After a receiving a major redesign for the 2010 model year, the 2011 Toyota Prius (Base MSRP: $21,650 to $28,790) continues on with no changes this year. Review feedback suggests no changes are needed anyway; testers say that the Toyota Prius is still the best hybrid car available today. Experts laud the Prius for its exceptionally good fuel efficiency, rated at 50 mpg combined, as well as for its hatchback versatility, passenger comfort, pleasant ride and reasonable price. Some reviewers have noted that the interior quality wasn't as good as they were expecting. Its most direct competition, the 2011 Honda Insight ( Base MSRP: $18,200 to $21,490), is cheaper but is also considered less polished in terms of comfort and ride quality.
The Prius is the most fuel-efficient car available today, not including electric vehicles, according to the EPA. The Prius full hybrid system delivers an EPA-estimated 51 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined fuel economy rating. The next most fuel efficient cars include the 42 mpg 2011 Lexus CT200h (Base MSRP: $29,120 to $30,900), 44 mpg 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid (Base MSRP: $24,050), and the 41 mpg 2011 Honda Insight ( Base MSRP: $18,200 to $21,490).
The Prius gets good crash test ratings as well. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Prius a perfect 5 star rating for overall safety. Front crash protection and rollover resistance get a 4 star out of 5 ratings, while side impact protection gets the highest 5 star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the Prius a 2011 Top Safety Pick, for scoring the top rating of Good in its assortment of crash and roof-strength tests.
The Prius' standard safety equipment roster includes antilock brakes, electronic stability control and front, side, curtain and driver knee airbags. Pre-collision and lane-departure warning systems are optional.
See our full report on the identical 2010 Toyota Prius (Base MSRP: $21,400 to $28,070) for a detailed analysis of what reviewers have to say about the Prius, and why they consider it to be the best available hybrid.
ConsumerReports.org ranks the 2011 Toyota Prius against many sedans, both hybrid and nonhybrids. The editors thoroughly describe the Prius and provide impressions on the driving experience as well. They also provide useful data on reliability predictions, depreciation and owner satisfaction. ConsumerReports.org named the Toyota Prius its 2011 top pick for green cars.
Review: Sedans, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
The editors of Edmunds.com say that "when it comes to high fuel economy, plenty of versatility, and a reasonable price, the 2011 Toyota Prius cannot be beat." Primary complaints include the potentially awkward driving position and slightly disappointing interior quality.
Review: 2011 Toyota Prius, Editors of Edmunds.com
3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the Toyota Prius a 2011 Top Safety Pick, after the hybrid hatchback aced the organization's battery of tests.
Review: Toyota Prius, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Crash test results from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration are impressive. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration gives the Prius a perfect 5 star rating for overall safety. Front crash protection and rollover resistance get 4-star ratings, while side impact protection gets a 5-star rating.
Review: 2011 Toyota Prius, Editors of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
The 2011 Toyota Prius simply has the best fuel economy available today, this side of fully electric vehicles. The Toyota Prius achieves a class-leading 51 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined fuel economy rating, according to the EPA.
Review: 2010 Hybrid Vehicles, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
The 2011 Toyota Prius is unchanged from the 2010 model year, when it was redesigned. See what makes the Prius the best-reviewed hybrid by checking out our full analysis of what the experts are saying.
Review: 2010 Toyota Prius, Editors of ConsumerSearch, May 2009