2019 Toyota Prius Limited – Review by Ben Lewis

It’s tough being at the top. Take the Prius for example. I mean, it pretty much invented the hybrid category. And it bore the brunt of a lot criticism early on. But it emerged. Not only unscathed, but look at how many Hybrid models are for sale now. Toyota alone offers a Camry, Corolla, Avalon, RAV4, Highlander, Prius, Prius Prime and Prius C models. All Hybrids! That’s quite a lineup, and as the pater familias (father of the family) of this clan of efficiency, Toyota has to make sure that it stays relevant and attractive. So, for 2019, The Prius …

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2017 Kia NIRO Touring – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

The Deep Cerulean blue Kia Niro was waiting for me and the wife at the Ft. Lauderdale airport parking lot, and it was a welcome sight after a long day of airline travel. We dropped the rear seatbacks down, and the generous 54.5 cubic feet cargo area swallowed up two huge suitcases, that in a bygone era would have been labeled “steamer trunks”. A set of golf clubs, and the carry-on bags were added easily. As we eased into the front seats, we basked in the glory of comfortable perforated leather seats, with all the leg room we could want.  …

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – Road Test Review

Ioniq is really a charmer on the road.  This is a car that can out-eco a Prius and yet also sling itself around corners like a balanced Lotus. 50 mpg has never been so easy, or fun!  No plugs needed and no range anxiety.  Ioniq is good enough to make you really rethink the logic of a full EV.  This just seems so much smarter and more versatile.  It is a seamless normal-car replacement.  Smoother than a normal sedan’s drivetrain and just as easy to own. We spent a week testing the Ioniq’s limits in a high-performance drive video.  And …

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid SEL – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

These days a lot of automakers offer a hybrid of some sort. But pretty much the undisputed king is the Prius. And Toyota earned the reputation the hard way – putting out their necks first with a little agrarian car that earned more than its share of jibes and rude noises. But Toyota’s laughing now. Interestingly, there have been precious few direct competitors to the Prius. But now we have a new fuel-sipping gunslinger in town –the all-new Hyundai Ioniq hybrid. So, does it send the Prius packing, or is it more ironic than Ioniq? Well it definitely has the …

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2017 Toyota Prius PRIME – HD Road Test Review

Our hopes about Prius Prime were through the roof.  Gorgeous new looks.  A battery pack 10X as large as the most thrifty standard Prius.  Luxed-up cabin and 20 miles of EV range? It seemed like a winning formula on paper, and it is a winner in the flesh on the road. We spent a happy week in the Prime to see how this Super Prius compares versus young gun Hyundai Ioniq as well as full EVs like the eGolf, Focus Electric or even a pre-owned Tesla.  ANd how about the upcoming Honda Clarity Plugin? There is great and less-great news to …

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – First Drive Review w/ Video [60 Photos]

Ioniq launches for 2017 as the first direct Prius rival in years.  Yes, I hear you — there are dozens of Prius rivals! And you are right: hybrids and EVs have gained traction in midsize sedans, luxury cars and SUVs at a rapid clip recently.  But no car actually tries to out-do Prius in 2017.  Not the cancelled Honda Insight.  And not the plug-in Chevy Volt, or battery-only VW eGolf. The reasons for this are many.  Mostly because Prius has beaten them all.  Ridiculously good mileage – no matter what.  A formula that surprisingly has never been cracked by another …

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2017 Toyota PRIUS – Road Test Review – By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman

  When Toyota brought the first Prius to the US back in 2000, you knew it was a hybrid by driving it, and even just looking at it.  It was an awkward looking thing that seemed to scream cheap sub-compact.  Inside, it wasn’t much better, with cheap looking and feeling materials, and it didn’t offer many amenities.  It was a purpose-built machine incorporating as many weight saving ideas built into it so that it could deliver outstanding gas mileage.  If that meant Spartan interiors and few features, so be it.  If it meant that the car wasn’t fun to drive, …

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2016 Toyota PRIUS Four Touring – Road Test Review – By Carl Malek

When Toyota first revealed the 2016 Prius, it signaled a drastic evolution for the hybrid that helped define the green vehicle segment and also established Toyota as a prominent force in green vehicle technology. But has its latest evolution helped the Prius maintain its prominent place in the green vehicle hierarchy? Or has it lost a step or two to an ever evolving suite of green contenders? The exterior styling of our “Hypersonic Red” tester is the latest example of Toyota’s philosophy that the Prius shouldn’t look like a conventional car. While the last generation’s lines could be best described …

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2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

The Toyota Prius hasn’t really been on the radar of auto enthusiasts. Oh sure, it’s been technically interesting – and with hybrid powertrains showing up in many supercars these days, you have to give a tip of the hat to Toyota for spearheading the effort. Of course, if you’re a diesel fan, you might not feel so warm and tingly. Where the Europeans have long felt that diesel was the way to get performance with miserly fuel economy, Americans bought into Hybrids in a big way. So big, in fact, that it forced many of the Europeans to develop both …

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2017 PRIUS PRIME – Live Photos and Tech Preview – CF Tail, 84mph eVmax

Some really cool new tech and solutions all around the upcoming 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Quick points on this advanced PHEV flagship: First dual motor/generator unit for the EV system promises much quicker acceleration.  The Prius PHEV was the quickest in the group before, so this is great news! Redesigned nose and tail, with NSX-style new face up front, and carbon-fiber/LED tail that is all-new versus the new 2017 Prius and the 2017 Mirai FCEV. New cabin with giant central touchscreen, a la Tesla, and a full-length central battery placement. Four seats and almost 50/50 weight distribution with low center …

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2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept Throws Down Gauntlet – Now or Never, Laggards

Well, this is it!  Nearly 24 hours after the leaks began, and a full 12 since the press conference in Vegas last night, the Faraday Future concept car for CES is now in clear focus. Before you get too excited about a full reveal — with the normal specs, pricing and a production roadmap —it is best to temper expectations. This fantasy concept from Faraday Future is not headed for the road. Nor is it really headed for any race series. But racetracks? That is another story.  The quad-motor, AWD EV promises 1000+ horsepower and a 200-mph-plus top speed.  The electric motors are …

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Buy, Sell or Hold? Ford EV Push Promises Dozen New Hybrids in 5 Years

Ford is making a giant hoopla over a very unexciting announcement. One mostly sans cars, by the way, excluding the 2016 Focus Electric and teased ______ Energi PHEV. The plan lacks a catchy name for now, so let’s just call it e-Ford for short. Will e-Ford be able to make a big market impact from the 4.5-billion investment over the next half-decade?  And is Ford really the one to pursue this?  Their tech, as many know all too well, is woeful at times. They kept paying SONY and Microsoft ridiculous licensing and tech-services fees for MyFord Touch long after the …

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2015 Toyota C-HR Concept Updated as 4-Door, Production Model En Route for 2017

Toyota’s baby SUV is almost ready for primetime! The second variant on the C-HR theme since Geneva in March of 2015, this new version is a rich metallic silver with production-intent proportions. Versus the original purple C-HR, this latest concept adds a pair of rear doors versus being a soft-road coupe. Mind you, the doors are well-hidden behind an interesting upward bulge of metal in the side surfaces. Other big tweaks to the shape of the body take the C-HR design from completely one-off to production-ready. We saw a similar evolution of the Lexus NX via various concepts, eventually leading …

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2016 Toyota PRIUS Intros Future-Tech Design, Sharper Handling and 10% Efficiency Bump

New new Prius made a splashy debut last night in Las Vegas — marking a new phase in hybrid-electric cars right in a desert city that neon and AC made possible. Is this fun-loving mission a disconnect for the ultra-responsible Prius? Not at all: the new Prius adds efficiency and new tech to the classic Prius merits, but injects a healthy share of fun and style for the first time in 2016. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into three buckets: tech, fun and style. TECH The basics are that the new Prius is 2.4-inches longer, 0.6-inches wider …

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2016 Toyota Avensis Sedan and Estate Coming to Geneva; Showing New Prius Nose?

  Toyota’s latest Avensis is coming to the Geneva auto show next month, with a nose that wears a striking new split-arrow LED emerging from the slim upper grille. This nose is the product of the ED2 design studio in France, and may influence the upcoming 2016 Toyota Prius sold globally.   2016 Toyota Avensis Sedan and Estate Posted on 15 February 2015 TOYOTA TO REVEAL NEW AVENSIS AT THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW Toyota will reveal the new Avensis at the Geneva motor show (3 – 15 March), the latest development of its contender in the European mid-size (D-segment) car …

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Refreshed 2015 Toyota Prius V Pricing, Release Date and Upgrades Detailed

Are we noticing a theme in 2015 updates? This is the year of revised infotainment, enhanced ride comfort/quietness, and new LED lighting everywhere you look. All the cool cars are getting these tweaks to their existing packages, and the 2015 Prius V 5 trim goes one further with LED low and high-beams along with a dapper LED DRL line across the top of the new lamp design. It is fresh and clean, with tweaks in the grille designs and bumpers rounding out the changes to the style outside. Pricing is very similar to the 2014, with base price of about …

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