Built on a totally new platform, the 2010 Toyota Prius is still considered a midsize car and is still a 'full' hybrid, meaning that it can run on the engine alone, battery alone or a combination of both as needed.
There are three driver-selectable drive modes for the 2010 Prius: EV, Eco and Power. All are accessible from the center console by the push of a button. EV Drive uses battery power alone at low speeds. Eco Drive is designed to give you the best possible mileage using a combination of gas and electric power. The new engine utilizes no belts under the hood, resulting in better fuel economy and less potential maintenance. The inverter, motor and transaxle are smaller and 20 percent lighter than before. Aerodynamics have been improved by reshaping the body and by putting trays underneath it to keep air pressure from backing up into the suspension components.
The 2010 Prius will be available in four different trims--II, III, IV and V--that will each have different standard equipment and a varying selection of exterior and interior features.
Standard exterior features on all trims include power heated side mirrors, Smart Key entry system, projector-beam headlamps with auto-off, rear window defogger with intermittent wiper, rear deck spoiler, XM Satellite Radio-ready components and High Solar Energy Absorbing glass.
Standard interior features include tilt and telescoping steering wheel controls and a state-of-the-art Multi-information Display with energy monitor, fuel consumption history, hybrid system indicator, odometer, central instrument display, digital speedometer, instant fuel consumption information, fuel gauge and shift-lever indicator. Also standard are A/C, power windows and doors, cruise control, 60/40 split rear seats and 12-volt outlets. The standard audio system is an AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio mini-jack, six speakers and satellite capability
Standard safety equipment includes advanced driver and front passenger Supplemental Restraint System airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, driver and passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver's knee airbags and active headrests. Antilock brakes with Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, electronic traction control and Vehicle Stability Control are all included with Toyota's standard Star Safety System. Also included are side-impact door beams, front and rear energy-absorbing crumple zones, 3-point front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, 3-point seatbelts in all five seating positions, child protector rear door locks and adjustable front seatbelt shoulder anchors.
The 2010 Prius II is the standard base model. Prius III adds a JBL AM/FM stereo and CD changer that also features integrated XM satellite radio and MP3/WMA playback. Prius IV adds an enhanced 3-door Smart Key system, leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats with driver lumbar support, step lamp for illuminated entry and auto-dimming mirror. The Prius V includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps with auto-leveling washers and fog lamps.
The Navigation Package is available on Prius models III, IV and V, and includes a voice-activated touch-screen DVD navigation system as well as a backup camera. The Solar Roof Package, available only in Prius models III and IV, includes all items in the Navigation Package, plus a power tilt/slide moonroof with a solar-powered ventilation system and a remote air conditioning system. The Advanced Technology Package, available only in Prius model V, includes everything in the Navigation Package plus Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, which helps the driver stay safely within the lane, Pre-Collision System, which retracts seatbelts and applies the brakes in certain conditions when a crash is unavoidable and Intelligent Parking Assist, which features simplified settings to help guide the car into parking spaces.
Safety Connect, Toyota's first safety and security service, includes automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and an SOS call button. Safety Connect will be available late in the model year.
The 2010 Prius will be available in seven exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl, Sandy Beach Metallic, Blue Ribbon Metallic, Winter Gray Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic and Black. They can be mated to three interior Colors: Misty Gray, Dark Gray and Bisque. All three interior colors are available in both fabric and leather.
Having been completely redesigned for the 2010 model year, The Prius is in its third generation. The new Prius can now achieve 51 mpg in the city and 48 on the highway, making it the only vehicle in the United States to offer a combined mileage of greater than 50 mpg.
A larger, more powerful 1.8L Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine replaces the previous 1.5L 4-cylinder engine. It can produce 98 horsepower at 5,200 rpm, but when combined with the electric motor, the 2010 Prius can generate a combined net horsepower of 134, and with 105 pounds-feet of torque. Disc brakes are now used on all four wheels, replacing the front disc/rear drum brakes from last year.
A revised body shape improves interior headroom and aerodynamics. The cabin now includes a floating console and a shift lever with a more traditional layout than 2009.
An available sliding glass moonroof is packaged with solar panels, which are located directly above the rear seating area to power the new ventilation system. This solar-powered ventilation system uses an electric fan to circulate air even when the car is off.
The 2010 Prius offers a remote air-conditioning system which can be started or stopped from the electronic key. In addition, an exhaust heat recirculation system reduces heat waste by warming engine coolant during cold startups.
Also new is a standard multi-information display panel that monitors fuel and energy consumption. It includes touch sensors on the steering wheel so as to reduce driver eye movement.