The Prius+ uses the same petrol engine as the Prius, but has a more efficient Lithium-ion battery. Performance is adequate on paper, but unremarkable in its delivery - you'll find yourself reaching for the Power mode button, which sharpens throttle responses but kills fuel economy. The car is at its best in EV mode around town where it can drive for around one mile in near silence, but the petrol engine needs to work very hard to generate anything more than modest pace elsewhere.
Toyota Prius+ ride & handling
The Prius+ copes well with city life, thanks to its light steering and easy manoeuvrability, and it’s just as composed on the open road, with surprisingly little body roll and safe, precise handling. The suspension uses a novel system to modulate the throttle when the car hits a bump or a dip to help maintain an even ride height, but the ride could be better: it feels too firm when the car encounters uneven surfaces.
Toyota Prius+ refinement
As long as you don’t make the car work too hard, it’s generally a refined place to be: wind and road noise are isolated effectively. However, when you ask for anything more than modest acceleration, the CVT transmission – which lets the engine bellow at constant and high revs when picking up speed – ensures the Prius+ is not a restful car to drive; and, once you reach a steady motorway cruising speed, there’s too much wind noise.