Filters: Styles Topics
view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2018 Toyota Prius TRD

2018 Toyota Prius TRD

Haters gonna hate

We here at TopSpeed don’t shy away from exploring the weirder and wilder side of performance vehicles. In fact, we relish in it. Any chance we come across to break away from convention and blow your mind is worth it, especially if it gets the unruly mobs up in arms. And that’s exactly the sort of reaction we’re expecting with this – a performance-oriented Toyota Prius TRD. Here’s the formula – ditch the eco tires, slap on some real rubber, boost the engine, stiffen the suspension, add the proper cabin gear, and voila – the perfect solution to a dearth of jimmy rustlin’.

But here’s the thing – we’re actually totally serious. This isn’t some April Fool’s joke. We legitimately think there’s a real case to made for a performance Prius. Don’t believe us? Then read on. We dare you.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Prius TRD.

Read more
Toyota Prius G

Toyota Prius G

Do not attempt to adjust your screen – this is indeed a performance Prius

If you ever head out to Vegas for the annual SEMA show, be prepared to see some pretty weird things. In an attempt to outdo one another and turn heads on the show floor, the world’s foremost tuners and speed shops have been known to unleash the creative juices in a frothing torrent of strange, twisted metal. Some of it is beautiful, while some of it is bizarre. To U.S. audiences, this Prius race car probably falls into that latter category. But the thing is, if you go to Japan, you’ll find that the Prius is much more than the standard-bearer of efficient commuting. In fact, there’s even a wide-body, V-8 hybrid-powered Prius GT300 race car running in the island nation’s SuperGT race series, which is exactly the inspiration for the speed-ready Toyota concept you see before you. It’s called the Prius G, and the interior is gutted and the body is aero-enhanced, while the corners are equipped with enough stick to hit 1 G on the skid pad.

That impressive lateral acceleration figure provides the name for this unexpected SEMA concept car. But of course, a track-bound Prius isn’t an easy thing to pull off, especially when you consider the dearth of performance parts available on the aftermarket. But when Toyota brought the project to Gordon Ting of Beyond Marketing, he was undeterred.

“It’s an experiment in some ways,” Ting said. “The Prius G is unexpected, and that thrills me. I like building out the reputation of the car and showing that it can do a lot more with minimal changes.”

So what exactly does this reworked 2016 Prius bring to the table? Read on to learn all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Prius G.

Read more
2017 Toyota Prius Prime – Driving Impression And Review

2017 Toyota Prius Prime – Driving Impression And Review

A first-rate Prius for the more demanding hybrid consumer

Toyota announced the arrival of the four-generation Prius just last year, but of course, there’s always room for improvement, especially in the face of rapid advances in the world of all-electric transportation. But Toyota doesn’t do all-electric. Rather, the Japanese behemoth likes to pour its efforts into hybrids, and rightfully so when you consider the popularity of the ICE/electric motor combo nowadays. So how do you develop an industry leader without screwing up the formula? Enter the Prius Prime. Framed as the “ultimate” iteration of iconic gas-sipper, the Prime bears a new aesthetic, even more standard tech, and a revamped, hyper-efficient plug-in powertrain.

Toyota lauds the Prime as the “most technologically advanced, best-equipped” model ever offered under the nameplate. I got a chance to spend a day with it in Ojai, California, and no doubt, this thing gives off a definite sci-fi shuttlecraft vibe, just as previous iterations have before. But underneath the spacey ambiance, you get the feeling that all the Prime really wants is to be just another car on the road.

Confused? Read on, and I’ll explain…

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

Read more
2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

New design, more power, improved fuel economy

Toyota unveiled the Prius hybrid back in 1997, and since then the model has been through three generational changes. When Toyota released the Prius, it quickly became known as the face of hybrid vehicles and prompted many automakers to look for ways to integrate electrification into their lineups. With competition having become fiercer in recent years, Toyota needs to keep improving the Prius to keep it in the No. 1 slot in the hybrid market. And it’s exactly what it did with the fourth-generation model.

Unveiled in Las Vegas in 2015, the redesigned Prius not only adopted a new look, but also the company’s New Global Architecture platform, which makes it lighter and cheaper to build. The Prius was actually the first Toyota model to implement the carmaker’s effort to cut development costs by 20 percent through sharing platforms, parts and powertrains. The revised bodywork gives the Prius a sportier look than the current model, much like the difference between the last-generation Corolla and the current model. But let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the fourth-generation Toyota Prius.

Read more
2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

More miles, more gear, and a new look

With more than 30 gas-electric models on the market, including the Prius (aka the first-ever mass-produced hybrid vehicle), Toyota is justified when it claims to be the “world’s hybrid leader.” But in order to maintain its battery-assisted superiority, the Japanese automaker must continually produce the bleeding edge of green technology and set the trend when it comes eco-oriented transportation. These days, that means the inclusion of a plug-in model. The previous Prius plug-in ended production in June of 2015, but now, it’s back, offering more MPGe, more standard features, and a new look, making for what Toyota calls “one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history.”

It’s called the Prime, and first things first – it offers upwards of 120 MPGe, which, according to the manufacturer, is expected to be the highest MPGe of any plug-in hybrid on the market. That in itself is a significant statement in the world of max-miler passenger vehicles, but this frugal fuel consumption is also backed by more all-electric range, with up to 22 miles of emission-free driving off battery power alone, effectively double the EV range of the previous model.

So then – the Prime sounds like it’s got the goods, but with gas prices remaining so low, is it enough to spark the interest of consumers?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

Read more
2016 Toyota Prius – Driving Impression And Review

2016 Toyota Prius – Driving Impression And Review

If you gotta blow your nose, you’ll probably ask for a Kleenex. If you need a cotton swab, you’ll look for a Q-Tip. If it’s hybrid transportation you’re after, the Prius is the standard. Rightfully so – the Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, selling 3.5 million models worldwide since its introduction in 1997. But unlike hygiene products, hybrid technology has come a long way in the last two decades, and Toyota’s green icon is under pressure to evolve. Enter the fourth generation, which brings a new design, a new platform, tons of tech, and a compelling effort to broaden the appeal of this eco-conscious torchbearer. I was invited to southern California to try it out.

Los Angeles is a great place for a test like this. The Prius is hugely popular amongst the local population, especially celebrities, offering easy driving in crowded freeway traffic jams, and low emissions to curb air pollution. And in a town where you need a car to get anywhere, the high mpg doesn’t hurt either.

But Toyota says hybrids aren’t just about fuel efficiency anymore, and customers will no longer compromise to skip a trip to the pump. Conversely, the fourth-generation Prius aims to transform from something you should drive to something you want to drive. How does it stack up? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Prius.

Read more
2018 Toyota Prius SUV

2018 Toyota Prius SUV

With the next-gen 2016 Toyota Prius expected to debut later this year, a recent report suggests that Toyota will continue to expand the lineup of dedicated hybrid vehicles with an all-new Prius SUV. Currently, the Prius lineup includes the Prius Liftback, Prius Plug-In, Prius c and Prius v, but a joint venture with Mazda – the same one that spawned the 2016 Scion iA – could help create yet another hybrid model with unparalleled fuel economy for Toyota. Differentiated from the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Prius SUV would only be offered as a hybrid, and if produced, it could possibly be based on the two-door 2016 Toyota C-HR Concept crossover unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

The obvious advantage of a crossover- or SUV-based Prius is that attention to aerodynamics could be pushed back a little in favor of a traditional tall ride height, added versatility and more attention on creating a stylish vehicle. After looking at the C-HR Concept, we envisioned what a production version of the hybrid crossover would look like to come up with the rendering you see here. Toyota has yet to officially confirm any plans for a Prius SUV, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see that such a vehicle would be an exciting addition to the existing lineup of Prius hatchbacks.

Continue reading my speculative review of the Toyota Prius SUV.

Read more
2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in - Driven

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in - Driven

The Prius name may be more than 15 years old, but Toyota’s a more recent iteration of the hybrid is this – the Prius Plug-in. And as the name implies, this Prius has a trick up its sleeve for how it goes about charging.

As with any conventional Prius, the Plug-in can be charged on the go. Tap the brakes or coast down a hill, and the electric motor harnesses the wheels’ rotational energy, feeding it back into the battery. However, this model goes one step further, offering customers the ability to charge the car while it sits in their garage.

Plug the included power cord and transformer box into any 110-volt wall outlet, and the Prius Plug-in will trickle charge it’s batteries for three hours, giving the car an advertised 11-mile, all-electric range. Pop the charging cord into a 240-volt, and the deed is done in one and a half hours.

So how well does the added plug-in feature work? To find out, I spent a week with the Prius, testing out its electrified abilities first hand.

Continue reading for the full review of the 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Read more
2015 Toyota Prius v

2015 Toyota Prius v

Since 2001, Toyota has offered the Prius in one form or another, giving buyers the roominess of a sedan or a liftback (2004 and on) with fuel economy that was almost impossible for traditional cars to match. In 2012, after other automakers started hopping on the hybrid bandwagon and gobbling up sales, Toyota saw a gap in the market for a hybrid wagon and launched the Prius v. With the 2015 model year upon us, and Toyota looking to inject a little youth into its customer base, the automaker has given the hybrid wagon a facelift that gives it a slightly sportier look than before without abandoning its reserved personality altogether.

With this refresh comes a handful of changes to the front fascia and a little tuck on the backside. Unfortunately, Toyota left the drivetrain unchanged. Allowing its main competitor to easily trump it in terms of performance.

Does the Prius v still have what it takes to dominate the hybrid wagon market?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Prius v and find out.

Read more
2014 Toyota Prius V - Driven

2014 Toyota Prius V - Driven

The Prius has certainly made a name for itself in the nearly 15 years it’s been around. Toyota has sold tons of them all across the globe. As the market started wanting more, Toyota came out with this: the Prius V, which according to Toyota, stands for “versatility.” That truly is the case, seeing as the Prius V has a large SUV-like rear cargo area with seats that fold flat. Starting in 2012, the big-boy Prius made a solid case against the need for large, gas-guzzling SUVs – at least with respect to interior volume. The cavernous interior actually boasts 67.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the second-row seats folded down. That’s four cubic feet more than a Chevrolet Equinox.

Besides the ability to haul five adults and their junk around, the Prius V does it while getting some respectable mpg numbers. The EPA rates the wagon at 44/40/42 mpg on its city, highway, and combined test loop. Add to that its 1.8-liter four-cylinder runs on regular gasoline, and you’ve got a money-saving, junk-hauling, passenger-pleasing green machine.

But how well does it execute its mission? I spent a week with a 2014 model to find out. My driving was mixed between city and highway roads, along with both gentle and aggressive driving styles. I did everything from hauling my two-year-old in a car seat to hauling a large bookcase for friends. Keep reading for the outcome.

Click past the jump for the full review

Read more
2015 Toyota Prius c

2015 Toyota Prius c

The Prius c started its life in 2012 as a smaller and more affordable version of the hotly successful Prius liftback. Through 2014, the model remained relatively unchanged and failed to really shake up the hybrid segment. Now as we approach 2015, the Prius c has undergone a nice refresh that makes it stand out from its larger brothers with its sportier and more youthful appearance. Oh, and it gets 50 mpg combined, which sweetens the deal a little.

Though it’s just a refresh the 2015 Prius c looks like a whole new car; that’s just how far Toyota took this upgrade. Sure, from the side it looks like the 2014 model, but the wide-open front grille and the “light pipe” taillights inject a little youth into the lineup.

So, is this redesign enough to help push the Prius c to the next level?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius c and find out.

Read more
2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition

2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition

The Toyota Prius has been around since 2001 and very rarely have we ever used the words "elegant" and "luxurious" to describe it. But Toyota is determined to infuse those two things on the 2015 Prius with the unveiling of the Persona Series Special Edition. Yes, the Toyota Prius is getting a special edition treatment. But that’s not even the most surprising part about this whole thing. Believe it or not, the Prius Persona Series Special Edition actually looks pretty darn good. Who knew!

This is actually the second time we’ve seen a Persona Series Prius, as Toyota released one in 2013 too. It comes with plenty of exterior and interior upgrades that really bring out a side of the Prius we rarely get to see. That’s about as big a compliment you can throw at the hybrid sedan that doesn’t involve its outstanding fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition will arrive in dealerships in September with a price of $26,985. Another $325 will be added to that total if customers opt for the Blizzard Pearl exterior paint.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition.

Read more