Price (as tested) 💲: $41,900 
Powertrain ⚙️: 2.0-liter 4-Cylinder + 2 AC Synchronous Electric Motors + 13.6 kWh Lithium-ion Battery
Output 💪: 220 hp/215 lb-ft of torque
Transmission 🕹: Continuously Variable Transmission
0-60 MPH 🚦: 6.6 seconds
Top Speed 💥: 112 mph
MPG (as tested) ⛽️: 48-52 combined MPG/114-127 combined MPGe + 39-44 mile range
Curb weight ⚖️: 3,461-3,571 lbs


Let’s just get this out of the way:

I’ve never disliked the Prius – as an appliance.

With the arrival of the latest generation, the narrative has been so glowing that it sounds as if Toyota was producing a heap of garbage until now.

Far from it.

The Prius has been a highly efficient and practical piece of machinery since its inception.

It wasn’t even horrible to drive – at least not the third generation that occupied a spot in my parents’ driveway for years.

It was, however, formed by function.

While the third generation had the least offensive design, and the fourth – particularly the Prime – aimed at a bullseye called “ugly,” none of the Prius iterations have been remotely handsome.

This low bar is what the new model has overcome – but it didn’t just jump, it soared.

Generation five is attractive, not as the prettiest child in a beauty-starved family, but as standalone sexy.

They’ve also managed to make it more efficient: combined MPGs of the conventional hybrid climb by 2 to 57, and the new Prime’s EV range lifts by 19 miles, to 44.

A 75-hp bump over the last-gen hybrid mean the new Prius can keep up with traffic (driver dependent, of course), while the 220-hp Prime delivers a low 6-second run to 60 (quicker than a Honda Civic Si).

A more rigid platform, upgraded brake booster, and re-tuned steering bring life to the new Prius’ handling, which had diminished from 3rd to 4th generation.

Yes, this new model is better in almost about every way (headroom takes a hit with that slick roofline and the steering wheel doesn’t tilt enough for my liking), but if Toyota had changed nothing but the sheetmetal, I’d still praise the Prius for executing its marching orders perfectly.

The difference is that now it isn’t just logic that sells a Prius – there’s a bit of lust as well.