Toyota Prius Hybrid

Research the 2012 Prius

The Good

The 2012 Prius is a very practical vehicle and offers some of the best fuel economy of any car in the world. It also offers a very smooth ride and a generously sized interior for a car its size.

The Bad

This car doesn’t handle all that well, particularly on cornering. The steering isn’t as responsive as you might expect. While it offers a silky ride, it isn’t a whole lot of fun.

The Bottom Line

If you value practicality and refinement above driving pleasure, this is one of the best hybrids on the market.


Toyota offers the Prius in a number of trim packages and vehicle configurations. All are five-door hatchbacks, with the Prius Two, Three, Four, Five and Plug-In (base) and Plug-In Advanced models rounding out the lineup. The Prius Two represents the low end of the price of a Toyota Prius, with the Plug-In Advanced coming in at the top end.

MSRP: $23,775 to $40,285

Average paid: $22,980 to $39,825


Acceleration and power

Like previous models, the 2012 Prius is not known for impressive acceleration and power. The engineering prioritizes fuel efficiency far above performance, and nowhere is this more evident in the vehicle’s 0 to 60 MPH acceleration time of 9.7 seconds. The 1.8 L inline-4 hybrid engine tops out a very meager 98 horsepower, which will leave you wanting more if power is a priority for you. Like previous generations of the vehicle, engine upgrades are not available for the 2012 Prius.

Handling and braking

Responsible driving is the name of the game when it comes to the Prius lineup. Cornering is not the vehicle’s strength, as it displays a very limited cornering range. The steering isn’t as responsive as you might expect, and the handling is, on the whole, a little on the wooden side. However, the vehicle does display excellent braking capabilities, powered by Toyota’s signature Smart Stop technology, which disables the engine if the driver presses the accelerator and brake pedal at the same time. All-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronic brake force distribution are standard on all models.



In the front, the 2012 Prius offers generously sized bucket seats, and the rear seating is a 60/40 split bench. The newest generation of the Toyota Prius has increased the overall amount of interior space, resulting in increased legroom. On the whole, the interior is very generously sized considering the vehicle’s modest overall dimensions. The driver’s seat is 6-way adjustable, and the front passenger seat is 4-way adjustable. The headrests are also power adjustable as well. Comfortable cloth fabric is the default seating material, but a leather upgrade is available.


One of the most notable additions to the 2012 Prius is the standard inclusion of Toyota’s Entune system, which provides a wide range of communications, navigation and informational features. The Entune system offers Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, smartphone control capabilities, a navigation and vehicle information system, and a wide range of mobile applications, including Internet radio and access to the Bing Internet search engine. Other noteworthy standard features include an engine immobilizer, power windows, power locks, power seats, a telescoping tilt steering column, keyless entry and two 12-volt input jacks.

Cargo space

For a smallish car, the 2012 Prius offers a surprisingly generous cargo capacity. The total amount of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, including the trunk, clocks in at 21.6 cubic feet.


Toyota Prius reviews are unanimous in their praise of the vehicle’s impressive range of standard safety features. In addition to the aforementioned Smart Stop technology, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake force distribution, the 2012 Toyota Prius also offers standard vehicle stability control and traction control. If you want to optimize vehicle safety, it is recommended that you look into the Prius Five model, which offers Toyota’s Advanced technology Package. Included in that package are features such as automatic lane drift correction, dynamic cruise control and a pre-collision system which is proven to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.


Compared to the 2011 Toyota Prius, the 2012 model offers a new in-car entertainment system, a wider and more varied range of trim options and an expanded range of color choices.

  • Transmission: Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: Electric-gasoline hybrid inline-4
  • Engine Size: 1.8 L
  • Horsepower: 98 @ 5200 rpm
  • Torque: 105 @ 4000 rpm
  • MPG, City: 51 miles per gallon
  • MPG, Highway: 48 miles per gallon
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