Toyota Prius VIN Lookup
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The most recent, fifth generation, launched in 2023, underwent a complete redesign, presenting a sleeker look, more power, and incremental improvements in fuel economy, achieving 51 mpg with the AWD XLE version tested. This generation delivered quicker acceleration, tighter handling, and a firmer yet steady ride. The low stance, curvy roof, and raked windshield, however, compromised access and visibility. Standard features were expanded to include AEB with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane centering assist on all trims.
The fourth generation, introduced in 2016, was a revolutionary leap forward, achieving an impressive 52 mpg overall thanks to a new, larger, and more efficient engine. The design became more controversial, and the interior quality was improved, though some unconventional touches remained, including unconventional controls. Significant updates included standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking from 2017, the introduction of Apple CarPlay in 2020, and an upgrade to the Toyota Safety Sense system to TSS2.0 in 2021. This generation also saw the introduction of an all-wheel drive option in 2019.
The third generation, unveiled in 2010, preserved the core Prius virtues while improving the driving position and adding stability control as a standard feature. This redesign also introduced a larger engine, yet the Prius maintained its 44 mpg overall fuel economy. The car offered better crash protection and more amenities, but the interior was still considered somewhat cheap, and the overall driving experience was viewed as mundane. Despite these criticisms, the hatchback configuration and roomy rear seat continued to make the Prius a sensible and practical choice.
TThe second generation, debuting in 2004, marked a significant shift as the Prius transitioned to a mid-size hatchback. This change brought improved backseat room and increased output from both the gas engine and electric motor. Initially boasting up to 60 mpg in the city, the Prius strengthened its reputation for fuel efficiency. Safety enhancements included standard side airbags, and new features like a gear shifter with an engine braking mode. The higher-end models of this generation added a touch of luxury with leather seats, and post-2007 models came with additional safety features like standard side curtain airbags, a rear-view camera, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The first generation Prius, introduced as a quirky small sedan in 2001, featured a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 44-hp electric motor. It stood out for its 41 mpg fuel efficiency and its ability to propel itself on electric power at low speeds. This initial version of the Prius, with its unique column-mounted gear selector and unconventional instrument layout, had a futuristic aura but was criticized for its narrow cabin, nonlinear brake feel, abnormal tire wear, and subpar safety ratings.