2009 Toyota Prius T-Spirit 1.8 Hybrid from UK and Ireland
A great car that happens to be a Hybrid
The only thing that has gone wrong has been the boot gas struts - sorted FOC by Toyota. That's why I deducted 1 point from the reliability!
Possibly a bit harsh, especially since they were looking dodgy when we bought the car.
The only other issue has been a slight hesitation and a drop in power on some (rare) occasions. We recently had the recall done on the software for an issue that sounds similar to this, and so far the car has been perfect since.
Obviously there has been many recalls, including one on the brakes completed by the dealer prior to us collecting the car last year. I can't comment on that, but I do know I'm happy with our Toyota and how the brakes work.
Forgetting for a minute that this car is a hybrid and everything that goes with it, on its own merits as a car and nothing but a car, this is very good. We like the fact that there is so much interior space for a car of its size. We love the technology with the sat-nav, rear view camera, self parking, heads-up display and all the nerdy bar charts and graphics on the dash.
We love the fact that it does around 49-52 (UK) MPG on petrol - which is about 7p a litre cheaper than diesel at present. That's driving it normally, which to be honest is not quite eco driving - we're always in a hurry and drive like it too. On a long and gentle run we can average 65 MPG with a bit of effort.
We love the smooth transmission with its total lack of gears and clutches - don't believe the journalists and well-meaning Toyota marketing people who'll tell you it has a CVT - it doesn't, or at least not like the well known versions that use a band and cones. It's official name that the engineers use is Power Split Device. We love the quiet motorway cruising and the near silence when making your way along an endless traffic jam. This is a relaxing way to drive. Even better, when stuck in such a jam you get to sit back and enjoy the fantastic Bose stereo.
Running costs are also incredibly cheap. It's been the cheapest car we've owned, helped by the very cheap dealer service costs. Given the reliability of the hybrid batteries (most of them, at least), the lack of a clutch, proper gearbox, high pressure fuel systems, turbo chargers, diesel particulate filters and dual mass flywheels, we're expecting long term costs to be much lower than the equivalent turbo diesel too. Fingers crossed, so far so good. OK it has an extra motor and voltage converters, but these should hold up and be relatively cheap to fix compared to the raft of expensive faults a modern diesel can suffer from.
What's not so good? It's not powerful enough. Even if you really go for the kickdown, it's not going to keep up with the average 2.0 turbo-diesel. For a 1.8 petrol, it's OK, and that's just about acceptable.
It also suffers from a rattly interior. Annoying, but not the end of the world. The doors are pretty tinny too. You can tell where they've shaved off weight, that's for sure.
The Toyota hard-disk based audio system is also a nightmare to use, despite having such a great sound quality. The sat-nav interface is reasonably user friendly though.
I'd definitely have another, possibly a Lexus version if my wallet allowed it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th March, 2014