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Toyota unveils 2016 Prius, gets 55 MPG

Toyota has unveiled an all new Prius that’s expected to get about 55 miles per gallon and be “more fun to drive than ever”, according to the automaker. In layman’s terms, that means it utilizes the energy made from burning fuel much more efficiently than other gas engines, which equates to a ten-percent improvement in fuel economy over the 2015 Prius.

HYBRID champion the Toyota Prius has come-of-age trading its stubby green statement looks for a grown-up sleek new bodywork.

On sale from early next year, the fourth-generation Prius model is said to be “set to establish new benchmarks in fuel economy, emissions and efficiency” – in particular in highway fuel economy – although no specific figures have been given.

Safety is paramount at Toyota and the all-new Prius is one of the first cars to have Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a safety package that will be standard with all future Toyota cars and crossover SUVs. The basic shape in profile closely follows the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle’s design language.

With the RAV4 hybrid coming out later this year, Toyota will have 14 hybrid models selling in the USA, including offerings from its Lexus luxury brand.

Toyota’s most recent models get its Entune app integration system, using the owner’s smartphone as a data conduit to power third-party apps in the vehicle such as Yelp and Bing search. EPA certification is still pending, but that would put the new Prius in the mid-50s in combined city/highway mileage.

To mark the event, Toyota hoisted a new fourth-generation Prius into the night sky on cables from the top of the Linq hotel here, while the band Atlas Genius played for a crowd of journalists, dealers and company brass. Given its controversial styling, you’ll want to take that longer look too.

A new hooked headlight design dominates the front end, wrapping around a slender upper grille and reaching back along the bonnet toward the long A-pillars.

The Prius has its fair share of haters, but after 18 years and 3.5 million sold, it still lacks a true competitor.

The 2016 Toyota Prius is 0.8 inch lower than before, although its width increases by 0.6 inch and its overall length increases by 2.4 inches.

But the new model also faces a major headwind: Low US gasoline prices that have sent sales of alternative-powered vehicles tumbling 16 percent this year.

The 2016 Prius will be the first model to implement Toyota’s companywide effort to cut development costs by 20 percent through sharing platforms, parts and powertrains across its lineup.

Pricing for the 2016 Prius is expected to remain in the $25,000 range, Detroit Free Press has learned.

2016 Toyota Prius

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