The boot is also bigger than one might anticipate with a wide aperture and massive hidden storage space under the cargo floor.
For ease of carrying extra-long goods such as skis or surfboards, the rear sets fold dead flat.
But we’ve never really had a problem with the design of the Toyota Prius – inside or out; it was more the relatively dull driving experience that disappointed.
Thankfully, that’s changed too.
The Prius body has been stiffened via additional spot-welds and strengthening, and the affect on the car’s ride and handling is dramatic.
Gone is the pronounced body roll on turn-in; the Toyota Prius now sits flatter through corners, prompting this reviewer to reach for the ‘Power’ button a lot more often than I probably should have .
You can still feel the weight of Prius’s 45kg (Ni-MH) battery pack, but it’s still relatively well balanced during cornering.
It hasn’t suddenly morphed into a wickedly quick hot hatch, or anything quite so dramatic, but at least you can now have a bit of fun in the Prius rather than having to draft the school bus before being able to pass it.
There’s also more feel in the steering, too, as a direct result of more rigidity in the steering column. It’s quicker to respond to steering inputs and there’s more weight from the straight-ahead position.
The stiffer body has also granted for a softer suspension tune so the Toyota Prius absorbs bumps and potholes with a decent level of compliance.
However, there’s still the issue of the low-rolling resistance tyres favoured by Prius. Rolling over speed bumps and similar size obstacles produces a dull-thud reaction from these tyres – an unavoidable effect of a thicker tyre wall than standard design tyres.
There’s no power increase for the latest Prius – it’s still the same 100kW output from the 1.8-litre petrol engine/electric motor hybrid system.
With three drive modes to select from (Eco, Power and EV) and the default setting fixed on Eco, you need a heavy right foot when pulling away from busy intersections – otherwise it’s a fairly sedate driving experience in this fuel-saving mode.