydraulic” braking. HOWEVER when you brake hard, or are travelling below 4 or 5 mph, “conventional” hydraulic brakes come into play just like you have on any other car.

      Re the ABS – ABS systems only kick in when the wheels lock – that happens in all cars – they just release the brakes very quickly so that you don’t skid. In previous cars this feels a bit like driving over corrugated iron as the brakes keep locking on and off. The prius is not really any different. What IS different is that the Prius can kill power to the wheels as well as applying / releasing the brakes.

      The issue with the brakes a year or so ago was that, if you went over a pot-hole or other irregularity in the road, the ABS on the Prius got a bit too sensitive, and killed the brakes (thinking you were in a skid). This felt like the car had jumped forward – in fact, all that happened was that the car wasn’t slowing down so quickly! Since the upgrade, this doesn’t happen.

      Once the snow and ice comes, you will find the Prius different to other cars again….. The traction control system is permanently engaged and it will NOT let you spin your wheels if you get stuck (not that this would get you out of snow anyhow!) Because the computer controls the power to the wheels, once it decides that the wheels are spinning it will kill the power – so you shove your foot down on the accelerator, the car goes click and nothing happens! Solution is simple -get out and shove the car mats under the front wheels! Similarly, trying to drive up steep hills in the snow becomes a steady creep, again with no wheel-spin.

      Finally, the anti-skid system (sorry, I cant remember the clever acronym) does clever things with applying brakes on one corner and not the other if it decides that you are getting into a skid -and so brings the car nicely back under control.

      Bottom line is that if you drive the Prius sensibly, steadily and smoothly, it is incredibly well behaved in the snow and ice. If you drive like an idiot then it will do all it can to bring you back under control!

      For more info, take a look at the Prius Owners Club web site / forum there are plenty of Prius fans there who will explain all the finer details to you!

      1. Dave,

        Now that is a much better explanation of how the system works and is starting to make a lot more sense.

        I appreciate the feedback as it gives me some comfort that the car is doing the right things.


  5. i have just brought a prius t spirit 2008 its says in the hand book there are two power outlets but i can only find the one in the centre consol (which does not work) could someone tell me where the other one is if there is one.

  6. When are Toyota going to offer a decent service for sat nav? The 2011 disk I have has data from march 2010 and the update will cost £150+
    this is their ad
    Roads change by as much as 15% every year. For the best navigation, your map needs to stay up to date with these changes.

    With TomTom Map Update Service, you receive quarterly releases of your map over a 12 month period. So you can always reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

    A special Map Update Service offer for you

    In order to start Map Update Service you will need to first buy an upgrade to the latest map.

    Buy Map Update Service now for the Map of United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for just £ 19.80, and we’ll give you an upgrade to the latest map – for free.

      1. Hi Brian,

        Thanks for your question – in order to provide you with accurate information we require details about your vehicle, such as your registration or VIN number. However, as per the terms of our blog we cannot allow you to publicly post personal or sensitive information so please contact us via one of the methods on our contact page, here.

        1. Robert – please don’t keep the answer secret. Many of us are in the same situation as brian b. I am driving with a TomTom in my car in addition to the in-built Toyota system, because the system for updating the Toyota mapping is so expensive and ineffectual.

          1. Sagitar
            But you have the answer – if you want up to date, reasonably priced SatNav in a Prius, you buy a 3rd party device like a TomTom. The built in satnav is fine for getting you roughly to the right place, and for getting you home when you are lost (provided you don’t live in a new road). 🙂

    1. Brian
      Ihave been banging on about this for years. I am now on my 3rd Prius and if you look in previous posts I have you will see how long ago I asked. Toyota seems to have a total disregard of it’s customers concerning this issue. When I go on long journeys I use my TomTom because it is far more reliable and cheaper than the in car system. Navteq who produce the in car system are notorius for their price structure and even when you have paid the earth for an upgrade it is still out of date. Come on get the Toyota Techies to sort this one out once and for all.

      1. Hi all, I too have been asking about the update – not as much as some. I went to Lyme Regis two weeks ago and the address was not on the car system. It showed up on Google Earth which I used. I am now going out on Monday after some research to purchase a Mio Navman sat nav. I will be able to take it out when walking in a strange town i.e on holiday. 30 days latest updates.

    1. Hi there,

      Prius Two is a model grade sold only in the US. However, a revised 3rd generation Prius is due to be launched here in the UK early next year. More details will be announced closer to the launch date.

  7. How does the electric motor drive the wheels? Is it through the dearbox or is it a direct drive?


    1. There is a system of gears, but not in the conventional sense. It is a three way system that balances drive coming from the engine and or motor and delivers it to the wheels. It is also via this system that energy can be delivered back to the battery by the motor acting as a generator, recovering energy from the wheels and/or the engine.

      There used to be a dedicated website for the hybrid synergy drive (as it is known) but it appears to have been taken down.

  8. I have a new Prius Gen 3 which I took delivery of around 6 weeks ago. Very, very pleased with it and am now getting used to some of the quirkier aspects. A question however. The Daytime Running lights, whilst apparently fitted, don’t seem to work. Can any one advise whether activating these is a user task or does it need to be done by the dealer?
    Thank you. Mike

      1. Thanks Brian – as you say, it really does look like they are fitted. There appears to be a line of LED like bulbs, very strange.
        An official comment from Toyota would be nice?


    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your question.

      Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) aren’t currently available on the 3rd generation Prius. However DRLs will be incorporated into the front bumper of the refreshed 3rd generation Prius that will be launched in the UK next year.

      But if you let us know what specification you have on your Prius, including any optional packs or accessories, then we can confirm what features are available on your car.

      1. Prius T Spirit HG11 NLR – with Style Pack. Delivery date 4th July 2011 from Snows of Southampton on behalf of LEX Autolease.

        As mentioned in my response to Brian, it really does look as if there are some LED’s incorporated in the headlight cluster, but may be these are just cosmetic?

        Thank you.

        1. Hi Mike,

          It is just cosmetic. Daytime running lights will be introduced on the Prius when the refreshed model is introduced next year, and then they will be incorporated into the front bumper.


  9. Ok the sun might have put its hat back on ,but in the next week or 2 the weather is gonna be a changing ,which has got my thoughts back to winter tyres . The last I heard was that they are compulsory in Germany , without getting into the spare wheel and storage debat ,can anyone tell me what winter tyres they are using there ?

    1. Thanks Robert but there is no info on there about which tyre manufactuter you are using only a link to my dealer for more info .
      Are you suggesting I ring him up and ask him !

  10. Just taken delivery of a Pearl White Prius T-Spirit, with the Safety Pack. Very nice, and quite a difference from our old Gen II.

    Have a question regarding the ‘Pre-Crash Safety System’ as the owners manual is completely ambiguous, being the same manual for all market countries.

    The manual refers to both Pre-Crash Brake ASSIST, where the brakes are prepared for hard braking, and also something called ‘Pre-Crash BRAKING’ where if you don’t react in time, the Prius will apply the brakes for you.

    Now, the manual states ‘if equipped’ against the Pre-Crash BRAKING option, and also refers to a switch to disable the facility. Mine doesn’t appear to have the switch, though again the manual is completely ambiguous as to where this switch is located, showing a diagram for a RH drive car!

    Can someone from Toyota Customer Services please confirm that the vehicle does indeed have the Pre-Crash BRAKING function (as stated by our dealer), or if not, why there is this confusion and why it hasn’t been implemented for UK cars.


    1. As no-one from Toyota has replied, I’ll answer my own question for the benefit of others.

      The UK version of the safety pack DOES have the Pre-crash Braking AND the switch. The switch is in a really difficult (stupid?) place to reach – presumably so you can’t activate it by accident. I had to use a mirror, kneel on the floor outside the drivers door, and look along the underside of the drivers ‘knee panel’, under the steering wheel, and the switch is a small push-button. Pressing it activates the PCS warning light on the Info Display.

      So in summary, the Safety Pack has both Pre-crash brake assist and pre-crash braking – just got to test it out now!!

      1. Hi Mark T,

        My apologies for the late reply, I was in the process of looking into this for you. You are absolutely right in that a new generation Prius fitted with a Safety Pack will have the ‘Pre-Crash Safety System’ (which includes both Pre-Crash Brake Assist and Pre-Crash Braking, as you said) and the location of the switch is as you described.

        Thank you for your questions and comments Mark.

  11. What is the voltage of the lectric power generated by the electrical generator?
    What is the maximum power output of the generator in kW ?

    1. Hi John,

      The mark 3 Prius uses heat from the exhaust gasses to assist heating of the engine coolant, achieving reduced energy and fuel consumption by improving engine warm-up performance. The maximum system voltage is 650v AC and motor generator 2 achieves a maximum output of 60kw.

      Hope this helps.

  12. The text states that the prius recovers electrical energy from braking and exhuast heat.
    Can you tell me how the exhuast heat energy is recovered?

  13. Hi, Having read a previous comment by you that new Prius can be updated to lock the doors as you drive away, I took our new 2010 prius T spirit to the main dealer for this work. At first they said it can be done but having kept the car for a day I was told that it wasn’t available in UK. Then I showed them a printout of your comment, then they agreed to discuss with the head office. After discussing they asked me to bring the car again for the software update as it can be done. Again after a while on that day main dealer service department told me that it cannot be done. Could you please confirm whether this update to lock the doors automatically available in UK for 2010 Gen 3 Prius. In addition I am very concerned about the lack of technical knowledge at the main dealer service department in North West London. They have already wasted two days of my time! Thank you for your response.

    1. I think Door Lock configuration can be programmed by the dealer service dept similar to disabling reverse beep. I had the reverse beep disabled at my dealer, no issues with that and not a penny charged. For a list of programmable features, look at the printed UK car manual you got with the car and show that to your dealer.

    2. Hi Don,

      Apologies for the confusion. I’ve passed on the question to a Senior Technical Engineer at Toyota Motor Europe who has confirmed that door locking functions can not be modified on the third generation Prius.

      Apologies again for any confusion caused on this matter.

    1. I suspect not. If you are lucky, you will be able to transfer (effectively upload) all contacts from your phone’s internal directory onto the car’s system – but this is not automagically kept in synch – it is a separate directory. The car’s system can pair with up to 4 phones – each with a separate directory.
      Experience shows that some phones will allow all entries in the phone’s directory to be transferred in one go; other phones can only transfer 1 entry at a time; some phones don’t transfer at all. You certainly WON’T get some of the “Additional” features of an iPhone’s directory transferred onto the car system (e.g. thumbnail photos etc.)

    2. Hi Roger,

      You check Bluetooth compatibility for your phone on the Toyota technical site, here. Follow the instructions on the page and you will be able to see which features from your phone are supported by the in-car device.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Ive just used the tool and it says that my Samsung s2 is compatible ,even though I had to manually transfer all of the contact info over individually

        1. You need to get the bluetooth file transfer app for android phones from the android market place. This will allow your whole phone book to be transferred to the Prius phonebook.

          1. No sorry Jonathon , Maybe you can talk me through this as i’ve been at it for the last couple of hrs it too complicated ,doesnt work just wasted another couple of hrs of my life 🙁

  14. Can a mains operated trickle charger be connected to the jump starter points under the bonnet to prevent the 12 volt battery discharging when the car (3rd gen prius) is not used for a long period and kept in garage? If can it would be much easier as the access to the battery is somewhat difficult. Thank you.

    1. Hi Don,

      Yes, you can use a trickle charger to keep the battery charged when you are not using it, but I’m afraid Toyota GB is unable to offer any advice on these third-party accessories.


  15. I have 3 queries:-
    1.what would happen if the shift lever was put into reverse whilst driving?
    2.What would happen if the park button was pressed when driving?
    3.How does the park assist work?

    1. Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your questions. A Reject Function is programmed into the Hybrid Synergy Drive system the Prius that is designed to prevent any incidents and also prevent damage to your transmission.

      If you happened to shift into reverse or P (Park) whilst driving the Reject Function would kick in, a small buzzer sound would be emitted and the car would shift into N (Neutral).

      As for the Intelligent Parking Assist, we have a handy video that demonstrates how this feature works. To view the video, click here.

  16. I have anew, yesr old now Prius.
    When the Prius plug in arives next year can my car be adapted to make it plug in too?


    1. Hi Alice,

      The Prius isn’t equipped with a vehicle tracking system, however these products are available from specialist security companies. Our recommendation would be to speak to them for further information on vehicle tracking systems.

      Thanks for your question.

  17. Just about to order a T3 Prius without Bluetooth!!

    Can I pay to have an upgrade at point of order to allow for a fully functional Bluetooth kit as the T4???


  18. Something a bit strange has happened, I was able to connect my phone to the toyota Prius Gen 3 and listen to music on it and then if I wanted to make or receive a call it would cut off the music and would ring through the car speakers and when I accepted the call it would use the car’s speakers and mic. This seems to have changed was there a update done either over the air which I doubt or while car was in for service which disabled this? My phone does support this ability as I have done it a few times with my PC and have done it before in the same car.

    1. Hi FC360,

      Our Toyota service technicians do not normally interfere with the vehicle’s Bluetooth system during a routine service. Have you tried deleting and pairing your phone with the car again? You can also visit our technical website, here, for a list of all compatible phones.

      If you’re still not having any luck take your car to your local Toyota Centre, and a Toyota technician will be able to help.

      Thanks for your question.

      1. Unfortunately I find that list to be of no help as 2 out of the 3 phones I’m looking at aren’t on the list, there Are the LG optimus ME P350 and the Samsung Galaxy Mini which is a little odd as the newer Lg Optimus 3D is listed. Does anyone have a LG Optimus ME or a Samsung Galaxy mini and can tell me if they will work with the toyota prius? Would be nice to be able to listen to music and have it connected to make calls at same time but it’s not important as my dad wouldn’t miss not having the ability to do this.

  19. I like know the about the lay out of the transmission , whether the appropriate speeds can be maintained when climbing hills. Also wants to know how the car behaves on slippery surfeces ( traction control) etc.

    1. Hi Sarath,

      The Prius has comes in eCVT, Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission. This means there are no gears and no clutch, so it drives very similar to a standard automatic car.

      As for how the car behaves on slippery surfaces, as Eric suggests, it is down to how the car is being driven – in slippery conditions you should be driving with extra care and caution.The Prius is equipped with a number of driving aids as standard including ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), BA (Brake Assist), EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), TRC (Traction Control) and VSC+ (Vehicle Stability Control+) with steering torque assist.

  20. Thanks for answering my last question.

    I have another question, from my test drive I recall hopefully correct that when reversing there was a beeping sound.Can the bleeping when reversing be turned down or switched off ?

    If so do I need to advise my dealer or can I do it ?

    1. The beeping can be reduced to 1 beep to let you know you have engaged reverse. This has to be done by a Toyota engineer but only takes a couple of minutes to do.

      There are also a number of other things that can be turned on and off in this way by Toyota engineers – they are listed in the handbook.

      Hope this helps

  21. I have a Prius Spirit being delivered next month , currently I try to drive on the motorway with minimal braking, I believe braking charges the battery do I therefore need to change my driving style ?

    1. For any car minimal braking is good because it avoids wasting energy. Although the Prius recovers energy through braking where most cars don’t (and therefore waste all of it) the Prius cannot recover all of the energy because no system is 100% efficient, therefore it is still better to avoid unnecessary braking (and excessive acceleration) as with driving any car. The battery will still charge when coasting, from the light braking, and when the engine is running.

      1. Hi Brian – thanks for your response.

        Hi Burbage Fox – Brian is right in that Prius features regenerative braking technology, meaning when you brake, energy is channelled back into the battery that powers the electric motor (as distinct from the 12v battery). However, this electric motor is used primarily when driving in electric-only (EV) mode, which is only possible under 31mph – not a speed you will be doing on the motorway. If you have no charge in your hybrid battery, you will still be able to drive normally as the engine takes over.

        As Brian also says, excessive acceleration and sharp braking will affect any car’s fuel consumption, so it sounds like your motorway driving style is already sensible. We hope you’ll get a huge amount of fulfilment from driving your new Prius – feel free to come back to the blog to let us know how you’re getting along with it.

        Thanks for getting in touch.

      2. It is correct that minimal braking & acceleration during motorway driving will benefit fuel consumption.

        However, the explanation on regenerative braking is incorrect & misleading. The electric motor is active at all speeds, the percentage of power contributed will vary at different speeds and driving conditions. Charging happens at various times due to various reasons. A Hybrid Drivetrain System such as HSD is quite complex and should not be overly simplified when explaining.

        BTW: It is best to avoid EV mode altogether, let the HSD system decide where best it should use the reserve energy held in batteries.

        1. Hi Jay,

          We didn’t mean to oversimplify what you quite rightly describe as a complex system, only clarity matters for someone new to Hybrid Synergy Drive.

          We said “this electric motor is used primarily when driving in electric-only (EV) mode”. The use of the word ‘primarily’ here is perhaps misleading. We didn’t mean that driving in EV mode is what the electric motor is used for during most of your driving time. Instead we meant that powering the car when driving in EV mode is perhaps the electric motor’s keynote function, if you like, and is what you’d be actively trying to charge the battery for. Apologies for any confusion here.

          Ultimately, Burbage Fox, you needn’t worry about braking in order to charge the battery, especially whilst driving on motorways. Part of the beauty of Prius is that, despite its advanced technology, it is very easy to drive – as Eric says, it looks after itself. Thanks again, and do let us know if you need any further clarification on anything.

          1. I would still disagree with the explanation of use of the electric motor here. It provides benefit on virtually any journey, even if EV mode is never used.

            Its benefit is largely in providing power for cruising or light acceleration instead of starting the petrol engine. This happens without EV mode being activated, all EV mode does is to encourage the systems to prefer the battery even when it would otherwise start the engine.

            I would broadly agree with Jay’s comment about it being best to avoid EV mode, except in specific circumstances where you know it should be unnecessary to start the engine at all -e.g. moving the car a short distance, (or a short journey that is predominantly level or downhill that you can do without sharp acceleration or exceeding 21 mph)

          2. I use EV for the last 2 miles of my commute home. Its mostly down hill and the speed limit is 30 mph.

            Its great, as I normally arrive home with at least 2/3 battery. So the morning start is also silent for a while. (Except in cold weather)

  22. How long do the electric batteries last for before they need replacing? If they need replacing how much would i have to pay?.


    1. Hi Craig,

      The hybrid battery is designed to last the lifetime of the car, depending on how the car is driven and maintained. It is also covered by an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first). Should you need to replace it outside of this period a replacement battery can be ordered and fitted at your local Toyota Centre.
      Currently, a new hybrid battery costs £763.75 (excluding VAT and fitting). For more details about the complete cost including fitting, please contact your local Toyota Centre.

      Thanks for your question.

      1. I am one of the unlucky prius owners who rushed to buy a car as soon as it was out and Toyota decided to punish us by not extending the battery warranty to 5 years.

        Therefore, can you pls elaborate on the “depending on how the car is driven and maintained” bit of your answer because obviously, I’ve lost out on the warranty so the next best thing is to learn how I can preserve the battery life. I have done the 10K & 20K services on time, I keep the car clean & tidy as well.

        So what else should I be doing to ensure battery life is maximised?

        1. Hi Jay,

          You’re already doing exactly the right thing by servicing your Prius at official Toyota Centres and at appropriate intervals. Beyond this, our only suggestion for maximising battery life would be to drive smoothly and sensibly.

          I hope that helps. Thanks.

          1. Typical crap answer.

            I’d expect a good estimate from Toyota if I was asking the question.

            You should be a politician.

          2. But they can’t, as Toyota have no control over individual dealers’ labour rates and don’t want to guess or create expectations on prices.

      2. What Toyota GB *could* do is state the recommended number of hours required to change the traction battery (is it a two person job taking 5 hours = 10 houyrs labour @ £100 per hour + VAT = £1,200?).

        The fact is that the number of hours must be known.
        Agreed hourly rates not known, therefore use £100+VAT per hour as an extimate.

        Total battery change cost then looks something like £2,356 (parts + labour + VAT)that is *unless Toyota can state something different*. The hours I quote are from memory what I’ve seen quoted on a USA Prius group.

        1. Thank you all for your comments. Brian is correct in that we are genuinely unable to give a full quote owing to the difference in labour rate between each Centre. However, we have spoken to a technical specialist about required fitting time and are now able to give you an indicative cost.

          It takes 1.6 hours to replace the hybrid battery for third-generation Prius. If we were to use DMG’s example of the labour costing £100 per hour, then the maximum total cost would be £763.75 (battery) + £160 (labour) + £184.75 (VAT) = £1,108.50. Depending on the circumstances of the battery failure, it may also be possible to reduce both parts and labour cost.

          Just to reiterate, hybrid battery failure is extremely rare. The battery is not a part that needs replacing under normal circumstances, which is why we state that the battery is designed to last the lifetime of the car, and why it is covered by the warranty.

          I hope this clarifies things.

        2. I cannot understand why people have hangups about the traction battery and the cost of replacement, but to give a ‘real world’ view, we have owned a Prius (Gen II) since early 2007. There has never been an issue with the battery, it has never given cause for concern, even at over 4 years old now, and appears to show no noticeable degradation (I can still EV as far as I could when the car was new).

          The Prius has been THE most reliable and economical car we have ever owned. We have a Gen III T-Spirit on order, awaiting a delayed delivery (hardly Toyota’s fault) and are looking forward to the updated car. Since we have owned the car, we have only had to replace a set of tyres. Other than the 10,000 mile services, it’s never been to the dealers to have work done. If I had any criticism at all, it would be that the quality of the ‘port installed’ leather was poor, and the paint is a little soft and prone to picking up chips and hedge scratches far too easily.

          Toyota seem to be happy to put their weight behind the battery and drivetrain warranties, and wouldn’t do that if batteries were prone to fail. Now, whether I’d consider buying a second hand Prius is another matter (in the same way with any car, you never know how the previous owner has treated it), but I have no qualms about buying a new one.

        3. I guess what all this implies is that early gen3 prius batteries are inferior because gen2 got 8yr battery warranty, latest gen3 has the same but we lot didnt.

          I demand to know why our cars were fitted with inferior batteries!

          1. Hi Jay,

            We can assure you that the battery in a gen 3 Prius sold prior to 1 July 2010 is the same as the battery in one sold since.

            The topic of battery warranty has been discussed a number of times on this blog – you can review the initial discussion here, and it continues here.

            If you are concerned about the functionality of the battery in your car and would like to discuss this, please contact Customer Relations on 01737 367 600 or Thanks.

          2. I was just trying to make a point.

            If you’d check you will find that I was actually an active participant in those discussions having been a member of this forum from the very begining, It is amazing how easily you get away pointing us to this official statement, that discussion, etc, do you not realise that it would have been much easier to just extend the warranty to everyone. Instead, what you (and Damian and Melissa and others at Toyota UK) have been doing all along is slip away from it. At one point I believe we were offered the extended warranty for an extra fee, how can you possibly justify that. Of course we’ve been through the cost analysis and how the prius is more expensive than it used to be etc etc but it doen’t take much to realise the price increase follows the VAT increase and currency change, nothing to do with warranty and besides the batteries are very reliable right?
            Very dissapointing indeed.

        4. I am sorry James,I have to agree with Jay’s comment.

          I was offered a top up warranty at a “subsidised” price of £185. On the assumption that subsidised means at or below the cost of replacement, this means that Toyota must expect around one in six of these early batteries to fail within eight years or 100,000 miles.

          Or does Toyota’s version of “subsidised” mean something different from everyone else’s. It seems to me that the more likely explanation is that Toyota is now milking its early Prius customers for its own failure to provide a proper warranty.

    1. Hi Angela,

      Due to its low emissions levels, Prius benefits from £0 annual road tax and is exempt from the London Congestion charge. For more information, click here.

      We can’t tell you exactly how much insurance will cost (since it is dependent on a range of factors such as your age and location), but under the 50 group insurance rating system the Prius T3 and T4 models are both insurance group 15. The T Spirit (including T Spirit with Solar Roof) and the 10th anniversary special edition models are insurance group 16. For a quote, please contact Toyota Motor Insurance.

      Thanks for your questions.

    1. Hi Greville,

      All Toyotas require servicing at the following intervals:

      – A major service every 20,000 miles, or 24 month interval
      – A health and safety check every 10,000 miles or 12 month interval

      The cost of the service equates to the labour and the parts required, and this can vary at each service interval depending on the work carried out on the vehicle. The labour price charged by each Centre also varies – please contact your local Toyota Centre for the servicing costs relevant to your vehicle.

      Thanks for your questions.

  23. I am a motarbility customer and need an automatic motor car. I have been using the Honda Insight but my lease expires August 2012.

    I am now retired with little income. Do you have an economic, automatic, hybrid with no deposit?

    I also like the auitromatic lights and window wipers of my Honda.

    1. Hi David,

      We have a dedicated Motability team who are best placed to answer your questions; they can be reached on 0844 701 6187. Alternatively, you can visit the Motability section of our website by clicking here.

      Thanks for your question.

      1. Sorry, I must have not stated what I thought I had.

        My comment was that my Insight had automatic windows and lights.

        I also forgot to mention cruise control.

        Neither did I mention that I originally called into my local Toyota dealership BEFORE going to Honda.

        Since then I have purchased 4 new Honda motor cars, 3 for me and 1, as a pool car, for my staff. – No complaints to date!!

        It was the arrogance of the sales people at Toyota that decided me to go somewhere else.

        Hopefully this IS NOT INBRED within Toyota although your response indicates other wise.

        1. Hi again David,

          We’re sorry to hear that your Toyota Centre experience did not meet your expectations.

          If you would still like to discuss your Motability needs, please do contact the Motability team.

          Do let us know if we can be of any more help. Thanks.

        2. Not all Toypta dealers are as your experience – We were very pleased with ours: helpful, polite and knew their stuff. Having been a driver since 1062, this is our first non-British car, a big decision! But, we are VERY pleased with the Prius T Spirit — easy to drive and comfortable. Does everything we have asked of it, and the SatNav beats our old one hands down. It does have automatic wipers, but not auto lights (or switchable headlights for driving in Europe!!). The reversing camera is a great help.

          1. auto headlights come with the LED headlight pack together with other goodies. I know because we have them on ours. There is also with them no need for continental European driving as the beam is flat. Been there done that several times.

        3. David,

          Apologies for my response, I couldn’t resist.
          Just in case you thought I work for Toyota I don’t.
          I do not wish Toyota to get bad press because of my rash comment.
          I too have a Honda (Civic 2.2) which has been brilliant and service has been excellent, however I have just ordered the T Spirit and hope it serves me well. Although I thought I had done lots of research , test drove but didn’t spot no automatic lights which is a disappointment as is power closure wing mirrors otherwise the spec on the T Spirit appears almost perfect.


      1. “Your name” – you should be aware that Kev never has a good word to say about the Prius – seems he has a lot of time on his hands though as he just about never fails to post a negative comment.

        I often have to drive only drive 4 or 5 miles (to shops) and then return home after an hour. Overall this short return trip leaves the average mpg at the same as it was when commencing the trip – so I certainly wouldn’t use the same adjective as Kev to describe performance.

        If you mean “short stopping and starting” as in numerous trips in a day (like a taxi / driving in town) then see other answers in this blog re Taxi’s – the Prius is great as it can run on the battery quite often once warmed up. If however, you mean that just once per day you have to do a short trip where the car won’t warm up, and never have longer runs, then any car would struggle.

        I am sure others will give you there opinion too – btw I average over 65mpg (true average calculated on miles/tank fills).

        1. Hahahahahaha,

          Hard working Prius driver getting 70+ mpg and saving money on Road Tax as well as Fuel.

          But, do short journeys and the ICE will have to “eventually” constantly charge the battery.

          Its false economy to assume that you can run on battery on short journeys. I can drive less than a mile to my daughter twice and use nothing, but the third time is a killer.

          One really good thing about the Gen 3 – Pull up to traffic lights, have a boy racer pull up beside you, push the power button and “go for it” – Its really funny seing there face

          1. PS – If it wasn’t for the rattles, rubbish satnav and inability of Toyota to give early adopters the current 5 year warranty, I would love my car. At the moment I like the car but am dubious about Toyota

          2. Time Toyota explained why the current latest satnav disk has data from before March 2010. NavTeq who provide the data can update various other companies 4 times a year. Seems like Toyota and other manufacturers want you to buy factory fit and then do not support it. Tomtom does 4 annual updates for £29.00 Onje annual update from Toyota for data which is well out of date is £150.
            Might as well buy a TomTom it’s going to be more accurate.

    1. Hi Graham,

      The new Prius is ideally suited to ‘short stopping and starting’ due to its pioneering Stop & Start technology:

      1. From start-up the Prius can drive under electric motor power alone up to 31mph until the petrol engine kicks in.

      2. When braking, and during deceleration, the electric motor acts as a high-output generator and recharges the high-power battery. This kinetic energy is normally wasted as heat when braking or decelerating.

      3. When stopping, the petrol engine is switched off by the Stop & Start system to lower fuel consumption even further.

      The Stop & Start function has further been improved through heat regeneration, using heat from the exhaust to warm the car’s engine.

      For more information on the new Prius, click here.

      1. But you have to get the engine heated up first and the battery charged.

        So don’t expect to get into a Prius, cold start with hardly any charge in the battery, and travel on electric – “It will not work”

        You might get 25 MPG for that first couple of miles.

    1. Hi Peter,

      This feature is not currently available for Prius, however we will pass your feedback to our Product Team. Currently all Prius come with electrically adjustable, heated exterior mirrors as standard. For more information click here.

      Thanks for your question.

  25. Only buy cars with decent-sized sunroofs – currently have a VW Tiguan which has a fanastic panoramic roof. Would consider buying a Prius if it had a sunroof option but can’t see anywhere any reference to one. Forget ‘its got air-conditioning’ that’s what other manufacturers were trying to peddle a decage ago and realised it didn’t wash with customers.

    1. Hi Tony,

      You are correct in observing that Prius cars do not currently have conventional sunroofs, but there is the option to add a solar roof.

      Thanks for your enquiry, I will pass your comment onto our product team who really appreciate hearing customer feedback.

      1. Huh , is this a spoof , Prius is available with afull length solar panel fitted panoramic sunroof ,that can be operated remotely to turn on the airconditioning if needs be . 🙂

        1. Hi yes you can get a sunroof with a sola panel I have one on my Prius you can get one as an extra it is a tilt and slide roof and has 2 opening settings.

          1. Hi Paul, ACKER,

            Thanks for your diligent work, the Prius is indeed available with solar panels on the roof.

          2. Just for clarity – there is a reasonably sized opening sunroof with two settings, it is not panoramic. There is also a fixed section of roof with photovoltaic cells that power a small fan (not air conditioning) that runs when the car is switched off to ventilate the interior (not actively cool the air). The pack with the sunroof also includes a remote function on the air conditioning which can be activated for a short period before entering the car. There is a separate a/c button on the key remote.

    1. Hello Mr Holloway,

      The Prius is petrol-electric hybrid – this means it is powered by a combination of a standard petrol engine and an additional electric motor, we call this Hybrid Synergy Drive. As a result the Prius can be powered solely by the engine, or purely on battery power, or a combination of both depending on what the car’s ECU decides is the most efficient.

      There are also 3 selectable driving modes in the Prius:

      – ECO Mode – which reduces excessive energy consumption by lowering power output in response to acceleration and suppressing the air conditioning performance to enhance fuel economy.
      – Power mode – this does the opposite of ECO mode and increases throttle response to acceleration, giving you more power when you need it i.e. when overtaking a car on the motorway.
      – EV (electric vehicle) Mode – this forces the Prius to be powered solely by the hybrid battery for emission free driving making it perfect for driving around in a town. EV mode is automatically disengaged and the internal combustion engine will kick in when the battery is low or more power is reward.

      Another one of the benefits of the Prius and it’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system is that the hybrid battery can be recharged whilst driving. It does this by recycling any energy that is usually lost when braking or coasting on momentum i.e. when travelling downhill, meaning that you are not limited to one use of EV mode.

      An advancement on this is our new Prius Plug-in Hybrid, due to launch in the UK next year. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid retains all the benefits of the Hybrid Synergy Drive found in the standard Prius and adds the plug-in function which allows the car’s hybrid battery to be charged at designated charging point or via a standard mains plug. It also features the higher capacity lithium-ion battery which has a higher capacity than the nickle-metal hydride battery in the standard Prius, meaning that the Prius Plug-in Hybrid has a longer range in EV mode. And because the car can run just on engine power, or purely on battery, or a combination of both there is no need to worry about where the nearest charging point is, however a directory of all UK charging points can be found, here.

      Hope that has given you a good understand of the Prius and Prius Plug-in Hybrid. If you have any further question please feel free to ask.

    2. The plug-in hybrid version of the Prius is not currently available in the UK. I believe that there have been limited trials only. The expansion of the UK charging network to encourage take up of plug-in vehicles was something that the Tories promised when in opposition but have failed to instigate now that they are in government.

  26. We have just purchased a 2007 Prius and we wonder whether our car would automatically go onto battery only driving if we were driving under 31 miles per hour or whether we would have to press the EV button. We look forward to hearing from you 🙂

    1. You know it really annoys me when we see such stupid questions being asked. Surely, if you are going to buy a car, you look into it first.

      Next, you’ll be asking why is there such a big battery in the boot.

      1. Presumably Lucy is posting this question as a part of trying to look into it.

        The engine control unit which manages power use in the car will switch the engine off and run on battery only whenever the battery charge is not too low and the amount of power being drawn (i.e. acceleration) is not too high, whether the speed is above or below 31 mph.

        The significance of 31 mph is that (if the systems are warm enough) you can select EV mode at below that speed and the car will continue to use battery only until either the battery charge drops too low or too much acceleration is used. It will also switch out of EV mode once 31 mph is reached (although as noted above, that doesn’t automatically mean that the engine will be used).

        If the systems are not warm enough then EV mode will be unavailable at above 22 mph rather than 31 – this will be the case if the car has not been running for very long, and is significantly affected by how cold the ambient temperature is.

        1. Having re-read what I posted I realised that it isn’t clear what difference EV mode makes. Without it switched on the car will actively manage whether to use the engine and/or battery at any given time, based upon factors such as battery charge status and amount of acceleration. Often this can mean running on battery only anyway if acceleration is gentle.
          With EV mode on it will avoid using the engine except when necessary (high acceleration/low battery).

          1. Hi Lucy,

            The comments from Brian are spot on. The clever thing about the entire Hybrid Synergy Drive system is that it will always choose the most efficient method to power the car. So that could be using the combustion engine on it’s own, or cruising entirely on battery power, or a combination of both.

            Of course you can manually engage EV mode which, as Brian correctly states, will ensure that you only run on battery power and the engine will only kick in when more power is necessary or when the battery is low.

            Hope that has help answer your question.


  27. For how many years is the warranty for Hybrid (2008) ?
    And how much does it cost for the reparing of Hybrid?

    1. Hi Malik,

      Could you just confirm whether you are asking about a 2008 second generation Prius that you currently own or one that you are looking to buy second-hand? I can then look into finding the correct answer to your question.


  28. had my Gen 3 for 6 weeks now – i’ll post some information later but I must ask this question now – friday night was the first time I have driven the car in tha dark.
    Both my passenger and myself noticed that tail lights and illuminated matix signs were ‘ghosting’ i.e an image appearing below the real image which then disappears as you get close.
    I can only think it’s the lamination process in the windscreen – question is has anyone else experienced this

    it amkes for a very stessful drive since you think you eyesight is going

    apart from the above the only niggle I have at the moment is that the indicators do not cancel unless you put plenty of lock on – annoying on the motorway

    regards john

    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for your questions.

      It’s difficult to help you with the ‘ghosting’ without being able to see it ourselves. If it persists we recommend that take your car to your local Toyota Centre for them to assess.

      We can help with the indicators though – when changing lanes we recommend that you push and hold the lever slight to indicate. For more details please refer to page 186 in your Owners’ Manuel.

      Hope that has helped with your questions.

      1. Have been to Toyota dealership and drove the Prius demonstrator which has the same windscreen defect as mine. I would be interested to see how many more have this problem. The way to check in day light is to position the vehicle about 50 yards away from a set of traffic lights and check to see if the lights have a double image below. Must point out that the defective part of the windscreen appears to be a 7-8 inch horizontal band 6 inch down from the top. If you bob up and down the double image comes and goes so to speak. Pointed this out to the dealership who are contacting Toyota but it would be nice to know how many more are out there.

        1. Hi John,

          Thank you for your comments; we have passed them onto Customer Relations to investigate the problem. If you would like to send your full name, the name of your Toyota Centre, your vehicle registration and your phone number to, a member of the CR team will be in touch with you shortly.

  29. Hi, I was just wondering if it was possible to programme the door locks on the Prius Tspirit 2011 to automatically lock once you start driving? Was a nice feature on previous cars and helps to prevent unwanted thefts when stopped at traffic lights.


    1. Hi Jim,

      Yes, you can have this setting programmed by technicians at your local Toyota Centre. Once there you have a choice of three options, it can be:
      – set to lock once you reach a certain speed when driving,
      – set to lock whenever you engage drive and being to move away,
      – or it can be turned off altogether.

      Hope that has helped, and if you would like to find your local Toyota Centre, click here.

      1. Hi Damian

        On a similar point, can the headlights (mine are the LED option) be set to be on all the time? I am aware you can change the sensitivity of the dusk sensor but can the lights be on with the engine?

        1. Hi Brian,

          I’ve checked with the technical team and they have told me that this feature is not a standard or optional feature available on UK cars.

          It is available for Prius’ sold in the Scandinavian market where this feature is legal requirement, however, the feature is only built into vehicles destined for those countries.

          Sorry not to be of more help.

      2. Dear all,

        Please disregard the above answer. Having checked with a Senior Technical Engineer at Toyota Motor Europe, they have confirmed that door locking functions can not be modified on the third generation Prius.

        Apologies for any confusion caused on this matter.

      1. Unless you are looking at a second hand car originally registered between Sep 09 and mar 10 when this is a lie.

        Toyota decided that early adopters should be penalised with a shorter warranty.

        1. Hi Kev,

          No need to worry. Toyota have assured me that this will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the resale value of any affected Prius.

          Look carefully at the explanation given elsewhere on this blog. I really think we are expected to believe it.

        2. I have to say I am extremely disappointed at Toyota on this warranty issue. Just like Kev, I am an early buyer – I got to reading about the prius early 09 when it was launched in the US and as soon as it was launched here, went for a test drive and was impressed enough to buy one. On the warranty issue, I am sure someone in Toyota UK must have done the maths and decided it is not feasible to extend the warranty to early buyers based on the original pricing formulae for the product line – to hell with goodwill and customer satisfaction. A very poor decision I have to say – short sighted & ill judged.

          I still like my car very much but next year when my initial lease term ends with Toyota finance, I will most likely not keep the car and I will most likely not buy a Toyota again in the near future. Diesels are not my cup’a tea unless someone comes up with an ultra smooth engine but 2012 will see quite a few new entries in the hybrid segment so I am sure there will be plenty to sample.

        3. I’m similarly disadvantaged for being an enthusiastic early customer.Toyota’s explanation to me is as follows:

          The battery technology is now proven, they never fail, so customers no longer need the reassurance of an 8 year warranty.

          The cost of supplying an 8 year warranty to later customers was financed by putting up the car’s purchase price. It is not possible too upgrade the warranty for earlier customers as the cost of doing so would be prohibitive.

          Spot the flawed logic here: The batteries never fail, but the cost of warranting them against failure for an extra 3 years would be prohibitive. I have repeatedly said, in fairly forceful terms to Toyota Customer services: IF, as you say, the batteries are reliable, then the cost of warranting them is ZERO, so why not just do it to maintain your customers’ good will? It becomes apparent at this point that the people in customer services are just reading from a script. The above argument simply sends them back to the beginning of the script and they read it to you again. The same infuriating process of speaking to a script monkey also occurs when discussing the fact that my Prius’ interior trim still rattles badly despite the dealer’s dozen or so attempts to fix it. About a year ago I decided the car was just inherently rattly and that repeatedly taking it back wasn’t doing my blood pressure any good, so I’m driving round in a rattly car with an inferior guarantee and really looking forward to changing it.


    1. Hi Drew,

      The hybrid battery is designed to last the lifetime of the car, depending on how the car is driven and maintained. It is also covered by an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first). Should you need to replace it outside of this period a replacement battery can be ordered and fitted at your local Toyota Centre.

      Currently, a new hybrid battery costs £763.75 (excluding VAT and fitting). For more details about the complete cost including fitting, please contact your local Toyota Centre.

      Thanks for your question.

  30. which is your most fuel efficient car available on the market today,for the amount of miles it can give per gallon and with a full tank of fuel,thanks

    1. Hi Dillon

      Thanks for your question. The Auris Hybrid is our most fuel-efficient car with an official combined cycle figure of 74.3mpg, closely followed by the Prius at 72.4 mpg. I must point out though, these figures have been measured in optimum laboratory conditions and may vary from real-life fuel consumption, but we’ve compiled some top tips to help you achieve the best fuel economy from you car. You can find the tips on this post, here.

  31. what is the life expectancy of the battery unit and what is the present cost of replacement.

    1. Hi Brian,

      The hybrid battery is designed to last the lifetime of the car, depending on how the car is driven and maintained. It is also covered by an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first). Should you need to replace it outside of this period a replacement battery can be ordered and fitted at your local Toyota Centre.

      Currently, a new hybrid battery costs £763.75 (excluding VAT and fitting). For more details about the complete cost including fitting, please contact your local Toyota Centre.

      Thanks for your question.

        1. And Toyota tell us they believe it won’t have any effect on resale values! Even though cars just a few months younger will have years of warranty left.

          The reaction of owners, when all these cars run out of warranty will be very interesting. Especially when they realise the impact on their trade in values.

    1. I’d quite like to know too … my leasing company has recently (mid May) placed an order for my new Prius (T-spirit with Safety Pack & leather) and are claiming a delivery of mid to late August which I think may be a tad optimistic.

      It’d be nice to know what the official line is on inventory and delivery for factory orders, as according to (a US-centric Prius forum), dealers are quoting several months delay.

      1. Hi Mark – mine is also being obtained via a leasing co (LEX) – they said around 12 weeks from order, but no response from Toyota as yet.


        1. Mine is LEX too with 12 to 16 week delivery quoted … you should be able to login to your ‘drivers account’ and get a status on your order by looking at the event history. Even though mine has a ‘delivery’ date of 8/8/11 (delivery to me 2 weeks later supposedly), I’m not 100% convinced as my spec is supposed to be factory order and not inventory stock. But I was hoping that Toyota maybe pre-make ‘Pearl White T-Spirit, Safety pack & dk grey leather’ as it’s a pretty standard up-spec’d car/colour – I’d have thought a true factory built-to-order would be nearer November. Be nice to know though

        2. Hi Mike, hi Mark,

          There are a number of factors that can affect the lead time of a vehicle, such as the level of specification, colour, any optional accessories ordered and where the car is manufactured. Since the Prius is manufactured in Japan leads times are generally longer than the UK manufactured Auris Hybrid. External factors also play a part like the recent natural disasters in Japan.

          Your local Toyota Centre will be able to give an estimated delivery date based on your order or your leasing company will be able to contact a Toyota Centre to get an update on your order for you.

          1. Pleased to report that my new Prius is being delivered to me next week, which I am very pleased about. A question that I have as I pepare for it’s arrival: Approximately how many CD’s can I store on the 10gb built in hard disc drive.

            Thanks for your help

          2. Hi Mike,

            Thanks for your question. 10GB of space should be enough for about 2000 songs. I’m not sure what this equates to in CDs, but I suppose it depends on how many songs are on the CD!

            Hope that helps.

    2. My fleet company initially quoted me 16 weeks, 18 if I wanted any factory fitted optional extras. They’re now quoting over 20. To put it another way, a car ordered in January is now looking like being delivered in July — a 6 month lead time.

    1. Hi,

      The cost of the service is made up of the labour and the parts required, and this can vary at each service interval depending on the work required on the vehicle. The labour price charged by each centre varies – please contact your local Toyota Centre for the servicing costs relevant to you.

      Hope this answers your question.

      1. Negotiation does not seem to be on the agenda. Toyota dealerships that service car within 25 miles of Ascot appear to have “fixed” servicing costs that do not vary between dealerships.

  32. Is it possible to have a heated front windscreen fitted. I have had a Prius for almost 4 years now and in winter find that even when using spray de-icer the screen is very difficult to see through

    1. A dealer should be able to arrange it, but aftermarket only.

      What’s wrong with a bit of elbow grease? Just scrape it man, spray de-icer is so unnecessary.



    1. Have you tried Google?

      BIK rate is easily found.
      P11d value depends on model/spec.
      Fuel benefit rate depends on the rate paid by your employer.
      MPG is easily found.

      1. BIK rate 10%
        Fuel benefit if employer provides all fuel 10% x £18,800. Therefore unless you do a lot of private mileage it is probably better to not have fuel provided and claim for fuel for business mileage from your employer (if they use the approved rates this will be 16p/mile).

        Joseph’s reference to employer is presumably about employer paying you a business mileage rate for fuel, which I don’t think is the question you were asking.

      1. Hello,

        As Brian correctly stated the Prius is only available with eCVT, Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission. This means there are no gears and no clutch, so it drives very similar to a standard automatic. The eCVT enables a smooth transition between the motor and the engine for optimal performance from the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

    1. It got a different transmission so neither automatic nor manual does this Prius have. Since it’s a hybrid, the Toyota OEM parts will be different as well.

  34. I am thinking of purchasing a hybrid
    but not sure about the battery during the winter period
    Will it start in the cold and bad weather we had last year

    1. We had no problem with starting in -15 weather last December and the car sat out in our drive all winter.

    2. We had 18″ of snow on our Prius for several days, followed by severe ice and frost. Once we managed to clear the snow away it started immediately – it never failed to start and was great on the snowy roads. Just done a journey to France, almost 400 miles, it did 66 mpg, and the Sat Nav is brilliant. Great car.

      1. Mine was garaged throughout winter.

        Started on two occasions and produced the most horrendous banging noise and shook violently. Toyota are incapable of diagnosing the problem.

        The Satnav is crap, 5 year old roads are missing from my 18 month old car.

        1. Kev is correct about the sat nav in that the maps are hopelessly out of date. The latest update has road data upto March 2010, now that’s really up to date.
          Might be more sensible to go for magellan, tomtom or garmin, at least they update their maps 4 times a year and are much cheaper and guess what? They all buy their map data from Navteq just like Toyota.

  35. Is this car suitable for round town journys as I do a lot of short trips.
    Does this affect the battery life?

    1. Yes – we do a lot of short local hilly journeys and are on our second Prius now. The battery is continually being charged and used during short or long journeys, so it shouldn’t affect its life.

    2. Hi Amanda,

      If you are doing a lot of short journeys then you should be able to make the most out of EV mode, one of three different driving modes in the Prius, and achieve high mpg.
      In EV mode the Prius is capable of driving up to 31mph for up to 1.2 miles using its hybrid battery only. The engine will switch on once the battery is running low or further acceleration or higher speeds are required.

      However, you’re not limited to using EV mode just once in a single journey: when you drive normally using the petrol engine, the regenerative braking process will channel energy back into the battery that powers the motor, meaning that you can keep on using EV mode at intervals – the battery won’t go flat while you drive as it is designed to be charged and discharged regularly.

      Hope that has helped.

      1. Although, as Damian mentions, the Prius is capable of staying in EV mode at up to 31 mph (and of doing more than 1.2miles this way, depending upon terrain and driving style), it is unlikely to do so on short journeys. That is because for it to stay in EV mode above 21mph the system needs to have warmed up sufficiently, which it is highly unlikely to do on short journeys. It is therefore likely to only stay in EV mode at up to 21 mph [the 2nd generation Prius didn’t have this requirement, and would stay in EV mode up to 31 mph]. However, that’s not to say that the engine will kick in as soon as the speed reaches that level, just that EV mode will be deactivated. It may still continue running on battery only provided the battery has sufficient charge and acceleration is applied gently, as it may at any speed, but being in EV mode makes it try harder to use battery only before the engine kicks in.

    3. Short journeys are a killer.
      My sons Fiat Panda 1.2 is more economical on anything below 5 miles

      1. So you are comparing a mini car with a full-size automatic vehicle? Nice but not very useful. Fiat has nothing comparable in their range to the size of a vehicle like the Prius. So if you want to stay with that brand how about compare it to town driving of an Alfa Romeo 159 petrol automatic?

        1. kev is correct. Our gen III Prius is returning about 46mpg in daily use (very short shopping and school runs). On the occasional motorway we get maybe 55-60mpg per the display. Short runs mean the car does not have time to warm up.

          1. Kev is not correct at all, comparing a Prius fuel consumption to a Fiat Panda 1.2 is just a stupid thing to do. Are there more economical vehicles out there sure, are they much smaller, manual etc yep also.

          2. So,

            I’m not correct, the Prius is more economical on a short run than a Fiat panda 1.2 !!! – Now thats a STUPID.

            People can compare what they like, so what if its not like for like.

            The Panda is best for short journeys as long as you don’t need the space or comfort.

            The Prius is best as long as you don’t mine the higher fuel consumption but need the space.

          3. FWIW, Kev, your son’s Panda is still kicking out more emissions, regardless of economy, and is therefore costing more in road tax. The Prius isn’t just about economy, it’s also about ultra low CO2.

          4. who cares about CO2 emissions.

            Its all about FUEL ECONOMY.

            My prius averages 65 ish MPG, the Panda 45 overall

          5. WHOSE WHINGING??????






  36. I was thinking of buying a prius hybrid for my work as a taxi driver and i would like to know the size of each individual seat for the local council regulations. Thanks PB.

      1. Hi Paul,

        Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

        I’ve tried to find the exact measurements for you but we’ve only got the overall internal measurements. Our recommendation would be to visit your local Toyota Centre and have a look at the Prius for yourself.

        Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  37. London to Braemar Scotland on one tank full (£60). At 70-80 mph we achieved 50+ mpg and 72mpg locally (25-45mph) by switching to ev wherever possible especially in and out of strictly enforced 30mph zones between Inverness and Peterhead. Smooth, quiet and inexpensive given the price of fuel in the UK !!

  38. Hi Damian

    I have finally picked up my 10th Anniversary Prius and have to say it is very impressive. Can you please advise, however, whether there is a “MUTE” button for the radio and sat nav? I can’t find it in the manuals and the supplying dealer is not aware of whether there is one or not.


    1. Hi Brian,

      I’ve spoken to our technical team and there is not a mute button for the radio and sat nav. The best way to adjust volume is by turning the pwr/vol dial on the centre console unit or via your steering wheel mounted controls.

      Hope that helps.

    2. The radio and sat nav mute automatically if a mobile connected via bluetooth is being used for a call. Presumable you also are aware that you can turn off (or adjust the volume) of the Sat Nav voice via the Set Up options, although I appreciate this is not an instant “temporary” action.

  39. Hi Damian

    I have finally pickep up my 10th Anniversary Prius and have to say it is very impressive. Can you please advise, however, whether there is a “MUTE” button for the radio and sat nav? I can’t find it in the manuals and the supplying dealer is not aware of whether there is one or not.


  40. i have been a taxi driver last ten years fuel costs have rocketed.I have been looking into the toyota hybrid cars last few months. will the hybrid cars suit me foir short journeys and stop start? running costs ?

    1. There is a taxi firm in London that use only Priuses (greentomatocars), and I have seen them used as such elsewhere, so they are certainly suitable.

      As to efficiency, as with any car they will be less efficient over shorter journeys than longer ones, but in relative terms the Prius should still be more efficient than most other cars of a suitable design.

    2. Hi Basharat,

      We know several taxi firms that have Toyota hybrid cars in their fleets, an example being greentomatocars who have around 100 Prius on their fleet. Click here to read why greentomatocars chose the Prius.

      In terms of running costs, the combined fuel consumption figure is quoted as 72.4 mpg, but being a full hybrid it has the ability to drive the car using electric power only at lower speed, when stuck in traffic for example. It also has an EV (electric vehicle) button which (subject to battery level) can drive up to 1.2 miles at speeds of up to 31mph. The regenerative braking process will channel energy back into the battery that powers the motor, meaning that the battery won’t go flat while you drive.

      In terms of running costs, the current generation Prius has no auxiliary drive belts and no cambelt which requires changing (it is chain driven) so maintenance costs are lower. The regenerative braking system is also less hard wearing on your brake pads and discs meaning they last longer than in other cars and with the weight distribution front and rear means there is less wear on tyres.

      Hope that has helped answer your questions.

    1. This has been answered in a previous post on the 10th march, Scroll down the postings and you’ll come to it.

  41. I have a new prius T3 2011



    1. I’ve driven 850 miles in my Prius T4-Spirit and am getting 67mpg. This obviously depends on the sort of motoring you are doing; my profile is predominantly A roads and town driving. I suggest you check your tyre pressure (mine are set at 37.5psi and remember to feather the accelerator (lift off once you are at the speed you want and then reapply accelerator pressure) you’ll usually see the instant MPG display increase significantly.

    2. Re EV mode – it will only drive at ~19mph when ‘cold’ – when the system is warm then it will stay in EV mode up to an indicated 31 or 32 mph.

      This is my biggest frustration with the 3rd gen Prius over the 2nd gen, which didn’t have the 19mph drop-out.

      1. That is according to the speedo. In fact the speedo runs 3mph slow at 30 so to do 30 you have to be doing 33, 40 – 44, 50 – 54, 60 – 64, 70 – 75. All 3 of my Prius have done this and when I asked my local dealer they told me that it is intentional. So the Electric motor cuts out at 28 not the 31 you see on the clock.I have had a 2007 Mk2, 2009 Mk3 and now a 2011 all T Spirits. The best MPG I have got around town in stop start traffic is 54 in summer and in an ordinary winter 48. last winter in very bad stop start traffic I was down to 32. On a long drive (310 miles the best I have got is 64.

        1. Drove from Scotland to London via M1 and got 74.2 MPG, on the way back via M6 got 70 MPG, just shows the many factors contributing to mileage. Daily drive to work on A roads gets me 60-65 MPG in stop start traffic.

          BTW dont forget you are driving one of the most practical fuel efficient cars in the world, and remember that you are actually driving a well sized family car that is easy & relaxing to drive and not one of the crammed up micro/minis where you cant even stretch your legs or one of the noisy diesels around with stop start systems that fake high mileage figures.

    3. Don’t drive careful, drive normally whilst keeping the indicator in ECO on the HUD. RTFM on driving modes, turn the heater down and stop using capitals as that is very rude. Nobody here is death 😉

    1. I’ve just found the answer on this thread by searching for “insurance” – T3 & T4 group 15, T Spirit & 10th anniversary editions group 16.

    2. Hello,

      Under the 50 group insurance rating system the Prius T3 and T4 models are both insurance group 15. The T Spirit (including T Spirit with Solar Roof) and the 10th anniversary special edition models are insurance group 16.

      Thanks for your question.

    1. No.

      [The questions and responses to this blog post can easily be searched – in most browsers it’s CTRL+F. If you search for “towing” you will find this question answered numerous times before, together with explanations.]

    2. Perhaps Toyota UK should maintain a neat, searchable FAQ table or just a sticky note on this blog. I am sure this would free-up enough time for blog-maintainers to answer unanswered questions, might also aid tracking of questions that need answering. In time this FAQ would become an invaluable treasure trove of information for anyone considering purchasing a car – Amazing how in this day and age, companies are oblivious to the tools and resources available right in front of them.

      1. It does say at the top
        “The following topics have already come up:

        – Customisation: options, availability and costs (including audio; roof rack, cycle rack, towbar; leather)”

        but it isn’t very obvious. It could perhaps be made clearer if that first sentence was highlighted, with a dummies guide to using a browser to search the page for what has already come up.

        Even better, repeat at the top the most common Q&A – towing, manual/automatic and the the position between Toyota & Navteq on the satnav (sorry!)

    1. Alan

      The Prius, as with most other petrol engined cars, can be converted to use LPG. Obviously Toyota do not provide/sanction it, you would need to seek advice from an LPG conversion specialist. If you try one of the Prius forums on the internet there are one or two people around who have had it done (at least on the 2nd gen Prius) and may be able to share their experience. I think it involves having the LPG tank fitted within the spare wheel cavity.

    2. Hi Alan,

      As Brian says, a conversion would be required to use LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas), but I’m afraid that Toyota does not support LPG conversions on any of its vehicles.

  42. Perhaps it is down to the sunshine today – however, I thought it worth sharing experiences of my first 300 miles in my new (ex demo with 7500 miles on the clock) Prius T4-Spirit.

    On my first “long drive – 72 miles on A roads” I achieved 69.3 mpg and I admit I was keeping an eye on all the feedback from the instrumentation. On the drive home I decided to see what I got if I just drove without all the vigilance. Delighted to report 68.9mpg. Given that for the last 4 years I’ve been driving a Jaguar S-Type you can hopefully sense that I’m not a 30mph crawler! I can’t image what the contributors are doing who are only achieving low 50’s on mpg – do you consistently have heavy loads in the car, or a roof box, or keep the A/C on at its lowest setting?

    The Prius cost me exactly half of the cost 4 years ago of the S-Type – is it half the car? Certainly not; some of the functionality from the instrumentation is far superior in the Prius. And I love the ability to search for a location on the SatNav by telephone number – how smart is that! It pinpointed my local Toyota dealership from the telephone number and provided the full address with ease. BTW – I’ve seen a lot of negative comments on this blog regarding the SatNav which seemed to be aimed at Toyota – surely comments regarding the accuracy of the database need to recognise that this is a Navteq issue?

    Anyway, to conclude – if I’d spent £40k or £60k on a car I’d be exceedingly picky about its quality. I was prepared to be less fussy about the Prius however, I have been very pleasantly surprised by drive, comfort and overall quality to say nothing of its ability to deliver against my main reason for buying it – ECONOMY and EMISSIONS. Would I pay more to hear a deep “clunk” when closing the car door – no I’d rather keep those pound notes in my pocket!

    1. The problem with the sat nav is an issue for Toyota, they supplied it with the car. The current version is so full of mistakes, which have been reported but ignored as the recent upgrade still has them, and as a consequence will not be upgrading this year.

    1. Hi Paula,

      The Prius has a luggage capacity of 445 litres with the rear seats upright, however that probably doesn’t help you with your dogs. Therefore, our recommendation would be to go down to your local Toyota Centre to have a look for yourself.

      To find your local Toyota Centre, click here.


  43. Roofrack and storage

    Any receomendations out there for roofracks and storage boxes (for camping trips). I have a 2010 T spirit.

    Also what is the impact on fuel eceomony should i invest in a roofrack.



    1. Roof bars – you can get ‘official’ ones from Toyota dealers, or (probably cheaper) ones with compatible fittings from Halfords, etc.

      Boxes – personally I’ve always got from who have an extensive range at good prices (and also roof bars) – decide what size you want. We currently have a Kamei (I think it’s the Delphin 340)

      Fuel economy impact will, as always, depend upon a variety of factors, like driving style, but also obviously the profile of the box. In practice we’ve found it tends to knock 10% or so off the efficiency.

    2. Hi James,

      Roof racks and boxes are available for Prius and can be ordered at your local Toyota Centre. More details can be found here.

      Having a roof rack or box fitted will have an adverse affect on your fuel economy; we can’t quantify exactly how much of an affect it will have, therefore we recommend that you remove them when you are not using them.

  44. If the car is used very infrequently and is stored outside during the winter, does the car have to go on a long run to re-charge the propulsion batteries?

    1. Hi Brian,

      The Hybrid Synergy Drive battery does not go flat – it is charged as you drive and designed to be charged and discharged regularly, so leaving it for long periods will not damage it.

      The 12v battery, however, is like that of any other car and will go flat if not used for some time, and there is no set length of time the battery will last for before it goes flat.

      The 12v battery is located in the rear of the car. However, there is also a jump starting point housed in the engine bay. So if a driver is required to jump-start their car they can do this in the engine bay rather than trying to access the battery in the boot.

      You can use a trickle charger to keep the battery charged when you are not using it, but I’m afraid Toyota GB is unable to offer any advice on these third-party accessories.

      1. Is this true for Prius II too? I had read elsewhere that they must not be jump started as this can damage them.

        1. Hi James,

          Yes the second generation Prius does also have this jump starting point in the engine bay. If you’re having trouble finding it, pop into your local Toyota Centre and one of our Toyota technicians will show you where it is.

          Thanks for your question.

  45. I understand that you dont get anything for nothing , but having ordered the safety pack I cannot see that there is much safety about it ,ok the pre-crash system may be worth its weight , but i would have thought that rain repelant glass would have come further down the list than a tyre pressure monitoring system which would presumably cost less as well and as i mentioned before , the lack of lane keep assist ,when it is available in the us markets . Talking of pther markets , why is the option daylight running lights not available either , they are after all compusory in other europen countries and therefore i would imagine only a deletion of something that is already there .
    Maybe Toyota is thinking of having a two part safety packoption in the future

      1. Paul – I think you might have put this response in the wrong place. If it is intended to be a continuation of your message about the John Lewis postcode, then the answer is that I already have; it goes in without any difficulty and shows a location right in the middled of the John Lewis store. This is why I asked whether you were using it properly.

        1. Thanks Sagitar , I have left a response in both places . The satnav only lets me get to the number 3 and then runs out of choices . But i will take it up with the dealer if you say you have been able to input the whole postcode .

          1. I ask again, are you sure you are using it properly? It sounds as though you are inputting the postal code as part of the address and that is not the right way to get to the full postal code facility. Have you done the following?

            Push the Navi button

            Touch “Destination” on the “Navigation menu” screen.

            Touch “page 1/2” at the top of the display to go to the second page

            Touch “UK Postal code” and you should go to a page that allows you to enter a full postcode.

            Input the postal code and touch “List”

            Touch the code in the displayed list and it will take you to the map.

            Good luck

          2. Wow,

            This reminds me of my initial problems with post codes.

            Sagitar is correct.

            When I queried my problem with the dealership last year they told me that the database did not contain all post codes and it was normal.

            I took great pleasure in educating them and telling them that they had no idea.

            same went with my mobile phone from which the car would not save all contacts.

            They actually suggested that I have the Hard Drive replaced, but I found the answer to the problem and cancelled the replacement.(Just needed a better phone)

  46. I took delivery of my 2010 Prius T Spirit last Saturday and there is an updated map on the Sat Nav 2010-2011 so an upgrade must be available for others I assume. I did want the LED lights and Solar Roof but I would have had needed to wait for a vehecle to be ordered in Japan and transorted over for both of these upgrades. Shame Toyota doesn’t think about investing in a factory in the UK.

    One question to Damian: Why have Toyota taken the marque off identifying the model?

      1. Sat nav database will always be out of date to some extent. Where Toyota are letting their customers down is not providing the latest Navteq version when the car is delivered and later updates at reasonable cost.


        1. Was that supposed to answer the question?

          yes, they are always out of date to an extent, but if the old versions are anything to go by, there will be a lot of errors.

          My car is 18 months old and did not include a road that is now 5 years old.

          It begs the question, “Would a very expensive upgrade actually give me what it should? Probably not.

          1. I’ve not really noticed a problem with the map data; it seems extremely accurate. The problem with the sat nav is that it couldn’t find its way out of the center of circle.

            My Prius was delivered 3 weeks ago and if I followed the sat nav directions to my local high street, I’d still be driving now… The routes that is finds are usually miles out of the way and it has almost no ability to dynamically re-route unless you happen upon your destination and it realises that you’ve arrived. Today, I was 1/4 mile from home and it still wanted me to backtrack some 10 miles to get back on the original route.

            It’s a shame that the good map goes completely to waste with such a brain dead navigation app. I find that the nice big screen makes an excellent mount point for my old TomTom.

            Any chance of getting an upgraded app instead of map data?

          2. It’s not for me to answer your question – but since you ask, try looking at the Navteq website. You will see the most up to date version of their roadmaps and they give the facility to notify them of any errors or omissions. My car is the same age as yours and the point I was making is how disappointed I was to find a database 2 years out of date at the time of model launch and Toyota not having a clue how they were going to provide a hard drive update.

          3. Took delivery of mine last Tuesday and it still wouldnt accept the full postcode for john lewis at milton Keynes shopping centre and it has the 2010/2011 maps Alan has .

          4. Paul – are you using it properly? Full post code input has been available for some time, but it is on a second input page.
            Instead of inputting the post code on the address page, click on the page 1/2 tab at the top of the page and then on the post code tab that is revealed.

          5. This is why I will always use my phone for sat nav, it is constantly being upgraded where as built in sat navs either never get updated or the manufacturer charges a arm and leg to update the navigation system. Has anyone tried hacking the toyota prius and installing a different navigation software like google maps?

        2. Interesting, I have spent 4 month going through customer service and the PR dept to find out the date of the current road data for my Prius. Nobody will answer the question.
          Navteq provide 4 updates a year to Garmin and others for as little as £99 for life. £145 from Toyota for their latest with no idea how old the data is. Might as well buy a TomTom it would be cheaper and more accurate as they only charge £29 for 4 updates in a year.

    1. Hi Alan,

      It has been a trend within the industry to remove grade badges on all models and Toyota adopted this policy last year across our range with the exception of special edition models, such as the 10th anniversary edition Prius.

    1. Hi Wayne,

      The hybrid battery is designed to last the lifetime of the car, depending on how the car is driven and maintained. The hybrid battery is also covered by an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first). Should you need to replace it outside of this period a replacement battery can ordered and fitted. A new hybrid battery currently costs £763.75 (excluding VAT and fitting).

      For more details about the complete cost including fitting, please contact your local Toyota Centre.

  47. Does the Prius have heated seats with the leather option ?
    Someone told me that the leather seat option is not factory fitted , but that there is an option pack which includes leather – what is this option called and does this have heated seats maybe ?

    1. You need to order the safety pack for the heated seats and then also take the leather seat option.

      An added advantage of that is that apparently you get a better quality of leather opposed to what gets installed in the UK

  48. Just took delivery and sorry to have to say Damien but heated seats are included . Two questions 1) why are heated seats included on a safety pack and not lane keep assist and 2) why is the operating switch for the heated switch insuch an obscure place

    1. Hi Paul,

      Although I have previously said that heated seats weren’t available, I can confirm that they are part of the Safety Pack and have been since the pack was introduced.

      The reason why lane-keep assist is not part of the Safety Pack is due to the fact that it was not available at launch.

      The operating switch is located in that position due to heated seats not being a standard feature therefore an auxiliary port had to be used.

      But we’ll feed your thoughts back for consideration on future generations.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      1. Is there ANY chance that both Toyota UK Customer Services, the options literature and the Toyota website could be updated with this information to reflect that Heated Seats are in fact part of the Safety pack when Leather Seats are selected?

        My local dealer claims that he doesn’t know anything about heated seats, and phoning Toyota Customer Services I had a very helpful young lady who checked for me and then came back and said heated seats were not available as an option at all.

        Having the heated seat option in the safety pack is a big seller as it makes the pack price appear more reasonable – for me it makes the difference between taking or not taking the pack as the active cruise/crash protection isn’t high on my list of needs.

        I know a lot of dealers can be a bit clueless, but Customer Services should have all the information available to them.

        1. Hi Mark,

          Thanks for flagging this to us; we’ll look into updating all the relevant literature.

          But I can confirm that heated seats are featured as part of the Safety Pack for the Prius.

  49. Recently our start-up battery in the boot of the Prius has begun to lose charge over a few days ? We had the battery replaced under warranty but the dealership could not offer an explanation. Has anyone encountered a similar problem?

    1. Yes, mine runs down also. The dealer says there is nothing wrong with it, but I have reverted to a regular trickle charge to keep it topped up.

      I had to call the AA man to get it going at one point and it was his comment that made me realise I had a battery problem.

    2. Hi yes i had this problem where the battery went flat 3 times in a month! i had to call the AA twice to charge it and when i hadnt gone out in it after 2 hours the third time it was flat again so i called Toyota and they came out and collected it and put in a new battery under warranty but no explanation apart from a duff battery! Now i have had no problems at all and i havent changed how i’m using it so it must have been the battery i’d only had it 2 months!

      1. Thanks Sue and Sagitar, we have had a new battery installed and all seems OK. We are assuming it is the battery as the car was essentially nor driven for a year before we bought it. One Toyota dealership told us you must get a trickle feed if you leave the car unused for weeks another dealership thought that was incorrect.

      2. Following my earlier comments my new battery has died again twice and now my AA man says its a car problem not a battery problem as no way should it drain down like that, taken it to Toyota to sort out once and for all, getting very fed up with it now!

  50. I have just ordered a 10th Anniv Prius with LED Light Pack. I am travelling through Europe in April and need to know how to convert the LED lights for driving in Mainland Europe (using stick on beam deflectors). Can anyone help, please?

      1. If I’m not mistaken you can pop into your dealers and they will adjust them to left hand drive , stickers ar so last year

        1. Paul

          Stickers may be so last year for most companies but not Toyota. The headlamps can’t be adjusted.
          Still waiting for a solution!

          1. Brian, I’m horrified. I don’t have LED headlamps, and am planning to take my Gen4 Prius to Europe in the summer. I have to confess, I hadn’t even thought about headlamp conversion- I usually just buy stickers at the Channel port, or at Halfords the day before if I’m super organised.

            Are you saying that Prius headlights can’t be converted? If so how does a traveller to Europe stay legal?


          2. Re driving on the right. I took my Gen 3 Spirit to France last September – had to put stickers on the headlamps, easy to follow instructions in the package. Slightly irritating as my previous 2 vehicles had switches to do that job easily. Spirit was brilliant at the 500 mile journey.

            Christine Brown

          3. Hi Peter

            Standard headlights are fine and the “Eurolite” stickers work. Problem is with the LED headlamps.

      2. Hi Damian

        Any luck with this enquiry? I have spoken to a couple of dealers near me and none of them know the answer?!?!

        Surely Toyota technical would have considered this requirement?

        Please let me know as soon as you can. My trip starts on the 12th April.



        1. Good news Brian – I’ve spoken to our Technical Department and they have confirmed that due to the flat angle of the headlamp beams on the Prius, conversion of the headlamp beams is not required for driving on the continent. This is the case for both the standard headlamps and the optional LED headlamps. Headlamp converters are available from third-party retailers if you still wish to apply them.

          Hope that helps and have a good trip.

          1. Looking at the beam pattern of mine which go up on the left and thus straight into the eyes of oncoming traffic on mainland Europe, that just doesn’t sound correct.

          2. Thanks Damian. However, reading Jean-Paul’s comments (an owner of a Prius with LED Headlamps) this may not be the case. Would you mind reviewing again with Toyota Technical. The problem with using stickers is that the LED has two projectors and the instructions given only apply to standard headlamps which have only one projector. Where would I put the stickers??
            Appreicate your continued help with this matter

          3. Hi Brian,

            Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

            Our technical team has investigated this further at our technical centre and confirmed that the beam pattern of LED light is flat. LED headlamps are designed in such a way that they emit a horizontal, flat beam that has no kick up and therefore does not dazzle the drivers of oncoming cars when driving on the Continent. As a result there is no need to adjust or fit beam deflectors.

            Hope that has helped and have a good trip.

        2. Didn’t get HIDs on mine as standard, could this be another feature Toyota UK decided not to give to early buyers alongside the reduced warranty we got.

          1. Hi Jay,

            Apologies, that was a mistake by me. The standard headlamps on a Prius are halogen lights not HID lights.

            Sorry for the confusion.

          2. As per the top of this page, they have been available since 5/8/2009 as an option. You pay your money and you get them. Factory order only though.

    1. Interesting question, we’ve got the LED pack and I didn’t think about that at all 🙂 Brilliant as they are, but ofcourse they do use two LED projectors on either side. Wonder whether you have to apply two packs of beam benders!

      Good question, I’ll ask my dealer as well but have no hope as we were the first at that dealer to have the LED headlights which are fantastic btw 😉

    2. Driving back to ferry port in the dark the sticker on our left headlight came unstuck, so annoying traffic, including lorries, coming the other way. We eventually remembered the headlight angle lowering switch, changed it to a lower setting and had no problems after that.

  51. The T3 2011 version does it come with reversing sensors? Where is the handbreak as i cannot see one in any of the photographs?



    1. Yes, parking sensors are available as optional extras (front and/or rear).

      There is no handbrake. The parking brake is applied by the left foot.

      1. Hi Anthony,

        As Brian correctly stated the Prius has a foot-operated ‘handbrake’ pedal which is located by your left foot. Rear parking sensors are available as part of the Protection Pack. For details about the Protection Pack, and other option packs and accessories for the Prius, click here.


        1. Interesting Damian. Does that mean that rear parking sensors are no longer available separately? Front and rear were each available as standalone options when I got my Prius in Sept 09.

          1. Hi Brian,

            Front and rear parking sensors are available on T3 and T4 grades. These are available separately as dealer fit accessories from your local Toyota Centre.


          2. Thanks Damian
            It seems strange that they aren’t mentioned in that accessories brochure that you linked to

          3. Hi Brian,

            This brochure shows a selection of the most popular packs and options. The full list of accessories available is extensive and is available from your local Centre. I can assure you the sensor kits are available for Prius (subject to availability of stock).


    1. That depends on the local authority. I have heard of a few that do – best to check your Council’s website.

      Here in Sheffield it is covered by a Green Parking Scheme, which is £10 per annum plus £10 initial registration to park on city centre council car parks.

    1. In Sheffield you register the car for £10-00 plus £10-00 / year afterwards.
      This entitles you to park on any Council run car park, for the maximum stipulated time.

  52. Hi can i replace my reversing camera with reversing sensors as i really miss them and dont really like the camera with the constant beep as you reverse until you hit something! i know you can see it before you do but i am used to the beep getting more frequent and higher pitched so i know how i’m doing not just beeping at me!
    Is this something i can do – can i have them both? and what about front sensors?
    Sue Ross
    Prius T Spirit 2008

    1. I purchased T4 in November last year. I found camera useful, but got reversing sensors added which cost me £135. It has been very helpful and would not be without it.

        1. No Toyota garage quoted £320.00. I got it done privately by electrical communication based in Blackpool. He came to our home did the installation in an hour.

    2. Hi Sue,

      Your local Toyota Centre would be able to help you with rear sensors, however front sensors are not available for UK second generation Prius.

      Also, when you have them fitted you may want to ask your centre to change your reserving alarm to make a single beep when engaged, otherwise you will have two beeping signals going at the same time.

      1. Thanks i will do that, i wouldnt have thought of that so thats a great comment i do appreciate it Sue

      2. Hi one more question, i’ve had a quote for reversing sensors from my toyota centre at £459 which seems very high to me and also i asked if i was entitled to a 10% discount as i had a 4 year service agreement which says 10% off accessories and fitting which i was told that it did not qualify as it only referred to items done during servicing! i”m not sure this is correct as it doesnt read that way to me – any comments anyone??

        1. Hi Sue,

          Although Toyota GB outlines service schedules and content, the Centre selling the service plan may tailor them to the requirements of the individual customer.

          This includes any discounts to parts and labour rates, as well as the terms and conditions of the plan. Therefore, this is something you will need to discuss further with your Centre.

          Sorry not to be of any more help.

          1. Thats ok i’ve since heard from them again with a date to book me in and they have agreed that i am getting the 10% discount as per the agreement so i’m happy although still think it’s pricy happy that its at the toyota garage in case i have problems with it in the future. Just please there is a forum for me to ask questions. Thanks again Sue

    1. Hi Ron,

      We currently do not have an estate version of the Prius. However, if you’re looking for a larger hybrid vehicle then you might be interested in the Prius+ MPV that will be revealed at the Geneva motor show this week.

      We’ll have more details about this exciting new addition to our hybrid range, plus other announcements from Geneva in the next few days.

    1. Problems aren’t common on this car. That’s why it topped it’s class in the JD Power customer satisfaction surveys for the last three years, and two of those it came top overall

    2. Hi Olivia,

      Prius was launched back in 1997 in Japan and 2000 in the UK and we have heard reports from owners of first generation vehicles that have covered over 100,000 miles whilst still running original parts.

      The Prius also has the lowest warranty claim rate in the entire Toyota range, further highlighting the durability and reliability of the technology.

    3. Actually, dashboard rattle seems to be a very common complaint and also out of date satnav data. Then there is the iPod connector which is doesn’t work with iPod Nano’s. Oh and the JBL sound upgrade has incredibly low volume at the rear speakers as the head unit has got a fault which caused our dealer to have to bi-amp.

      Other than that it is fine 🙂

  53. I find the PRIUS virtually impossible to control in icy conditions due to the traction control system being rendered useless. Is it possible to temporarily ddisconnect the traction control?

    1. I am sorry but I desigreed with you, I was driving my Prius in the Swiss Alps without snow tyres and it did brilliant. So I am sure wasn’t the Prius fault.

      1. Hi Fabio,

        T.McConnell original question was regarding ICY condition, not snow and probably with standard tyres not snow tyres!

        I had no problem on snow either (even if I might get some winter tyres next year) but on ice the ESP quick in far too easily and manual override would be useful).


        1. I’m afraid it really is all about proper tyres. The Michelins fitted as standard on my Gen3 are described by their manufacturer as unsuitable for use on snow and ice. I now drive on Continental winter tyres from November to March and have little difficulty driving on snow or ice.

          If I was faced with being able to use only one set of tyres for the whole year, I think I would choose winter rather than summer tyres, but I am a low mileage driver (about 8000 miles per year) and most of my journeys are local.

          1. Many thanks for your helpful comments.The conditions in which I experienced difficulties were icy surfaces,not snow, and it was only due to the helpful assistance from passing pedestrians that I managed to get any traction.
            Tom McConnell

    2. Not possible, however put it in ECO mode and hardly apply any power or just let it crawl. Not even our other car, audi quattro has got grip on ice, not has my Navara pickup. Just don’t try and power yourself out of it, gentle is the way.

  54. I am a taxi driver for my local council and the criteria for hakney carriage is that it must be pure white car.

    I am desperatly looking for a Toyota Prius
    however can not find a pure white (2009)

    can you please tell me if the V5 c (log book) will document it as white – which I think covers metalic white and pearl or would it state pure white (which I am looking for)

    hope you can help me.

    kind regards
    Mrs Dhesy

    1. Hi Alison,

      Toyota will be debuting the new Prius+ MPV at the Geneva motor show next week. You can read all the information we have at the moment if you click here. We expect more details to come out from the show, so stay tuned to the blog because we will be posting more details as soon as we get them.

  55. I find the Prius brill in the snow as it drives very smooth, prehaps its down to the driver or are you an AutoSock salesman

    1. I second this, my T3 is actually great on snow. Even when front wheel drive Audi’s and VWs were struggling (not to mention the poor BMW crowd) my T3 kept moving. The only complaint I had was brake performance in snow and ice which I later found was due to the standard tyres which harden in extreme whether. I have replaced mine with all-season tyres, the car is quieter, smoother and has better grip now.

    2. No I am not an Autosock Salesman and I doi know how to drive in snow maybe there is a different techneque to driving a no gear hybrid. I think you could not have been driving in very compacted snow even the Toyota salesman had to agree that they are not good on ice and compacted snow even on a very gradual incline. Mine just spins and I have driven it all ways to try to get traction – it just has no traction it took 3 people to push it every time. Maybe it would be better with all season Tyres. Toyota have just changed to Bridgestone so maybe that will make a difference. Maybe the snow is different in the North East of England!!

    3. Actually mine came with Bridgestone Ecopia B250 as standard – these tyres hardened in freezing temperatures here in Scotland – the car still had better traction compared to similar sized cars in my neighborhood. With all-season tyres there was a marked improvement. Actually, if my driveway was in an incline, I would go with proper winter/snow tyres really with any car. Also, I found it better to be on ECO mode so that power delivery to car is gradual.

  56. Just ordered a new TSpirit I am sad to see that the Sat Nav has not been updated since my first 2010 Prius of 2009. On a different note the Prius is a nice car a shame that it is useless in snow. One thing that would be useful for all Prius owners is a set of AutoSock that slip over the driving wheels when you are stuck and quickly get you under way again available in the UK from also if you don’t like the tinny horn on the Prius try replacing them with the PIAA Dual-Tone Performance Sports Horn 500Hz/600Hz 115db they work a treat.

    1. It’s a petrol burning internal combustion engine, so yes!
      On the standard emissions test it releases 89g/km of the stuff (T3) model

    2. Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your question.

      When the internal combustion engine is running a T3 Prius emits 89g/km of CO2 on a combined driving cycle. Or if you have a T4 or T Spirit Prius, the emissions are 92g/km, again on a combined driving cycle.

  57. 1) While driving (when the car is being driven at high speed), is it okay to shift modes, from EV, ECO to POWER?

    2) Is it okay to wash the engine & under carriage?

    3) If parked for about two months without running, will the battery run down?

    1. 1) yes
      2) can’t see why it wouldn’t be, but wait for someone from Toyota to confirm
      3) I think this may be an issue, have you checked all previous posts on this blog?

    2. Hi Muhammad,

      Here are the answers to your questions.

      1) It is fine to switch between the different drive modes whilst you are travelling at high speeds. However EV mode is only available for driving at up to 31mph, for up to 1.2 miles. The engine will switch on once the battery is running low or further acceleration or higher speeds are required.
      2) The Prius can be cleaned the same way as you would with any other car. Cleaning advice can be found on P386 of your Prius Owner’s Manual.
      3) Depends which battery you are talking about. The Hybrid Synergy Drive battery does not go flat – it is charged as you drive and is designed to be charged and discharged regularly, so leaving it for a prolonged period of time will not damage it. The 12v battery, however, is like that of any other car and will go flat if not used for some time.

      1. Dear Damian,
        Tks for your answers, that clears our doubts so well.
        1) Is the road clearance height in all 3rd Gen. Prius the same in UK, Japan & USA?
        2) 15 inch & 17 inch alloys, does it have any difference in road clearance height in 3rd Gen. Prius?
        3) If the 12V battery runs down, is it possible to start the 3rd Gen. Prius?

        1. Hi again Muhammad,

          1) Ground clearance on Prius is 140mm, this is the same as the US model Prius.
          2) The overall diameter of the wheel remains the same whether you have 15 or 17-inch alloy wheels, so ground clearance will still be 140mm.
          3) In the event that your 12v battery runs flat you can jump start from the jump start point in your engine bay to your car to get in going again.


          1. Dear Damian,
            Thank you so much for clearing our doubts. You’re doing a great job. Like me, I’m sure there are so many out there, who are so thankful to you.

          2. Dear Damian,
            1) Having engaged the Prius in ECO Mode manually, for how many miles or hours can I drive in the same mode?
            2) If I drive the Prius in General Mode, will it automatically engage to ECO & POWER modes, depending on the speed I drive?
            3 Having done how many miles must I replace the fuel filter of the Prius?

          3. Hi Muhammad,

            When you have engaged one of the 3 driving modes the Prius will remain in that mode until you’ve completed your journey, with the exception of EV mode. The Prius will automatically disengage EV mode if there is not sufficient power in the battery or if the accelerator input from the driver requires the use of the engine to provide additional power.

            ECO mode reduces excessive energy consumption by lowering power output in response to acceleration and suppressing the air conditioning performance to enhance fuel economy. Power mode does the opposite of this and increases throttle response to acceleration.

            When driving in normal mode, i.e. without engaging one of the driving modes, throttle response will be linear and the Hybrid Synergy Drive system will automatically select the appropriate power source i.e. only battery power, or only engine power, or a combination of the two.

            Finally there is no service requirement for the fuel filter as part of routine maintenance.

          4. Dear Damian,

            Its almost nearing a month since I requested the answers for three of my questions, but so far no answers. Why, are these questions less important to you?

            Please provide me the answers as I’m the user of a third generation T Spirit, and the answers are not only for me, but my friends too need answers for those questions.

            Please help us out by clearing our doubts.

          5. Hi Muhammad,

            Apologies, there appeared to be a technical issue on the blog where my reply to you didn’t get posted the first time. Here are the answers to your questions.

            When you have engaged one of the 3 driving modes the Prius will remain in that mode until you’ve completed your journey, with the exception of EV mode. The Prius will automatically disengage EV mode if there is not sufficient power in the battery or if the accelerator input from the driver requires the use of the engine to provide additional power.

            ECO mode reduces excessive energy consumption by lowering power output in response to acceleration and suppressing the air conditioning performance to enhance fuel economy. Power mode does the opposite of this and increases throttle response to acceleration.

            When driving in normal mode, i.e. without engaging one of the driving modes, throttle response will be linear and the Hybrid Synergy Drive system will automatically select the appropriate power source i.e. only battery power, or only engine power, or a combination of the two.

            Finally there is no service requirement for the fuel filter as part of routine maintenance.

            Hope that has answered your questions.

          6. Hi Muhammad
            Just to clarify Damian’s comment, the car will remain in ECO/Normal/Power modes until the end of the journey OR until you select another mode – you don’t have to stay in the same mode for an entire journey.

    1. Hi Damian,

      The Prius Plug-in hybrid (PHV) is scheduled to go on sale early next year in the UK. Further details to be revealed over the coming months.

      Once it goes on sale the Prius Plug-in hybrid will be available alongside the rest of the Toyota range at your local Toyota Centre. We will update the blog as soon as we have more information. Thanks for your interest.

    1. There is a hybrid RAV 4 in the US, but I don’t think it’s available in the UK (check the main Toyota website).

      Alternatively there is a Lexus 4×4 hybrid, which being a Toyota brand uses the same hybrid system.

  58. Hi Damian ,
    Can you tell us if heated seats are available with the safety pack option or not , as the seems the be confklicting reports .


      1. Damian, I don’t think your answer is correct. Although there is no reference made to the heated seats in Toyota GB’s literature, those who have taken delivery report that they are fitted.

    1. Hi Paul,

      All models in the Toyota range exceed the highest security rating set by Thatcham (The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre).

      As mentioned in the article, we are not aware of any cases affecting our customers in the UK. Toyota GB continues to work with independent security experts, the police and insurance industry to ensure we gain the fullest possible awareness of trends and techniques, feeding all learning’s directly back into product design to ensure we miminise the risk of theft on all our vehicles.

  59. Maintenance:
    What are the Service Intervals for the differing Prius Models?
    And what is an average price guide for each Service?

    1. Hi Bryan,

      I am currently working on the answers to all your questions, but in the meantime you’ll be able to find the answer to your question about servicing here.

      I’ll get back to you soon with the answers to your other questions.


  60. Product:
    How does the Toyota Prius respond to multiple Drivers within the same household, ie: different drivers in a family driving and sharing ONE Prius between them?
    Are there any limitations to the number of Drivers that can drive a single Prius?

    1. Apart from the obvious (ie only one at a time!) no problems/limitations. Different drivers/driving styles will, as with any car, produce variations in efficiency.

  61. Safety & The Environment:
    The oversized and large Battery of the Prius is placed below/near the Rear Seat Passenger area.
    What impacts/dangers does this create to passenger safety?
    Also, what about Radioactivity and what amount of the Prius’ components are ‘radioactive’ in percentage terms?

  62. Safety:
    I, personally, am prone to a lot of electro-static shocks. Giiven the Prius’ high use of electrically produced energies, how reassuring is it to drive this Hybrid Car?

    1. Hi Bryan,

      Sorry for the delay but I wanted to make sure I got the correct and thorough answers to your questions.

      What impacts/dangers does this create to passenger safety?

      There is no risk of electric shock from Prius even if the vehicle is involved in an accident as the batteries are designed to shut down in the event of a collision. Repairing a Prius is as safe as repairing a conventional vehicle.The HV battery pack is enclosed in a metal case and is rigidly mounted to the cargo area floor pan cross member behind the rear seat. The metal case is isolated from high voltage and concealed by carpet in the cabin area.

      What about Radioactivity and what amount of the Prius’ components are ‘radioactive’ in percentage terms?

      Yes the battery system in Prius produces a small amount of radiation but unlike a mobile phone the Prius is not broadcasting or sending signals. To put into perspective an average TV produces more radiation and in addition, all components are shielded and tested to ensure compliance with all EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) tests.

      I, personally, am prone to a lot of electro-static shocks. Giiven the Prius’ high use of electrically produced energies, how reassuring is it to drive this Hybrid Car?

      Please see the answer above about the risk of electric shocks. In addition, all components are shielded and tested to ensure compliance with all EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) tests.

      Are there any limitations to the number of Drivers that can drive a single Prius?

      No, there is not a limit of number of drivers of a Prius in a household. Prius does not have memory functions for things such as seat positions, steering column position, or mirror position that would be different for different drivers.

      I hope I’ve covered off everything for you. Thanks for your questions.

  63. Damian

    Any news on when 10th Aniv model will hit the showrooms. Need to place my company car order soon and really would like to see one in the flesh rather than promo pics

    1. Hi Gmac,

      I’m in the process of find out which centres have taken delivery of their showroom cars. If you could let me know who your local Toyota Centre is, click here if you’re unsure, then I can find out if they’ve got theirs.


        1. Hi Gmac,

          Please accept my apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

          You should be able to see the Prius 10th anniversary special edition at Hodgson Toyota Newcastle and Hodgson Toyota Gateshead. Both Centre’s have the car in their showrooms in Astral Black.

  64. Hi what alot of moaning, just had my Prius 20000 mile service done on my 2010 at Toyota Cheltenham, booked in Saturday morning 8.30 all done washed and cleaned by 10.00am ,brilliant

  65. Hello Damian,

    Please can you tell me if Toyota UK or Toyota in Japan are actively investigating cold start up problems on the 3rd Gen Prius ? I have had two instances of noisy clattering start ups with it feeling like the engine is only running on 3 cylinders. This has only happened in cold weather after the car has not been use for 2 or 3 days and lasts for about 60 seconds. There are 3 similar reports on messages posted on this site around December 10th and a search of the web has many messages of Prius owners with similar problems.
    I doubt asking my local dealer to look at the problem would bear much fruit as the problem is very intermittent.

    My 1.8 T4 Prius was purchased in Oct.2009 an now has 16000 miles under it’s belt.


    1. This may be due to the low temperatures affecting the electronics. This type of circuitry is suseptable to extremes of temperature.
      When the power train starts up it is always with the electric drive. The ICE then has to synchronise its speed to the electric drive.
      If the ICE and the electric drive are not in unison, then there may well be mis firing of the ICE until such times as they pull themselves into synchro.
      My Prius is always garaged in an attached garage. I have noticed the banging under the bonnet on one occasion only.

      Any unsychronised firing of the ICE will not be beneficial to the inlet/outlet valve mechanism.

    2. Don’t hold your breath.

      I bought this problem to my dealers attention in Jan 10 after 4000 miles and then again in Dec 10 after a further 10000 miles.

      Even wrote directly to Toyota UK and had confirmation that they would look into it.

      Still no answer.

      Its not just the cold weather, my car is garaged every night and has behaved well on most days including at -12 deg, but acted up at -5 Deg.

      I’m very disapointed with Toyota UK and will continue to hasstle them and my local dealer.

    3. Hi Graham,

      Thank you for making us aware of your experiences with your Prius. Toyota values customer feedback on all our vehicles and your experiences will be reported back to our technical team.

      If I receive any further details from our technical team regarding your concern I will get back to you as soon as possible.

      In the meantime, if you have any further concerns with your vehicle please do not hesitate to take it into your local Toyota Centre for them to investigate this fully

      1. The above seams to be the stasndard response with no feedback.

        I’m still waiting.

        A message to Toyota “look back at this site and the Toyota Owners Club sites”they both have many comments about this problem

      2. Hi Damian,

        Please could you confirm,as I requested, that Toyota are aware of this what appears to be quite a common problem and are actively investigating a fix? I know that recalls are bad press but this looks like another manufacture/design problem.

        I doubt that taking the car to a dealer will be of any use as others reporting this problem to have tried and got nowhere.

        Awaiting your slightly more informative response.


          1. There are only two real reasons why this long outstanding issue hasn’t been resolved.
            1) The Toyota engineers don’t know what is causing the problem in a car that they designed. Raises a few questions !!!
            2) They know what the cause and resolution are but have chosen not to fix it. Make your own decisions as to why.

        1. Actually, I think I understand why most topics here are delayed or ignored. Toyota UK has probably set aside one or two individuals to maintain this blog as a side task. These individuals have probably not been given proper communication channels to the top such the each issue is evaluated by a TEAM of individuals. I stress the word team because if blog maintainer always propagates questions through a single channel, the likelihood is that they never make it to the top at all. Strange as it is, the core problem is still with Toyota UK management and Toyota Corporation Management who have failed to make use of this important channel of communication to their benefit.

          I thought the lesson was learnt when it was discovered that the brake firmware issue was being discussed by early US based owners on nearly 20 months prior to Toyota corporation issuing the recall – obviously not.

          1. Hi Linda,

            All issues raised on the blog are fed back to the relevant departments at Toyota. As outlined in the Blog Guidelines, customer complaints are investigated by Toyota’s Customer Relations department and dealt with on an individual basis. There are many ways that customers can contact Toyota to deal with any concerns they have about their vehicles – please click here for a full list.

            The blog team is not in a position to comment on individual cases investigated by the Customer Relations department, however we would like to assure you that all feedback is taken very seriously by Toyota (GB) PLC and the Toyota Centre Network.

            Thank you.

        2. Dear all,

          There have been a number of reported experiences that sound similar to yours, which our technical team are investigating. If you are concerned that your Prius may have an issue, please arrange to take your car to your local Toyota Centre so that a full check can be carried out and the results can be reported back to our technical team.

          At this stage we have no further information into the investigation of this issue. We will update the blog as soon as more information is available.

          Thank you.

          1. This advise will also get you nowhere.

            All the dealer will do is assure you that its been passed to Toyota UK

            If you contact them directly, you may still be waiting forever for a reply (Note my earlier comment)

            You may assume, I’m not happy

          2. 11 more days and still heard nothing from toyota.

            Must remember never to get one again, the service from toyota is crap

    1. No. The Prius has Continuously Variable Transmission, which means no fixed gear ratios and no conventional gearbox, so the terms ‘manual’ and ‘automatic’ don’t fit in the context of the Prius.

      Having said that, because there are no gears to change, from the point of view of the driver it is similar to driving an automatic (but without the associated reduction in fuel efficiency or clunky acceleration because the car has decided it needs to change gear).

    1. I don’t think that Toyota have yet worked out how to update the hard drive version of the sat nav. Various posts have suggested that it an be done at a cost of £150/£200 for which sum you can buy a Tom Tom or Garmin satnav including regular updates. Try asking the Dealership and see what they say. The latest version of the map data is Navtec copyright 2008 – someone in Toyota thinks that this is sufficiently up to date.

  66. I have just been into my local Toyota dealer to look at both the Prius and Auris Hybrid. Now i know I’m a company car driver and the car won’t be purchased or delivered through the local dealer but I do take offence that the toyota sales reps just come across not interested.
    Having done my home work on the net the salesman couldn’t really pass any comment on the following and looked dumbstruck (imagine the intelligence of staff working in your local KFC)

    Sat Nav, Maps being out of date not aware
    Fact that new Prius has been shown at Detroit motor show
    Actual MPG as against official claims
    When are they getting the 10th Anniv model in

    All of which gives me no confidence / Is this just the sales side and can anyone advise what customer services is really like

    1. Not surprised really. By the way, there is no “officially claimed” MPG, quoted figures are using standardised controlled tests not real life conditions and exceed reality for all cars.

    2. If you have done your homework, why ask?
      The car shown in Detroit will not be sold in the UK.
      It is possible to obtain the stated mpg or very near to it.
      As to the SatNav maps not being up to date, Ordinance Survey maps are not up to date in some areas. Do you think that TOYOTA are going to be in front of the Ordinance Survey mappers?

      1. i accept car shown at detroit wont be sold in th UK but he wasnt even aware something was shown. Would have thought he would be up to speed. Also accept comment about OS maps but they dont use OS Maps and even if they do OS maps are updated much more frequantly than that. Posts on this and other forums clearly stats map data is over 2 years old, not what you want or accept really when the upgrade costs are £200+

        1. Even more surprised when I found out there was no Speed camera/radar detector fitted in the satnav system! Are these Toyota satnav systems taylor made for Japan or what? Do the Yanks have the same low tech models in the US of A?

          1. Why should all Prius owners pay for a system that benefits those who are incapable of driving within the law?

    3. My dealer actually forgot to order mine . I ordered mine with 3mnths delivery after 2mnths rang him up to discuss dealer options and he told me that it hadnt been ordered .
      Cant get more disinterested than that

      1. Hi Paul, Hi Gmac

        We are sorry to hear about your experiences with your Centres. Please send us your full contact details via our online form, including the name of your Centres, so the Toyota Customer Relations team can investigate your issues for you.


        1. Hi Damian ,
          Thankyou for concern, however,
          I followed your link which took me strangely to my local dealer. As this is the one and the same dealer that forgot my order in the first place , I find it hard to see how an investigation of this would achieve anything other than alienating myself and car ,which btw hasnt arrived yet and therefore hesitate to air my views and risk exposing my car to any ‘accidental ‘ scrapes etc .
          If this ‘investigation’ has no other end than to reprimand my local dealer than i can see no reason to expose them , if however there is some benefit from this I would gladly oblige.

          1. I’m of the same opinion as paul

            I would hate to alienate the dealer further. As when I do get my car I will want to take it into the dealer to get the beep disabled, Do Toyota do mystery shoppers ?

    4. Map coverage data shows that it is Copyright to Navtec dated 2008. Navtec can supply updated info but you can only access it through Toyota and Toyota are not interested.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Our Toyota Service Plans guarantee prices for the duration of the plan and can be paid for up front or in monthly instalments.

      Toyota Service Plans cover the complete cost of your standard servicing, including parts and labour, but exclude replacing normal wear and tear items such as tyres, brake pads and windscreen wipers.

      However, that is why also offer a Fixed-Price-Promise to cover the sorts of things that don’t last forever. Items covered are front and rear brake pads; batteries for both diesel and petrol models; front wiper blade and MOT.

      For more information click here to visit our service and maintenance page and scroll down to Toyota Service Plans and Fixed Price Promise.

      1. Thanks Damian ,

        But this link takes me back to my dealer again and I have asked him several times for a price of the fixed service plans but he has not answered me . I understand that there may be different prices dependent on mileage etc but is there a rough estimate of what this may be for an average driver of 10-12k per annum

        1. Hi Paul,

          Sorry to hear that you’re Centre has not given you this information. Although Toyota GB outlines the contents of the service plan, there are a number of factors that affect the final price, including local labour rates. Therefore it is not possible for us to quote a specific price, as this would be inaccurate for many customers.

          Your Centre should be best placed to provide you with a quote, however if you are still having problems please do not hesitate to telephone the Toyota Customer Care team on 0844 701 6202 or contact them via the online form that can be found here.

          Regarding your question about heated seats, we are able to tell you that this is not available as an option for Prius.

  67. Regarding the LED lighting pack 2 questions
    1. will Day Light Running lamps be part of this pack – I think this is law later this year!
    2. how do you go about converting these for use in mainland europe.

    DAB radio – this now seems to be standard fit on most new cars – when will Toyota latch on to this

    1. Hi John,

      Apologies for the delay, here are the answers to your questions.

      Daytime running lights (DRL) are not part of the technology pack. The Department of Transport position on DRL is;

      “Vehicle manufacturers must fit DRL to new types of passenger car and light goods vehicle (car derived vans) type approved to European vehicle requirements from February 2011. Any new model launched after this date will be required to have DRL fitted. Existing models on sale before this date without DRL fitted can continue to be sold and used indefinitely. There is no requirement to retro fit DRL on vehicles not fitted with them as standard.”

      I’m not sure what you mean in your second question, could you please clarify and I will find the answer for you.

      Further information from the Department of Transport on daytime running lights can be found here.

      In regards to DAB radios being fitted as standard in all Toyota cars, Toyota is continuously looking at areas to improve are cars and DAB radios is currently under consideration. However there are a number of factors to consider such as digital coverage and a date for the digital switch over of radio being agreed.

      We will update the blog with any news about our audio systems and DRL.

      Thanks for your questions.

      1. DAB is an option that can be ordered. We have got it installed on our T-Spirit on 60 reg. It is fully integrated with the radio system and on the channels that we mostly listen to sounds great with the JBL Audio upgrade.

  68. Does the prius t spirit in the UK support Bluetooth audio streaming like the us model. Or will it only support aux in via the jack

    1. Yes, the Gen 3 T-Spirit supports bluetooth audio streaming in addition to aux in via the jack socket. Depending on your device, the controls may be a bit limited though.

        1. I have a 2009 (2010 model) T-Spirit. IPhone 3GS bluetooth audio streaming works perfectly – and automatically connects once in range. However, the control is limited. There’s just a play/pause control on the screen. No track titles or other info. The steering wheel track controls work.

    2. Hi Gmac,

      I’m just waiting to hear back from our product team with an answer to your question. As soon as they’ve come back to me I’ll post the answer on here.


  69. My dealer has quoted me 470 pounds for the DAB radio conversion .
    From what I understand this is a bit excessive and 300 is more the going rate
    How do I go about getting the mod done at another dealer .



    1. Hi Paul,

      The R.R.P. for the DAB radio unit is £387.53 including VAT but not including fitting costs. Fitting costs vary at different centres so the final price may differ from one centre to another centre.


  70. Also does the 10th Aniv model come as stadnard with the ~LED style pack as dont seem to be able to request this as an extra via my company car order

    1. Hi Gmac,

      Thanks for your questions. Rather than replying to each one separately, I’ve grouped the answers together.

      We are just waiting for confirmation of the availability date for the rear mounted cycle rack from Toyota Motor Europe. We expect to have this soon, and will update the blog when it is available to order.

      Heated seats are not available in the Prius, including the 10th anniversary special edition. But it does come with bespoke leather seats with an embossed anniversary logo, 17″ anthracite gloss alloys, a unique Toyota aero-dynamics body kit and rear privacy glass.

      The LED Technology Pack is an optional feature on the 10th anniversary special edition, it is not fitted as standard. We suggest you speak to your Fleet manager as to why it is not available on your company car form.

      Centres will be receiving their showroom cars in the course of the next couple of weeks so be sure to pop into your local Toyota Centre to look at the car up-close.

      1. Thanks

        One other question a friend of mine has a prisu and is driven made by the beeping. Ive seen a number of posts on this and other forums to say the dealer will disable this. As my company car will not be delivered via the local dealer if i take it into my local dealer will they chrage me to disable the beeping

        1. My Gen 3 Prius is a company lease car, so was delivered by the leasing company. I just took it into the dealer nearest to where I was working & they reset the reversing indication to a single beep at no charge.

      1. Leather seats are ok but in my opinion Sat Nav is an expensive waste of money that Toyota are not supporting. Much better value to buy a Garmin or Tom Tom.

      2. Indeed – whereas an automatic is inferior to a manual car the Prius’ continuously variable transmission is superior to both; since it doesn’t have fixed gears and therefore they don’t need to be changed, either manually or automatically!

    1. Hi John,

      The Prius is only available with eCVT, Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission. This means there are no gears and no clutch, so it drives very similar to a standard automatic. The eCVT enables a smooth transition between the motor and the engine for optimal performance from the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

      Navigation is available on the T Spirit grade and leather upholstery is available as an optional feature.

      Hope this answers your question.

  71. A couple of other questions

    Does the 10th anivs model have heated seats
    Any idea when a showroom in the north east of England will have one to view rather than just the publicity shots

  72. I sawa post about rear cycle carriers can anyone advice

    I’m considering ordering prius 10th anvis as a company car but am into my mountain biking and have to consider how illcarry bikes

    1. Generic rear mounted cycle carriers(e.g. Halfords) are adaptable to fit most boot shapes – the two different types I’ve had have never had any problems fitting a Prius.

      There was mention of Toyota selling an “official” one (often these sort of things are a re-badge, and the price tends to be somewhat higher than you would pay for a generic one)

  73. Your question
    what is the different between toyota prius 1.5 and 1.8 petrol vise which use to much and used car available atlondon IG8 HILL GERAGGE please

    1. The current Prius has a 1.8L petrol engine, the previous model had a 1.5L.

      Not sure what you mean by the second part of your post.

    1. Hi there,

      Under the 50 group insurance rating system the Prius T3 and T4 models are both insurance group 15. The T Spirit (including T Spirit with Solar Roof) and the 10th anniversary special edition models are insurance group 16.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you would like a sunroof on your Prius then the Solar Roof optional accessory is the one for you. Not only do you get an electric tilt and slide glass sunroof, but you also get the benefits from the solar panels fitted in the sunroof. The solar panels power a fan to keep the car cool when you’re not in it. The system can be switched on remotely using the key fob and will cool the car for up to three minutes before you even get in it.

      The solar roof option is only available on the T Spirit grade and require you to have 15″ wheels fitted instead of the standard 17″ wheels on the T Spirit.

      For more information on the Prius, the solar roof and other option packs, click here.

    1. How long is a piece of string? That depends upon where you get it serviced. Different Toyota dealers will charge different amounts, and obviously third party service centres and independents will be different again.

      Ask your local dealer

    2. Hi,

      The cost of the service is made up of the labour and the parts required. This can vary at each service and it is the same for all the cars in the Toyota range. As Brian correctly stated, the labour price charged by each centre varies – please contact your local Toyota Centre for the servicing costs relevant to you.

      Hope this answers your question.

    3. As an example of the service costs on the Prius I paid a franchised Toyota dealer £154.36 for the annual service. This might sound expensive compared to other cars – a major factor is the 0W20 oil which was about £75 of the total quoted.

    1. Hi Phil,

      B mode is the engine braking positioning. The purpose of this mode is to aid deceleration when you are, for example, travelling at high speeds or going down a steep hill. It does this by simulating the effects of engine braking, changing down to a lower gear, in a traditional manual gearbox.

      We don’t recommended that you continue driving in B mode for a prolonged period of time, as it will decrease your fuel efficiency. To ensure that does not happen you should change into D for normal driving.

      Hope this answers your question.


  74. Thinking of buying a Prius
    What is the latest news regarding EMF and reported excessive levels in the driver and back right seat? Have EMF been insulated from the car?

    1. Hi Ilhan,

      Thanks for your question.

      The levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in all Toyota vehicles, including hybrid and plug-in hybrids vehicles, are significantly below the guidelines recommended by the World Health Organisation. This is true for all frequencies and at any place within the vehicles. The measured EMF from a Prius is 300 times lower than the guideline critical range of 50-60hz.

      Hope that answers your question.

      1. “The National Research Council (NRC) spent more than three years reviewing more than 500 scientific studies that had been conducted over a 20-year period and found “no conclusive and consistent evidence” that electromagnetic fields harm humans. ”
        Check out the World Health Organisation WWW : a

    1. Once the car is warmed up and the battery fully charged and you are doing less than 30 mph you can switch to electric only. Very useful around town in traffic, coming out of parking lots or any low speed driving. Also useful if you are sitting waiting fpr someone and you want the radio/CD/heater on – switch to electric. The car automatically switches to petrol; at a critical level for the batteries so no fear of running them down.

      1. You can do it as you start the car up, too, until the engine starts running.
        None of the uses mentioned above will actually save fuel. It’s main uses are for impressing friends and for leaving the mistresses’ driveway without anyone noticing.

        1. Surely by using the battery for even short periods of time means that you are not using unleaded fuel, you are consuming the electricity you have generated.

    2. Hi Gregory,

      In EV mode the Prius is capable of driving up to 31mph for up to 1.2 miles using its hybrid battery only. The engine will switch on once the battery is running low or further acceleration or higher speeds are required.

      However, you’re not limited to using EV mode just once in a single journey: when you drive normally using the petrol engine, the regenerative braking process will channel energy back into the battery that powers the motor, meaning that you can keep on using EV mode at intervals – the battery won’t go flat while you drive.

      Hope that answers your question.

  75. I have a gen 3 T spirit with solar roof. Three questions:

    I have the optional ipod integration. Unfortunately it is not full integration – only track titles – no artist names, album titles or playlist names. This means it is only usable with shuffle. £230 is a lot to spend to get minimal improvement over using the line in. Does Toyota have any plans to improve the integration and if so will this become available as a retrofit upgrade?

    When recording cds, should I expect the hard drive to recognise album names, track titles etc. So far, I have a load of cds loaded which all say no data so I have no idea what they are.

    How do I download my entire phonebook via bluetooth? It seems to only allow transfer of one number at a time.

    1. My second hand understanding of these, from comments and discussions from other users on user forums (generally a better place for detailed practical issues than this Toyota blog)is:
      1. Yes, it’s rubbish and not worth paying for, especially when there is a line in socket anyway. Buyer beware.
      2. There is a copy of the Gracenote database built in, but obviously it does not get updated so will not recognise new CDs. I don’t know if it will utilise CD text, although very few commercial CDs actually include such data anyway.
      3. You can’t, it does.

      1. Brian
        Thanks for the swift reply.

        The strange thing with the hard drive was that one of the CDs was recognised and all tracks shown when playing as cd. It was only when I recorded it to the drive that all data disappeared.

        I have solved the phone book issue. I have an Android phone – I downloaded a free Bluetooth transfer app, selected transfer all contacts and the prius took all 300 contacts in about 20 seconds!

        1. Interesting Jonathan. I wonder if the CD did have CD Text, which is why it recognised it when playing, but it doesn’t use that info when ripping.

          The bluetooth transfer app certainly sounds useful. As I said, it’s not directly relevant for me, but sounds very useful as I’ve heard numerous complaints about the 1 by 1 transfer of contacts.

        2. No need for a specific app on Android nor iPhone. I’ve got a HTC Desire HD and iOS4.x on Apple. My wive has got an HTC Legend and all transfer the whole address book to the car no problem.

          Oddly enough I do get Album names and playlist names and you can also switch whether to the iPod connection show a disc for each playlist or a disc for each album. It is annoying it doesn’t show the album artist indeed but to be honest once driving I’ve got the navigation map on mostly anyway.

    2. Hi Jonathan, I use an iphone 3GS with my TSpirit and it works fine via bluetooth. You have to register the phone and the ipod separately via the bluetooth setup screen which is a bit contra-intuitive as the iphone is only one device but once you’ve done it you should be able to play music and send and receive calls (though not simultaneously!). The ipod controls other than stop start and pause all rely on using the iphone itself but phone contacts all transfer with a single command from the car screen. Good luck.

    3. Damian
      Please could you answer my question regarding ipod integration. I believe that newer versions will have full integration which Lexus already provides. Is this going to be available for retro fit on Prius?

          1. Hi Jonathan,

            Apologies for the delay, there appeared to be a technical issue on the blog where my reply to you didn’t get posted the first time.

            I have the answers to your questions here:

            – The iPod integration kit will display the track and album titles of songs organised in playlists. Currently there are no plans to introduce a new integration kit for the Prius.

            – The ability for the hard drive to recognise details from a CD is dependant on information stored on the Gracenotes database in the hard drive. For example, information for a CD released this week is unlikely to be on the current version of Gracenotes. You can update the Gracenotes at your local Toyota Centre.

            – The ability to transfer contacts in your phonebook either in its entirety or one by one via bluetooth is dependant on the bluetooth firmwire on your mobile phone. If the firmwire on your phone has that capability that it is able to do so, if not then you must transfer each contact one at a time.

            Again, I apologise for the delay, and if you have any other queries please feel free to ask.

    1. No, it has continuously variable transmission which is based around the fact that there is drive from a conventional internal combustion engine plus drive or energy recover through dual purpose electric motor/generators. I’m sure the main product page will give more details.

    1. There certainly are Prius in Africa, especially South Africa. The issue is not one of heat – they do well in Australia, Southern US etc – but one of ground clearance on dreadful roads, and of course initial outlay

    1. The original Atkinson cycle piston engine allowed the intake, compression, power, and exhaust strokes of the four-stroke cycle to occur in a single turn of the crankshaft and was designed to avoid infringing certain patents covering Otto cycle engines.[1] Because of the unique crankshaft design of the Atkinson, its expansion ratio can differ from its compression ratio and, with a power stroke longer than its compression stroke, the engine can achieve greater thermal efficiency than a traditional piston engine. While Atkinson’s original design is no more than a historical curiosity, many modern engines use unconventional valve timing to produce the effect of a shorter compression stroke/longer power stroke, thus realizing the fuel economy improvements the Atkinson cycle can provide.[2]

    1. I fitted some Vredestein Snowtrac winter tyres to my T3 3rd gen Prius early November (just before the first of the snow arrived).That was the 1st time I’ve ever used winter tyres and the difference in grip is amazing.They are better than summer tyres in ALL condition below +7 deg C ie in the wet and dry, not just when there’s ice and snow. Of course when there is ice and snow they let me drive in conditions where I wouldn’t have been able to move with the summer tyres. I’m totally sold on the benefits of winter tyres now.

      1. Of course I’m fortunate in having a T3 which is fitted with 15″ wheels, so no problem in getting winter tyres of the same size as the summer tyres.Incidentally this was one reason why I went for the T3 rather than the T4(or T-Spirit)which are fitted with 17″ wheels.The low profile 17″ tyres give poorer economy (as Toyota’s own figures show), a harder ride and cost more to buy, all just for the sake of a more fashionable “sporty” low profile look.Why Toyota UK don’t offer an option (which should of course be no cost) of the standard 15″ wheels on the T4 and T-Spirit is beyond me (of course they have to fit the 15″ wheels on the T-Spirit with the solar roof panel option to meet weight limit requirements).

    2. Hi Chris,

      In the UK, Prius models are supplied with two wheel diameter options, 15 and 17 inch. Winter tyres for both these wheel sizes can be ordered through any Toyota Centre and delivered via our tyre supplier, subject to stock availability.

      However, Toyota do not manufacture tyres and source these from tyre companies well known to us all. Winter tyres are more readily available for the 15 inch wheel and can be supplied via both franchised retail outlets and independent tyre retailers. Winter tyres for the 15 inch Prius wheel is available for sale and the part numbers are 42611-47140 and 42611-47150 and the tyres size required is 195/65/15. Winter tyres for the 17 inch wheel are more specialised, but we understand are available from manufacturers such as Dunlop, Pirelli and Michelin.

      However, it is important to note that tyre manufacturers plan their production of winter tyres at the end of Quarter 2 each year and we understand that demand for winter tyres this winter has been unprecedented and most tyre manufacturers and suppliers have sold out as a consequence, given the adverse weather we have experienced.

      Thanks for your question.

  76. What is the difference between the PRIUS VVTI TSPRT HY A SR10 and the PRIUS VVTI TSPRT HYB CVT10 ? (This is as a corporate car).

    1. Hi Tim,

      I’ve checked with our Fleet Department and they can’t find a match to the codes you’ve provided.

      We think one could be a Prius T Spirit with the solar roof option (SR10) and the other a standard Prius T Spirit (CVT10). The difference between the two is that with the solar roof option fitted you will have 15″ alloy wheels (on a standard T Spirit you have 17″ alloys), remote air-conditioning system, and solar ventilation system. Having the solar roof also gives you the added benefit of lower CO2 levels at 89g/km and improved fuel consumption at 72.4mpg.

      Could you let me know where you got these codes from so that I can find out for certain what they stand for?


      1. I had a similar question what are differences on these. I believe the cars will come from Arval.
        VVTI TSPRT HY A SR10


  77. Hello.
    How can I improve the performance of my Prius whilst driving through the current snow and ice road conditions?

    Paul Powell

    1. The Prius is just fine in snow and ice, so long as you have traction. If you are used to using wheelspin to get you out of problems in snow then you need to learn to do without since the traction control is fierce and will not allow it. I recommend winter tyres, or chains, or tyre socks (I use Weissenfels tyre socks, google it) and then you will have not trouble. It is very unfair to expect the normal tyres, which are rated only for summer use, to cope well with snow.

  78. our prius is 14 months old 12000 miles since new,we drive the car with care,it is now doing 35 m.p.g. nowhere near the 70 m.p.g. we had a 3 litre mercedes s class before this model and it did the same this car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. James
      What sort of journeys are you doing? All cars are less efficient when it’s cold, particularly on short journeys, but the prius especially so.

      1. HI BRIAN,

        1. James
          There’s no need to SHOUT. The short journeys, especially in the recent extra cold weather. We were getting low 40s on short journeys. 35 does sound particularly low, so see if it improves when the weather gets warmer or if you go on a longer journey.

  79. I cannot find an answer to whether heated seats are included in the T-Spirit standard spec, are available as an optional extra (if so, how much?) or if they are not available. Can you advise please.

          1. The T Spirit with the safety pack that was delivered in January that I am driving definitely does have heated front seats, this was a pleasant surprise because it did not seem to mention this in the brochure.

    1. Hello,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

      In answer to your question, the standard seats in a T Spirit are not heated, and heated seats are not available as an optional feature.


  80. Dear all,

    Thank you for your continued patience regarding new software updates for 3rd generation Prius T Spirit. Toyota is currently investigating the issue with the supplier of the mapping system, the Toyota Centre network and the technical teams at Toyota (GB) PLC, Toyota Motor Europe and Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan. This investigation addresses the issue of upgrading the satellite navigation software in all markets where this system has been made available.

    Toyota (GB) PLC is unlikely to be in a position to provide further details until the New Year but rest assured it is something we are keen to address.

    Regarding winter tyres, in certain European markets, e.g. Germany, legislation is in place to encourage customers to operate winter tyres during the winter months. However, in the UK legislation has not been passed to encourage this activity and as a result the UK does not have an infrastructure in place to support winter tyres.

    We are committed to providing our customers with products and services that support their needs and safety; therefore we are currently looking to test customer demand for winter tyres on a local basis, with a limited number of models, before we embark on a national programme.

    In order to provide Toyota owners across the UK with the high level of service and support expected from the Toyota Centre network, the programme would require significant planning and investment. This includes sourcing and supplying winter tyre stock for appropriate Toyota models, the provision of all steel wheels and the storage of summer tyres.

    We value your feedback and will update the blog as soon as we have more information.

    1. Hi Damien,

      As you may have noticed from some of the posts here, we really aren’t very patient any more. That was over a year ago, when we thought Toyota was interested in us, rather than the income we might generate, and before we realised how out of date the supplied mapping data is.

      I will be reporting this as a warranty issue at my next service, due within the next two months, as the current system is not fit for purpose. I expect the mapping data to be replaced until it is at least as new as the car. Also, with the advent of a hard drive system, the process should be simpler, not strewn with unworkable DRM protection.

      As far as winter tyres are concerned, winter tyres are available now, but not from Toyota UK. Steel wheels are available now, but not from Toyota UK. I just wanted to confirm the correct size. I have storage at home in my garage, I do not need Toyota UK to store my spare wheels. Or is Toyota more concerned about making profit than it is about my safety?

      At present, I am using summer tyres, which the manufacturer says are unsuitable, because Toyota UK says this is the correct thing to do, despite advice in the car manual to the contrary. Also Toyota UK refuses to provide the information I need to obtain the correct winter tyres. If I have an accident which winter tyres would have prevented, then I will hold Toyota UK responsible.

      I repeat my request for the contact details of the Toyota CEO in Japan, which you have omitted from your response. Or are you deliberately refusing to supply this information?

      As a final matter to conclude my lack of patience with Toyota UK, can I resurrect the issue of the lack of warranty supplied with the early Gen III Prius cars. This is vastly inferior to that supplied with both earlier and later Prius cars. Explanations on this blog have been evasive and dishonest, to put it mildly. You will be getting a lot of complaints as existing warranties run out, and owners realise that Toyota UK is forcing owners to take out two year extended warranties and batter warranties to retain the resale value of their cars. This is effectively a forced depreciation of around £1000 for acting as unpaid Toyota test drivers.

      Toyota UK must address these matters and rapidly. The dithering of the past year is not acceptable.


      1. Apologies, I meant battery warranties. Although the standard and hybrid warranties might as well be made of batter after year 3. However, I prefer the description “Weasel Warranty”, which I feel is a more correect overall description.

        1. Dear Bob,

          We appreciate your feedback and take the matters you raised in your blog comment this morning very seriously.
          You may have already seen that we have sent you e-mail. As outlined in our blog guidelines, the blog team is unable to process individual customer complaints; therefore we have passed your comments on to Toyota’s Customer Relations team, who have been fully informed of the details of your case. They are best placed to discuss your concerns in full.


          1. I am grateful to Bob for pushing these issues and I would not want anyone to think he is a lone voice. For some of us, life is too short to wait for Toyota and we have got on with solving problems for ourselves. I bought wheels and winter tyres because I care for my own safety and that of others. I got no guidance from Toyota other than that in the handbook i.e. “fit four winter tyres”.

            But the fact that I got on with it by myself should not be read as indicating that I am unconcerned at the lack of service from Toyota. The poor navigation update arrangements and the disgraceful lack of concern for the warranty extension for early adopters seems indicative of a “do as little as possible” attitude.

          2. Hi Steve,

            I’ve just filled in the current Auto Express survey. It’s way less complimentary than the one I did for my previous Gen II, and indeed the current Gen III soon after I bought it, before all the problems came to light.

            I think JD Power is early next year, which should give Toyota some leeway to put their house in order before the Prius drops way down the list.

            I still find it amazing that Toyota can follow a faultless performance for the Gen II, with the total pig’s ear they are making of the current model.

          3. I support all the comment previously made by others and me regarding the poor Toyota response to complaints about warranty and satnav issues. I’ve stopped complaining, but perhaps we should all just keep at it until Toyota take some notice.

          4. I to support everything that has been said over the months and have contributed to some of the comments. But unfortunately I believe that Toyota GB and in Japan will only listen and take issue if this was to get into the National and Local press. At present they can sit back and almost laugh at us as this is not hurting them at all, bcause it is just internal – unless someone can tell me otherwise.
            Until then we can only but trust they WILL do something about the issues which have been raised.

          5. I also gave up trying to put across to Toyota UK the injustice of the weasel HV Battery Warranty. I believe that things will not change and we will be left out in the cold – so to speak. In consequence I no longer recommend Toyota to my friends, family or anybody else who asks for my opinion.
            To date this has resulted in one family member opting for a new Hyundai. It is a very good car with a long warranty and the local dealer receives excellent support from the importer, in order to keep customers happy. I believe that in future Hyundai will take a lot of sales from other manufactures, especially Toyota. I wonder why!!
            Happy Christmas to you all.

    2. I’m intrigued to see that the issue of Satnav is still regarded as current. As those who have read further down this page will know, I have complained as loudly as anyone for the first year that I owned my now 15 month old car.
      For me things came to a head 3 months go when my dealer informed me that, finally, they could arrange for the three and a half year old data on my car to be exchanged for two and a half year old data, but that this would involve me taking time off work to take the car to the dealer, and would cost me £200. This made me very angry indeed, particularly since I had read that some customers had been given the “upgrade” free as a goodwill gesture. My dealer suggested I call customer services, again, which I did.
      The man I spoke to at customer services told me that, yes, the upgrade was being given free to some customers, but that each case was being taken on its merits. I asked how the merits of my case were less meritorious than those of another customer with an identical problem. He refused to be drawn in to discussion but simply said his decision on this was final.
      I then stated that I felt cheated. I had originally planed to buy a T3, preferring its superior ride and better fuel economy, but the salesman sold me a T-Spirit on the basis that factory fit leather upholstery was only available in the T-S, and that the built in Satnav would be much better than a TomTom.
      My car arrived with badly fitted dealer- fit leather, which I could have had on a T3, and the Satnav, which has been totally useless.
      The customer services man told me that I was being unrealistic to imagine that a few thousand pounds worth of built in satnav would be better than a TomTom, as the TomTom is a specialist product, and the Prius’ system is made by a car manufacturer, not a Satnav manufacturer. Toyota does not attempt to offer a product as good as specialist items.
      He asked why I had thought the Satnav might be as good as a TomTom. I replied in strong terms that I mistakenly thought this, firstly because the salesman had very strongly argued that it would be much better in his efforts to sell me a T-Spirit, and secondly because something that is many times more expensive than a TomTom jolly well should be better.
      The phone call ended in complete stalemate.
      Taking stock at the end of a year’s ownership, the car still rattles despite eight attempts to fix it, the driver’s door still doesn’t seal at its top edge, the bonnet still only opens if one person lifts it while another operates the release lever, the rear centre armrest lives permanently in its down position as it won’t stay up, the radio can’t get radio 4 all the way from Bedfordshire to London, and the Satnav can’t find its way without taking repeated scenic detours.
      The process of repeatedly taking the car back to the dealer was a novelty that wore off. They were unfailingly polite: “We want you to be completely happy with the car. Please bring it back to us again if there is any problem at all”. Unfortunately the words start to grate when it goes in with six rattles and comes back with a different selection of six rattles. I don’t actually blame them for their inability to fix it. The flimsy trim on my early car seems to be inherently rattly. I decided, for the sake of my own sanity, to take a break from trying to get the car fixed. I’m content to drive round in a rattly Prius with a TomTom stuck to the screen for the moment. I had planned that it would be a car to keep long term, but sadly, I think I shall keep it for a second year and then look around. I shall only consider another Toyota if I see convincing evidence of a change in the quality of its products and the quality of its customer service.

    3. Why do you need an ‘infrastructure to support winter tyres’? All you need to do is offer to import and fit the 215/45-17 Continentals from Europe. At the moment, nobody is doing this so Toyota could offer it as a service to those T4 and T-Spirit owners who want winter tyres instead of saying ‘you should be OK with summer tyres’.

    1. Hi Jai,

      The third generation Prius will continue to be exempt from congestion charge under the revised scheme that comes into effect on 4 January 2011.

      Thanks for your question.

  81. Hi Damien,

    Another two months now. Has Toyota yet worked out:

    * how to update the Satnav data
    * what it is likely to cost
    * why the data on my one year old car is well over three years out of date, and what it will do to correct this.

    1. Hi Bob,

      I am still waiting as well. I was probably one of the first to flag this up. It has now taken Toyota approximately 18 months and still no fix. I cannot understand what the problem is.

  82. Hi I have a 09 Nov Prius T Spirit 3, when the weather is very cold – 3 to -4 deg and I start the car there is a very loud noise from the engine for about 70 seconds then it all goes normal+ and some engine vibration, I captured it on my camcorder. The car is at my Toyota dealers at the moment and I gave them a DVD disc with the camcorder recording on, they said they had never come across this noise before. Has anyone had this happen?
    It only happens in cold weather never in normal conditions.

    1. Hi Sorry It should read 20-10 Prius, looking on U TUBE there are a lot of people had this problem also on camcorder footage no reason given

    2. I also have a Prius T spirit March 2010.

      I have had one occurance of a loud clattering, for a few seconds, on startup and then normal running. It happened in cold weather.

      Does anyone know the cause ?

    3. Alan,

      Yes, happened to me in Jan and again last month.

      My dealer has requested full details and has passed it onto Toyota UK.

      Originally they said it was bad fuel but now agree that isn’t the case.

      Can you tell me which dealer you used so that I can get my dealer to cross reference the occurances

      1. Hi have my car back now the reason given is that the petrol wax content is is thickening with the cold weather, they do not have a fix for this at the moment but toyota tech department suggested that a fuel additive be added like injector cleaner, which toyota has put in my tank. Weather has warmed up now so I will not have a problem. My dealer has put pressure on the tech department for a solution as they do not want any more recall episodes. We will have to wait and see,they say no damage is done although it sounds expensive when it happens. I only use use Shell petrol as I get more MPG with this brand.

        1. I stopped posting on here a couple of months ago after reaching a complete stalemate with Toyota customer services over the outstanding problems with my car, but receiving an email notification of this post has, sorry to say, provoked me out of my retirement.

          Petrol remains liquid, and ignitible, down to -71degC, give or take a degree or two depending on its exact composition.

          The suggestion that it might start to wax at -6 is laughable

          best wishes


        2. I did comment at greater length, but that appears to have been moderated out.
          Just one small point of information: The flash point of petrol is minus Seventy-One degrees Centigrade. i.e. it remains liquid and ignitible down to that temperature.

        1. Thanks Alan.

          I’d say that is a load of rubbish, otherwise most other Prius drivers would have the same problem and Toyota would be inundated with compaints.

          When my car was returned after having the fuel tank drained, it seemed to clear up the problem, but it also warmed up.
          Yet this time it happened at about -6 Deg, but was fine at -12 Deg.

  83. What snow tyres may be fitted to a prius ?. I am told that “215/4517” type have no equivalent in the snow tyre range. Can “215/5017” be safely fitted. ?

      1. Hi Damian,

        And will you let us know the correct size of steel wheel to fit the winter tyres. I am assuming that either 15″ or 16″ wheels and tyres are more appropriate than the low profile 17″ ones fitted to the T4 and T-Spirit

        1. Hi Terry, Hi Bob,

          Toyota currently does not offer winter tyres for the third generation Prius, but this is something that we are exploring. We would also not recommend that you fit the wrong size tyre on the car in any circumstance.

          We have had feedback from your fellow Prius owners who have driven without issue in wintery conditions using the original manufacturer tyres. Click here to read about their experiences.

          If you are concerned about driving in winter conditions please see page 273 of the Prius Owners’ Manual for winter driving tips.


          1. Hi Damien,

            This is a silly question, but what does Toyota do in those countries where winter tyres are required by law?

            Does it tell Prius owners to ignore the law, because Toyota doesn’t provide winter tyres?

            Does it recommend that Prius owners go into hibernation for the winter.

            As it happens, winter tyres are available in the size of wheel fitted to the Prius T3. So what does a T4 or T-Spirit owner do?

            This is unfortunately exactly the response I expect from the company that leaves owners in the lurch with it’s weasel warranty for early buyers, and that still hasn’t a clue how to update the 3 1/2 year old satnav data on the current Prius.

            Please supply the name and office address of the Toyota CEO in Japan. This looks like the only way to get sense out of Toyota.

          2. I read you comments with much interest, Bob. I am considering a new Prius next year and one of my journeys will be Italy for Christmas 2011. This drive takes me through Switzerland and Italy where, as you mention, snow tyres are a legal requirement in the winter months. If Toyota cannot offer winter tyres then I will not be purchasing a new Prius. I await Damian’s reply to this.

          3. Hi Brian,

            On past performance, you may be waiting a very long time for a sensible reply from Toyota UK. In general they appear to be totally clueless. You only have to look at the posts in this blog and at to realise this.

            On topics such as:

            * The weasel warranty for early Gen III buyers
            * Making a mountain out of the brake recall molehill
            * Supplying satnav data 2 1/2 years out of date
            * Trying to find a way to update satnav data
            * Dealers supplying the wrong oil grade

            Toyota are showing just how incompetent they are, and how little they care about their customers.

            Rant over, I suggest that the only way you are likely to get an answer, in time for next Christmas, is to contact Toyota in Italy and/or Switzerland. They will be well aware of what is available, and should be able to give a useful answer.

            Also, if you look on the Prius forum at, there have been a number of discussions about winter tyres. It is obvious that a number of owners have had these fitted, very successfuly. So again, a source of information.

            However, if you want tyres recommended by Toyota UK, then it is obvious that the Prius is not for you. A great shame, because it is a really great car, but supported by a company that is totally inept.

          4. Is it normal for manufacturers to provide alternative tyres? Surely a tyre specialist like Kwik Fit could provide something suitable.

          5. Kwik Fit can’t provide winter tyres for T4 or T-Spirit because nobody makes a winter tyre in that size so you have to either get the ‘wrong size’ tyre for the 17 inch wheels, or get a set of 15 inch wheels, fit winter tyres to them, then do a wheel swap.

          6. Hi Damian,

            You may be interested to know that page 273 of the Prius Owner’s manual says “Have the vehicle fitted with four snow tires”.

            Also, the Michelin brochure says of the tyres fitted as standard to the Prius T_Spirit “Like all summer tires, the Pilot Primacy is not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice”.

            Would you care to revise your reply in the light of this.

          7. Damian, Can you pls. indicate approximately how many “fellow prius owners” have given you feedback indicating original tyres are fine? Your link indicates one or two owners mention traction control is good and they didn’t slip etc.

            My feedback is the complete opposite – original Brigestones are hopeless in sub-zero temperatures. The only reason why I manage to keep moving these days is because the traction control system is good.

            It is important to note that there is a big difference in tyres that barely cope with wintery conditions vs proper winter tyres with good sub-zero/snow peformance. I have checked out several good tyres, the nokian entyres have better reviews as all-weather tyres but just cannot get myself to fork out more bucks with original tyres only done 15K miles

          8. If you look at Damian’s link, the answer is two. And if you look at what they say, I don’t think it gives a lot of confidence.

            FWIW, the Prius is very good in snow, for a car on summer tyres, but when it does lose grip, it loses traction totally because of the permanent traction control.

            As far as the cost is concerned, don’t forget that while you are using winter tyres, you aren’t using the summer tyres. So there’s not really any extra cost overall. It’s just that you have to pay for the winter tyres up front. But it should be a lot longer before you need to shell out for new summer tyres.

          9. Hi all,
            I have been driving my T-Spirit during these wintery days of snow and ice and can say I have had no problems with road traction. I have heard said that the traction should be taken off as this can cause problems.
            I have not checked the manual yet, but gather from previous comments that the traction control is fixed and cannot be switched in and out on demand

            As to the point of winter tyres – yes there is an initial cost for the tyres but if the garage will change them again for the original tyres then yes there is a cost saving overall.

            I too am awaiting the result of the sat nav situation.

          10. Hi Damian. Over in Europe they have Continental TS830 M+S tyres in 215/45-17 size so why are they not available in the UK?

  84. You state that all models should have automatic door locking when you drive off.
    I have series three prius and as far as I am aware they do not lock automatically.

    1. Agreed Edward – automatic door locking is not fitted (at least not on the T3, I guess it may be on higher end models although I don’t recall it ever being referred to). There is a switch on the inside of the driver’s door to lock all doors.

    2. I remember reading the owners manual on this – there is a way to configure automatic door locking parameters, it could be a dealer-only configuration similar to disabling the reverse beep. I don’t have the manual with me right now but google tells me in the US version of the owner’s manual, page 69 & 70 has instructions for disabling/enabling the auto door locking.

    1. Hi Brandon,

      The engine in the third generation Prius features a timing chain rather than a timing belt (cam belt)

      Furthermore, the third generation Prius does not require a V-Belt as the water pump, power steering and A/C compressor are electric.

      Hope this answers your question.


  85. Hello,

    I bought my new Prius T-spirit at the very end of September… and I now understand from my dealer that there is already a navgation update available, that was released in october – since my map is very out of date.

    please could you arrange for me to get this update as a good will gesture – as i specifically asked for the latest map to be loaded as part of the PDI.

  86. Please let us know what happen to The Road tax, we have purchased 1 year old Prius do we need to have the road tax disc or not.

    1. You still need a tax disc, because it acts as a licence and without it your car is not road legal, but there is no charge for it. You still need to take the necessary documents in to get it.

    2. Hello Shikayama,

      All vehicles are required by law to display a tax disc. Due to its low CO2 emissions, the current 3rd generation Prius is ranked in Band A for vehicle tax (VED), which means there is no charge for the tax disc. However, you will still need to apply for a tax disc, which must be displayed in the car.

      If you own a 2nd generation Prius, which is in Band B, the cost is £10 for 12 months vehicle tax.

      I hope this answers your question. For more details about road tax, click here.


  87. Two weeks ago I got my new Prius. On all but one account I am happy. When a traffic announcement is made the volume increases to a pre-set 18. The local garage informs me to adjust it down during a traffic announcement, the system should remember the new setting. The TA messages keep coming at the very high 18 preset.

    1. is volume 18 a pre-set lowest volume for TA?
    2. is that volume adjustable?

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thanks for your question. A rear mounted cycle rack will be available from December. The exact date for when it will be available has not been finalised yet, but we will post it on the blog as soon as possible.


    1. Hi Glenn,

      The current third generation Prius will continue to be exempt from congestion charge under the revised scheme that comes into effect on 4 January 2011.

      Thanks for your question.

  88. how many miles does the engine or hybrid last? would i have to change any majrparts after a certain mileage, like cambelt, battery, engine? the mercs and bmws have unlimited mileage for engines because they are known for that and most family members have the cars and i know how good they are. thankyou for your time.

    1. Hi Saqib,

      All components, including the engine and the hybrid battery, are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. The engine does not need a cambelt change as a chain is used and this will not require changing. In addition, the Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain has very few moving parts, so it has virtually no maintenance. In fact, the Prius has the lowest warranty claim rate of any Toyota model.

      All new Toyota vehicles are covered by a 5 year/100,000-mile comprehensive warranty. Prius also has an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty on the hybrid battery. For more details about Toyota’s warranties, please click here.

      1. Hi Damian,
        Thank you for your prompt reply. Perhaps its something that requires developing given the number of caravaner’s. I guess the Hybrid 4 x 4 is an option, but this is an big and expensive vehicle.
        Need to give this some thought.


  89. Is the Toyota Atkins cycle a true Atkins cycle engine or your variant. If it is a variant will you please describe the difference?