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2016 Prius: ground-breaking environmental performance, design and technology


Driven by innovation, the all-new Prius is packed with cutting edge technology, exceptional efficiency and futuristic design cues for the most refined and intuitive Prius yet.

An all new chassis, improved drivetrain and engaging drive experience are the main features of Toyota’s 2016 Prius.

The fourth generation car is the first Toyota developed under the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) program, which will become the basis of several other models into the future. TNGA is at the heart of the revolutionary improvements that support a more responsive driving experience and enhanced occupant protection.

Design improvements contributing to the responsive drive include a lower centre of gravity achieved by moving the battery to free up boot space, the introduction of newly developed double-wishbone rear suspension and a more rigid body.

In ideal conditions the 2016 Prius can attain a combined fuel economy of 3.4 litres/100 kms compared to the out-going model’s 3.9 litres/100kms. There is also a new feature on board called ECO Score which will rate your driving style and give the driver tips to improve fuel economy.

Design changes to the Prius body make it more aerodynamic with a decrease in the Coefficient of Drag (Cd) than its predecessor - a rating of 0.24 (previously 0.25), the lowest Cd offering for New Zealand new vehicles - advancing the instantly recognisable Prius character through clever lineation, ultimately pushing the boundaries of the third generation car.

“Prius styling has always set it apart from the crowd and this model maintains that theme with its distinctive aerodynamic look.”

“The powertrain has been refined to improve on the already frugal fuel economy and the TNGA chassis makes the new Prius more involving to drive.”

Hybrids have been a worldwide success for Toyota said Mr Morris. “More than eight million Toyota hybrids have been sold since the technology was introduced, and with an ever increasing presence on our roads they are widely accepted now days,” he said.

New Prius is available in two variants, the GX at $47,490, with the optional package of the GX with Touring for $49,990, and the ZR which replaces the outgoing Prius i-Tech at $54,990.

“The Touring Package is great value for those who seek all of the essentials the GX provides with the added look and feel of 17” alloy wheels, leather steering wheel and Satellite Navigation,” said Mr Morris.

The 1.8-litre engine has been revised to reduce friction, while the hybrid package has been made smaller and lighter. The engine battery have been moved from the luggage area to the engine bay and the hybrid batteries have been moved under the rear seat to free up more boot space and help contribute to the lower centre of gravity assisting the improved driving dynamics.

The improved hybrid system uses the world’s most thermally efficient 1.8-litre petrol engine combined with the substantially revised engine which uses smaller and lighter components all making for a smoother, easier and more powerful performance.

A more spacious cabin is the result of a completely redesigned interior with black soft-touch panels and gloss white accents. Black upholstery, fabric for GX grades and natural leather seat facings for ZR, is offset by a striking white centre console which nods to the state-of-the-art and modernistic character the Prius has become renown for.   

Wireless charging is also available for Qi compatible devices on the centre console’s dedicated charging pad and for the first time for a Toyota model, the new Prius receives a colour head up display.  

There is a comprehensive safety package with the Toyota Safety Sense of Pre-crash system, Lane Departure Alert, All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beam.

There are seven airbags, Vehicle stability control, Traction control and the Anti-lock braking system comes with Brake assist, Electronic brakeforce distribution, Electronically controlled brake regeneration and Emergency Brake Signal.

There are two ISOFIX child seat fixing points and three tether anchors. All seat belts have emergency locking retractors and those for the front seats also have force limiters and pre-tensioners.

Characteristic interior features of the new Prius include a revised dash and centre console layout with the 7” JBL Premium Audio Display centred at the forefront while illuminated screens housed further back display trip information across two 4.2” TFT Multi Information Displays positioned side by side.

The setup enables the driver to view information without detracting attention away from the road and compliments the introduction of the colour head up display which projects a digital speedometer and hybrid system indicator on to the lower section of the windscreen.

Data and images are now presented in full colour with high-resolution graphics. The right-hand section presents speed, fuel level and other basic data, while the left section is where the driver can select preferred content using a switch on the steering wheel. The efficiency of the driver’s driving style and the car’s progressive fuel economy can be monitored and separated into different periods of time or distance.

The 10 speaker JBL audio with 7” display hosts Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs and a range of useful driver information including trip information and the reverse camera display with moving guidelines.

Standard features on the GX model include 15”  alloy wheels with wheel cap and 195/65 R15 tyres, day time running lights, an engine immobiliser with wireless remote central locking and Smart Key. Six cup/bottle holders are located in the front doors, centre console and the rear of the cabin.

There is climate control air conditioning, adjustable lumbar support on the driver’s seat, 60:40 split folding rear seats which can extend the boot capacity from 457 litres to 1507 litres, LED front fog lights and rain sensing variable intermittent wipers and an illuminated entry system which includes the map, step and main interior lights.

The optional Touring Package available on the GX adds a leather steering wheel, Satellite Navigation and 17” alloy wheels with lower profile 215/45 R17 tyres.

The ZR includes the Touring Package features and adds leather upholstery, eight way power adjustable driver’s seat, dual zone driver’s and front passenger seat heaters, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.