The Avensis has indicated 48 mpg, and as £15 covered 170 miles and put the fuel gauge back where it started, it's probably about right. No idea of the road tax for it. It is very long, harder to park than the CRV, but a pleasure to drive. After the brief freedom of an auto though, I really am ready for that CVT...! My last doubt over the efficiency of the auto is put to rest be people confirming the CVT transmission in a hybrid is actually more economical than a manual.
Not bad for a big family car I guess, I'm sure you could get mid 50's if you tried. Toyota know what they're doing, the gearbox in the Prius is optimised for such a car to give the perfect balance between performance and economy. As much as I prefer a manual, look at other manual hybrids, such as the CRX and the old Civic, thier economy is pretty poor about 45 MPG overall.
Was just reading about the new Prius Plug-in, new duel motor increased power by 83%, solar roof option charges the battery by 3 miles a day according to Toyota, bigger battery and faster charging which means a longer EV range (39 miles) and better EV top speed (84 MPH) cabin heater that can be set to defrost or warm the car at a certain time like an EV, without starting the engine.
But the price.....oh the price...£34,895 for the Business Edition Plus model (£36,395 with the solar roof option) and £37,095 for the Excel. That's $43618 USD and $46368 USD for the Top spec model. Ouch. Probably better off with a full EV.
The solar roof also ventilates the car, or at least it did on my 2015. I had Weathertech side window deflectors on the front windows so I could leave them open about 30mm regardless of the weather. When the temperature exceeds 78 degrees it turns on the climate control fan and circulates outside air. Having the windows open a bit kind of supercharged the process.
When you get into the car instead of being 150 degrees inside it's a balmy 98 just like outside. HUGE difference in discomfort level compared to any other car that isn't remote started to run the A/C. But it doesn't cut the mpg any like remote start on most cars. Solar roof is the best option ever. Now that it also trickle charges it's even better. Mine only ventilated but didn't charge.
It sounds like a great idea, topping up the battery on the new model, but I wonder how long it would take to get nearly £1500 back? An expensive option, but I can imagine most people will go for it, because the kind of people that buy a Prius want to maximise their economy.
Next Green car tested the Prius in Spain and got good results (UK MPG)
On two long runs - one just shy of 100 miles, and the other around 120, the Prius Plug-In recorded 77 MPG and 91 MPG respectively. Both involved a fair amount of motorway driving and a good mix of town and country driving, plus plenty of elevation change. As examples of what you might expect a Prius Plug-In to return without carefully trying to drive extremely frugally, they are good representative figures. And of course if you have less than 30 miles to go, you could complete it all in electric mode.
Complaints about the usual though, dreadful CVT gearbox, of course it's great for economy, but is a gearbox that numbs the drive, is noisy and whiney too much of a compromise? It would be for me. Full review here: Toyota Prius PlugIn First Drive | Next Green Car
The solar panel on the Prime isn't for ventilating the cabin, but augmenting charging in markets were daily access to a plug is lacking. It isn't available in North America.
Residential power in much of Japan is substandard compared to the rest of the first world. In the US, a Prime will take 5 to 6 hours to charge from a standard outlet; half that with a level 2 charger. In Japan, it will take 10 hours from the outlet, and home level 2 isn't possible. In addition to the solar panel to supplement what charging the car can get at home, CHAdeMO is standard on the Prime in Japan.
If the solar roof doesn't ventilate the cabin I wouldn't buy it. Saving 3 miles of gasoline compared to the cost of the roof would take decades to offset if not centuries. They should make it ventilate like the 2015. The 3 miles would just be bonus and I'd buy it even if it gave zero miles just for the ventilation.