With a new shape, more finely detailed design and a “heightened driving experience,” Toyota’s fourth-generation Prius hybrid looks poised to stay relevant in a market where it’s no longer considered the “it” car. More than a mild evolution, reports vehicle research Web site The Car Connection, the new Prius comes into production facing gasoline prices that are expected to continue low in the near term at least, and more competition from vehicles with a plug, which includes the similarly upgraded 2016 Chevrolet Volt. While Toyota has said nothing about the size of the car’s internal-combustion engine, or even verified that it’s a four cylinder, the automaker says it has made “ground-breaking thermal efficiency gains” of more than 40 percent.


The new Prius arrives at a time of low fuel prices and more competition. So, it needs to be great to catch on, right?

2016 Toyota Prius claims 55 mpg, sportier dynamics: