When most new car shoppers think of a fuel sipping hybrid, it?s usually the Toyota Prius that leaps to mind. And with good reason: the Prius is the best selling hybrid in the US, and it gets a remarkable 50 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. But the recently reworked Prius is a lot more than a frugal economy car.

Here are five reasons you should consider the 2011 Toyota Prius:

1. Cool Tech Features: You can almost make a case for buying a Prius on its technology alone. One example is what Toyota calls the Touch Tracer display. When the driver lightly touches steering wheel mounted buttons, extra display options come up on the screen. Also, if you order the advanced technology package, the car comes equipped with self-park system for parallel spots. Plus, there are several display options for monitoring the Hybrid Synergy Drive system, and audiophiles will want the optional JBL audio system. The satellite radio screen and iPod interface are also very user friendly.

2. Fresh Exterior look: For years, the Prius has had a sort of low budget, economy car look. That changed last year and the Prius now has a more substantial appearance. The new Prius is wider and has more distinct styling details like sculpted headlights and clear lens taillights. When optioned with the 17-inch wheels and fog lights, and the Prius actually looks more like a sporty hatchback than 50 mpg hybrid.

3. Roomy Interior: Considering the Prius? economy car origins, many shoppers will be shocked at the Prius? spacious and useful the interior. A sizeable storage area sits just below the center console and the large rear hatch door means the Prius is as versatile as it is frugal.

4. Quiet Ride: Because the Prius has the ability to run only on electric motors at times, the overall experience is a little smoother and a little quieter than other economy cars. Toyota says they added extra sound insulation when the car was revised just last year. There?s also less noise and vibration from the engine compared to previous versions of the Toyota Prius.

5. Fuel Economy: If you want a car that uses less gas than the Toyota Prius, you need to get one that has a plug. Aside from that, there are plenty of ways to get good fuel economy these days. The VW Jetta diesel gets 42 miles per gallon on the highway, the Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan gets 41 miles per gallon around town and many other subcompacts get fuel economy in the high 30s. But nothing short of an electric car tops the Prius when it comes to maximum miles per gallon. The Prius gets 51 miles per gallon in the city and 48 on the highway. That means 50 miles per gallon in combined driving and many drivers have actually done better than that estimate.

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Brian Moody heads up the AutoTrader.com editorial team. An automotive writer and presenter for more than 12 years, he's contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Edmunds.com, Fox Business, Speed TV and The Today Show.

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