The Toyota Prius is largely unchanged in its sixth model year. That’s good news for those who prioritize fuel economy in their vehicle. The Prius does everything to save on gas from its aerodynamic design to its fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain. By running in pure electric mode, for example, at low speeds in such areas like parking lots, the world’s number one selling hybrid can easily beat its already-impressive fuel economy figures.
The Prius powertrain is composed of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and battery pack. The gas engine pours out 98 horsepower and 105 lb.-ft. of torque. The motor is rated at 80 horsepower and 153 lb.-ft. of torque. Together, the hybrid has a net output of 134 horsepower. That power turns the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission for fuel economy figures of 51 mpg in city driving, 48 mpg on the highway and 50 mpg in combined driving. These are based on 2015 EPA mileage estimates. As always, actual mileage in the Prius will vary on driving style and vehicle maintenance.
The 2015 Toyota Prius is a five-passenger, five-door hatchback available in five trim levels: One, Two, Three, Four and Five. The Prius One, which is basically a stripped down version, is only available for fleet sales like rental companies. For the new model year, the lineup gets the Persona Series. This limited edition Prius Three comes with exclusive 17-in. wheels, “Dark Chrome” accents, unique badging, and faux leather upholstery. The Persona can be opted in either Absolutely Red or Blizzard Pearl exterior colors.
With its primary purpose as a people mover, the Prius comes with a slew of standard safety features like anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control systems, and seven airbags. For the 2015 model year, a rearview camera is now standard across the entire lineup. The Prius received five out of five stars in overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while awarded the top rating of "Good" in most crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Standard equipment found on the base Prius Two includes heated side and power mirrors, push-button Stop / Start, automated climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and column, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker audio system with CD player. The Three adds more electronics: a navigation system, voice controls, satellite radio and HD radio. Also standard on the Three is Toyota's Entune, an advance infotainment system which adds such apps like Pandora, iHeart Radio and Open Table via your smartphone. Buyers can opt for a Solar Roof package for their Three which adds a sunroof and a solar-powered ventilation system.
Notable features found on the Prius Four include automatic headlights, heated front row seats, and a premium sound system. The optional Solar Roof package from the Three is also available on the Four where it also adds a head’s-up display, Toyota’s Safety Connect emergency system, and navigation.
The Prius Five gets unique 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and foglights as well as most of the equipment from the lower trims as standard.
Two option packages, the Plus Appearance and Plus Performance, are available for Prius shoppers.