Toyota Prius interior & comfort

Toyota Prius offers plenty of comfort thanks to its spacious interior, but infotainment could be better

While the Toyota Prius’s exterior styling might not be too all tastes (it’s been designed like that so it cuts through the air efficiently, and it works as this car has one of the lowest drag coefficients of any on sale today at 0.24Cd) it does at least mean there’s plenty of space inside for passengers. It doesn’t feel cramped and, combined with that pleasant, pliant ride, offers a decent level of comfort. The interior tech leaves a little to be desired though.

Toyota Prius dashboard

Given the Toyota Prius’s petrol-electric engine you might rightly expect some interesting tech inside, and while there’s an ok level of gadgetry inside, the way it’s executed leaves a little to be desired. Take the car’s centrally mounted instruments, for example. This has become a Prius trademark and was evolved a step further for this latest version.

The 4.2-inch digital display in the centre of the dash gives speed information and engine revs too, and you can change the display to show different readouts. One of these gives an overview of where your power is coming from (electric motor and/or petrol engine) as well as the flow of energy when you lift off or brake. It also shows the state of the battery pack’s charge.

While this gives you plenty of data to help drive the car efficiently, the screen resolution could be sharper, as it looks a little low-res and therefore old fashioned next to more modern rivals.

Equipment, options and accessories

All cars get a seven-inch colour touchscreen as standard, while the entry-level Active trim also benefits from a rear view camera, climate control, LED headlights, DAB, Bluetooth, adaptive cruise control and strong safety tech.

Step up to Business Edition and you also get wireless mobile phone charging, a head-up display and heated seats, while Business Edition Plus adds sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parking and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Finally, top-spec Excel cars gets leather upholstery, a JBL 10-speaker stereo and wi-fi hotspot capability. The equipment specifications are good then, but the Prius let’s the side down when you focus on the infotainment and its connectivity.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

The problem of poor graphics affects the seven-inch central touchscreen as well. The resolution is poor and means the Prius loses ground for its infotainment compared with the much more advanced Hyundai Ioniq’s setup.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available even as an option, so smartphone connectivity is limited. Especially when the Ioniq gets these features as standard. It means the only way you’ll be able to link you smartphone to your car is through Bluetooth for audio streaming and calls.

There aren’t really any useful apps and the infotainment system itself isn’t the easiest to use, as the menu layouts are a little convoluted. Plus the interface is all touch sensitive with no physical buttons whatsoever. This includes turning the volume up and down, although you can use the steering wheel-mounted controls for this, which is easier.

The screen could be more responsive to inputs too, as sometimes the system will lag behind and take a while to catch up, performing two or three functions at once after a delay.