Toyota want the new Prius to be funky like a Honda Element or a Scion xB, in looks, but still looks like a recognizable Prius. So the 2010 Prius gets a revised front-fascia, LED headlights and taillights, and a more edgier shape than before. However, it's not about the shape. Toyota says that the third-generation Prius is now roomier, and offers rear passengers more headroom, while making the Prius more aerodynamic. Its drag coefficient has been reduced to .25 from .26.
Inside, it's much more enhanced. The 2010 Prius gets rid of the cheap plastics inside, and replaces them with a plastics with a quality look, and as Toyota say, a softer touch. The center-console has been raised along with the futuristic gear-lever, and there's an integrated pass-through to access the 12-volt outlet. The 2010 Toyota Prius also comes with an optional sliding glass moonroof with solar panels located over the rear seating area. The solar powered system is used to power the air circulation fan - not requiring help from the engine. The features prevents the interior temperature from rising when the vehicle is parked - reducing the load when use air-conditioning.
Power comes from a 1.8L 4-cylinder unit that makes a total of 98hp - total horsepower with Toyota hybrid system has been increased to 134hp. 0-60mph time has improved to 9.8 seconds, down from 10.5. Drivers also have the option of choosing between three drive modes: EV, Eco, and Power. In EV mode, the Prius achieves 50mpg, which is improved by 25% from the first generation.
Over 160,000 new Toyota Prius cars were sold in the U.S. last year. Toyota plans to increase that number by 20,000 with the new model. No word on prices yet, but if Toyota wants to sell that big amount of Prius, they need to market this thing well to shake-off the competitors from Honda and Chevrolet. This wait and see if the Prius can, we it hits dealer-ships in the U.S and Japan this spring.