Hybrids & Electrics

The 2021 Toyota Prius Still Kills the Hybrid Game According to Consumer Reports

The Toyota Prius has been the butt of many jokes in the automotive world over the years. It’s boring, it was seen the automotive version of virtue signaling for a while –  and did I mention it’s boring? Anywho, while we laugh at it and its customers, Toyota is laughing all the way to the bank. The OG popular hybrid has proven to be a massive, long-term sales success. The 2021 Toyota Prius was named one of the “most satisfying hybrids” by Consumer Reports

What makes the 2021 Toyota Prius so good?

The Prius has a sustained history of being reliable, affordable, and of course, being great to hang with at the gas station. The Toyota Prius was built on killer gas mileage and really nothing else. That was the selling point; save money on fuel and help save the planet. It finds itself at the top of the list of cars with the most satisfied customers because it has never changed the narrative. It never got “sporty” or bigger or anything else other than more Prius-y. This has proven to be a recipe for happy customers and shareholders. 

What kind of engine does a Toyota Prius have?

Now before I tell you what motor is in it, remember, the point of the Prius is to be efficient, not cool. Like, really not cool. 

An electric blue 2021 Toyota Prius parked on the street.
2021 Toyota Prius with all-wheel-drive | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Prius has a 1.8-liter gas-powered engine that is good for 121 hp when paired with the electric motor. If you’re wondering, the 0-60 mph time for such a powerplant is over 10 seconds, and honestly inst worth telling you the actual time. It’s slow. The cool part is, this goofy powerplant is good for 52 miles per gallon. 52! That’s like motorcycle-esq fuel efficiency. I feel bad even writing a word as cool as “motorcycle” regarding a Prius, but it’s true. 

The Continuously variable transmission does its thing without much fuss. Unlike many CVTs, this one doesn’t jump under acceleration. It feels like a normal automatic transmission, for the most part. 

How does it handle? 

While this generation has gotten some improvements in this category, the Pruis is far from a Miata. The ride has gotten a bit smoother in bump absorption but also in staying planted in corners. Body roll has also gone done a bit in the harder corners. Again, it’s not sporty, but it can take a corner and remain planted and secure. 

Toyota Prius car is displayed during GAIKINDO Indonesia International Auto Show
The Toyota Prius | Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Consumer Reports liked the new interior

The 2021 Prius got a slightly upgraded interior that is more comfortable. The Prius was never cheap, but at the starting price of $24,525, the interior needed a bit of redoing to make that price feel a little better. The 2021 model has many more soft-touch points that give the customer enough sense of where their money went to keep drivers satisfied with their purchase. 

Front seats of the 2021 Prius.
2021 Toyota Prius interior | Toyota

The only real bad mark, according to Consumer Reports, is that hard and flat seating. Even though the ride has gotten better, the front seats are stiff and flat. This is not the most inviting cockpit, especially considering how long you have to go in between gas stops. 

The Prius is undefeated

Overall, the Toyota Prius is simply THE hybrid. I’m sure another automaker will come up with something better at some point. That is just the way things go. However, right now, no one else has worked out how to make customers more satisfied. The Prius has mighty laurels and might ride them for some time to come.