Toyota Prius Reveals The 2016 Prius With “Sporty Style” And …


By Cynthia Shahan, with content additions and editing by Zachary Shahan

Lest we forget, conventional hybrid electric cars (no plugs), and especially the Toyota Prius, led the beginning of this transition to eliminate gas, lower emissions, and come into the age of the EV. Toyota has just revealed the 2016 Prius, and it is a big change from previous models — design-wise. It comes with what some have described as a “sporty style,” but …

2016 Toyota Prius

It is not my style. I like large windows in an automobile — too many of today’s cars lack a view, and the 2016 Prius is no exception. One needs a good view to be safe. I don’t understand the logic of the style of fewer windows as this car “sports.” It lacks clarity and elegance.

2016 Toyota Prius 2

And the rear design and lights… umm… I don’t really know who’s style that is, but I have a hard time seeing it appeal to a large number of people. But maybe it is to help with aerodynamics and efficiency?

2016 Toyota Prius 3 2016 Toyota Prius 5 2016 Toyota Prius 4


If you consider it “green” (which is highly debatable), the Prius is the top-selling “green car” in the world. But will it hold that spot?

“Toyota has ‘reimagined’ it with 10-percent improved fuel economy… Toyota is not publishing the exact mpg estimates just yet, saying it awaits EPA certification,” Jeff Cobb writes, “but 10 percent would work out to 56 mpg city, 53 mpg highway, 55 mpg compared to today’s Prius Liftback rated 51 city, 48 highway, 50 combined.”

Also in development is the more-efficient “Eco” Prius model, but we don’t know much about that yet. Jeff believes it may include lithium-ion batteries, among other perks and improvements. Quoting Toyota, “A soon-to-be unveiled Eco model will achieve an even greater improvement, strengthening Toyota’s leadership in hybrid fuel efficiency.”

Toyota plans to expand in coming years. Still, to do this, Toyota faces much more competition, with ever-increasing plug-in electric fans. The Prius’ 55 mpg all-the-time-high fuel economy should help to contend with the competitors, but you still can’t avoid gas stations, wake up to a full charge every day, enjoy instant torque and the smooth and quiet ride of an electric car, and cut emissions enough to stop global warming.


I’m not so sure about the future of the Prius. Its sales numbers won’t collapse overnight, but with greener, cheaper, more efficient, and more convenient plug-in cars competing more and more, it seems to have met its match. And I don’t think the new styling is going to help.

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  • jjaayyzz

    >> but with greener, cheaper, more efficient, and more convenient plug-in cars competing more and more, it seems to have met its match. And I don’t think the new styling is going to help
    Where are these “cheaper and more efficient” plugin cars? I have been a keen fan of alternative vehicles for the past 10 years but haven’t really seen ANY worthwhile competition to the Prius – at least they have not lasted for long. And don’t forget, what makes the Prius unique is that you can forget it is a hybrid powertrain and use it for as long as you like. You can easily find cars older than 10 years / 200K still in use and as reliable as ever. Until someone can produce hybrid cars that work so well for so long, there is really no competition for the Prius.

    • sean t

      I’ve found that the author is a Prius basher.
      “If you consider it “green” (which is highly debatable), the Prius is the top-selling “green car” in the world.” What? Prius is not green? Gimme a break. Yeah maybe a Hummer is.

      • Rick Danger

        Prius burns gas. Prius cannot move without burning gas. Prius is not green. Compared to a Hummer, maybe. Kinda like saying “My wife is ugly, but she wasn’t the ugliest one there last night.”

        • sean t

          Green is relative here mate. Some cars are greener than others but Prius is green. What do you drive? A Hummer painted green? LOL.

          • If everyone in the world drove a Prius, we’d still cook the planet and be suffering hundreds of billions of dollars a year in health costs. Sorry, that’s not green.

          • Kyle Field

            I get the point above though. People don’t drive prius’…they drive mustangs, big trucks and SUVs (at least here in cali and many other places I have visited). So…Prius’ are better than what’s out there. I’m not entirely sure that a full fleet of EVs with the current Electrical grid mix would be better than a fleet of Prius’. I recall a graph that said that an EV running on the average grid mix of electricity was equivalent to ~45mpgs worth of emissions. Could be wrong but I still think the Prius is a good gateway drug to PHEVs and EVs. Once people realize how easy it is and how much fun they can be…they’re in.

    • Marion Meads

      I will use the same logic. This 2016 Prius is not reliable. Show me that it is for the past 10 years. It hasn’t lasted that long and so we don’t now about the reliability of the 2016 Prius.

      • Kyle Field

        I never had any issues with my 2010 Prius. Went 6 years strong…

  • Marcus Mendez

    it’s tricky. We own a prius and an ev (i3), i think complimentary on multi car family basis. My guess is we will see the first 2-3 years of the prius being ok volume wise, but the back half of the sales volume will likely tank as cheaper and longer range bev’s hit the scene in volume. Another point is no one’s actually driven or reviewed the new prius, so should the dynamics of the car improve of the prior gen, that may incite some positive sales reaction, as certainly the design is divisive.

    • Good points.

    • Kyle Field

      IIRC, Prius sales are on the decline. They deserve a sales beating for not getting on board with EVs but I’m sure they’ll get there eventually. They still have a green image and are better than just about every car I see other folks driving but people who are in the know will go with a Volt or Tesla over the Prius without thinking twice.

  • Marcus Mendez

    I don’t think the question is really is the prius green, perhaps is it green enough? for the next 2 – 3 years, i think it’s better than most until battery economics catchup to the range that people are used to experiencing on gas cars.

    • I think it’s the right car for a lot of people. With my commute and weird, irregular driving days, I just don’t trust an EV yet.

  • James Rowland

    I find it more appealing – or at least less boring – than the ’12 Prius, but I’m not especially keen on the “Predator Face” look that’s common to so many recent Toyota/Lexus models either. At least this one has something breaking up the grille shape…

    I don’t particularly like the rear either, though there are some interesting and clever ideas there.

    The (’09 Prius style) split rear window gets you a separation point behind that shallow rake without cutting off all vision below it. The difference is there’s some paint and steel behind the glass, and it rakes up like a spoiler.

    The lower window and the plastic trim coming up from below make the bluntness of the rear seem less severe, and even vaguely suggests a wing and diffuser (without actually having either). That oddly prominent wrap-around ridge is presumably there to emphasise the upper surface, as are the black rear pillars.

    Still looks too busy, though.

    Is it the light cluster? The trench between that extra ridge and the centreline one? Maybe. I’m not sure. I do wonder why Toyota make light clusters at both ends of their cars look like stylised punctuation marks, though.

    In any case, my next car will not be a hybrid. By then, the Model 3 will exist; unlike anything from Toyota, it will actually have performance to match any “sporty” aesthetic it brings.

  • unique_identifier

    Who described this as “sporty style” exactly? Sporty style would include things like large air intakes, vents behind wheels, large wheels, duel exhaust, etc. You know things that actually make the car more sporty. All I see is a bunch of harsh, over-exaggerated lines on this car.

  • AaronD12

    I like that they put large, expensive lights right on the corners of the bumper where drivers are most likely to bump into things. It’s almost like Toyota wants to be in the business of replacing those large, expensive lights for a significant profit of course.

    • Rick Danger

      They are going to milk their tired old hybrids for every shekel they can, as they count on public ignorance to carry them though a few more years.
      I only hope when the public does wake up, they see the sham Toyota pulled on them for what it is and vote with their wallets elsewhere.

  • Delicious Points

    Jeezus effin’ Christ who designs these? I mean the back is so ugly that it’s right up there with the Nissan Leaf, or I should say down there.. why can’t they make decent looking cars like the Tesla or even the 2016 Volt? What were they thinking?!? Sorry, I’ll calm down now… =(

    • Kyle Field

      Different strokes for different folks. I’m not a fan of the new look either though…:/

  • George Phillips

    The look is ground breaking in some ways. At least it’s not boring, and I guess it will be a hot selling hybrid car, again.

  • Michael G

    Looks are always subjective. I think it looks great – a big improvement over the current Prius which I also like for it’s curved style but which is getting kinda old.

    I think the Leaf is truly ugly on the outside but it’s what’s inside that counts. And the new Volt is “so-so” on the outside but I love it’s new features and would buy one tomorrow if it were: a. available and, b. in my price range. Neither of which is true.

    As for being green – compared to what? A pure BEV simply doesn’t work for a lot of people. Not enough charging stations, not enough range, no off-street parking for many, many in big cities. Even a Volt isn’t suitable for many people who live in apts

    Arguing against a Prius for not being green enough is like arguing against LED lights because they still use electricity some of which comes from coal.

  • The window thing is safety related. Carmakers need a higher beltline to fit more crash structure under the doorskin.

  • jameskatt

    Electric cars don’t stop global warming since in much of the US, electric cars depend on coal and oil for generating their electricity, or they use Natural gas which will soon eventually run out.

    Because of this reliance on non-renewable energy sources, in much of the US, an electric car like the Tesla has the equivalence of 26 MPG. So don’t kid yourself that it is clean.

    In Hawaii, where much of the energy is generated from imported oil, using an EV is totally dirty to the environment since it uses much more oil than a Prius.