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Toyota Prius Plus: Test Drive Review

Date: 16 July 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Category: MPV
P11D price: £26,140
Key rival: Renault Grand Scenic

In addition to the existing hybrids in its current range (Prius and Auris hybrid), and those about to go on sale (Prius plug-in and Yaris hybrid), Toyota has introduced yet another model running on both petrol and electric power.

The Prius Plus is the firm's largest take on a hybrid yet, with seven seats and, according to Toyota, 76% more space than the standard Prius and 19% more than its outgoing compact MPV, the Verso. It's also the only seven-seat car in the UK?emitting less than 100g/km, with a figure of 96g/km in standard T4 guise and 68.9mpg. Go for the only other trim level, T Spirit, and the larger 17-inch wheels nudge it to 101g/km and 64.2mpg, sacrificing the best of the benefits to businesses including the lowest 10% BIK rating. Either way, the higher-grade model is still cheap to run as MPVs go and spec is commendable.

It may be a seven-seater but adults will be cramped in the very back, and boot space is reduced to 232 litres when all five rear chairs are in place. Those seats fold flat into the floor though, and, lose the back two and you're looking at a more respectable 784 litres. The central three slide back and forth individually and anyone sitting in them has a lot of room.

Interior quality is better than in many of the firm's other models but it is still behind the majority of rivals in terms of materials and aesthetics.

Save for the recent crack at a proper sports car with the GT86, Toyota hasn't been known for producing cars that are exciting to drive and, true to form, the Prius Plus is predictably uninspiring. Power isn't abundant and the handling is staid.

Where it scores highly is on ride and refinement. There is a small amount of wind noise audible at A-road and motorway speeds from the A-pillars, and the 1.8-litre engine emits a bit of a drone when pressed, but those facets aside, it's very quiet.

The Prius Plus also proved comfortable and pliant on the road thanks in part to what Toyota calls a 'pitch and bounce control system', which subtly and automatically alters the amount of power channelled to the front wheels when going over bumps to stabilise the car.

The lacklustre driving experience aside, the Prius Plus is almost all things to businesses in need of a seven-seater. Granted, larger MPVs exist that are better to drive and have more room in the final row of seats, but from a technological, packaging and running costs perspective, Toyota's latest hybrid is the most logical people carrier on the market.

Toyota Prius Plus T4
P11D price£26,195 (RRP)
Model price range£26,195-£29,495
Fuel consumption68.9mpg
CO2 (tax) 96g/km (10%)
Service interval10,000 miles
Insurance (1-50)group 11E
Warranty5yrs unlimited mls
Boot space232/1750 litres
Engine size/power1798cc (plus electric motor)/134hp
Top speed/0-62mph103mph/11.3secs
On sale July 2012
VerdictA good proposition for
business drivers in
need of seven seats


A good proposition for business drivers in need of seven seats