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Monthly Update for July 2017 – 2016 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test

2016 Toyota Prius: Monthly Update for July 2017

by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Manager

Where Did We Drive It?

Activity in our long-term2016 Toyota Prius was pretty mild this month, with Senior Writer Ron Montoya logging the most significant miles on a jaunt down to Oceanside in San Diego County. The Prius remains an attractive choice for day-to-day errands or longer trips out of town, but there are a few things Toyota could change to make it even more pleasant.

What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?

It was a relatively light two-tank month for our Prius, covering 888 miles over various highways and surface streets within the stretches of the Los Angeles sprawl, as well as a single trip down to Oceanside in San Diego County. Our two tank fills were enough to nudge the needle toward the EPA’s estimated average of 52 mpg, but we’re still well short of that target.

Average lifetime mpg: 48.7

EPA mpg rating: 52 combined (54 city/50 highway)

Best fill mpg: 57.2

Best range: 513.1 miles

Current odometer: 13,013 miles

Maintenance and Upkeep


Logbook Highlights


“This is the first Prius that I wouldn’t mind driving for an extended period of time. The handoff between the electric motor and gas engine is hardly noticeable and at low speeds, it’s nearly as smooth as a fully electric vehicle. The engine can get buzzy at highway speeds, but it’s a small trade-off for the excellent fuel economy. I do wish you could go faster than 20 mph in EV mode, though.” — Ron Montoya, senior writer

2016 Toyota Prius


“I’m a big fan of the live radio rewind feature on the Prius’ infotainment system. The system allows you to rewind up to 20 minutes of live radio, which is valuable in the case you receive a phone call during your favorite radio program.” — Jonathan Elfalan, road test manager

2016 Toyota Prius

“The Prius makes an interior beeping noise when put in reverse and it drives me crazy. If memory serves me, they’ve been that way since the second generation. The beep would serve more of a purpose if it were outside, to help pedestrians hear an otherwise quiet car backing up. Instead, it beeps at the driver, presumably to serve as a constant reminder that you are in reverse. Uh, thanks?” — Ron Montoya

“It’s not always what you say, but how you say it. The Prius’ incessant reverse beeping wouldn’t be as insufferable if it didn’t sound like a five-alarm fire warning. Or better yet, there could be an option to turn it off completely. After referencing the owner’s manual (page 752), we discovered you could at least change the incessant beep settings to a single beep. Correction: You can’t, but you can take your car to a dealer who can do it for you.” — Jonathan Elfalan

2016 Toyota Prius


“There’s a noticeable delay when you press the climate control to when it actually starts blowing air. In our Prius, it takes at least 10 seconds. It isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re sitting inside a hot car on a 100-plus-degree day, every precious second counts.” — Ron Montoya