Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Toyota Prius makes most sense as a company car. Low CO2 emissions mean that it undercuts the tax costs of most diesel rivals, and by some margin, while low lease costs will also appeal to fleet providers.
If you’re a private buyer, there are serious incentives, too. Granted, the Prius costs more to buy than a Volkswagen Golf, but has excellent resale values, low servicing costs and very good average fuel economy – in our real-world True MPG tests it managed an admirable 50.5mpg. Judging by official figures, adding four-wheel drive will make little noticeable difference to running costs. All of the above make the Prius a sensible long-term private buy and it beats the Hyundai Ioniq on price and equipment.
Speaking of equipment, we’d recommend sticking with the cheapest Active trim for the best value. This comes with dual-zone climate control, the aforementioned 7.0in touchscreen with reversing camera, DAB radio and Bluetooth all thrown in, as are safety functions including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking (AEB), road sign recognition, lane departure alert and automatic high-beam on the headlights.
With no smartphone mirroring offered, the only way to have built-in sat-nav in your Prius is to go for Business Edition + trims or above. The Business Edition + is also the only model you can have with four-wheel drive. The pricier trims add various comfort and style features, such as heated seats and bigger alloy wheels, as well as a wireless phone-charging mat.
Toyota put in a strong showing in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing second out of 31 brands, behind only Lexus. Judged against other hybrid and electric cars, the Prius itself came seventh. That places it ahead of the Hyundai Ioniq. Every Prius is backed by a generous five-year, 100,000-mile warranty is included; the Hyundai Ioniq’s warranty also lasts for five years but has no upper mileage limit.
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