Consumer Reports finds 2016 Prius sets new mileage record

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Consumer Reports finished testing the 2016 redesigned Prius and found it is setting a new mileage record. (KABC)

Consumer Reports finished testing the 2016 redesigned Prius and found it is setting a new mileage record.

When Toyota first introduced the Prius 15 years ago, its hybrid technology was groundbreaking. The Prius is now on its fourth generation.

Consumer Reports put the new 2016 Prius through the same mileage tests it gives all cars. A fuel meter precisely measures each milliliter of gas burned as the car drives specific routes. One route represents the stop and go of city driving, and the cars also drive a stretch of highway at 65 mph.

The newly redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius got the best numbers ever recorded for a non-plug-in vehicle - 52 miles per gallon overall. That's up from 44 miles per gallon from the last generation Prius.

"Small changes to the gasoline engine made a big difference in efficiency. It more effectively turns fuel into force. The car also runs on electric power more often, and the body is more aerodynamic," said Mike Monticello, Consumer Reports' automotive specialist.

Other comparable hybrid sedans like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion SE, and Toyota Camry XLE don't even come close to the Prius' mileage.

The biggest improvement with the Prius is in city driving. The last version got 32 miles per gallon city. The new Prius gets 43, and highway driving improved from 55 to 59.

Consumer Reports engineers found other improvements include a more comfortable ride, less body roll and better brakes.

"We recommend getting the Prius Three version with the advanced technology package, which includes safety features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure alert," noted Monticello.

Equipped like that, the Prius Three costs around $29,000.

Another plus for the Toyota Prius: It's proven to be one of the most reliable cars, based on Consumer Reports' survey of Prius owners.
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