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2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

5dr HB Touring (Natl)

Starting at | Starting at 48 MPG City - 45 MPG Highway

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  • $24,270 original MSRP
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2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

For space and fuel efficiency, the 2009 Toyota Prius can't be beat. The compact Prius has a design that emphasizes interior space, and thus it qualifies as a mid-size car, which Toyota claims makes it the most fuel-efficient mid-size car in America. The Touring Edition gives the Prius a sportier edge. With front side and side-curtain airbags standard across the line, the Prius is an even better value.

What's new for 2009?

The Toyota Prius is largely unchanged for 2009. Base prices rise about $500 from last year.

Model Strengths

  • Fuel efficiency
  • low emissions
  • interior space
  • maneuverability

Model Review

The super-efficient Prius, with its Hybrid Synergy Drive, has sophisticated electric-drive/battery system that allows energy to be recovered from coasting and braking. In the Prius, a 76-horsepower, 1.5L four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle gasoline engine is paired with a 50-kilowatt electric drive motor. Together, the two produce 110 horsepower, delivered through a planetary-gear continuously variable transmission. The Prius is a 'full hybrid,' meaning the system not only turns the gasoline engine off when it's not needed, it also has the capability to run at low speeds on electric power alone for short distances.

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2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

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2009 Toyota Prius

Source: The Car Connection

In writing this definitive review, TheCarConnection.com's editors researched a wide range of road tests covering the 2009 Toyota Prius. TheCarConnection.com's resident experts also have extensive experience driving the Toyota Prius and added their observations and comments to help you make sense where other reviews might differ.

Even though the 2009 Toyota Prius has a design that's anything but fresh (a new Prius is due for 2010), the Prius has continued to gain popularity because of its combination of excellent fuel economy, five-passenger seating, and versatile hatchback design. The fact that fuel prices have gone through the roof over the past several years hasn't hurt either.

The current Prius looks more mainstream than the original, but inside, the dashboard and instruments communicate that this is not an ordinary hatchback. The speedometer and other gauges are at the top of the dash, and a large information display resides in the center stack, displaying fuel economy, climate control, radio settings and if so equipped, the optional navigation system. To start the vehicle, you push a button--there is no key slot--and the transmission lever might as well come from a video game.

The 2009 Toyota Prius is powered by Toyota's Hybrid Synergy drive--a fancy name for the company's gasoline-electric powertrain that can operate in pure electric mode at low speeds and while the vehicle is at a full stop. The gas engine is an economical 1.5-liter four-cylinder that runs on regular unleaded and works in synergy with the electric motor when extra boost is needed.  Power transferred to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission keeps the Prius humming in its ideal operating range and helps it achieve 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway. The battery pack is under the cargo floor and recharges via the engine and by regenerative braking.

Performance isn't the primary reason consumers choose the Prius, but the instant torque from the electric motor allows for good power in city driving. On the highway, the 2009 Toyota Prius can cruise and pass safely. Steering feel is artificial, the regenerative brakes are only average, and the ride can get bumpy and noisy. Blame the low rolling resistance tires and the lack of sound deadening to save weight.

The interior of the 2009 Toyota Prius is well laid out, and it offers exceptional roominess compared with other cars in its class. The hatchback design has good room for four adults and a versatile rear hatch for cargo. Seating is comfortable, but the seats themselves and much of the interior are finished in lightweight, inexpensive plastics.

Front, side, and curtain airbags are now standard on the 2009 Toyota Prius, and crash-test scores of mostly four stars are pretty good. The Prius also earns "good" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


The Bottom Line:

The 2009 Toyota Prius is not a driver's car, but it delivers excellent fuel economy in a versatile package.

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2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Back-Up Camera Opt
Handsfree Wireless Opt

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Opt
Printable Version

2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

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12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Warranty*

7-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty**

1-year of Roadside Assistance***

160-Point Quality Assurance Inspection

CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportTM****

Certified customers are eligible for standard new car financing rates*****

*Whichever comes first from date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. The Comprehensive Warranty covers any repair or replacement of components which fail under normal use due to defect in materials or workmanship. (Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.)

**Whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. See your Toyota Certified Used Vehicles dealer for warranty details. Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For AL, FL, GA, NC & SC, warranty coverage differs in the following ways: 7-year or 100,000-mile Toyota Certified Limited Powertrain Warranty coverage begins on January 1st of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles.

***From date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. Covers most services, including flat tires, lockout service, jump starts, fuel delivery up to 3 gallons and towing for mechanical breakdown or collision recovery to the nearest Toyota dealership. Services provided exclude any parts required. Coverage not available in Mexico. See Certified Warranty Supplement for warranty details.

****Beginning December 1, 2005 CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportsTM are a required part of every Toyota Certified Used Vehicle. See your local dealer for details.

*****Rates mentioned are for standard new car rates, and do not include new car specials or subvented rates. Not all buyers will qualify. Financing available through Toyota Financial Services for qualified buyers only.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 7 years / 85,000
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection All TCUV vehicles must pass a comprehensive checklist that includes a 160-point inspection. This way you can rest assured that your pre-owned Toyota is in perfect condition. To see full inspection list visit http://www.toyotacertified.com/inspection.html
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 1-year of Roadside Assistance from date of TCUV purchase.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

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2009 Toyota Prius Hatchback

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