What Car? says...
If you imagine a venn diagram with the wishes of Uber cab drivers on one side and family car buyers on the other, the areas of overlap will probably be ride comfort, interior space and low running costs. However, while Uber drivers are happy to pick the Toyota Prius as their champion, SUVs are the current family car of choice for many. So, why is that?
Now in its fourth generation, the Prius combines distinctive looks inside and out with plenty of practicality. It also offers far lower running costs than the vast majority of SUVs, and it even provides the option of four-wheel drive to satisfy those who require extra peace of mind in slippery driving conditions.
Every Prius has a 1.8-litre petrol engine that’s augmented by electric motors and a battery pack. On the regular model, the battery is charged by surplus power from the engine, and when you slow down, by using something called regenerative braking. There’s also a plug-in version that can be charged from the mains to give an electric-only range of 34 miles, according to official figures.
Of course the Prius has a fair list of rivals to contend with; there are other hybrids, such as the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro, plus Toyota’s own Corolla Hybrid. We also suspect you might be interested in other family-sized cars such as the much cheaper Skoda Scala, the Volkswagen Golf and even the BMW 1 Series.
So, should you shun the SUV and hop over a hatchback to land yourself in a Prius? We’ll tell you over the next few pages. And, whichever car you choose, our New Car Deals pages will take the pain out of buying it.