It first appeared in 1997 and was unlike anything else on four wheels. Guaranteed an informed choice of Toyota. We are talking about the Prius model. The first hybrid car. And therefore the environmental car.
A hybrid powertrain using a battery pack, electric motor and energy regeneration was a groundbreaking and innovative environmental technology 25 years ago. Therefore, it was also important to have a design that stood out. People should see that a different car has come here.
The very first Prius, which is called the 1 Series, was produced between 1997 and 2003 and didn’t quite take off. Skepticism about technology and a look a mother is unlikely to love are probably taking some of the blame for it.
When series 2 (2003-2009) arrived, though, something happened. The cars had a look that was (a little) easier to appreciate. The technology was further developed and the Prius gained a reputation for being very reliable and solid. It’s rarely a bad argument for those customers who are eyeing a new Toyota. In addition, the car offered usable space and was also well priced.
It quickly became apparent, in several tests, that the low-power figures in the brochures weren’t entirely in keeping with reality. Without this putting a significant brake on sales.
Then it takes off
The third generation Prius (2009-2015) has grown slightly in size. Vokste also made the petrol engine. Now it was 1.8 litres, against the previous 1.5. Again, Toyota makes some design moves. The basic shape is much the same, but the typical smooth soap bar design is kept to a minimum. New headlights and sharper contours on the sides of the body give the car much-needed character.
It’s also this generation of Prius that is really “taking off in Norway.” Suddenly I’m everywhere…
The wave of electric cars is coming
Also, the car appears in 2012 as a plug-in hybrid. A Toyota model, surprisingly enough, sweeps a bit under the rug. The so-called self-loading hybrid is their mantra. In the same year, the car appears in a larger Prius+ Seven edition, with up to seven seats. Not least the taxi industry puts its love into this.
In 2015, the fourth generation of Prius appears. Now there really has been a breakthrough when it comes to design. Again, it’s disputed, but there’s no doubt the car stands out, if nothing else. The car is available as both a regular hybrid and a rechargeable variant called Prime.
Electric cars have slowly started to make their way into the Norwegian car fleet and Prius sales are suffering a bit as a result. Sales are down. It’s the Nissan Leaf, the VW e-Golf and the Kia Soul – and not least the benefits that come with these electric cars – that many people want.
A new one is coming, but not in Norway
Toyota’s hybrid system is constantly further developed during its life cycle and cars are constantly improving in terms of fuel consumption and emissions. The hybrid powertrain also appears in many other models over time. In everything from Yaris and Auris, through RAV4 and up to the big Camry. Hybrid is like Toyota, that. It has been like this for many years and it still is to some extent.
Preparations are now underway for the launch of an all-new fifth generation Prius. Now only rechargeable. Read more about it here: It will not arrive in Norway. Here in the mountains, the focus is on all-electric powertrains.
Only a few brand new Toyota Prius are now left at some dealers. These will soon disappear.
That’s what they cost used
If you have a Prius from now on, you’ll need to search the used market. This is not a stupid used car purchase. Although the cars are not very exciting in terms of driving pleasure, they offer, in the familiar Toyota style, operational reliability and top quality. In any case, as long as they haven’t gone too far and are well looked after along the way.
The cheapest ones on the used car market are now available for around NOK 30,000. So we are talking about 15-17 year old cars that have passed 250,000 kilometers with a good margin.
For NOK 100,000, you get a well-equipped 10-year-old Prius that has done just over 100,000 kilometers. If the car is well taken care of, it can still be a great car for a reasonable amount of money.
For a year-old, rechargeable Prius that has traveled 10,000 kilometers, you have to shell out around NOK 350,000. It’s no worse.
This article was first published on Broom.n.