Who is less: how much gasoline can save on the new Toyota Prius

And where hybrid technologies are more effective: in the city or on the highway.

Our first acquaintance with Prius was held even more two years ago at the training ground in Japan . There we checked the driving characteristics of the hybrid, the ability to relatively quickly accelerate and the ability to stay in turns. But did not have time to find out the most important thing: the car became more economical or not. After all, the fuel consumption declared by the company is less than three liters per hundred. And at the Japanese testing range, it’s true that on small segments and at a very fast pace, it turned out to be more than five. So is it possible to lower the bar below three liters? If so, where? We will see. In our experiment, three journalists from Avtomambler take part. Everyone has his own driving habits, his driving style and his ideas about how to ride the eco-machine.

First impression: the Prius salon for Russia looks much more expensive than the basic version for the Japanese market. Mainly due to modern multimedia with Touch 2 with a seven-inch screen. And on the move the car is perceived differently – the settings of the shock absorbers are completely different. As a result, instead of a rigid suspension, the Russians were offered a very soft and elastic. You can safely, without prejudice to comfort, ride on provincial broken roads.

Although the new Prius also lost weight decently – a hundred kilograms, weight loss did not affect the dynamics. After all, the engineers of the company kept the balance, reducing the power of the power plant from 136 to 122 horses. But can it show consumption, like, for example, diesel cars of similar size? Many opponents of hybrids think that they have almost no chances.

In urban traffic jams, I have not been able to achieve fantastic indicators of profitability. Approximately five liters per hundred. In a full eco-mode the car can not go for a long time – the battery runs out too quickly. It turns out, super-economical Prius can be not in deaf, but spontaneous traffic jams. These are more typical of Los Angeles than of Moscow. But on the highway, the Toyota hybrid was on top. At first I will not save: I’ll go almost “for all money.” As if I’m late for an important meeting: sharp acceleration, overtaking, average speed slightly above 130. Surprisingly, at such a rate, the Prius showed a slightly better result than in traffic jams – 4.5 liters per hundred.

And, finally, I’m on an absolutely deserted country road. Probably, approximately on such measure the expense for “passport data”. So will it be possible to meet the notorious three liters? I’m trying to work with the gas pedal all the way, any road bias is used for backfilling, charging the battery as much as possible. For additional savings, you have to “sacrifice” air conditioning. But I do not turn off the radio and headlights. How difficult to sustain in this mode, even some 30 km! But the data of the onboard computer amaze: 2.7 liters. Less than “under the passport.” Of course, we must take into account the error of electronics. But all the same in three liters to keep absolutely absolutely. Well, what do you think, fans of diesels?

Spacious? Still would! Having changed the generation, the Prius became six centimeters longer, 1.5 cm wider, the wheelbase did not change – 2 m 70 cm, but those who are familiar with the predecessor will confirm that even with the previous base, riders from the garage did not complain of comfort. They had a spare seat in front of their legs.

And what does the driver feel? At the wheel with the growth of 190 cm I sit, lounging in the armchair and arms outstretched on the armrests. Practically, as in the familiar to me Teana, which, by the way, is 15 cm longer and seven broader. The ceiling in the hybrid is even higher, and the new-fashioned electronics in the cabin are more: projection screen, JBL acoustics and even wireless charging for the smartphone! It is enough to put the gadget on a special pad in the center console, click on the button – and the current will “flow” into the smartphones.

But the trunk of the Prius is small. At the same time, it is necessary to pay tribute to the Japanese, who have done a great job of increasing its volume. They lowered the floor, raised the fifth door, which gave an increase of 56 liters in comparison with the cargo compartment of the predecessor. Another plus: a full-size spare tire remained in place.

The tandem of the hybrid drive with the variator works smoothly, I’m accelerating the gas pedal – the Prius famously jerks forward. First, on electric traction, and closer to 50 km / h delicately connects gasoline “four”. No jerks, no howling engine during overclocking is not audible. In the cabin – silence, it’s even hard to believe that there’s already a hundred on the speedometer. This effect is created due to a more streamlined body shape (the coefficient of resistance Cx decreased by 0,01 – up to 0,24) and the modernized 1,8-liter ICE.

Suspension moderately soft – the front “McPherson” and the rear multi-link perfectly work out both small change and irregularities larger in the form of “lying policemen”, not voicing and transferring a minimum of vibration to the body. And what about the corners? In the arc, the hybrid is confident, with a minimum of roll, which, in addition to a well-balanced suspension, contributes to a low center of gravity.

Well, and finally, consumption: with frequent sharp acceleration and simple in traffic jams, “Prius” did not eat more than 5.5 liters per 100 km (“Eco” mode). And with a calm manner of driving, the figure dropped to 4.5 liters. This is more than half the needs of my current car! Of course, when calculating the cost of gasoline saved per year (mileage – 20 thousand km, the price of AI-95 – 41.5 rubles per liter) comes a round sum – about 35 thousand rubles. But, apparently, with my kilometer the overpayment for a hybrid with a price tag of 2.1 million rubles is not discouraged. If I were a taxi driver, I would have had a chance.

Ruslan, and you do not need to beat it. After all, the Toyota Prius is first and foremost an eco-friendly and practical car. A low expense is just a bonus, which allows you not so often to stop at the gas station. And let’s finally be honest to the end – for the pleasure of driving a hybrid car, sooner or later you will have to pay (more than 200 thousand rubles will be asked to replace the old battery).

Although I agree that at the wheel of a fresh “Prius” think of nothing else, like fuel consumption is not necessary. In all other respects, the car is really pleasantly neutral. In particular, the dynamics of the 122-strong (total power of the power plant) hybrid, although not outstanding, but to move from point A to point B is quite acceptable.

And the chassis, as already mentioned by colleagues, is set up with an emphasis on comfort, which is supported also by tires with a wide 65th profile. At the same summer residents and lovers of a ride on a broken primer, you can not really worry. Under the bottom of the “Prius” decent for a car 15 centimeters (specifically for the Russian market, the clearance was increased by 15 mm). Plus almost all the “belly button” of the hybrid is covered with plastic aerodynamic shields, which in our country will work more as an additional protection.

However, one should not think that because of the raised comfortable suspension the hybrid is bad in control: behind the steering movements the car should be soft and precise, and in the feedback there are not any synthetic notes.

The only thing I can fault is the brakes. Or rather, inhibition. Because of the recuperation, the machine decelerates non-linearly, or, more simply, the hybrid does not always hold up as expected. Well, it’s just a matter of habit, because to the overall efficiency of the brake system there are no questions.

If to sum up, then the new Toyota Prius, in fact, only one weak side – the cost. Due to the fact that our state does not provide any preferences for hybrids, “Priuses” in Russia will buy only fanatics. The fanatics of the most popular hybrid all over the world.

Dmitry Barinov, Ruslan Buslov, Alexey Dergachev

Photo: Toyota

Toyota Prius specifications


Dimensions (length / width / height), cm

454/176/147

Wheelbase, cm

270

The equipped weight, kg

1 450

Cargo space, l

502-457

Engine

4-cylinder, in-line, gasoline, 1 797 cm³

Power, l. from. / rev / min.

98/5 200

Torque, Nm / rev / min.

142/3 600

Transmission

variable speed drive

Drive unit

front

Acceleration from 0-100 km / h, from

10.6

Maximum speed, km / h

180

Combined fuel consumption, l / 100 km

3



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