• Apr 29th 2008 at 11:29AM
  • 48
The current Prius is baked from a refined recipe that results in a roomy, practical and efficient vehicle lurking under an eco-statement exterior, or at least we thought so. Five years on, it's still the most popular way to conspicuously consume under the guise of saving the planet. Toyota hasn't been resting on the success of its green badge of targeted consumerism, so we're going to see a new Prius at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in January, according to Toyota President Watanabe. The 3rd-generation Prius will grow in size, and engine displacement will be bumped to 1.8 liters to increase performance. Despite the increase in size and sprightliness, weight will reportedly hold steady. Further changes are in store after the launch, with plug-in and Li-Ion updates to come.
The nameplate will also move beyond a single model and become a sub-brand during the reign of Prius the III. More body styles are coming, and if you think the Prius is a roachy-looking thing, the concept hints Toyota has given us are possibly even weirder. The sub-1,000 pound 1/X might offer a glimpse at another type of Prius, though more realistically, the sad-eyed Hybrid X vannish concept suggests the way things are headed without the ridiculous pronunciation of its featherweight companion. If things go according to Toyota's plan for world domination, the Prius will become one of the pillars upon which the marque is built, next to the Corolla and Camry institutions.

[Source: Auto Observer]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The most efficient car on the road is getting more efficient and we get hate. Geez. Laying on the sour grapes a bit thick.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hello to those who think toyota dealers lie or falsely advertise: the estimated fuel mileage is from the e.p.a. not the manufacturer
      • 7 Years Ago
      Better efficiency is nice, but I'd like to know in what way it is getting larger. The 1st gen Prius appears smaller on the outside than the 2nd gen, but I simply cannot sit comfortably in a new Prius (knees in steering wheel), while I remember test-driving a 1st gen comfortably.

      Big car on the outside does not equal big car on the inside.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "from 40 to 90 MPG is the only change."

      Don't kid yourself about 90mpg. If you click on the picture above and read the article, you'll find that is based on the Japanese standard for measuring the max efficiency for a hybrid by making only trips on electrical power, with the occasional A/C and heat on to burn a minute amount of gas.

      The real numbers in the US will be 50-55mpg. You know, what is got back when the EPA ratings were way liberal and everyone was complaining about 43mpg.

      So with a 10% improvement, the Prius has finally made it back to what we were originally promised.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As long as fuel economy meaningfully improves with every re-design, it's fine if Toyota increases the size/weight of the vehicle a bit.

      Besides, once we switch to lithium-ion batteries (per the Chevy Volt), we'll be able to achieve fuel economy FAR better than the 3G Prius, even with vehicles a bit roomier than the Prius.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Smug, thats original. In fact it just further validates my points when someone throws that one in. And then there's the, Oh I dont drive as much so I should be able to commute in my Hummer, I dont need no stinking hybrid. And the good old toxic battery, yeah except that nickel only amounts to a fraction of the nickel in the rest of vehicles components. Ever heard of stainless steel? Ever heard of receycling batteries?

      No compromises. I'll say it again. Based on facts. Most fuel efficient. Lowest emissions. 10 second 0-60. Mid-sized. Keyless stop-start and touch screen nav/audio/climate. These are facts about the car.

      Call me names too all you want. Thats always a good strategy when you cant craft a simple argument.

      And my other observation (may not be quite enough evidence to move it to the fact column) is that the haters come out first on Prius (and Tundra) posts. And the comments are usually trite, lack any new info, and are just spewing lies and hate. It takes a few posts before somebody (usually not me as there are plenty of other thoughtful posters on this site) who tries to have some actual facts, insight and thought out opinions gets a chance to chime in.

      So really if you are going to criticize or attack me, be original, thoughtful, and throw in a few facts of your own. Until then, you're not going to change my point of view. And you're not going to make yourself look very good either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      More power, more size, same weight.

      What was the purpose of the Prius again?
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Prius was mainly meant to get high mileage.

        If a Chevy Silverado, Ford F150 or Dodge Ram was able to do that, you wouldn't see acres and acres of them rusting away on dealer lots in every dealership in America.

        Say what you will about Toyota, but at least they give their customers what they want. And that's why they're winning.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You see Prius, you think Prius, then you are saving the world. Nevermind Toyotas own massive line-up of barrel sucking pickup truck engines. So bigger is the obvious distraction still because you could pile a few more friends in the backseat to look good on the way to the Oscars and save the world whilst doing so!
        • 7 Years Ago
        "What was the purpose of the Prius again?"

        To help Toyota spread the illusion that they care about the environment.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Does every redesign have to get bigger and bigger with more HP? The point is to be maximize mileage and not take up the space of a Hummer. Ugh.
        • 7 Years Ago

        some of ya'll are just to funny.

        I guess your brain turns off when certain words are encountered. If you RTFA you will notice that there are smaller cars planned.

        What is going on is an attempt to make the car more mainstream - get a bigger audience. To do so requires a bit more space. There is nothing wrong with getting more people to buy into efficient cars is there? Or am I missing something, the clueless here sometimes make me wonder just how stupid the new generation is.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Why does every car company insist on inflating the size of their car every single redesign!?! I would have thought at least the Prius was immune to this idiotic nonsense!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, just like Cadillac, BMW, Merc. Why do they even bother to create new design every 3 years. "Don't fix what's not broken" does not make money!

        from 40 to 90 MPG is the only change.
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK, this may be the last comment to go here, but I figured I would say this anyway since I didn't find ANYONE mention it in the comments. I work in the industry and do a lot of consulting regarding this stuff. When looking at "Green" Cars a lot of things need to be taken into account. One needs to ask themselves what does "Green" mean? If you take the entire life cyle of a Toytoa Prius, and put it next to the Hummer H2, which one pollutes more? For most you would swear the H2, or any Hummer for that matter would pollute more than a Prius. Well, over the life cycle of the vehicle, this is just not the case. Hummers use a lot of parts from the GM parts bin-- platforms, suspension, panels, interior elements etc. Thus the cost of production could be brought down, but the development ( proto-typing, design phases etc) were minimal. The hummer uses relatively crude materials-- steel, cast iron, that can be re-melted and re-used. They are materials that are easily available--- steel and cast iron are in high demand, thus the Ore is being mined and steel being created in large volumes. The mines already exist, the steel that goes to GM is crude, and is simply morphed into the shapes it needs to be.
      The Prius on the other hand is a huge success in marketing, and taking advantage of consumers biggest concern: MPG and gas prices. So, yea, you may save a few bucks driving one of these things. But thinking you are greener, and are better for the environment--- well stop right there.

      Prius's have to employ a large amount of heavy metals, and precious metals, that have to go through special mining techniques, and be shipped all over the world. The batteries have to be created requiring Cadmium, Nickle, high density plastics, and a whole slew of chemicals. The electric motor employs a significant amount of copper, that has to go through a refining process and be chemically treated. The platform has to employ lighter metals. The car had to go through a unique research and development process, requiring more designers, more desiginging, more prototyping, more research etc. When the car is disposed of, the batteries, precious, heavy, and rare and light metals have to go somewhere, and nearly all of it will pollute more if it is "recycled".

      THe prius is made in one factory, requiring specialized parts to be transported around the world, creating a huge carbon footprint.

      I am not opposed to the Prius as a vehicle--- it has changed the mindset of a lot of people around the world, and convinced them to start paying attention to what we drive and how we drive it. And it's not your fault for thinking that you are being green when driving a Prius--- The media, Toyota, and just about everyone else has told you that, because there is a tiny bit of truth to it. If you measure uniquely what comes out of the tailpipe during the 300,000 mile life of the Prius and the H2, the H2 would look like a horribly bad vehicle for the earth. But cars and product lifecyles are much more complex these days.

      So next time you look into wanting to be green, think about the Cradle to Cradle lifecycle of the vehicle. Do some research. Increase you MPG's by keeping the revs low, or driving diesels--- look at the europeans. Try and escape the media hype, and really find out what it is to be green.

        • 7 Years Ago
        You may be a consultant but judging by your post, you sure don't have the skills of one.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Good gawd, will the "Hummers are greener than a Prius" urban legend ever die? Just when you think everyone finally caught on up it pops like a whack-a-mole.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Do you believe you came up with your info on your own, like you have some new clarity and insight? You are just posting the rhetoric from the thoroughly debunked CNW dust to dust report.

        I will not attck each fabrication, lie and misstatement of facts line by line. It has been done plenty already. Suffice it to say that even CNW no longer believes that the Hummer is more efficient than a Prius; they have since amended their conclusions. You might consider doing the same.
      • 7 Years Ago
      that didnt post where it was supposed to.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think this generation is stupid, I think it's in the way mass amounts of information is being thrown our way to make us feel guilty about popular consumption. Yet, these products are and still have to be produced and who benefits from producing these items first???? Duh. If a car company wants to rant and rave about saving the planet, then fine, stop producing an endless array of models and using your HALO car as a means of making everyone else feel guilty about what they choose to drive. Do we need another 500,000 different Prius models floating around? Toyota should build motorcycles or scooters if they really want to make a difference. It seems this is just another notch in automotive domination...and with green colored glasses on, it just might not hurt as much to watch.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Motorcycles and Scooters?!? First off, motorcycles and scooters pollute a lot more than you'd think since they're limited in how much pollution control you can do in such a small vehicle. Secondly, all you'd end up doing is having more people die in horrible accidents.

        Taking your kids to soccer practice on your motorcycle just isn't gonna happen.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a 2008 Prius Touring on my 90 mile round trip commute every day. This car has enabled me to keep miles off of my other cars (all of which have more soul, power, looks and are much better to drive) and regularly achieve the advertised EPA highway figure of 46 mpg. I'd surely get higher mileage if I drove the speed limit and avoided the occasional 90mph+ burst, so I have every reason to believe the EPA numbers on the window sticker. I really don't care whether people see me as some sort of enviro-whacko or tree hugging hippie when I drive it. I am neither, but I do like to save money each time I fill up, and that is what I'm doing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Kudos to Toyota for making a polarizing car that makes headlines without actually being bad in some painful way (Pontiac Aztec, Cimmarron, Brilliance BS6 and Renault Le Car come to mind.)

      Now why cant they make a convertible? I bet a decently styled Prius 2-door convertible would pretty much destroy the Sebring and take the mantle of the official car of both Florida AND California.

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