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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2020 Toyota Prius Limited
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2020 Toyota Prius Limited

Vehicle Type: Small Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $32,375
Price as Tested: $34,586
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 11.3
EPA City mpg54
EPA Highway mpg50
EPA Combined mpg52
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
Advanced Headlights [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Blind-Spot Warning [O]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [S]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:
star star star star star
Overall Observations
The Toyota Prius is the quintessential gas-electric hybrid vehicle. Redesigned in 2016, it remains relatively unchanged in 2020, retaining its core strengths but also its limitations. Its greatest strength, of course, is its stellar EPA-rated fuel economy: 54 mpg city/50 mpg highway/52 combined. The Prius also comes with a complete package of advanced safety features as standard equipment and has earned a top 5-star crash-test rating from NHTSA. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa functions are now standard; unfortunately, Toyota's infotainment system is unintuitive and difficult to use. The Prius' greatest weakness is a result of its quest for fuel-efficiency superiority: an underwhelming driving experience, with sluggish acceleration and an underpowered drivetrain - the result of a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine paired with an electric motor-generator that produces just 121 hp total. The Prius also has a rough-riding suspension and an uncomfortable ride. However, the Prius' smooth, seamless hybrid drivetrain improves the driving experience, as does its user-adjustable regenerative braking modes. In sum, consumers looking for a reasonably priced car with great gas mileage, high reliability, and a large cargo capacity should put the Prius serious on their short list.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • High fuel economy and range
  • Lots of standard advanced safety features
  • Smooth, seamless hybrid drivetrain
  • Large cargo capacity
Weak Points
  • Underpowered drivetrain
  • Sluggish acceleration
  • Unintuitive, difficult-to-use infotainment system
  • Rough suspension and ride quality
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2020
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3140.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 180.0 / 69.3 / 57.9
Wheelbase (in): 106.3
Number of air bags: 9
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Ecopia
Front and rear tire size: 195/65 R15
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 1.8L 4-Cyl. DOHC VVT-i
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 96 @ 5200
Electric motor horsepower: 71
Combined system horsepower: 121
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: 7.98
EPA Emissions Score: 7.00
Acceleration: 1.49
Braking: 1.46
Crashworthiness: 4.37
Handling: 7.63
Ride Quality: 6.95
Interior Size: 3.19
Easy of Entry and Exit: 6.51
Visibility: 6.52
Interior Noise: 5.71
Cargo Capacity: 2.57
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Small
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Small
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/108
Price as Tested:  $43,735
 out of 130
2020 BMW X3 XDrive30e
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 21/27
Price as Tested:  $65,020
 out of 130
2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Large
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Large
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 28/31
Price as Tested:  $73,840
 out of 130
2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place SUV/Minivan
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/114
Price as Tested:  $53,190
 out of 130
2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 80/72
Price as Tested:  $84,276
 out of 130
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