Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

The Parkers Verdict: Toyota PriusShould you buy a Toyota Prius?

Yes – just how good it is will surprise you. It might have a holier-than-thou image, but it's justified given the broad range of talents that lie under its weirdly-styled bodywork. In a nuthell, the Prius is a highly-polished and very capable car. In day-to-day use and driven sensibly, a standard hybrid Prius will deliver diesel-bashing fuel consumption without difficulty.

Add the plug-in dimension for someone who has a charging point and who drives primarily in town, and the potential for minimal fuel consumption is astonishing. But there is more to the Prius than its planet-saving credentials. It's roomy, well-made and well-equipped, too. It's not a cheap option, but its relatively high price is  partially offset by the strong warranty, almost-guaranteed total reliability, and the fact that it's a good steer in most situations.

Should you buy the plug-in or the hybrid?

The starting price for the plug-in Prius is considerably higher than the standard model (after the Plug-in Car Grant). The pricier model does give you bigger batteries, but that also results in a much shallower boot and four seats rather than five. It’d take more than 100,000 miles of driving to recoup the upfront payment in lower fuel costs compared with the 'self-charging' hybrid version.

Therefore, unless you plan to cover a huge amount of miles and religiously charge every 30 miles or have to have the greenest car – in which case the similarly priced all-electric BMW i3 is a wiser choice – it’s very hard to recommend the Plug-in Prius, though it is very appealing in isolation.

Toyota Prius rear view

Read the Parkers full new Toyota Prius hatchback review to find out how we rate this rakish hybrid.