Toyota Hybrid Car Prius Two 2013

September 9, 2014

Toyota Hybrid Car Prius Two 2013

Driving any Prius for the first time can be startling to novices. The continuously variable nature of the hybrid system means the engine speed (and hence noise) doesn't rise and fall with road speed--which can take some getting used to. And the handling is hardly going to elate sports-car fans. Like virtually all of Toyota's electric power steering systems, the Prius feels numb and lifeless through the wheel--though it responds fine and the car corners capably enough.

This car has outstanding gas mileage for a compact hatchback, at an overall 50 MPG (55% weight given to city MPG of 51, and 45% weight given to highway MPG of 48). This represents a very impressive fuel efficiency advantage of 61% over its similarly-sized peers.

During city driving, Prius owners can expect to cover about 607 miles on the 11.9 gallon tank, 259 miles farther than the class average. On the highway, a maximum range of 571 miles is 105 more than that of rival hatchbacks.

This model's hybrid powertrain combines a naturally aspirated 1.8L Inline-4 engine with an electric motor, sending power to the front wheels through an automatic transmission. At 134 horsepower, it's down on power (the average 2013 compact hatchback has 148 HP). As for low-end grunt: in a class where 148 ft-lbs is the norm, torque is definitely lacking, at only 105 ft-lbs.

Absolute horsepower numbers only paint part of the picture when it comes to how quickly a vehicle can accelerate. Extra weight hinders straight-line performance, which is why auto experts often refer to the power-to-weight ratio for true apples-to-apples comparisons. This model's ratio of 22.7 lbs/HP is 18% worse than the segment average of 19.2 (a lower number is better), making this one of the slower hatchbacks in its class. According to Toyota, it will accelerate from 0-60 in 9.8 seconds.

Independent of power, curb weight (weight of the ready-to-run car with a full tank of gas) offers hints at vehicle performance. Lower weight generally translates to shorter stopping distances, better handling, and higher cornering limits. Knowing this, keep in mind that this is one of the heavier compact hatchbacks for the 2013 model year.

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