Toyota's fourth generation 2016 Prius gasoline-electric hybrid improves fuel efficiency by 10 percent and will arrive early next year with Mirai-like styling elements designed to improve its emotional appeal, according to the automaker.
The heavy refresh moves the Prius, which was first unveiled on Sept. 8 in Las Vegas, to a new platform as the first vehicle using Toyota's New Global Architecture platform. A new rear double wishbone suspension will "dial up driving dynamics."
A 10-percent improvement in EPA-rated fuel economy would raise MPG from the 2015 Prius to over 52 mpg in highway driving and more than 56 mpg in the city. It should reach a combined EPA rating of around 55 mpg.
Toyota is adding a Prius Eco model for 2016 that "will achieve an even greater achievement," according to the automaker. Details about that model will be released soon.
Toyota has improved the appeal of the Prius with exterior styling updates for 2016. The 2016 Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.8 inch lower and 0.6 inch wider than the outgoing model. Toyota has lowered the hood and rear spoiler, and incorporated a "floating roof" design with a blacked out C-pillar. The front headlights suggest a design influence from the Mirai fuel cell sedan, and new standard LED headlights should improve visibility for night driving.
The 2016 Prius will be one of the first in the U.S. to offer Toyota Safety Sense, a new safety package with automated pre-collision braking.
In 2013, commercial fleets added 3,617 Prius cars, 782 Prius V cars, 160 Prius Plug-in cars, and 587 Prius C subcompact cars.