I test-drove the Toyota Prius A Premium Touring Selection, which can be equipped with 17-inch large-diameter tires and Li-ion battery.
I also test-drove its S-grade with 15-inch tires, but I found out the difference in its performance as I drove this model. Compared to the one equipped with 15-inch tires for regular street driving, I’m quite concerned about its the road noise that can be heard in the cabin. Its noise level is just about the same with the previous-generation model, and this was caused by intrusion of other noise. It certainly became more silent than the previous-generation model overall, but when something is removed, something causes another case.
However, that is only about low-speed driving. As for high-speed driving, it covers the road increasing road noise so I did not mind much about it.
It has a different level of ride quality, shocks on rough roads, it has stronger force than that of the previous model, and it touches a round angle. But compared with the new model equipped with 15-inch tires, I got a bit concerned about its shocks and driving force.
When I tried to drive actively, the low ground clearance of both 15 and 17-inch tires were just the same, and it was easy to turn it to another side, but the 17-inch tires have more excellent stability. However, in terms of normal eco driving, the new model has no big difference when equipped with 15 or 17 -nch tires for a good reason, but as for me, I would choose the one with 15-inch tires that makes me think of it as appropriate for a Prius car, as it exudes mild and high ride quality that wouldn’t make me lose my way.
Nonetheless, its power performance is just basic for touring sessions in Minato Mirai, Yokohama public highway, and Shuto Expressway, with an actual fuel consumption of 28km/L with 17-inch front and rear tires when driving at normal mode (with eco mode in the new model, it gives off a gentle performance).
It felt like it can normally reach up to 30km/L at higher driving distances. The previous-generation model had a fuel consumption of 20 to 22km/L at the same route, so there is room for higher fuel efficiency, as its actual fuel efficiency is great.
By the way, there’s a white plastic panel that enables storage of smartphones and mobile phones at the center console area, but it creates a clattering sound when stored with items, so it’s not that good. It is also equipped with a leather console tray (worth 4,320 yen) as Toyota’s genuine accessory, but I’m also anticipating for them to change the soft materials and resin-made aftermarket parts.
By the way, I just noticed that the ceramic-printed part on the lower front window of the all-new Prius has a warning triangle (the developer thought that I observed things very well). This will become a standard setting in the car, and it contributes to driving easily. It’s a little trivia that doesn’t stand out.
As for the all-new Prius’s pet-friendliness, this is a sedan type of vehicle. In letting the dog embark and disembark the car, it would be difficult for them to embark from the previous-generation car’s 10mm opening with its 680mm ground clearance so the dog can only pass through the rear door. However, the 600mm height above the ground of the previous-generation model, (which was just enough for the dog to embark and disembark) was made even lower in the new model with 560mm ground clearance, so it would be easier now for big dogs, medium-sized dogs, and senior dogs to hop on and off the car. A quiet, smooth driving with low ground clearance is also dog-friendly.
â– 5 Star Rating
Interior / Comfort: â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜…
Power Source: â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜…
Naoki Aoyama | Motor Journalist/ Dog Life Journalist
He became a freelance motor journalist after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He started as a writer specializing on automotive magazines, and then of general news magazines and websites. He also worked on publication related to pet (dog) and overseas travel, pet and drive-related television program, as well as events. He is currently expanding his career as a dog life producer. He is a Japan Car of the Year Selection Committee member.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)