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2010 Toyota Prius Review

With top fuel economy ratings and competitive interior and cargo space, reviewers agreed that it was tough to beat the 2010 Toyota Prius when it was new. Its polarizing styling may deter some shoppers, but the aerodynamic shape boosts fuel economy.

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Plenty of cargo and interior space
  • Artificial steering feel
  • Smaller back seat than rivals

Rankings & Awards

The 2010 Toyota Prius's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2010 Compact Cars category. It was the winner of our 2010 Best Hybrid Car for the Money award. Currently the Toyota Prius has a score of 9.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 33 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Toyota Prius Overview

The 2010 Toyota Prius is a solid choice among 2010 midsize cars and a superb choice among used hybrid cars. The Prius’ versatile cabin and cargo space and exceptional fuel economy of 51/48 mpg city/highway are its main attributes. For 2010, the Prius received a more powerful gas engine and electric motor, and test drivers liked the power boost. They also liked that you can select one of three driving modes depending on how much fuel you want to save.

On the downside, the 2010 Toyota Prius’ styling, though easily recognizable, is not considered attractive by the automotive press. Some reviewers also disliked the Prius’ small wheels, which they said made the car feel unstable and contributed to more road noise. A few also noted that the Prius’ steering felt artificial.

The 2010 Toyota Prius has a four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A four-speaker stereo and push-button start are among the Prius’ standard features. Higher trim levels and option packages add features like Bluetooth, an upgraded stereo, leather, heated front seats and navigation. Seven airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control are included as standard safety equipment on the 2010 Prius.

See the full 2010 Toyota Prius specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The highly-ranked 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has a more traditional look and it delivers great fuel economy, though the Prius still uses less fuel. Test drivers liked the Fusion Hybrid’s nimble handling and high-quality interior when it was new. Although the Prius’ performance is good, reviewers agreed that the Fusion Hybrid’s performance is superior because it drives very similarly to a non-hybrid car.

The 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid is another good hybrid to consider if the 2010 Prius is on your list, though its fuel economy isn't as high as the Prius’. The Camry Hybrid is a good alternative for used car shoppers who want a more traditional sedan. The 2010 Camry Hybrid has plenty of room inside, but the Prius is still a better choice if you need lots of cargo space. 

Compare the Prius to the Fusion Hybrid and Camry Hybrid »


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