Toyota Prius £28,255/£28,800
Is the Prius just a taxi or does it make a good family car? Given the recent heat on diesel cars, this is a question I assume potential buyers might be asking right now.
Practically, the low-slung cabin gives a good amount of interior space, but you do feel low when sat in trafc and that’s not popular with her indoors. In the boot, we’ve got a decent space for our buggy and some shopping, but it is shallow, so no big suitcases for that weekend away.
Having not yet driven the Prius on the motorway, I assumed economy would sufer on long runs, but to my surprise a trip down to Hampshire and back on a grey bank holiday returned 70mpg with some careful throttle feathering and 50mph roadworks. That’s up there with the most efcient diesels, making the Prius much more than just urban Uber fodder for any buyers out there.
Put your foot down on the motorway, though, and you’re met with a loud drone from the poor engine, as the CVT gearbox tries to give you all that’s available to it. Combined with the roar of the skinny tyres, it’s quite a wearing place to be on a long journey.
Back into town, I’ve had a couple of eye-opening moments recently under braking. Not only is the inconsistent brake feel very unnerving, you never quite know what you’re going to get depending on what the hybrid system needs to harvest, but I’ve locked up brakes a couple of times while being forced to brake over a bump or pothole. Not great when someone slams on their anchors in front of you at a junction.
The mpg doesn’t come from press materials, honest. Featherfoot Norris is my name