Toyota’s hybrid sedan pushes auto boundaries
Toyota’s Prius hybrid sedan celebrated its 10th anniversary in December — a decade during which it pushed the boundaries of automotive innovation and set benchmarks in low emissions and fuel economy its rivals are still struggling to match.
Even though Prius pioneered many new technologies, most notably its powertrain, it has proved enormously popular with motorists, thanks to its environmental credentials, versatility, ease of use and low running costs. It remains the world’s cleanest family car, with carbon dioxide emissions of 104g/km.
Since the first-generation Prius made its debut in Japan in 1997, around 900,000 have been sold. The launch of an all-new Prius in 2004 raised public awareness and accelerated sales.
And Prius drivers are happier with their vehicle than owners of any other car, according to the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates U.K. customer satisfaction survey, which named Prius the top-ranked individual model.
Not surprisingly, the Prius is the world’s bestselling hybrid power vehicle and a standard bearer for cars that have a less harmful impact on the environment, from the manufacturing process, through customer ownership to final end-of-life disposal.
Its revolutionary power system, which combines a small but powerful electric motor, a 1.5-litre gasoline engine and a compact battery pack is reliable and robust, qualities reflected in the standard eight-year warranty on all the car’s hybrid components.