Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Hybrid petrol engines 12.5 - 14.4 mpp
Plug-in hybrid petrol engines 40.2 - 50.3 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Based on "Weighted" mpg; figures depend on the proportion of miles driven in pure electric mode and may vary widely

Fuel economy

Hybrid petrol engines 58.7 - 67.3 mpg
Plug-in hybrid petrol engines 188.3 - 235.4 mpg
  • Versions on 15-inch wheels offer lowest bills
  • Least economical model still claims 58.7-58.9mpg
  • Despite low emissions, all face same VED bill

Class-leading economy for a non-plug-in hybrid car means Toyota Prius fuel and tax costs are some of the lowest out there with up to 59.6-67.3mpg claimed – while the Plug-in hybrid shrinks these even further with a WLTP-certified average of 188.3-235.4mpg. Regularly charge the Plug-in and you can avoid petrol stations completely if you only make short journeys.

High list prices for both models, however, mean that running costs might be a little higher than you’d like – depending how old the car you buy is and how long you keep it – as there could be a big difference between the initial price and its value when you come to sell.

Despite the low emissions for both models, the fact that neither offers permanent zero-emission running means that you’ll have to pay the standard rate of VED car tax after the first year. There’s also very little difference between Prius and Prius Plug-in in company car tax costs, providing little financial incentive for drivers to choose the pricier car.

The visual aspect of the smaller 15-inch wheels on the standard hybrid is the only reason you might not consider downgrading models fitted with 17-inchers as standard. Stick to the bigger rims and the Prius is claimed to emit 107g/km of CO2.

Because Toyota recognises some people may want a high-spec Prius but want to take advantage of the greater efficiency of the smaller wheels, you can downgrade a couple of inches and have £400 back too. An easy decision to make. Assuming you go for the 15-inch wheels, you will have a better chance of reaching the higher claimed mpg figure, while CO2 emissions drop to 94g/km. Plus the smaller wheels are shod in chunkier tyres with taller sidewalls, so theoretically the alloys are harder to scrape when parking.

Opt for the all-wheel drive model and those numbers don't change by much, dipping down to 58.7-58.9mpg and rising slightly to 109g/km.

How realistic is the 188.3-235.4mpg economy plug-in claim?

Plug-in often and cover short journeys and you should be able to beat the impressive 188.3-235.4mpg claims. Travel further afield, however, and unless you stop and charge en route you'll probably get nowhere near this figure.

We achieved 104.6mpg over more than 100 miles – starting with a full battery – reaching a peak of 122.8mpg over 80 miles, totting up a total of 58 miles on electric power alone. This was driving very carefully, though, and 70-80mpg is more likely with everyday driving. With two hours needed to get 65% charge, topping up could quickly become tiresome on long trips.

Emissions for a car that still includes a petrol engine don't come much lower than the 28-34g/km WLTP claim of the plug-in Toyota Prius. Even the standard car's official CO2 emissions figure of 94g/km – when fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels – is very low for a conventional hybrid.

Reliability

  • Toyota has a long history of making hybrids
  • Brand has a strong reliability record
  • Build quality is first rate on Prius

A brand new car on a previously unseen platform with completely revised or entirely fresh powertrains sounds like a recipe for reliability teething problems but we expect Toyota Prius reliability to be as bullet-proof as ever.

Although much of the technology is new it builds upon the firm’s expertise in several key areas, plus the hardware and software will see service in a multitude of other Toyotas and Lexus models to come. It might not be market-leading but Toyota’s five-year/100,000-mile warranty is also one of the most comprehensive in the industry.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0 - £140
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 13 - 22
How much is it to insure?