Product Reviews

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The Prius is a four-door, five-passenger hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) that couples a 1.5-liter gasoline engine with a small electric motor. The Prius can automatically switch between them or run on both as needed. Shifts are automatic via a responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT). Regenerative braking helps recharge the battery while coasting or braking. Acceleration is adequate, and we measured fuel economy at 41 mpg in mixed driving. The ride is comfortable; handling is secure but not crisp. The brakes are touchy. Inside, the Prius feels roomy for its size, especially in back. The battery pack steals trunk space, however. Cruise control, side air bags, and a navigation system joined the options list for 2002. The Prius is classified as a "SULEV," or Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle.

See Reliability page for the latest 2002 Toyota Prius recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS standard. Side and head protection air bags available, standard from 2007. ESC available from 2004, standard from 2010. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2010, standard from 2017.

Road Test

Even after the "wow factor" of the Prius's hybrid design wears off, the car is still an inviting, well-designed, functionally useful car. Its remarkably high fuel economy makes this a cost-effective commuting car, but the Prius is also practical on l...

Highs

  • Ride quality, rear seat comfort, quietness, fuel economy, super-low emissions.

Lows

  • Acceleration, touchy brakes, small trunk.

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 1.5-liter 4 hybrid (103 hp)