Toyota Prius Prototype

Toyota Prius Prototype Review: “Its wheels move well even on wet roads, a high quality movement” by Hideshi Matsuda

It rained on the day that I test drove this car. My impression towards its handling in the short course was that its suspension moves even better. When I started steering, the rolling in its front suspension was just at the right level. I felt relieved because of that. Is wheels had high-quality movement.

Since the roads were wet, it felt somewhat regrettable that I was not able to test it for more rolling. However, I did not feel the stroking overshoot, and I also did not feel the delay in the ending of the rolling (when driving on the S-course).

It has a double wishbone rear suspension so it performs a suspension-like lively motion, and its riding comfort has improved at the same time. It has both 15-inch and 17-inch tire types, but the 17-inch tires have a good grip and better balance in wet conditions compared to the 15-inch tires. It also didn’t give off much of an unpleasant feeling with the intervention of the dynamic stability control (DSC).

When I stepped even only on the accelerator, I was able to turn well with the steering even on the slippery wet roads. Contrarily, the understeer was strong when I applied the anti-lock braking system (ABS) during cornering.

This was remarkable for the model equipped with 15-inch tires. Its 15-inch tires are said to be fuel consumption-oriented, thus being the main cause of its low grip level. Even though it’s too much to ask, I want it to have more DSC management on this part.

As for the driving position, its seat height became lower by 59mm but in proportion to that, its dashboard was also made lower on the same level with the seat. Moreover, the viewpoint at the A Pillar and the area that surrounds the door mirror was made bigger, so its front and back views has become more improved compared to the previous generation model. Because of that, it’s also already easy to identify the left-front corner that can be viewed from the driver’s seat, which was difficult to grasp in the previous generation model. It still has room for many improvements, but it has better field of vision than the second and third generation; hence, this is what I can evaluate now.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★★
Power Source: ★★★
Footwork: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★★

Hideshi Matsuda | Racing Driver / Automotive Journalist / Monk
Before departing from this world, he wants to have been able to actively drive cars. With his motto “I will leap until I die!”, he has been practicing a health care method called Slow Aging, and he is the eldest active GT racer at 55 years old. Hitherto, he participated four times in the Indianapolis 500, and he also participated in four major world races in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He knows a lot about car mechanisms, and he specializes in setting up race cars and analyzing general cars. He values contributing engaging and comprehensible articles for car specialized journals.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)