Toyota Prius Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Wednesday 7th June


What is it like to drive?

Wonders shall never cease, for Toyota has admitted that hybrid CVT drive is not the most pleasant way to get about if you need to move quickly, and has addressed the problem with a meatier motor and battery (though both are lighter than before). The idea is you get more electro-torque more of the time, so the transmission drones less, and the engine isn’t leant on as hard. It’s a subtle improvement, but a worthwhile one. 

Meanwhile, the body knifes through the air with a smidge of wind noise, the crucial low-speed urban ride is nicely damped, and the regenerative brakes are way better than Toyota’s previous efforts. It’s still not a driver’s car, not by a long chalk, but it’s less wearing for you to pilot than before. 

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Mind you, it’s still a car with a very urban comfort zone – the high-geared, superfast steering that makes traffic-dodging a cinch in town makes this heavy car rather nervous on the motorway. And, of couse, economy soon begins to plunge if you start leaning on that hybrid drivetrain..

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