First of all the 2010 Prius is a tad longer and heavier with a larger engine, yet delivers increased fuel economy. Its gasoline-electric hybrid combination (1.8 liters vs the previous 1.5 liter) is more powerful (134 bhp vs the second generation’a 110 bhp). The EPA fuel economy jumps to 51 mpg highway/48mpg city/50 mpg combined vs the previous generation’s 48 city/45 highway/47mpg combined. Very Impressive!
The Engine Size/Better Economy Paradox ain’t magic…just very clever engineering from Toyota. Other engine advancements include elimination of accessory drive belts. The ac compressor, water pump, and power steering are all electrical in the 2010 Prius. In addition, exhaust heat is harnessed to heat engine coolant, cutting warmup time, thus prompting quicker hybrid interaction.
There are also Improvements with the Hybrid Synergy Drive. Both electric motors (one a generator, the other for propulsion) are more compact and overall 20 percent lighter than that of the previous car. Visit Toyota Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive How Prius Operates for additional information.
Aerodynamic Optimization abounds all around the exterior of this Third Generation Prius 2010 Model. The high point of the roof has moved slightly aft, improving both the Body aerodynamic and Rear Seat Head Room. The overall Drag Coefficient is 0.25, down from an already impressive 0.26. Details contribute;…razor edges of front and rear fascias help control airflow. Underneath the car between the rear wheels are two small fins that enhance directional stability and reduce drag.
The inside of the 2010 Prius reminds you of something George Jetson might drive (or fly). The center piece of the instrument panel is a “floating center console” with open storage underneath. Along its top edge is the car’s Multi-information Display toggling among energy monitor, hybrid system indicator, trip info., caution warnings and fuel consumption readouts, past or current in either 1 or 5 minute intervals.
Nearby are Control Pushbuttons for EV, ECO, and PWR Modes. Choose EV mode and the Prius glides away from a stop on pure electric power up to 25 MPH for 0.5 miles or longer, depending on the battery charge level. Once the battery discharges, the gasoline engine takes over automatically to drive the Prius. Economy minded customers will probably keep the Prius in Eco mode, which maximizes gas mileage by smoothing out and reducing throttle response up to 11.6%. Eco mode also changes air conditioning operation to reduce fuel consumption. To extract the best performance from the hybrid powertrain, select the Power mode which increases midrange throttle response enabling the Prius to easily keep pace with city traffic.
After experiencing all three powertrain settings, we consider the Power mode essential for urban driving. Eco mode is best suited for highway cruising. Drivers should keep in mind that full throttle acceleration will switch the drivetrain into Power mode. For short distances and low speeds, the EV mode is acceptable, but isn’t practical in most traffic or highway conditions.
To appeal to a wider audience base, Toyota has segmented the 2010 Prius into four trim levels, with various option packages available depending on the model. The Prius II is the base model, followed by the Prius III, which adds a JBL audio system and Bluetooth wireless connectivity; the next step up is the well-equipped Prius IV with leather upholstery and heated front seats. In addition to the standard features on Prius IV, the top Prius V adds 17-inch alloy wheels, plus LED headlamps and fog lamps. Options consist of a Navigation Package (available on Prius III, Prius IV, Prius V), Solar Roof Package (available Prius III and Prius IV), and Advanced Technology Package (Prius V only). Price range for the All New Third Generation Prius is approximately $23,500-$32,500.
With the comprehensive redesign of the 2010 Prius, Toyota is putting the world on notice that they have no intention of relinquishing the Iconic Mantel or Leadership position in Hybrid Vehicles.
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