Since they introduced the Prius, the very first mass-market hybrid, Toyota has been leading the auto industry in hybrid vehicles, and continues to do so in 2012. For this model year, the Prius saw some exciting new options, including an expanded wagon version with more cargo space, and a plug-in version as well.
The 2012 Prius has a Power button that allows you to give it a little more gas assistance to get the power you need when you need to hit higher speeds. Then you can switch out of Power mode when you want to conserve more fuel again. Other key features include Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, which can connect to your phone, as well as the Solar Roof package, which gives you a power moon roof and a remote start on your air conditioning for up to three minutes before you get in the car (if your batteries are charged).
Changes for 2012
The biggest changes for 2012 are the new wagon body style that gives families and people with more cargo a little bit more space and the plug-in model, which directly competes with the Chevrolet Volt.
What We Like
We definitely like the gas mileage on this car. With a rating of 51 MPG in the city, it’s still the king of hybrids. Plus, because it’s an established model, we know that it’s going to be around for years to come and that you shouldn’t have any issues getting it serviced or finding parts.
What Concerns Us
While we don’t mind the Prius’ styling, it’s definitely different, and that’s not necessarily a good thing for a lot of consumers. If you want something that looks sporty or has a more conventional appearance, the Prius isn’t the model for you.
All of the 2012 Toyota Prius models are powered by the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with a continuously variable transmission and a 60kW Permanent Magnetic Synchronous Electric Motor. With that, you get a total hybrid horsepower rating of 134 HP. The EPA rates the Prius’ fuel economy at 51 MPG in the city and 48 MPG on the highway. You’ll get roughly the same efficiency, whether you decide to go with the wagon or hatchback version.
Some 2012 Toyota Prius models have been recalled because an issue with their inverters can cause them to stall. This can be fixed with a free software update at a Ford dealership.
Headlights burning out or malfunctioning have been the most common problem for 2012 Toyota Prius owners, though some owners have also reported electrical issues with the car starting, locking, and unlocking, as well.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Prius and was authored by Valerie Johnston.