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Toyota Prius Celebrates 14 years of fuel sipping with a Special Edition

EPA-estimated 50 MPG combined fuel economy rating; More than 1.5 million Prius vehicles sold in U.S. since 2000

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

They grow up fast. It’s hard to believe it has been 14 years since the first-generation Prius appeared in your early-adopter neighbor’s driveway. A decade and a half and more than four million satisfied customers later, the 2015 Prius has gone mainstream and joined the popular crowd. And unlike a typical teenager, its appetite has never been smaller.

Toyota is celebrating Prius’ coming of age with a special edition for 2015. It’s available in two exclusive colors, Absolutely Red and Blizzard Pearl, accentuated by 17-inch wheels with a unique dark metal finish. In addition to all the standard equipment in the Prius Three trim level, the Special Edition features an interior trimmed with black SofTex seats and dark gray stitching, blue front footwell illumination, and darkchrome accents on the door grips, steering wheel and shifter bezels. Side mirrors include turn signals.

Iconic design and high fuel economy fulfilling the promise of hybrids helped make the Toyota Prius synonymous with gas/electric vehicles. What began as a single model more than 14 years ago is now a model line that also includes the larger Prius v, the city-friendly Prius c and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

For 2015, Toyota also offers hybrid versions of the Camry and Avalon sedans and the Highlander SUV. (The Lexus luxury brand offers a further six hybrids, the most in the luxury category.) The Prius family alone accounts for over 40 percent of total hybrid vehicle sales volume in the U.S.

50 MPG Combined EPA Fuel Economy, Midsize Room
At 176.4 inches from bumper to bumper, the Prius can slip into “compact only” parking spaces, yet because of its interior roominess (93.7 cu. ft. passenger cabin and 21.6 cu. ft. trunk), Prius is classified as a midsize car by the EPA. A 106.3-inch wheelbase helps to give the Prius a smooth ride.
Yet, the numbers that people usually associate with the Prius are even more impressive: the EPA estimate fuel economy ratings of 51 MPG city / 48 MPG highway / 50 MPG combined.
The Prius Look
Prius stands apart from everything else on the road. The sleek, arc-shaped profile and sharp-edged details catch the eye, but not much of the wind. The car’s 0.25 coefficient of drag (Cd) is one of the lowest for any production car in the world, a contributing factor in the high fuel economy. It’s not the only thing that’s low. Vehicle weight is kept low through use of aluminum for the hood, rear hatch, front stabilizer bar and brake calipers and by using super high-tensile strength steel in the inner rocker panel, center pillar and roof reinforcement. The 3,042-lb. curb weight is comparable to compact cars with less room, and it also helps make the Prius an agile machine. LEDs (light emitting diodes), optional in low beam headlamps and standard in DRLs and tail lamp clusters, help reduce the vehicle’s power consumption.

The sleek shape does not compromise interior comfort. Rear headroom, at 37.6 inches, is actually slightly more than in the Toyota Corolla. And rear seat legroom, at 36.0 inches, is on par with some midsize sedans.

Hybrid Synergy Drive

ToyotaSo, how do you get a 3,000-lb. car that can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in under 10 seconds to also have a 50-MPG combined fuel economy rating? It’s called Hybrid Synergy Drive, which combines the output of a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor.

The system’s combined 134 net system horsepower feels even stronger to the driver due to the unique way the system combines the torque of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. A full hybrid, the Prius can run on the gasoline engine alone, battery alone, or a combination of both. The Prius feels responsive in all driving situations, and powertrain quietness is another benefit revered by loyal owners.

The magic isn’t all in the powertrain. The Prius employs a number of special features to squeeze maximum efficiency out of every gallon of regular-grade gas. The electric water pump and electric power steering use no accessory drive belts, potentially reducing maintenance costs.

Regenerative braking helps to recapture electrical energy under deceleration, sending it to the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.

If you want to check out the new Toyota Prius or buy one now, come and visit our friends and kababayans at Toyota of Glendale. Toyota of Glendale has Cecille Benitez, Richard Cruz,  and  Kay Cajulis, all of whom can help you get into a new Prius or any other Toyota vehicle of your choice.

Toyota of Glendale is located at 1260 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale CA 91204. You can reach them toll free at 1- 866-522-5154.

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