Like a lot of car writers from across the nation, I am looking forward to the Auto Journalists Association of Canada’s annual Test Fest next week; where the entrants will be pared down into their respective class winners (and from the pool of survivors, one will go on to become the Canadian Car of the Year).
The new look Prius is a solid competitor in the Full-Size Car group this year, where it is up against Malibu (hybrid), Optima HEV and Volkswagen’s Golf Alltrack.
Prius brings its natural Toyota advantage to the contest – the proven hybrid powertrain that revolutionized the world since its introduction nearly twenty years ago.
There’s a reason it is the best-selling hybrid of all time, but with the redesigned body and enhanced balance and aerodynamics, Prius now makes a case for itself as a really good-looking car as well (‘cuz let’s face, one of the most common arguments against the vehicle in the past has been its appearance – “ugly” was a word I often heard applied).
I loved the car before, because I am a fuel-economy freak; but when I first saw the latest generation unveiled in Frankfurt last year I loved it even harder.
Here’s a gallery of one I drove this summer – which differs slightly from the model entered in the CCOTY contest in that this one is equipped with Toyota’s ‘Upgrade Package’, whereas the formal entrant will be one with Technology Package.
This one, with upgrade package, came with a sticker price of $28,661 including freight charges; but that doesn’t include any hybrid-rebates that may be available, depending on your area.