For the first time, the Toyota Prius concept was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995. Just as a production car, the Toyota Prius debuted in its homeland in 1997. At first, the car was sold only in the domestic market, later it began to be actively exported to the markets of America and Europe. The advantages of the first generation Toyota Prius were not limited to a hybrid power plant: the design of this sedan has not lost its novelty and freshness to this day. On the other hand, it’s too early to talk about the serious moral aging of this car, which offers everything you need in terms of options and a very interesting interior, replete with solutions aimed at improving consumer qualities.
Inside the Toyota Prius there is enough space both in front and behind, and in general it can be noted the convenience of accommodating passengers and the driver. The transmission control knob is located next to the steering column, and the free "minivan" passage from the driver's seat to the front passenger further enhances the usability of the car. Trunk Prius, of course, can not boast of large dimensions, but for a city car has ample volume. The digital instrument panel is located in the center of the panel, under it is the on-board computer monitor, which displays a wide variety of information. Expensive modifications offer options such as cruise control, parking sensors, CD changer, navigation system and even a leather interior. The hybrid powerplant that Prius is equipped with consists of a 1.5-liter engine and an electric motor - they operate in parallel. Such a system allows you to choose the most optimal way of movement in terms of energy efficiency. For example, at the beginning of the movement, an electric motor works, during a normal trip - a gasoline engine, while speeding, the engine and electric motor work together. When the speed decreases, the batteries recharge due to the braking system that has started to function again. In order to make Prius feel more confident on highways (this was especially important for marketing on the North American market), the engine power was increased from 58 to 72 hp, as well as improved battery performance (NHW11 body). Minor changes associated with a 75% reduction in emissions standards (first in Japan) occurred in 2000. And in 2002, as a result of further improvements and modifications, the developers managed to reduce fuel consumption to 3.23 liters per 100 kilometers.
Toyota Prius suspension is typical for a passenger car of this class - suspension struts in the front and torsion bar suspension in the rear. At the same time, the chassis settings are such that, in addition to the economy of this car, it is impossible not to appreciate the grace with which it moves along the streets of the city. In addition, it has a turning radius of 4.7 m, which is quite acceptable for the city and for the convenience of parking. The electric power steering provides fuel economy and ease of control. The car uses a continuously variable transmission (variator), front-wheel drive only.
Of the systems and tools responsible for safety, the first-generation Toyota Prius has two airbags (driver and front passenger), anti-lock brakes (ABS), and child seat fasteners. Additional stiffening bars in the doors provide protection against side impact. In general, crash tests conducted by NASVA (Japan) in 1999 and 2001 show a good level of safety for the first generation Prius.
Toyota Prius has become a breakthrough in the automotive industry. This is the first hybrid-engine mass-produced car in the world to be recognized worldwide. Many right-hand drive cars were brought into Russia. However, the very low prices of individual copies offered on the market are explained by the fact that they all have decent mileage and may require additional investments, in particular the purchase and replacement of the battery. In any case, before buying a car should be as strict as possible to check the status of the hybrid power plant.