Our cars: Toyota Prius+ - March
Week ending March 28
Driven this week 40 miles
Toyota Prius+ review
Colleague Patrick Fuller recently borrowed the Prius+ for a holiday in Suffolk with his family including four children aged 8-16.
With four children sitting over two rows, Patrick found it hard to squeeze in the family's luggage along with the dog. Everyone had to pack as little as possible, and some stuff had to be ditched to make enough space, but somehow they did manage to take all their essentials.
Patrick found the Prius+ rather unexciting to drive and slow to pick up speed, but was impressed by how quiet it was overall. Average economy of 47mpg wasn't too bad, although it falls short of the official economy of 63.2mpg.
Week ending March 22
Driven this week 75 miles
So closely does our Prius+ resemble the regular five-seat Prius that three passengers, on three separate occasions, have expressed doubt that it was actually the seven-seat car.
It’s an optical illusion, however. Put the two cars next to each other and you’ll be in no doubt: the Prius+ looks like the regular car on steroids. More importantly, it has a hint of the Tardis about it and actually accommodates those extra passengers quite well.
I could only muster six people, two in the front, two in the middle, and two children in the rearmost seats, but all had plenty of room and all were comfortable.
All three seats in the middle row move independently forwards and backwards, with a good range of tilt adjustment. The interior feels spacious, with good visibility through large side windows and the panoramic sunroof makes everything inside feel light and airy.
What’s more, thanks to the large openings of the long rear doors, it’s easy to get in to and out of the second and third row. It’s better in this respect than some of its rivals, including Toyota’s own seven-seat Verso.
Leather seats – standard on our top-spec T Spirit version – add an air of opulence to an otherwise undistinguished grey cabin. However this luxury doesn’t come cheap: an on-the-road price of £29,795 for our car seems a little steep, despite its big car pretensions and promised economy.