2017 Toyota Prius

300-priusabsolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2017 Toyota Prius gets 54 miles per gallon. That’s not a typo. The new Prius really does get extraordinary gas mileage. This all new, fourth generation hybrid continues to push the fuel efficiency envelope by giving its owners the ability to drive and drive before having to pull into a gas station and fill up. And with improved batteries that take up less room, the new Prius is now just as roomy as other non-hybrid compacts.

The very first Prius hit American highways back in 2000. It was awfully cramped inside, but it did get fuel economy numbers over 40 miles per gallon, which was phenomenal at the time. It didn’t gain much of a following, but the second generation Prius, which came out in 2003, found a huge popular following when gas prices soared to over four dollars a gallon. All of a sudden, large SUVs were out, and everyone wanted a Prius. But Prius sales dropped once gas prices did the same.   

This latest generation 2017 Prius was designed from the ground up to achieve startling fuel economy, and every aspect of the car was engineered around saving weight and improving aerodynamics. With a base MSRP of $24,685, all models of the Prius are powered by a 1.8 liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and two motor/generators that are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The new Prius optimizes weight and space by replacing the old, bulky, nickel-metal hybrid battery with the lighter and more compact, lithium-ion hybrid battery. This allows the battery to be stored under the rear seat, thereby freeing up more room in the rear cargo area. When driving, the transition from gas to battery mode is now seamless, which is another huge improvement in the new Prius.

There are two driving modes, Normal and Power. The latter is for those times when saving fuel is not a priority. But the Prius is always ready to help achieve optimal fuel economy by gently coaching the driver through instrument displays that, if chosen, show just how efficiently you are driving. With an 11.3 gallon gas tank, the Prius may only need to visit a gas station every couple of weeks.

If you think a 2017 Toyota Prius might be in your future, now is the time to shop for one. Remember, when gas prices are low, it’s a good time to get a great deal on a Prius.

Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.