The Next Prius launch event – updated

As some of our regular visitors will know, the Next Prius has been busy touring the UK over the last few weeks. Toyota has also been previewing the Prius to journalists and customers – first a couple of weeks ago at the Longcross test track and proving ground in Surrey, and now at MIRA in Warwickshire.

Prius front detail

If you have attended either event, you’ll have had the chance to really put the car through its paces – we’d be really interested to hear your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to post below!

Comments (46)

  1. Well I have bought my new Toyota Prius Tspirit today. A little dissaponted that the actual car isn’t the same specification as the one viewed at Bluewater in that it doesn’t have auto dimming rear view mirror and dusk lights which the Bluewater car had. An issue I will take up with Toyota, misrepresentation me thinks. Anyway test drove demo yesterday and the car is a piece of work. I will just have to adjust the rear view mirror at night and turn the lights on manually. I have had behind “B” pillar privacy glass fitted to overcome former. Really don’t understand the mix of Tspirit specifications. Everything should be on offer as an extra.

  2. I have not had any comments from Simon on my previous Blogs. however just thought of something… Having gone through the new brochure there is no mention of wheel locking bolts being provided.These were provided on all previous Prius Cars.
    Would be interested to know the reason. Derick

  3. Myself and a friend attended the MIRA event on the Friday evening. Very well-organised and a mercifully “hard-sell-free zone”. I currently have a series 2 T4 which has impressed me with its reliabiltiy, economy and comfort. Now thoroughly dissatisfied because I want new series T Spirit. Ride vastle improved, economy amazing and altogether a stylish car. Not clear about the leather option, which does not appear on the web-site specifiations as an option. Would prefer electrically folding to heated mirrors – much more convenient when parking in confined car parks with awkward pillars or manoeuvering in heavy urban traffic. The new central block between driver and passenger makes leaning across to deal with tolls and parking tickets in right-hand drive countries awkward when driving solo.
    These are but minor niggles. I still want a new one, and my none-Prius driving friend was equally converted.

  4. Thanks Andy
    That helps to clear up a few things I did see the different colour leather but did not ask the question at MIRA..
    I think the Silver is the best colour option with the dark grey leather… My present Prius II has dark grey leather and is light blue, but this colour is not offered with the new car.. My first Prius was silver and I think is the best resale colour to have. Good luck with the delivery of your new Prius on 1st September. Regards Derick

  5. Derick, the leather that Toyota GB are offerring was installed on the car with all the options on. There were only 3 cars with leather at the MIRA event – the Euro LHD car with the LED lights and solar roof which had the factory fitted “misty gray” 2 tone leather available in the USA. The cut-away car – again Euro LHD – which had the factory fitted dark grey. And finally the RHD car in the styling section with the styling pack (i.e. the chrome strips along the side and rear), protection pack and UK spec dark grey leather interior. I think it will look great with silver – the exact combination I have ordered (also hoping for 1st September delivery).

    Why Toyota GB are fitting their own leather kit for the UK I have no idea. Perhaps Simon et al can explain.

  6. Hi Simon,
    My wife and I had a most interesting and enjoyable first morning session last Saturday at MIRA.. Very many thanks to Toyota UK and all their staff for their kind hospitality and very professional organisation for the promotion of the new Prius.
    At present, I am now the owner of my second Prius, and having kept up to date with all the information on the new Prius, and with confidence, I had already place an order on 25th June for the new Prius T Sprit 1.8 (Tyrol Silver). Hopefully for delivery 1st September.
    Our visit to MIRA confirms all my confidence in the new car and lives up to all the write ups in USA and Europe.
    Although it is not shown any where on the Toyota UK Web Site I was told that the DAB Radio Tuner is an option in UK. If this is confirmed,and subject to cost, I intend to have this option together with the USB option. Leather seats are an option but no indication of the colour.. Not sure if the same for all external paint colours. Still not shown on build your Prius Toyota Web site.
    The head up display is great and will I am sure be very useful.
    Is there any reason why the UK/Europe Warranty for the Hybrid related Components has been reduced 5 years 60,000 Miles.
    In the USA they offer 8 Years/100,000 Miles In certain other USA States they do even better 15 years/ 150,000 Miles with a 10 year Warranty on the Hybrid Battery.
    Altogether very pleased . A great car which I cannot wait to take delivery of in September/
    Well done TOYOTA !!
    Derick and Susan Gray

  7. My wife and I attended the MIRA launch event last Saturday morning (12/07/09)thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. As a Series 2 owner I was interested to learn what the new Prius had to offer and came away feeling very impressed: quieter, more responsive, greater choice of driving modes, very stable…the only thing we regret is that we can’t afford to trade our present Prius in for the new model. The only negative? the annoying reversing beep is still there, I suppose it does serve a valid purpose, but I can’t think of one at the moment. Another thing that puzzles us is why Toyata have reduced the hybrid drive warranty period. Many thanks to everyone concerned with the event for making it a most informative and enjoyable experience. We just wish that the Government would introduce a grant / financial incentive which would enable us to afford to trade in our Series 2 for the Series3.

  8. I attended the MIRA event on Saturday and was impressed by the entire event.

    It was very well catered for with refreshments severed during the entire session. I personally enjoyed the cut away prius and some of the technical bits. The best part was taking the new car for spin. They had several ‘tests’ that we could do, there was;
    the IPA
    driving, zig zag through cones
    and avoidance test at 30mph
    emergency stop at 50mph
    uphill start with the new hillstart feature
    economy driving test around a circuit.

    Shame we could drove it a motorway speeds, but in all, the car looks great. The inside feels so much better, looks very modern. Space has improved, front and rear (especially the headroom in the rear).

    The head up display was excellent.

    In general, it is a fantasic car, so much so, my wife really liked it and was talking about buying one.

  9. Attended the MIRA session with my wife on Saturday – generally most impressed with the whole event – I can appreciate what a feat of organisation to keep it all moving along so smoothly (bit like the Prius I suppose).
    As to the car itself there was much about it that I liked and just a few really quite minor negatives in my mind. Kicking myself that I didn’t get around to asking about the wheel size “options”. But I did learn that the extra weight with the sunroof option is not so much from the sunroof itself but from the extra strengthening needed to compensate for cutting a hole in the roof. This seems to be compensated by ditching the spare wheel and providing one of those emergency repair kits which pump the punctured tire full of goo. I wonder if the reason that the 15″ wheels are provided with this option could be because the 17″ wider, low profile tyres are not so suitable for repair by this means. I’m sure there is little difference in weight between the two sizez in themselves (would be interesting to know though).

    Like others on this blog, being a current Prius owner, I’m not sure I can quite justify switching to the new model… yet.

    My wife on the other hand although loving the car and needing a replacement for her ageing Clio would prefer something a little smaller so I am probably going to hold fire for a while and see what the Hybrid Auris is like when it arrives.

    Never the less a big thanyou to Toyota and all the staff at the MIRA event for an enjoyable, informative and fun afternoon.

    1. Again, thanks to you all for your feedback on the launch events, and the new Prius. We’ll make sure all your comments – good and bad – reach the appropriate team.


  10. Hi,

    I attended the last customer session at MIRA on Saturday evening. It was a very well organised and enjoyable event. I currently own a Peugeot 107 but miss the convenience of an automatic gearbox in London driving. I also miss being able to carry 4 large adults and luggage. However I love the 50+ mpg economy, low road tax and low parking permit fee. Hence the reason I’ve ordered a new Prius.

    Fortunately I got to drive in the first group and so missed the rain. I thought the driving events were interesting; obviously setup to show that the car handles better than the current car. The IPA is a great trick which may be useful depending how good it is in practise. My neighbour with a current Gen2 T-Spirit never uses it (though he loves the rear camera). I’ve specified front parking sensors on mine; it’s a dealer fitted accessory which I thought was reasonably priced (the rear camera will suffice for reversing).

    On the MPG test both my father and I averaged 50mpg in normal mode. Watching the Eco monitor in Eco mode we both got over 75mpg. That’s 50% more, quite a difference. I’m sure that’s not real world at all, but it shows you what can be achieved by some changes to the way you drive. We also had time to try out the hill start assist, which looks very easy to use and appeared to work well. I also loved the H.U.D., very clear.

    It was good to see a car with most of the options fitted. It had UK spec leather interior, protection pack and styling pack. I think the latter looks awful and spoils the lines of the car. I’ve ordered leather so was glad to see it in the flesh.

    I’m interested in the iPod kit for the Nav equipped cars mentioned on PriusChat. That would be very nice to have as 10GB for a music jukebox is not that big by current iPod standards. I’ll certainly be using it though.

    Finally, I just love the technology in this car, plus I think it now looks fantastic. I can’t wait to get my silver T-Spirit at the beginning of September. Thanks to Toyota for fitting in some of us in between all the dealer training and fleet buyer sessions. It was great fun and much appreciated.

  11. i would like to add my thanks to the toyota team at the MIRA event on 11 july 2009 i was at the 10-12 time
    it was well run although to a strict timetable, there never seemed time to ask questions, i would have liked to ask if there would be any event discounts on the car. being a 2nd generation prius owner, i was impressed with the new one , particually the cut away version in the technical area.
    the handling was pretty good, not much different to the 2nd generation one though, i do hope that toyotas mpg, figures do stand up as my present one is not as good as the offical figures.

    The interior layout, is far better i particually the cd opening button (i proper boys toy)!!!.Cleverally Toyota have made the spirt the one to buy, the IPA is far better than my prius as i have found this very tempremental in operation.
    Finally i just hope the Toyota dealerships can offer a generous trade in for my present prius,which is a 07 T spirit with 19.000 miles, for a new prius T spirit. i am willing to travel uk to get best trade in , if anyone can help please let me know your comments are appreciated.alan lawson

  12. My wife and I attended the test drive session at MIRA, Nuneaton yesterday. It was a very impressive and well organised presentation and we found the demo drivers both helpful and knowledgeable. During the test drives we were encouraged to use the cars characteristics in a way that few dealers would expect their demo cars to be treated. We found the drive and the ride a big improvement on our current T4 and the new features were easy to use and valuable additions. I’m not sure about the IPA, but give me time – I might get used to it and confident enough to try it in the supermarket car park. I agree with the discussion about wheel sizes. There should be an option available on all models, given the expected differences in performance. I am off to place an order for my next T Spirit.

  13. Simon,I have taken the plunge and ordered my first prius after going to Mira yesterday. It is a Tspirt with front and rear parking sensors. My present car (NOT A PRIUS)has a camera and sensors and happily not this extra unwanted reversing bleep. Could you ask your experts is it possible to turn off the reversing bleep as it is on the US cars,it is very distracting and confusing when you are looking at a camera display and listening for the parking sensor bleeps .Please do not tell me it cannot be done,there is no such word as cannot!! Even if it can be changed to a single bleep as you select reverse would be ok

  14. My wife and I attended the MIRA event today and thoroughly enjoyed it – many thanks to everyone involved. Overall I loved the car. I think this will attract new customers, but as a Prius owner, I’m not sure there is enough in the new car to make me immediately upgrade.

    Positive points:
    – really good road handling and braking
    – HUD is innovative and useful
    – heated wing mirrors(at last!!!)
    – indicator repeaters on the wing mirrors
    – flashing brake lights under hard braking to warn other drivers
    – touch sensitive control+superimposition of the control on display panel is good and avoids having to look down at steering whel
    – more logical place for drive select lever
    – better MPG figures (though not verifiable on the day)
    – ability to transfer music from discs to the hard drive
    – USB socket for music on memory sticks

    Negative points:
    – no adaptive cruise control. This was a real disappointment for me, particulary for the UK market where enforced speed control on motorways is becomming the norm and you are constantly adjusting the cruise control to keep the distance from the car in front
    – roof solar panel (for keeping interior cool) is an extra £1400
    – EV speed limit still only 30mph + range similar to current Prius. I think a limit of 50mph and a target range of at least 5 miles should be achievable?
    – the IPA, whilst slightly improved over the current system, is still slow and a bit awkward. Personally I would offer the reversing camera as standard on the T-Spirit and add the IPA as a cost option (I have never used the IPA on my car)
    – Sat nav system still doesn’t accept full postcode. This is a real pain and can only be a software/cost issue?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am still a Prius fan and the car is great! It is economical to drive yet still very responsive when you need it.

    Thanks Toyota!

  15. Tried the new Prius at MIRA yesterday (10 July).

    Firstly thanks for inviting me and for the professional way that the event was managed.

    The car is a big step forward and very impressive. I think you have been successful in improving in all 3 key areas. I was particularly impressed by the handling and driver environment and hurray for the heated mirrors!

    Still not sure it really cuts it as a family car due to the limited boot space although this is improved in the new car. We run a Mk2 Prius for business/distance use and a midi MPV for carting my kids, their friends and their burgeoning gear around locally.

    As for the very minor items that I would like to see improved please can I put in a plea for the following:

    – A service indicator.
    – A progressive wheel rather than a lever to adjust seat rake. As a sufferer from back pain it is a real help to able to adjust this more easily.
    – Electric folding mirrors. I suspect many of these cars will be city based where mirrors are most at risk.

    These are trifling next to what has been achieved with the new Prius. Well done Toyota!

  16. I attended the event at MIRA tonight. It was very well executed and worth the time. As a BMW 118d driver (chosen for its low CO2 emissions and resulting tax benefits) I think that the new Prius is worth considering for its different mix of benefits over a BMW, but not a competitor on performance or handling.

    The benefits over the BMW are better interior space, a neater dashboard, better MPG, 10% company car tax, and nice touches such as HUD.

    Worse than the BMW are quality of plastics, fake metal door handles, awful “flying” centre console like the Auris, and horrible foot-operated parking brake.

    Odd product management decisions include not permitting the 17″ wheels with the sunroof, and having fancy unnecessary self-parking but not standard parking sensors. Also, I like the pale interior of the LHD car and can’t understand why this isn’t available in UK, even though the UK boot colour is pale (a very impractical place to be pale grey!).

    Overall, it’s definitely worth considering if your reason for buying is around running costs rather than performance and handling. It’s adequate in the latter areas but obviously the focus is in the former. To get to the point where performance/handling are adequate is a major step forward for Toyota and they are to be congratulated. Now, given that I don’t really need the space and style of the Prius, will the new hybrid Auris be even better when it arrives?!

  17. Hi. I attended the launch event at MIRA yesterday evening and came away mightily impressed. I like
    – the fact that more of the functions are directly accessible via buttons rather than havingto wade through the touch screen
    – the dynamics are much improved although it was difficultto get a feel for ride and noise with such a short drive over a track surface
    – the HUD and the new graphics mean less looking at the centre screen when trying to squeeze the last bit out of the performance
    – improved headroom in the back although it’s still tight for tall persons
    – visual effect of circular indicators in square bezel over round foglamps
    – fuel economy appeared significantly improved
    – IPA appeared to have been made much simpler in operation although I’m still doubtfull whether I’d use it in practise
    – useful performance increase
    I disliked
    – the mandatory 17″ wheels on the T4 & Tspirit reucing the fuel consumption and increasing emission. I too think this is a big mistake on Toyota UK’s part which may backfire. The 15″ wheels could be offered as a no cost option – I suspect many dealers may try and match requirements to achieve this in practise.
    – no auto dim mirror option
    – no Ipod interface?
    All in all though a fascinating event and an excellent vehicle. For my part I was very interested in the technical details and welcomed the chance to quiz some obviously very knowledgeable people. I should point out that I work in the automotive industry though, so am probably not the typical owner.

    Thanks again for the invite.

  18. I owned a Toyota Prius for three years and was very happy with it. I then took it in for regular servicing at Jemca aftersales centre in Streatham and the CD’s were removed from my car and either lost or were stolen. Eight months later they are still missing. Toyota cars are great but the service is less than perfect!


  19. Hey, what’s happened to Abyss Grey? On the Toyota website the dark metallic grey shade is now called Novus Grey. Is this the same colour renamed, or a different shade? I’ve ordered Abyss grey. will I get Novus instead?

    Ant- The 15 and 17 inch wheels have exactly the same overall (tyre tread) diameter, the difference being made up by different tyre profiles. As you say, different overall diameters would cause major issues with not only speedo calibration but would require a different fnal drive ratio.


  20. I notice with interest this question regarding wheel size. Looking at the pictures of both the 14 and 17 wheel I can hardly detect any difference in the overall diameter providing you include the tyre.
    A car that operated with different wheel diameters, throws up a couple of thoughts.
    Brake Discs would need to be smaller for smaller wheels otherwise the ABS would be active every time you brake, as it would take very little effort to lock-up the wheels. By the same token small discs with large wheels lack muscle.
    The speedo would need to be recalibrated as the difference in diameter would mean a smaller wheel has to rotate more to match the same distance a larger wheel travels.
    A large wheel travels more easily over an uneven surface.
    I thought the low profile tyre was designed to give higher speed capability hence their link with high performance cars. Due to less roll resistance and heat generation from much smaller side walls.
    Though the ride would be harsher.
    I am inclined to think that the photo cell roof adds so very much to the all-up weight.
    That with low profile tyres the ride and road noise would need the suspension changed.
    Lose a spare wheel shed some weight, fat tyres can reduce road noise and harsh ride.
    Bet some other things not so obvious are tweaked also.
    Anyway I have paid my deposit for a Spirit shod with 17s but I hasten to add, No Cells.

  21. Thanks for taking the wheel issue seriously, Simon, although I’m relieved that today’s Autocar test reports that it’s fine on 17 inch wheels and doesn’t mention the issues of tramlining and road noise that some American testers have commented on. If the “Right people at Toyota” would like some detailed feedback on the pitfalls of broadening the Prius’ pure concept to mass market appeal (not just wheels but several other issues), tell them to email me.

    I was also relieved that Autocar likes the Prius. The strangest aspect of their test was their conclusion: they gave it four rather than five stars because it’s more expensive than their chosen rivals, Focus, Astra et al. Given that the Prius is bigger than those cars, I wonder why they didn’t include a Mondeo or a 3 series in the comparison.


  22. Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to leave a comment and let us know how they got on. We’re looking forward to hearing more from people attending the MIRA event this week.

    @BJ Orme – sorry for the delay replying. Toyota has been mailing Brooklyn’s 10,000 customers to let them know the alternative arrangements. In the short term, Brooklyn’s Gloucester and Cheltenham customers should contact Listers in Cheltenham. Customers in Hereford have a number of alternatives, while those in Worcester should contact Westlands Bromsgrove for the time being. I’m told that Toyota will be appointing new centres for the Hereford and Worcester areas, but is not yet able to confirm who that will be.

    @Graham Thwaite – ECO mode is the default. It’s still possible to drive almost as efficiently in Power mode – it’s just harder because of the keener throttle response. Personally I found the more gentle response fine for relaxed every day driving, but that Power mode is a good match for the new car’s improved dynamics if you are in the mood to hurry.

    @C.K.Chung – 99.9mpg is the maximum the computer can display, which suggests to me that you managed to run on electric power for at least part of your 25mph lap. Great figure, though!

    @George T – Toyota centres in Northern Ireland will be receiving demonstrators this month. Please contact your local centre to arrange a test drive.

    @Roger Lee – happy to confirm that there’s no price change and there are no plans for a price change at this point. Please note that Toyota’s delivery charge increased from £15 to £20 on 1 July, though.

    Regarding wheel sizes, I’m afraid that different sizes will only be available as an aftermarket option. I am making sure that your feedback gets to the right people at Toyota, though.

  23. Another blog! Every time I restart my computer I find a new blog, and usually can’t find the one I looked at last. Simon, I notice you have posted in this blog, but you have left a lot of unanswered questions in this one:

    Whether my salesman is being clever, I don’t know, but I have placed an order at the launch price, for delivery in August. Apparently, the price goes up on 1st August! But I took the plunge because I realised that whatever small issues I might have with the specs, the car is a great improvement on my Prius 2, and there was no point in waiting.

  24. When can there be an opportunity to have a similar driving experience of the new Prius in Northern Ireland. I have attended Test Drive days with Honda and Renault in the past.

    Interested in new Prius but need an extended drive to convince me to consider taking the big step to buy.

  25. Yes Peter, I am definitely going for T3 (mainly due to wheels) even though I would love to have cruise control & leather steering/seats. The only thing holding me back is the colour – I would like to see the car in Orion Blue (its a new colour) before I decide. I wish I could see it sooner & order it. I have heard rumours that due to very strong demand in the domestic Japanese market, Toyota will reduce supply to Europe.


  26. Wheels:

    I raised this issue on the 19 June blog page by rather rudely suggesting that Toyota’s marketing department have misunderstood the demographic of Prius buyers.

    Andy replied that 17 inch wheels look better and that the marketing department have perfectly understood the wishes of their buyers (apart from Sandeep and myself, that is).

    The issue here is that smaller wheels with high profile tyres are better not only in the obvious ways- economy, ride comfort, road noise and cheaper tyres- but they are also good for the secret speed freak- less rolling resistance means you go faster, and if you are in to spirited cornering, they are more controllable at their (admittedly slightly lower) limit of grip, and less of a pain in the wallet if you wear them out prematurely.

    The wheels on the Gen2 Prius are a stunning minimalist sculpture in alloy, only available in one size, optimised for the car. Turning the wheels in to a style feature and model differentiator is, as far as I can see, the one retrograde feature of the new model.

    I’ve already paid my deposit for a T-Spirit, but the wheel issue alone is making me wonder if I would rather have a T3


  27. John

    Thanks a lot for your response. I really enjoyed reading it not only because it provided the exact information I was looking for but also it is so personal and it was like reading a story.

    I hope you will enojoy your next car and it will run forever for you.

    Thanks again, all the best!

  28. I agree with the comment posted by Vic, why are the 15″ wheels are not an option on the T4. Personally I too would prefer the 15″ due to lower CO2 and cheaper tyres but would also want Cruise Control (and blue tooth and 8 speakers and the option of leather!).
    In Europe (and the USA) the wheel size is selectable as an option but NOT apprently in UK – makes no sense to me.
    TOYOTA it’s not too late to offer this…

  29. Reading up on the new prius pending my test drive booked for July 11 at MIRA. My main question is why the 15″ wheels are not an option on the T4. Personally I’d prefer the 15″ due to lower CO2 and cheaper tyres (I expect) but would also want Cruise Control.
    In Europe the wheel size is selectable as an option but not apprently in UK – makes no sense to me. TOYOTA it’s not too late to offer this…

  30. I too attended the Longcross launch and although a 2nd Gen Prius driver, I was mightily impresses by the new one. My comments are therefore not meant to be nitpicking but genuine feedback! Having flattened my little battery several times I can’t believe there isn’t a way to keep it charges from the big one yet this is not done; I too could wish that the HUD was a little larger; the satnav is still antique compared with tom toms and garmins; please don’t let the car get any wider – my garage door can’t; out of curiosity why the two different wheel sizes; my toyota driver (Gary) was fantastic – provided all the help and info I requested including an impromptu lesson in economical driving – incidentally, Toyota have missed a trick by not offering a course in getting the most out of the Prius; finally, my companion thought the available colour range was pretty dismal!



  31. The only criticism of the Longcross event was the nonstop chatter from the Toyata driver during the test drive. Most of those who attended were already Prius drivers so knew about EV mode etc etc. Trying to concentrate on your driving, thus allowing you to compare the old with the new, was made almost impossible.

    A very good car – my deposit is already paid.

  32. My wife and I attended the last session at Longcross on Sunday.

    The event was very well organised and we had an enjoyable two hours. Like another post above, we found some of the presentations not quite in line with the type of guests – mostly middle aged and above, and existing Prius drivers.

    Car was more stylish than the existing range (we have a T Spirit new in late 2004) but otherwise very familiar layout with some interesting improvements.

    Negative points about the day were:

    Discovery that the rear wiper is still positioned for left hand drive/American market. Great for sunny days in Florida but lousy rear view vision when raining on the M25 when the wrong side of the rear screen gets wiped. Told it was to save costs.

    Minimal driving experience opportunity (only 3-4 minutes each) with the Toyota driver obsessed by showing the gizmos when we wanted to get a feel for the car overall.

    Presentations flicked over key points like pricing and cost of extras.

    Further surprises came from reading the specification booklet given as we left which says, the headline emissions (89) and mpg (72) figures (much touted on the day) are only applicable to the cars on 15 inch wheels – effectively the T3. The 17 inch wheel versions (T4 and Spirit) are not as good on mpg and emmissions. The turning circles for the 17 inch versions are also poorer than for the 15 inchers. The sun roof is so heavy that they then have to put 15 inch wheels on the Spirit and give you a puncture repair kit instead of a emergency wheel. Not good for when the type has been damaged by the likes of a pot hole. They seem to have dropped the hybrid components warrant down to 5 from 7 years.

    On the positive side, we liked the extra power of the new engine and the mgp figures seem more realistic than before. Car was very stable and was certainly very comfortable and smooth. Liked the parking assist (wife impressed but not sure she would trust it for real) and the head up display. Liked the increased boot space.

    Overall, liked the new model very much and will probably buy one.


  33. I attended the event at Longcross on Saturday in the 17:00-19:00 time slot. Having owned two second generation Prius I was very much looking forward to looking at, and driving the third generation. I was not disapointed, the car was very quite and smooth to drive and noticably more economical than the present one , I was very impressed with the head up display a very practical addition. Though I only saw the demonstration of the park assist it looked much easier to use than the present one.
    All in all I will definatly be buying one in the near future, Toyota have produced yet another winner !

  34. Congratulations on a great new car. My wife and I attended the Longcross launch on the 27th, and had an enjoyable time. The new generation of Prius looks from the outside similar to the previous generation, but has a lot of improvements on the inside that address some minor issues with the current model, and introduces some great new features.

    One thing that was odd to me was the way they introduced the car. The presentations seemed aimed more at automobile industry insiders, or an internal Toyota employee audience. My fellow attendees at the event were a lot like myself, in our mid 40’s to mid 50’s, and to my eye not ‘car enthusiasts’ who would care much for the amount of technical detail presented. The Prius is great car that I believe people connect with more on an emotional than an intellectual level. I’m pleased that Toyota is doing everything they can to be green (and from what we learned in the presentations they must surely be the greenest auto manufacturer in the world!), but speaking for myself, it’s the feeling I get knowing that I’m minimizing my impact on the environment that makes the car so attractive to me.

    1. Hi Stanley, all Toyota Centres will have a Prius in their showrooms plus a Prius demonstrator for test drvies by the end of July, so the quickest way to test drive Prius is to arrange to visit your local Toyota Centre any time from August 1st.
      Some Centres may well receive their cars earlier so it’s worth registering interest now, just in case.

  35. Hi Jianglong
    In answer to your comment above, I am more than happy to give you my personal views based on the ownership of five BMW`s since 1972. My present car is a 13 year old 523i. In addition I have driven most of the BMW range over a half a million miles during the course of my work. Some of this experience has been as an emergency response driver!!
    I too tried the second generation Prius when it first came out and abandoned the test drive within minutes because I did not like it. The whole feel of the car was far removed from what I had been used to and it did not have sufficient plus points for me to compromise. However, when I tried the 2010 Prius at Longcross it immediately became apparent that this car was in a different league and worthy of consideration. For me the steering feel and operation of all the controls were more than acceptable and so also was the handling.
    At this moment in time I would say that if you regularly drive at over 70mph then stick with BMW. If handling is a top priority then stick with BMW. If you want to pay a lot extra for options like a HUD then stick with BMW. If you want to have a body/trim colour choice then stick with BMW. This may be your Today`s choice. However, my pace of life has now slowed and with running costs getting higher by the day, with more and more traffic hold ups and talk of speed limits being reduced to 50mph on most rural roads I can see that for Tomorrow the 2010 Prius is a serious contender for my next new car. Bearing in mind that I tend to keep my cars a long time then my next purchase may be my last and it would be nice to end up with something a bit different and ahead of it`s time.
    So whilst the BMW might in some respects still be The Ultimate Drivers machine (especially from the handling point of view) the Prius has more than enough plus points in other areas for me to compromise and say that it is an excellent car and subject to a longer test drive, when launched, I will buy one.
    By the way, if you have not already found it there is an excellent commentary on the Longcross event on the Toyota Owners Club Web Site.

  36. Have to say I came away from the Longcross event yesterday deeply impressed with the new Prius.

    It was very well organised professionally run with very likeable Toyota reps. Chris Piper aka “Pipes” from the “Used Car Road Show” was also one of the guys carrying out talks and answering any questions.

    I was amazed at the refinement of the car and the undetectable transision between petrol and electric. It was very smooth on it’s 17″ wheels (much smoother than my A3) and very quiet. Even when I was told to floor it the engine really was very quiet. As my partner was a non driver I had about 30 minutes driving time. Some of that time was around the faster bowl circuit and some around the windy hilly section. My best consumption in ECO mode was 69.9mpg and it didn’t take much to get that figure. On my last stint in normal mode and driving just as I would I got 59.8 mpg. My worst was 56 mpg. Compare to the 30-32 I get out of my car they are fantastic figures. I didn’t however, get to drive on public roads as one someone has stated they did no heree????

    It felt like a real quality car and even though it hasn’t got the plush soft touch plastics of my car, they all felt of a very high quality and were very well put together. All the cars there were T4 & T Spirit, with one T3 which was used as a parked car in the IPA test.

    Really looking forward to test driving one in a few weeks on familiar roads. It may even be the one I drove yesterday as all of the cars there are going into dealerships as demonstrators.

  37. I attended the New Prius pre launch last Sat and never drove any hybrid car before, but travelled in the current Prius many times. Here is my opinion :

    1. The new display panel is informative and easy to read – good design. The head up display looks useful, but I found it too small to view. Some drivers may require their reading glasses.

    2. EV mode is particularly useful to drive through slow traffic. It is deactivated when the driving speed over 30 mph. I think it would be helpful if an alert (either sound or signal on screen) is given when the speed is close to 30 mph. This may help driver to control the car speed. (This idea comes from the TomTom speed limit’s alert)

    3. The IPA is one of the new features, but I wonder how many of Prius drivers will use it. I forgot to ask what is the minimum parking space required for the IPA. When we tested the IPA at longcross, the space seems big enough for any driver to park in. I prefer Toyota to install the front and rear sensors instead of the IPA as standard feature. Now if I want these sensors, I need to pay more.

    4. Fuel consumption figure is wonderful. I managed to reach 99.9 mpg for the 2nd lap at 25 mph. Still wonder if this is the computer error !!!

    It is not fair to compare the New Prius with other petrol or diesel cars. Most of us want it because it is a hybrid car. I like it not only due to the lower running and maintenance costs, but also the low CO2 emission. I have actually ordered a new T spirit after the test drive. Can’t wait to drive it !!!

    Thanks for inviting me to this event. Good work.


  38. I also tried the new Prius at Longcross. The car is much quieter and picks up quicker. And the over all fuel economy is much better. I have 2 comments about the new prius.
    1 That EV mode runs out above 30MPH there is no go technical reason for this as the battery can drive above 30MPG. To me if you still have enough power left in your battery and you are not accelerating hard then why is EV mode canceled?
    2 That there are any modes at all. All the driving should come from the accelerator. If you push gently then should be EV mode. Push harder the ECO mode driving starts and if you push very hard you get max acceleration. You should have to keep pressing EV, ECO and power mode it should all come from the accelerator.
    In response to Jianglong I have not driven a BMW and although the new Prius handles better, is quieter and accelerates quicker. I am sure that it is not as good a driving experience as a BMW. But that is not the point. The Prius is by a mile the most economic 5 seater family car. If you choose driving experience above global warming then go and by a BMW M5. But if you would like to reduce your CO2 output and have the most relaxing dive I ever had then it is the ONLY car to choose. I feel it is a shame that Toyota feel it is necessary to speed up(make less economic) just to get a few more BMW drivers on board.


  39. Disapointed to hear Brooklyn Toyota Worcester)have gone in to administration.Will Toyota be taking on board a new outlet in Worcester & if so how do we get to know?

  40. John

    This is a very promising comment. I have a BMW and drove 2nd Prius before and din’t like it because the driving experience, especially the steering lack feedback (too light) and engine noise when over 70mph.

    Would you compare the new Prius to BMW from driving experience point of view (I assume you have driven BMW in your 50 year experience).

    Thank you very much!

  41. Hi Karen
    I was lucky enough to attend the first public event at Longcross on Wed 24/6 and was very impressed by the welcome received at this well organised preview.
    My observations below should be seen as the personal thoughts of a non Prius owner but a person with over 50 years motoring experience.
    Having read everything I could find on The Internet in recent weeks I was concerned that some American 2010 Prius customers were critical of the steering for lack of feedback, the brakes for not having a consistant feel, lack of refinement because of wind noise over the bonnet and excessive tyre noise. Having been let loose in one of the 30 or so white Prius at the event I can dismiss all such criticism except the one about tyre noise on some course road surfaces. To be fair it must be difficult to suppress this because the car is otherwise so quiet. I could not hear when the engine/traction motor was running. Neither could I feel the changeover between petrol and electric power.
    My only criticism would be the lack of an auto dimmimg rear view mirror on all uk models. I feel that this is penny pinching on this otherwise excellent car. When I pointed this out I was told that the uk spec was decided on the basis that price should be kept to the same as the existing T3 and T Spirit Models.
    The best thing about the car was of course the outstanding fuel consumption. After a solo run on public roads participants were let loose on the Longross Track, which has bends, a severe gradient and a Stop sign. On my second run, with two Toyota employees in the car with me, the readout indicated an average fuel consumption of 93.6 mpg over what I would estimate was a distance of just over one mile.
    The Joining Pack for the event stipulated that because of the sensitive nature of the venue mobile phones were not permitted and by implication I took that to mean that cameras were also not welcome so no photographs were taken, although there was an official film crew at the event.
    My thanks to all at Toyota who made this such a memorable day.
    John Jackman

  42. I was invited to Longcross to view the next Prius and also test drive a T4 – found the drive really good, great road holding round bends, as well as the EV control button there is now an Eco button and a Power button. The Eco button together with the EV give a good mileage result. New visuals on the dashboard which are more helpful to guage the econimic use of the driving experience together with a visual to see selection of controls from the steering wheel whilst gently touching the controls on the steering wheel the image is in front of the driver enabling safer driving.

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