The 50-MPG fuel economy rating of the Toyota Prius makes it the most fuel-efficient passenger car offered in the US today. Toyota has maintained its edge ever since it first offered hybrid vehicles more than 10 years ago.
The EPA recognizes the Prius’ versatile five-passenger package as a midsize car. Since 2000, Toyota has sold 880,000 Prius models in the US.
For the 2010 model year, Toyota offered an all-new third-generation Prius, with improved mileage ratings, better performance, and more innovative design features than the second-generation version.
The 2011 Prius features such innovations as a moonroof with solar panels, four driving modes, Advanced Guidance Parking System and steering wheel touch controls that display on the instrument panel. In 1997, the Toyota Prius entered the market as the world’s first mass-produced hybrid. In 2004, Toyota introduced its exclusive Hybrid Synergy Drive System on the second-generation Prius.
The Prius certainly had helped to raise public awareness for the automobile’s role in the environment. In particular, Toyota helped place the focus on improving fuel efficiency and cutting carbon emissions.
The current Prius continues to improve its fuel economy. The first-generation Prius was estimated at 41 EPA combined MPG, and the second-generation model achieved a 46 MPG EPA combined rating.
Toyota used a combination of technologies to increase fuel efficiency for the new Prius to an EPA estimated 51 MPG in city driving, 48 MPG highway and a combined 50 MPG. Mileage is more highly improved in cold-start conditions and at higher speeds.