2017 Toyota Prius Three Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

Prius Head Up Display Overview

Weaving through clogged city traffic and numerous construction zones at six o’clock on a Friday evening in D.C. is no cakewalk. This time though, I was slicing through this urban maze in the 2017 Toyota Prius Three.

The plucky, fuel- efficient Prius dares to be different. Each time I walked up to the Prius Three I was pleased by its funky, futuristic design, especially from the back, which boasts a slick rear spoiler. The front of the Prius is equally fly. But let’s keep it real. The Prius’ stellar fuel economy puts it firmly in its own lane.

Throughout the week, I zigzagged through Maryland, Virginia and the District clocking hundreds of miles enjoying 52 miles per gallon in combined driving. I saw 600 miles without refilling the tank, This leaves little room for arguing against the fact the Prius is still one of the best clean, green machines on the road. While other cars in its class are playing catch-up, the 2017 Prius is proving it still leads the pack.

The fierce design elements continued inside the eco-friendly Prius, where a dramatic dashboard awaits you. I was surprised to see how much prime real estate it consumed. There was a lot going on as the Prius’ diagnostics were presented in moving 3-D animation on the sweeping dash. You’ll either think the design is a tech lover’s dream or you’ll find the constant animation a tad distracting. I leaned toward the latter.

Large, bold, bright numbers are prominently displayed to remind you of your speed. There’s also a color head up display providing speed, along with navigation and hybrid system information. A seven-inch touchscreen is integrated into the dash, which is your entre’ into Toyota’s Entune infotainment suite. In addition to navigation, it houses HD and satellite radio, along with a bevy of apps. Rushing out of the house one day, I forgot the charging cord for my phone and voilà, I discovered I could use the Prius’ handy wireless charging pad to bring my dead phone back to life. Toyota gets huge props from me for adding this function.

Although it’s a compact car, the Prius doesn’t make you feel packed in like sardines. The four-door, five-passenger hatchback allows room to move and stretch, especially if you’re in the driver’s seat or a passenger riding in the front. The rear seating space was adequate, but when I climbed into the back, I found the rear seating to be tight. It’s also a bummer there’s not an option to add a sunroof, which would provide a more open feeling.

By the way, if you’re constantly hauling stuff like me, you’ll find a generous 24.6 cubic feet of space to do so. The 60/40-split fold-down rear seat will give you extra room to haul goods.

The Prius Three comes with cloth upholstery. My test car's came in a light color, which easily showed smudges. By the end of my test week I was doing some spot cleaning of small stains, as I noticed the light upholstery began looking dingy in a matter of days. Speaking of the seats, I recommend taking the time to correctly adjust the driver’s seat before setting out.

You don’t want to be fumbling with the six-way manual adjustment levers while the car is in motion. I had to wiggle the handles on the side for height and fore/aft movement quite a bit before finding the right driving position. However, the height adjustment was a convenient feature to have because I found the driver’s seat positioned way too low. Once I was all settled in though, the seats were quite comfortable.

For motivation, the 2017 Toyota Prius powertrain offers a one-two punch with two electric motors/generators coupled with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 121 horsepower. The combined power is sent through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

The Prius also offers a slew of standard safety features, including brake assist, lane departure alert, automatic high beams and a pre-collision system with pedestrian alert. However, I did have a quibble with one of its safety features. Whenever I shifted into reverse, the delivery truck beeping sound is loud and continuous—though it does serve to alert you the car is in reverse and to be mindful of objects behind you.

Pricing for the 2017 Toyota Prius Three starts at $26,735.

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