For the fourth generation of its popular hybrid, Toyota gives the Prius a new look along with handling and efficiency improvements.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The engine remains a 1.8-liter four cylinder, but various drivetrain efficiencies push the fuel economy up a couple of miles per gallon.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The basic shape of the Prius remains, but the front of the hood is lower and stronger styling cues appear around the car.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

LED headlights show up in this very styled headlight casing.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Strong contour lines appear on the side of the Prius, while interior capacity continues to offer five passenger seating.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Aerodynamic styling for the roofline means a coefficient of drag hitting .24, better than the previous generation.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The Prius is still front-wheel-drive, but the rear benefits from a fully independent suspension, increasing ride quality and handling.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Black-out patches on the rear pillars give the roof a floating appearance.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The rear liftback still has two sections of glass split by the rear spoiler.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The liftback allows excellent access to the cargo area.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Toyota fits the new Prius with bolstered front seats, anticipating harder cornering from drivers.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split for cargo versatility.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The basic dashboard design remains, with an instrument panel set into the upper strip.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The drive selector protrudes from the lower part of the stack, above a new Qi wireless charging pad.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The steering wheel has a surprisingly natural feel.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

This upper instrument panel can show driving directions or drivetrain information.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The main display retains this power flow animation.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

A homescreen displays navigation, audio and phone information.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The main menu screen holds simple icons for all the electronics' functions.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The navigation system carries over from other Toyota models, and integrates with its Entune apps, allowing online destination search.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The audio system offers USB ports supporting thumbdrives as well as iOS devices, Bluetooth streaming and satellite radio.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The back-up camera includes trajectory lines, and is complemented by a suite of driver assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking.

Published:Caption:Photo:Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Up Next

Six generations of the Ford Mustang (pictures)