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Monthly Update for October 2018 - 2016 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test

2016 Toyota Prius: Monthly Update for October 2018

by Caroline Pardilla, Senior Copy Editor

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Toyota Prius has served in our long-term fleet for two and a half years — a year and a half longer than our usual stint. You'd think we've said all there is to say about it, but turns out new issues and observations continue to pop up with our senior long-termer.

For October, we stuck around town again, with one trip to a pumpkin patch. So this month's logbook comments focus more on what's going on in the car rather than its fuel economy or its driving demeanor. Nitpicks from our editors range from a persistent stank to the Prius' unsafe-for-pumpkins interior. We've also complained about its ineffective sun visors and its judgmental attitude toward our driving. Not too much love for the Prius this time.

2016 Toyota Prius

What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
With only commutes and local errand-running this month, the Prius logged about 870 miles on its odometer and only visited the pump a couple of times. But its fuel economy for those two fill-ups averaged out to 53 mpg, which is a tick higher than the EPA's combined mpg as well as our September average of 51.6.

Average lifetime mpg: 49.5
EPA mpg rating: 52 combined (54 city/50 highway)
Best fill mpg: 57.2
Best range: 521 miles
Current odometer: 27,216 miles

Maintenance and Upkeep

Logbook Highlights

2016 Toyota Prius

"The sun visor doesn't extend, leaving a big part of the driver's face exposed when the sun is shining from that side of the car. It can be pretty annoying on a bright day and you'll wish for more coverage." — Kathleen Clonts, copy chief

"I'll second the motion from Kathleen regarding the lack of an extending sun visor. How is this still an issue on a 2016 model? The sun moves! It always has! So does the car." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor


"The signal on a variety of FM stations has been consistently dropping from time to time, making any song that's playing sound as if it's skipping. It's like a flashback to your scratched albums from the '70s or '80s." — Kathleen Clonts


2016 Toyota Prius

"I noticed the distinct smell of mold when starting up the Prius a few times. It seemed to blow out of the vents when the A/C started up but dissipated after driving around for a while. Ron took note of the funky smell back in our June update and passed along the recommended solution from the interwebs: to bake the germs by turning on the heater. It's been a bit too hot here to resort to that." — Kathleen Clonts

"I went pumpkin shopping this weekend and the Prius was a solid companion. It got me there and back without any issue. I couldn't say the same for my cargo, however. I placed my pumpkins behind the front seats, hoping they wouldn't move around as much. I didn't have anything to brace them with, so I drove home and hoped for the best. The larger orange pumpkin rolled over during a hard turn and its stem hit the rear door panel. The impact was hard enough to break the stem. Thankfully, it was a clean break and I was able reattach it with some super glue." — Ron Montoya

"I'm a horrible Prius driver. At least that's what our Prius tells me as it gave me a score of 52 out of 100 and explicitly told me to 'ease accelerator use.' Pssh! Apparently, the car rates how fuel-efficient your driving is after each trip. I had never noticed that before but the message popped up on the dash when I turned off the car. My poor score came after my drive to work during late morning rush-hour traffic. I wasn't as 'proactive' a driver as I am in my Miata, but neither was I trying to watch fuel consumption. I'd be curious to see what kind of driving it takes to score 100. But honestly, I wouldn't want to live with a car that was judging me all the time." — Caroline Pardilla, senior copy editor

2016 Toyota Prius


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