Roadshow Video Reviews
2008 Toyota PriusThe car we'll always remember as the start of a new era.
>> A big idea started here. No -- here. The Toyota Prius. This changed everybody's thinking about green driving. Let's do some of our own and check the tech. ^M00:00:13 [ Music ] ^M00:00:19 >> The Prius changed the automotive marketplace. Without it, everyday people might not have alternative power train on their lips today. It opened minds by being a new model you never mistook for any other, hybrid only, and unashamed to be dorkidly green and smart. And it didn't hurt that it was a Toyota. You know, it's funny that for what the person knows as that high-tech car, there's not a whole lot going on in terms of tech in the head unit. We have the upgraded one. It's a J B L audio system, but that's kind of where it goes. There's no back seat entertainment, unless you like looking out the side Windows. But this upgraded unit does have the ability to swallow six discs of standard CD or MP3 or WMA home burned discs. [Inaudible] down here in the console, that's also part of the upgraded audio packages. Here's the story on satellite radio. This is a satellite radio-cable head unit. Then you would dealer-install an adapter for Sirius. But I understand at this point in history there are no more adapters to be had. So it's kind of academic, or it's an eBay hunt. Some other toys that come in the better tech packages include a smart key, let's see, a rear view backup camera. Clear, but no fancy lines for trajectory. The navigation rig, also optional, is really excellent in a limited way. It's got a gorgeous interface, straight out of a Lexus, but it doesn't have life traffic, it's not hard drive based, it's relatively basic. But it looks really good and it does have voice control as well as onscreen tech. [ Music ] >> On this swan song for the second generation Prius I was struck by what remains an amazing cabin. Even more so that it's inside a four-year-old car. The instrument panel is that all digital display laid way back there. There's not a gauge or needle to be seen. The central touch-screen is relied upon, not just there to handle optional bells and whistles. Ditto the buttons on the steering wheel. And the dash behind that wheel -- utterly blank. The shifter for the electronic CDT is an oddly delicate little thing with a weird pattern and a push-button, the only way to engage Park. Under way, audacious is not the word that comes to mind. The Prius offers a combined 110 horse power, and supposedly 370-some odd foot pounds of torque according to specs. But that's clearly not available at the wheels, because we didn't rip the cover off any tires. And most owners will play the feather-foot gaming, accelerating from stop as gently as possible to see how long they can keep their Prius in electric mode. But when pressed, this car's electric motor raises its hand with the gas engine, and surprising torque arrives to bail you out of situations you thought the car was too gutless for. The Prius is not a pretty thing. Even the new 2010 doesn't make any such pretensions. But unlike the Honda Insight it embarrassed into extinction, it's a real car with practicality and innovation galore. The baseline of Prius, about 22. 720 in delivery will bring it to you. The big tech package, another 65. But just take it plain and keep the Earth alive. ^M00:03:27 [ Music ]