Toyota has freed up the space usually occupied by a standard Prius’s nickel metal hydride battery pack located under the boot floor.
Ride and Handling
Handling is a bit on the stodgy side, the Prius+ is more carthorse than steeplechaser, but that is pretty much what you expect for a car of this type with more emphasis on passenger comfort than driver enjoyment. It is pleasant enough to drive, but it cannot be described as in any way sporty, and a twisty road is more of a place for enjoying the view than for relishing much in the way of fun behind the wheel.
The steering is rather on the light side, with slightly excessive power assistance, and as a result it lacks feel and does not really give as much informative feedback as we would like.
Ride quality is pretty reasonable. This is the first model to be equipped with Toyota’s new ‘pitch and bounce’ control, using the electric motor to vary torque input over any road undulations, and minimise the movement of the body on its suspension. This gives the effect of seeming to iron out variations in the road surface somewhat.
Ease of Use
Toyota has freed up the space usually occupied by a standard Prius’s nickel metal hydride battery pack located under the boot floor. Instead the Prius+ has a smaller and lighter lithium-ion battery pack, and so this vacates enough room for the two rearmost seats to be accommodated, plus some 60 litres of storage space. Boot room varies from 232 litres as a seven-seater to 1,750 litres with the middle and rear seats folded down.
When seats six and seven are not needed and can be stowed away, the rear load space is concealed by a boot cover that slots into a cross-bar, and this is fronted by fabric connectors that attach to the tops of the middle seat row. This arrangement unclips and can be removed for stowage when the third row of seats is brought into use. Both the middle row of seats and the rearmost pair can be slid fore and aft to vary the legroom. Adults can sit in the back row, but it is a very tight squeeze for kneeroom, and those tail-end seats are best suited to children.