Dec
13

Toyota Prius v

When we at Consumer Guide Automotive recently announced our 2013 Best Buy Awards, we bestowed Toyota’s entire line of 2013 Prius models as winners of the first-ever Editors’ Choice Best Buy Award. This honor recognizes them as the pinnacle in value, features, and driving experience among 2013 vehicle choices.

Below, the comments of CG editors shed light on why these Prius hybrids are a cut above the competition.

Toyota Prius
This “traditional” Prius (a compact car; hatchback) starts at $24,200 and is EPA estimated at 51 mpg city, 48 highway.

Says Damon Bell: “Obviously, the Toyota Prius is engineered for fuel-economy ‘uber alles,’ but darned if it isn’t sort of fun to drive, somehow.” Adds John Biel: “Nobody will mistake it for Cleopatra’s royal barge, even though it continues to cost a lot. But it remains an impressive accomplishment that’s continually being refined—and there’s no denying the clout its mileage figures carry.”

Toyota Prius c
The “c” stands for “city,” which means that this Prius (a subcompact car; hatchback) is smaller and more nimble than the traditional Prius and gets even better gas mileage. Starting at $19,875, it is EPA estimated at 53 mpg city, 46 highway.

This little hybrid needs more than 11 seconds to go from 0 to 60. However, its around-town acceleration isn’t bad, and we were impressed by its mid-speed throttle response.

But it’s the fuel-economy ratings that wowed our editors. In 65 miles of nearly all city driving, Damon Bell averaged 56 mpg. In 147 miles of a city/highway mix, Ed Piotrowski got 59 mpg. And in 334 miles of nearly all highway driving, Don Sikora imitated Babe Ruth in 1927. He hit 60.

Ed complained about the c’s noise and cheap interior appointments. “But at the same time,” he added, “I quite enjoyed driving it. It’s decently roomy, and aside from the lack of power, the c drives surprisingly well.”

Toyota Prius v
Launched in model-year 2012, Prius v (a midsize car; wagon) is larger than Prius and offers considerable cargo space. It starts at $26,650 and is EPA estimated at 44 mpg city, 40 highway.

Damon Bell: “Yes, the v doesn’t match the fuel economy of the Prius sedan, but to me the extra cargo space it offers is well worth the trade-off.” And Tom Appel: “Prius v is the most impressive vehicle I’ve driven this year. A practical, roomy, family hatchback that gets 40 mpg in regular driving for under $30,000? That’s almost the definition of a perfect vehicle.”

Actually, we got more than 40 mpg. In 716 miles of test driving, we averaged 45.

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