The fourth-generation Prius picks up right where the third left off. While the looks may have changed somewhat dramatically, the fundamentals that have made the Prius so successful, whether as a niche environmentalist’s vehicle of choice early on, or as a staple of mainstream retail and fleet sales more recently.
The Prius rides on a TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) chassis, which is Toyota’s take on a modular platform. Eventually, it will underpin several Toyota and Lexus models, but for now, the Prius is the only beneficiary.
This new platform allows for several critical changes to the new Prius. For starters, the battery pack now resides beneath the rear seats, freeing up cargo room and flexibility in the rear. Dynamically, this also contributes to a lower center of gravity. It’s also longer, lower and roomier inside, and the roof peak has been moved forward to improve headroom.
The benefits don’t end there. A new rear suspension–a double-wishbone unit–is a first for Prius. Previous models featured a twist-beam rear end. This allows for significantly better ride and handling characteristics versus the outgoing car.
All Prius models are equipped with dual front, front side and side curtain airbags in addition to a driver knee airbag and traction and stability control systems.
All Prius regardless of trim level come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P. It bundles Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Automatic High Beams (AHB), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, and Full Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).