When Toyota first introduced the Prius 15 years ago, its hybrid technology was groundbreaking. The Prius is now on its fourth generation.
Consumer Reports put the new Prius through the same mileage tests it uses for all cars. A fuel meter precisely measures each milliliter of gas burned as the car is driven on specific routes. One route represents the stop and go of city driving. Testers also drive the cars on a stretch of highway at 65 miles per hour.
The newly redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius got the best numbers ever recorded for a non-plug-in vehicle—52 miles per gallon overall. That’s up from 44 miles per gallon from the last generation Prius.
Small changes to the gasoline engine made a big difference in efficiency; it more effectively turns fuel into force. The car also runs on electric power more often, and the body is more aerodynamic.
Other comparable hybrid sedans, like the Hyundai Sonata (39 mpg overall), Ford Fusion SE (39 mpg overall), and Toyota Camry XLE (38 mpg overall), don’t even come close to the Prius’s mileage.
The biggest improvement with the Prius is in city driving. The last version got 32 miles per gallon in city driving. The new Prius gets 43. And highway driving improved from 55 to 59.
Consumer Reports engineers found other improvements, include a more comfortable ride, less body roll, and better brakes. They recommend getting the Prius Three version with the advanced technology package, which includes safety features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure alert.
Equipped like that, the Prius Three costs around $29,000. The Toyota Prius has proved to be one of the most reliable cars based on Consumer Reports’ survey of Prius owners.
Check out Consumer Reports’ list of cars with the best and worst fuel economy.