COMPARISON: 2016 Toyota Prius Still Leads the Hybrid Pack

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Once upon a time, hybrids were unusual cars that attracted extra attention and the Prius was the standout. Despite hybrids now being available in every type of vehicle available, the Toyota Prius is still the car that most people think of when it comes to hybrids.

That’s great for Toyota, but all that competition means they can’t rest on their laurels and assume people will still flock to the Prius. They gave the Prius an update for 2016 with refreshed styling, better fuel economy, and the new technology and safety features the public craves to help it keep its place at the front of the pack.

It still has that unmistakable Prius rear, but with sharper lines and a longer, lower body that make it look more like other cars. Inside, things are simple and clean with a 4.2-inch color information display and either a 6.1-inch or 7-inch Entune infotainment system depending on the trim level you choose. Those screens are both centered on the dashboard. This keeps your eyes closer to the road, but it’s a little weird at first until you get used to shifting your eyes to the right rather than shifting them down to check your speed.

Looking for a Toyota Prius? Check out BestRide’s listings here.

New safety comes from Toyota Safety Sense which includes lane departure with steering assist, pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. There’s also Park Assist which can perpendicular and parallel park your Prius.

And of course, there’s the expected fantastic hybrid fuel economy. The Prius Four Touring is rated 54/50/52 mpg city/highway/combined making it a great choice for those with long commutes.

Let’s take a look at how the competition compares.


2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring

Engine: 1.8-liter I4/Electric Motor
Horsepower: 95/71
Torque: 105/120 lb-ft
Net Horsepower: 121
Transmission: CVT

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 39.4
Front Legroom: 42.3
Rear Headroom: 37.4
Rear Legroom: 33.4

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

Fuel Economy (mpg)
City: 54
Highway: 50

Pricing: $30,000


2016 Chevrolet Volt

Engine: 1.5-liter I4/Dual Electric Motors
Horsepower: 101/149
Torque: – /294
Transmission: CVT

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 37.8
Front Legroom: 42.1
Rear Headroom: 35.8
Rear Legroom: 34.7

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

Fuel Economy (mpg)
Combined: 42

Pricing: $33,170


2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder/Electric Motor
Horsepower: 154/51
Torque: 140/151 lb-ft
Net Horsepower: 193
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 40.4
Front Legroom: 45.5
Rear Headroom: 38.0
Rear Legroom: 35.6

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

Fuel Economy (mpg)
City: 39
Highway: 43

Pricing: $30,100


2016 Ford C-Max

Engine: 2.0-liter I4/Electric Motor
Horsepower: 141
Torque: 129 lb-ft
Net Horsepower: 188
Transmission: CVT

Seating Dimensions (inches)
Front Headroom: 39.9
Front Legroom: 43.1
Rear Headroom: 39.0
Rear Legroom: 37.3

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)
Behind First Row: 52.6
Behind Second Row: 24.5

Fuel Economy: (mpg)
City: 42
Highway: 37

Pricing: $31,790

If you’re all about fuel economy, which wouldn’t be surprising as a hybrid buyer, then the Prius is a winner. It’s ahead of the pack and will have you happily cruising by the gas pump. You’ll save some cash, and you can sleep easy in the knowledge that your drive to work is more environmentally conscious.

The Prius also comes out ahead when you look at cargo capacity, especially against a car like the Sonata, although the C-Max is another great choice if you’ll often be carrying stuff instead of passengers.

When it comes to passenger comfort, there’s no clear winner as they’re all pretty darn close, but the Sonata comes up ahead this time with more headroom and legroom for front passengers. Taller drivers would do well to give it a test drive to compare.

Pricing is generally around the 30K mark, but depending on the features you want that price will climb. If you need an affordable hybrid, there are still choices, but they won’t have the same advanced safety technology or fancier infotainment systems.

Is the Prius still king of the hybrids? That title might be contested depending on your priorities, but it’s still a great choice for those looking for better fuel economy and a thoroughly modern car.

Looking for a Toyota Prius? Check out BestRide’s listings here.

Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin