The Prius is a striking car from the outside, and it's no different when you step aboard. Sections of white gloss trim break up the otherwise dark interior, which is mostly finished in hard but accurately moulded plastics, though the top three trim levels benefit from more soft-touch surfaces. The drive selector is a stubby lever protruding from the centre console that's very easy to operate once you're used to it.
You sit looking at an unconventional dashboard layout without the traditional instruments placed directly in front of you – they are replaced by a pair of 4.2in colour screens that sit atop the dash, slightly to the left of the driver's sight line. The right-hand screen covers basics such as speed and fuel level, while the left shows secondary data to include highly detailed economy analysis. All but the entry level Active trim have a head-up display that projects information onto the windscreen directly ahead of the driver.
A larger central 7.0in touchscreen operates the infotainment system, flanked by supplementary touch-sensitive buttons, while other surfaces such as the climate control panel and the steering wheel sport conventional buttons that feel solidly built and have a precise action. The touchscreen is responsive enough for the most part, but hesitates at times, and the graphics on models equipped with sat-nav aren't as slick as those in the Volkswagen Golf or Hyundai Ionic, for example.
It's easy to find a comfortable position in the driver's seat, although the steering wheel could use a little more range in terms of both vertical and horizontal adjustment. There's a great view of the road ahead, but the split rear windscreen seriously compromises the rearward view.