This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Toyota Prius Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

While the interior of the Prius may not be much to look at - it's dominated by grey plastics which are only average quality and a little on the hard side - it does have a modern feel and an easy to use layout. One criticism is the driving position. The driver's seat doesn't move for height and the steering wheel needs more reach adjustment. However the rest works well, especially the neat stubby gear selector and straightforward air conditioning system.

Instead of conventional dials, there's a digital display in the middle of the dash top. This not only shows your speed and fuel level but can also be set to display the Eco Drive Monitor - a useful bar that illustrates when the battery is being charged and how efficiently you're driving. Impressively, all cars also get a head-up display as standard.

This projects key information (speed, navigation and the Eco Monitor) onto the base of the windscreen so you don't need to take your eyes of the road. It can be adjusted for height and brightness or switched off completely. The dual-zone dashboard on the Prius Plug-in is the same as that in the standard model except that it gets some silver trim and Plug-in Hybrid logo.

There is also an EV driving ratio indicator that shows what proportion of a journey has been covered on electric power alone. It also includes displays showing the amount of fuel used and how much fuel has been saved by using electricity from external charging. The display also includes a bar graph showing average monthly fuel consumption and a calendar.

Toyota has also seen fit to include a rather novel 'forest' display. This converts the amount of electricity sourced from external charging into a reduction in CO2 emissions. For every 10kg, one tree is planted in a forest and if you are a habitual electric-only driver you'll get more flowers, trees and animals added to your display. Which is nice.

Thanks to a very aerodynamic shape, the Prius and the Prius Plug-in create very little wind noise, even at higher speeds, while the engine is quiet too, making it a very refined long distance car. The ride is also very impressive, coping with rough and potholed roads with ease. Interior space is generous with plenty of room for four adults, while those in the back get very well catered for with surprising amounts of legroom and plenty of headroom.

All models get automatic air conditioning while an optional solar powered ventilation system is available on T Spirit models. This stops the cabin getting too hot when the car is parked and includes a remote control function that switches on the air con system for three minutes, cooling down the cabin before you get in.