Why the Toyota Prius is the Most Versatile Car


The first thing that comes to people’s mind when they think of a Toyota Prius is, slow, uninteresting, or something their grandmother drives. The Prius may be slow, but the car is specifically designed this way. 

When buying a Prius, most people are looking for an affordable, reliable car that is going to save them money when they go to fill up.

“As a young adult, I do not have that much money, owning a Toyota Prius means I’m only filling my tank up once every 2 weeks, and only spending $30 for a full tank,” said Stephen Schwartz a student at Leesville Road High School.

This car’s four progressive generations each have improvements to gas mileage and eco efficiency. While the price points and functions differ from generation to generation, appealing to students and families. 

“Being able to fit my family in the car comfortably, and having great fuel economy, buying my Prius was a no brainer,” said Ashlyn Kuhnel, a mother of two in the Leesville area. 

Considering the generation of Prius you want is an important step in learning about what this vehicle has to offer. 

The first generation launched in October of 1997 and took the title as the first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle. According to Toyota UK Magazine,  this vehicle was the Toyota Motor Corporation’s attempt at bringing a practical, low emission family vehicle to the market. 

The first generation’s shape was similar to the traditional forward-cab design that was typical of its time. Combining familiarity, unique sizing, and fuel efficiency led to the Prius winning Japan’s car of the year award in 1998.

The combined fuel economy is 42 mpg and produces only 114g/km of CO2. The standard car during 2022 released almost double the g/km of CO2

The second generation of the Prius received a complete body redesign in 2004. This generation was labeled as the “triangle silhouette” because of its sloping design. The car slopes at both the front and the back while the highest point of the vehicle is at the drivers head.  This design is the iconic shape you see on Prius generations today.

The second generation featured a new EV driving mode. This allows drivers to travel up to 1.2 miles with only the electric engine. This new feature not only acts individually but assists the traditional gasoline engine, this is what makes the Prius stand above other cars in the industry. 

The combined fuel economy for this generation is 48 mpg and produces only 104g/km of CO2.

The third generation of prius was proclaimed as the most advanced mainstream car on the market according to the Toyota UK Magazine. It released in January of 2009. This generation carried the traditional prius look, but with major changes to both performance and comfort. This car is bigger in size to extend comfort but still aerodynamic enough to get great gas mileage.

According to CarBuzz.com the Toyota Prius gen three was lauded for its level of technology during its time. It offers cruise control, a powered sunroof and driver assistant features which customers could choose from. 

The combined fuel economy for this generation is 51 mpg and produces only 89g/km of CO2. 

All of this combined led to this generation winning Japan’s Car of the Year for 2009, and being shortlisted for the 2010 World Car of the Year according to Toyota UK Magazine. 

The final and most modern generation is the Prius gen four. This car is the culmination of years of innovation and engineering. The sleek modern design makes it stand above previous generations. Toyota released the model in 2016 and instantly broke the records of previous generations. The aerodynamic shape and light body both contributed to this car reaching 55 mpg and only 70g/km of CO2 being produced, which is the highest fuel efficiency of the previous 3 generations before it.


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