This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Toyota Prius Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The 1.5 VVT-i has 76bhp and is more powerful than the one fitted to the old Prius. 76bhp sounds feeble for a car of this size, but the electric motor adds an equivalent of about 67bhp, taking it to a more respectable 143bhp. 0-60 comes in 10.9 seconds. Fully electric mode requires a leap of faith - as it's silent, as you don't know whether the car is running or not.

When it is moving under electric power, it's near-silent and offers emission-free and smooth performance. It's a useful tool for stop-start town driving. The CVT clutchless gearbox responds well to inputs and adapts to suit hard acceleration and motorway cruising.

The Prius uses an electric power steering system which, particularly at lower speeds can feel too light and rather imprecise. The ride is excellent over all surfaces and although not sporty, the Prius reacts well to most inputs by the driver. Body roll is well contained.