X

2012 Toyota Prius (photos)

For 2012, the Prius gets a new Entune-powered infotainment system and keeps its 50 mpg fuel economy estimate.

antuan-roadshow-headshots-jpegs-1893-007.jpg
antuan-roadshow-headshots-jpegs-1893-007.jpg

Antuan Goodwin

See full bio

35266802_FT_1.JPG
1 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
For the 2012 model year, the Toyota Prius receives a slight visual refresh.
35266802_OVR_1.JPG
2 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Our Prius Four model features gloss-black trim on its lower grille opening and projector-style headlamps with an auto on-and-off function.
35266802_SS01.JPG
3 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Under the Prius' hood breathes the same 1.8-liter version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system that has been there since the third generation's launch in 2010. This is a good thing.
35266802_INT_1.JPG
4 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Inside, the Prius' cabin features a layout that is best described as unique.
35266802_SS06.JPG
5 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
All of the areas of interaction seem to wrap around the driver thanks to the Prius' floating center console.
35266802_SS07.JPG
6 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The dashboard directly behind the steering wheel is clear of gauges.
35266802_SS09.JPG
7 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Soft, rubber buttons for volume and skip can be found on this side of the wheel along with a bank of voice command and hands-free calling buttons.
35266802_SS08.JPG
8 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The other side of the wheel is where controls for the instrument cluster and climate systems can be found.
35266802_SS12.JPG
9 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The Prius' instrument cluster has been pushed back to the base of the windshield, beneath this low plastic brow.
35266802_SS22.JPG
10 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Half of the instrument cluster is a configurable display that can show a visual representation of the hybrid system.
35266802_SS23.JPG
11 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Additional readouts include this Hybrid system status screen and a histogram of fuel economy that can be displayed in 1- and 5-minute intervals.
35266802_SS10.JPG
12 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The Prius uses a continuously variable transmission that is commanded with this very sci-fi shifter.
35266802_SS24.JPG
13 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Place the car into reverse gear and the 6.1-inch screen at the center of the dashboard will display video from a rear-view camera.
35266802_SS13.JPG
14 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The Prius Four features a basic navigation system as a standard feature. This system doesn't feature traffic without the assistance of Entune and your Internet-connected smartphone.
35266802_SS11.JPG
15 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
In addition to traffic, Entune also features Bing destination search, Pandora Internet radio streaming, weather forecasts, stock prices, and sports scores.
35266802_SS14.JPG
16 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
During setup, you'll need to pair a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and log in to the Entune server.
35266802_SS15.JPG
17 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
In addition to acting as an Internet connection, your smartphone can also be paired for hands-free calling and audio streaming.
35266802_SS18.JPG
18 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Users can direct-dial contacts using this virtual keypad or search their contacts list for phone numbers. Contacts that feature addresses can also be set as navigation destinations.
35266802_SS16.JPG
19 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Tapping the Car button to the right of the screen brings up this historical fuel economy graph.
35266802_SS17.JPG
20 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Likewise, there is an energy monitor screen that shows yet another visual representation of the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
35266802_SS19.JPG
21 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard on the Prius Four, with 90 days of trial service included with your purchase.
35266802_SS20.JPG
22 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
AM/FM radio, a single-disc CD player, and an analog auxiliary input round out the available audio sources.
35266802_SD_1.JPG
23 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Toyota's first hybrid is now just one of many and only one of four vehicles to wear the Prius badge.
35266802_SS25.JPG
24 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The Prius Four comes standard with heated SofTex seats and a driver's bucket that is eight-way power adjustable.
35266802_SS26.JPG
25 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The rear seat offers decent leg- and headroom.
35266802_SS02.JPG
26 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
LED taillights are now standard on the Prius and draw less battery power than the incandescents they replace.
35266802_SS04.JPG
27 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
The liftback design of the Prius affords it plenty of rear storage space. There's even a hidden storage nook beneath the falsely flat floor.
35266802_SS05.JPG
28 of 29 Josh Miller/CNET
Fold the rear seats flat, however, and the Prius can seem downright cavernous.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

More Galleries

2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

47 Photos
2023 Toyota BZ4X Is a Smooth, Comfortable Electric SUV

More Galleries

2023 Toyota BZ4X Is a Smooth, Comfortable Electric SUV

33 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos