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Friday, July 24, 2009

2010 Toyota Prius

Vehicle Highlights
The 2010 Toyota Prius is redesigned with freshened styling, more power, higher EPA fuel-economy figures, and a host of newly standard and optional features. This gas/electric hybrid is a five-passenger, 4-door hatchback that teams a 4-cylinder engine with a battery-powered electric motor and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Toyota's hybrid system allows Prius to run on one or both of its power sources to balance acceleration and fuel economy. No plug-in charging is required. Four models are available at launch, called II, III, IV, and V; an entry-level I is due to be added later. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. The V model has LED headlights, fog lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels vs the 15s on other models. Newly available features include an adjustable-height driver seat, heated front seats, telescopic steering column, and, later in the year, Toyota's Safety Connect assistance system. Also newly offered are some high-end features usually found only on vehicles sold by Toyota's Lexus division, including adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist with lane-departure warning, and Intelligent Parking Assist that provides hands-free parallel parking. Other new options include a solar roof panel that can power a ventilating fan when the car is parked, and electric air conditioning that can be turned on for up to three minutes to cool down the interior before getting in. This evaluation is based on preview test drives.

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