Toyota Prius+ 1.8 VVTi T Spirit
Week ending November 29
Miles this week 272
Read the full Toyota Prius+ review
This week we say goodbye to our Prius+ hybrid seven-seater. After a year on our long-term test fleet, it's averaged around 44mpg.
That doesn't sound like much until you consider that most of my driving is done on congested London streets, where another petrol car would struggle get near that figure and a diesel would bring the worry over whether the diesel particulate filter will get clogged up without a regular run on the motorway. It also makes up for the fact the Prius+ hasn't been especially user-friendly, good to drive or trouble-free, despite Toyota's excellent reliability record.
Read the full final report next week.
Jumped in the car to go to a wedding that I knew was somewhere near Guildford, planning to put the full address into the Toyota's sat nav once we were heading in roughly the right direction. At which point, I discovered that the address on the wedding invitation gave no postcode, just the name of the village – Bramley. Not a problem, I thought; enter Bramley into the car's sat nav and it will surely offer up all villages called Bramley, and I can pick the one near Guildford. Not that simple: the Toyota's sat nav was only able to give one destination: 'Chesterfield, Bramley Vale, S44' – near Sheffield. Frustration soon gave way to initiative, and I was able to find the generic postcode for Bramley by stopping to search the internet on my smartphone. With this information, the sat nav then found my Bramley in an instant, but I was left feeling let down by the sat nav which helps put an extra £3300 on the basic cost of a Prius+.
By Alex Newby
Week ending November 15
Miles this week 421
So, it's finally happened: having taken almost obsessive care not to damage the Toyota's alloys when parking, I've ended up having a scrape – but, annoyingly, through no fault of my own.
I spotted this parking space right outside my toddler's nursery and made a dive for it, without realising that the pile of leaves and autumn detritus in the gutter was mixed with rubble and rock-hard cement waste from the council's paving repairs.
I instantly knew what had happened as I heard the inimitable grinding noise of metal on rock, but at least the damage turned out to be less serious than I'd expected, with just a light scuff to the very edge of the wheel that no-one else would spot without looking closely for it. At least I haven't got myself to blame, for once.
By Alex Newby
Week ending November 8
Miles this week 322
As with other Toyota models, the names of the two Prius+ trim levels have now been changed from T4 and T-Spirit to Icon and Excel.
There's been an update to the car's equipment list, too, but not – as you might expect - for the better. The panoramic roof, which was standard on every Prius+ when we took delivery of our test car last year, is now a hefty £850 cost option.
This makes a good case for buying a used model, or simply looking for a better value seven-seater.