Toyota Prius (2003 - 2009)
Last updated 5 June 2014
Report of hybrid drive battery failure at 10 years old. Toyota dealer quoted £1,400 to replace.
Drive into the future. Tomorrow's car today. Car of the next decade now. We've all heard this kind of hype before. Except in the shape of the new Toyota Prius II it all happens to be true.
The Japanese have some pretty good diesels. Toyota's 1.4 D-4D is the best small diesel in the world. Yet despite the economic advantages, diesel's smutty reputation is against it. Which is why for the past ten years the Japanese have been developing and perfecting hybrids. Or, in other words, cars that combine petrol engines, electric motors and batteries to regenerate power and effectively use it twice.
The original Prius and the Honda Insight were proper production cars you could go out and buy, then claw back a Powershift grant for helping to save the World. More than 100,000 old shape Prius were built and sold. Now we're into the second generation of both. Honda has chosen to add hybrid technology to a standard Civic saloon. Toyota has created a totally "all new" car.