This has been by far the best car purchase I have ever made! We have put 10,000 miles on the car over the last four months. We are averaging 54 mpg all around.
The car handles great. The new Prius comes with a power mode. While in this mode the car is impressively fast and it will still get 50+ mpg on the highway! In ECO mode the car is probably slower from a stop than most cars, but you are not buying speed. The EV mode (only uses electric) I think is kind of pointless, it only works at very low speeds.
The hybrid system is great! It transitions from full electric to hybrid very smoothly. There is a really cool display option in the control panel that shows where the car is getting its power (electric, engine, or both) At first it was kind of distracting because it was neat to see how the car works rather than watching the road. The hybrid system is more advanced than any other system out there currently. The gas engine will shut off any time it is not needed; so at a stop, coasting, braking, going down a hill, and any other time the electric motor is powerful enough to run everything. Prius also comes with an engine brake (indicated as “B” on the shifter) which provides mechanical help for downhill driving. The batteries will charge anytime the wheels are moving and you are not accelerating, or if the batteries are running low, the gas engine will run longer to help charge the batteries. Braking and coasting are the main two ways to charge the batteries. Also using the engine brake charges the batteries twice as fast.
The smart key technology is awesome. Smart key means that you can unlock your car without getting your keys out. With a young child this is very helpful. Also, the Prius is keyless start. It sound pretty lazy, but it is very convenient.
We absolutely love this car. It is larger than all other hybrid cars on the market, it gets the best fuel efficiency of all cars, and the overall fit and finish really shows why Toyota has such a strong following. This is the first Toyota we have owned and it definitely will not be the last.