Our cars: Toyota Prius+ - April
Week ending April 5
Driven this week 450 miles
Toyota Prius+ review
Pistonheads' brand manager Paul Garlick took a break from his classic sports car collection this week to spend some time in one of the most family-oriented cars on the What Car? fleet - the Toyota Prius+. Here is what he thought:
'The Prius+ is a good car from an MPV point of view; it’s comfortable, spacious, well-equipped and a rather pleasant place to sit. It isn't the most fun car to point down a B-road, but, the novelty of silent running at 20-odd mph appeals. Reading reports of claimed 70mpg sounds pretty good, too. The reality is a little more frustrating. I got just over 51mpg during 300 miles of motorway cruising. While that doesn’t sound too bad, I had to work at it, a lot.
'My return leg involved feathering the throttle, gentle acceleration and slipstreaming. I also struggled to maintain a steady motorway speed without immense revs (and even worse engine noise) as the Prius struggled to keep a steady 70mph uphill. Not a car for regular out of town work, then.
'In town I struggled to get it to run for more than very short bursts on full EV mode as, even in central London, it kept overriding to petrol mode far too soon. I got 50+mpg in the city, but I didn’t expect the petrol engine to constantly cut in at around 15mph, making for clumsy progress.
'I can't help but think that the Prius+ would be so much better with a modern diesel unit or one of the latest turbo petrol engines installed, but I guess that kind of defeats the point.'
By Alex Newby