- - Friday, July 22, 2016

Go green in the perfect eco-friendly head turner. The 2016 Toyota Prius is not only long on great fuel economy, but also it looks good and behind the wheel it feels even better than ever before. The Prius has been redesigned for 2016 and you will definitely notice it is a quieter ride with a refined vibe both inside and out. There is definitely noticeable extra legroom in both the front and rear seats.

While the Toyota Prius has almost always been the eco-car that comes to mind when customers are thinking green, the competition can be found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

A hatchback hybrid that has four doors and seats five passengers, the 2016 Toyota Prius offers six trim levels; Two, Two Eco, Three, Three Touring, Four and Four Touring. There are also the compact Prius C and Prius V options.

On the Two trim you get 15-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, taillights and headlights as well as heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a 4.2-inch information screen and cruise control with tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The upholstery is cloth and there is a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Safety options include a rearview camera and technology begins with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and audio connect as well as voice recognition Siri Eyes Free and a USB port and audio jack.

The Prius Two Eco saves on fuel economy and also has low rolling resistance tires as well as a less weighty lithium-ion hybrid battery and a lightweight inflation kit that means no spare tire.

On the Prius Three trim add a leatherette steering wheel with nice accents on the inside to upgrade the interior and a phone charging pad and the Toyota Entune system that will give you a seven-inch touchscreen with navigation.

On the Four trim safety is a big consideration with blind spot monitoring and there are automatic windshield wipers and heated front seats. The driver will enjoy an adjustable lumbar adjustable seat and there is a rear cargo cover.

For the Three and Four Touring trims you get all the standard features on the Three and Four trims, but added to that are 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leatherette upholstery and the Safety Sense package with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a pre-collision warning system.

There are optional packages for the Prius Three and Four trims the Advanced Technology package will give you a sunroof and the Toyota Safety Sense goodies that are standard on the Touring trims. The Premium Convenience Package’s Touring trim level option has 10 speakers and a self-parking system.

Under the hood the 2016 Toyota Prius has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that combines the motor and electric generators and a continuously variable transmission. You get 121 horsepower and it’s impressively quick with zero to 60 miles per hour in a little under 10 seconds on this hybrid.

Standard safety features are antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side, full-length side curtain, driver knee and passenger seat cushion airbags along with a rearview camera. The different trims add extras from adaptive cruise control to forward collision and lane departure warnings.

The 2016 Toyota Prius feels good to drive and it is designed well inside with the knobs and buttons being positioned in good layout form. Even better the cupholders are at just the right position as well as the armrest in the perfect place. Take note of the display that the driver can easily see with important driving information, all in the perfect place front and center.

With everything thought out for the perfect driving experience, the interior is comfortable with leatherette features offering an overall good feeling to the touch.

For the driver, do take note of the change in the seat position. The 2016 driver seat is lower and does not feel as awkward as in years past. You can couple that with the steering wheel, which can be adjusted in more positions and you have a much easier ride and drive experience.

Cargo space is at 24.6 cubic feet, which is larger than before and the Prius Two Eco and Prius Four offer even more room since there is no spare tire with 27.3 cubic feet for hauling.

It won’t win any races, but it will keep things nice and easy as you are driving and you will feel safe as you round the corners taking the curves and enjoy the road. In the real world of driving taking it easy on the environment while having a good time is a good thing and the 2016 Toyota Prius is happy to oblige.

Should You Need to Know: Take note of the double-wishbone rear suspension on the 2016 Prius, which means a better ride overall with the road bumps absorbed so you don’t feel it.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring that I drove had 54 miles per gallon in the city and 50 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring that I drove had a price tag of $32,540.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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