Toyota Prius+ performance isn’t going to set the world alight but it isn’t what you’d call glacial either. It’ll go from 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 103mph. Peak power is 134bhp when combining the 97bhp output of the 1.8-litre petrol engine with the 60kW output of the electric motor. There’s a trio of ‘on demand’ engine modes the driver can choose from in addition to the default ‘normal’ mode: EV will force the car into all-electric mode where available, Eco will tones down throttle response and adjusts the car’s air conditioning system for maximum fuel efficiency and Power improves throttle response by around 25% to improve acceleration.
It doesn’t feel all that powerful but it’s the thought that counts. On the open road the car picks up speed in a measured fashion. The Continuously Variable Transmission can take some getting used to since it is reluctant to respond to sharp acceleration, meaning you have to plan over-taking moves well in advance.
This is no sports car but the Prius+ isn’t a bad car to drive. There’s an element of body roll through corners but you’d expect that in an MPV. Another positive aspect is the ride, which soaks up bumps very well. There’s next to no feedback through the electronically assisted power steering but it is accurate and direct. This is an easy car to manoeuvre in tight spaces too thanks to the relatively small turning circle.