Our cars: Toyota Prius+ - January

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Toyota Prius+
Toyota Prius+
Toyota Prius+ 1.8 VVT-i T Spirit

Week ending January 25
Mileage 1168
Driven this week: 215


Toyota Prius+ review

I had the opportunity to glance at the quick-start instructions included with every Prius+, to help new owners get on their way without having to read the manual.

Good luck to anyone using it in a hurry and trying to 'shift the shift position to P when parking'. What this actually means is press the P button when parking – you can't actually select P with the so-called shifter (would-be gearstick) at all.

Then there's the 'N' for neutral button – no mention of what this is for, and I feel little wiser after consulting the manual.

From what I can garner, the car selects this automatically for the most part when you attempt to do something too early or too dangerous with the gearshifter, and I can't actually work out exactly when or why you can select it yourself. The mind boggles.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending Friday, 18 January
Mileage 953
Driven this week: 58


Within a couple of weeks of taking delivery of the Toyota, the brakes started to squeal when I set off, particularly when it was a bit cold.

For a car with barely 900 miles on the clock, that didn't seem right. So, the car was sent back to Toyota for them to look at. It turns out that a part, which deliberately makes this noise when the brakes are worn, was doing its thing even though the brakes were fine. Said part was duly replaced.

While they were at it, I had them deactivate the annoying beeps that tell the driver that they are reversing (as if they couldn't tell just by looking out the window), which is a good job because the beep was starting to get a frog in its throat and didn't sound very healthy.

Now a single beep goes off when I've selected reverse, which is helpful because if you move the gearshift too quickly it can pop out of place without selecting reverse at all. So I've killed two very irritating birds with one stone.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending Friday, 11 January
Mileage 895
Driven this week 32


Toyota Prius+ review

Driving the Prius+ has become a real pleasure, and the car is well suited to a life with young children on board. There hasn't once been a complaint about a bumpy ride, as generally it is really smooth.

Sure, you can feel a bit of jiggling as you go over broken Tarmac or bumps, but, from the town driving I've been doing so far, the impression I have is of a calm, relaxed environment that makes it easy to hear and talk to little kids.

It's true that some MPVs are more entertaining to drive, with quicker, more responsive steering that give you a sense of contact with the road, but that's not what my driving requires, so I'm happy to forgo any sportiness for a gentler experience.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

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Our cars: Toyota Prius+ - December

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