The new Toyota Prius has achieved the maximum 5-star vehicle safety rating in the latest 2009 Euro NCAP test results.
Achieving an overall score of 83 per cent, the new Toyota Prius is the third Toyota model to be granted a 5-star rating this year, after the new Toyota Avensis and iQ.
The new full hybrid Toyota Prius carries over the safety credentials of the previous generation, which also achieved the maximum 5-star rating for occupant safety protection in 2004.
The new Toyota Prius is equipped with upgraded active, passive and pedestrian safety features and is built with a highly rigid, impact absorbing bodyshell that contains a higher proportion of high tensile steel.
Standard features include seven airbags and active headrests. The Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) regeneration system incorporates Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC), and steering-assist Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+).
The new Toyota Prius is fitted with seven airbags as standard: driver and front passenger front and side airbags; driver's knee airbag; and curtain airbags.
All seats feature three point seatbelts with Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR), pretensioner and force limiter. The ELR is designed to lock up the seatbelt when load exceeds a pre-set value. During a collision, the force limiter fractionally reduces seatbelt tension to reduce impact forces on the wearer's chest. The Toyota Prius's front seats are equipped with cable-operated anti-whiplash headrests to protect occupants in a rear-end collision.
Extensive measures have been taken in the design of the new Toyota Prius's front end to reduce pedestrian injury in an impact. The bumper structure is designed to minimise the risk of leg injury, with impact absorbing materials inside the front bumper and beneath the radiator to help prevent a pedestrian's legs sliding under the vehicle.
The front wings feature an impact absorbing bracket to reduce the chances of head injury, the bonnet catch is located well down from the upper bonnet surface and the bonnet structure itself has an impact absorbing cavity to maximise the impact stroke. In addition, the cowl area has an easily crushable structure to reduce the impact if struck from above.
The new Toyota Prius officially went on sale in the UK on 1st August 2009, with more than 3,000 orders already placed.Published 26 August 2009