Toyota Prius And What 10 Years Has Done To It

Editor’s Note: EarthTechling is proud to repost this article courtesy of Green Car Reports. Author credit goes to Antony Ingram.

It seems like the Toyota Prius has been zipping around our roads forever, but in reality the first examples only hit U.S. soil just over a decade ago, with the Japanese market getting the car a few years before that.

The premise remains the same–a mass-market hybrid vehicle that offers the best economy and lowest emissions on the market–but much has changed since the Prius hit the roads back in 2001.

prius-1 via toyota

Image via Toyota

To see how the cars differ, we’re taking a look at the facts and figures, comparing the 2012 Toyota Prius, with its predecessor from a decade ago.

Design

Okay, so this is one area where it’s harder to compare bare figures, as design is very much a subjective topic. However, there have still been significant changes in the past ten years.

The first is that the Prius has grown. The first generation sold in the U.S, the NWH11, was in the compact car class, and used an upright, narrow sedan bodystyle. From the 2004 model year, increased interior volume allowed the car to be classified as mid-size, but the body also grew by six inches in length.

The current Prius is closer to the second-generation than the original car, but continues the trend of increased interior room and a larger body. In particular, the trunk offers 10 cubic feet more space than the less practical early cars.

In purely subjective terms, styling has moved on significantly in the past decade too, and the Prius is now a much more distinctive, futuristic car. For those not wishing to stand out too much, the more anonymous, early car may be preferable…

  • Ntopliffe

    No mention to the rare Earth metals in the batteries?