Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Toyota Prius (2016-2021) interior, dashboard & comfort

The Toyota Prius is comfortable and has a spacious interior, but the standard infotainment system could be a lot better

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, dashboard & comfort rating

4.0 out of 5

While the Toyota Prius’ exterior styling might not be to all tastes (2019's mid-life facelift has been designed to make it less divisive in this department) it does at least mean there’s plenty of space inside for passengers. It doesn’t feel cramped inside and, combined with that pliant ride mentioned, offers a decent level of comfort. The interior technology leaves a little to be desired, though.

Toyota Prius dashboard

Given the Prius’ petrol-electric engine, you might rightly expect some interesting technology inside, and while there’s a reasonable level of gadgetry, the way it’s executed leaves a lot 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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The 4.2-inch digital display in the centre of the dashboard gives speed information and engine revs, 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, and 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-resolution and therefore old-fashioned next to more modern rivals.

Equipment, options and accessories

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

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Step up to Business Edition and you also get wireless mobile-phone charging, a head-up display and heated seats, while Business Edition+ adds sat nav, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parking and 17-inch alloy wheels. Business Edition+ is the only trim available in all-wheel-drive form.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Top-spec Excel cars get leather trim, a JBL 10-speaker stereo and wi-fi hotspot capability. The specifications are good then, but the Prius lets the side down when you focus on infotainment and 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 on infotainment compared to the much more advanced Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid setup. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available even as options, so smartphone connectivity is limited – and the Ioniq gets these features as standard. It means the only way you’ll be able to link your 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, although the recent facelift has alleviated some of the more frustrating aspects. For example, you can now use pinch-and-swipe movements, making the system a little more intuitive. Steering-wheel-mounted controls allow you to raise and lower the volume of the speakers easily, although the rest of the buttons on the dashboard itself feel cheap and flimsy.

There's an even bigger problem with the screen, too: because it's so low down, using it in any capacity is a distraction while you're on the move. It's often slow to respond to finger inputs, and it's angled in such a way that it often picks up a significant amount of glare from the sun. Despite the small improvements introduced with the facelift, it remains the Prius' biggest shortcoming.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

myenergi and Hendy Group partnership: making EV ownership easy and stress-free
myenergi zappi
Advertisement Feature

myenergi and Hendy Group partnership: making EV ownership easy and stress-free

From your first electric car purchase to the latest eco-smart and sustainable home charging solutions, myenergi and Hendy Group have got you covered
17 May 2024
What is regenerative braking?
Brake regen
Your questions answered

What is regenerative braking?

Check out our guide to regen braking or 'B mode'. We explain what it is, how it works and why you musn’t be afraid of it
24 May 2024
New Kia EV3 unveiled: baby SUV packs a punch and a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 unveiled: baby SUV packs a punch and a 372-mile range

Kia’s EV family has just got bigger with the addition of the EV3, a car with many similarities to its EV9 big brother
23 May 2024