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2009 Toyota Prius Trims

Base

Avg. Price: $14,116

The entry-level 2009 Toyota Prius Base trim remains unchanged from 2008, since the Prius will receive a major redesign for 2010. The 2009 Prius Base trim represents the most economical of the three Prius trims, although it still offers full power features, Bluetooth wireless connectivity for mobile devices, and a six-speaker AM/FM audio system with a CD player. Other standard interior features include air conditioning, remote keyless entry, and push-button start. Dual gloveboxes, a front center console, 60/40 split rear seats, and underfloor compartments also come standard. Outside, the Prius Base comes equipped with such features as a chrome-finish grille, halogen headlights with auto-off, and 15-inch wheels.

The Prius Base trim's hybrid powerplant consists of a 76-hp, 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine mated to two electric motors, which put out an additional 67 hp and 295 lb-ft of low-end torque. The hybrid engine pushes the Prius from 0 to 60 in an unspectacular 10.5 seconds, although fast acceleration isn't the goal here. Instead, most owners focus on fuel economy, and the Prius Base delivers outstanding numbers of 48/45 mpg. The hybrid engine links to an ECVT, or electronic continuously variable transmission, which provides smooth and seamless shifting. In addition, the hybrid engine virtually eliminates the "shift shock" between the gas and electric engines, which some hybrid engines display. The front-wheel-drive Prius Base rides on a MacPherson strut suspension and comes with such standard features as electric-assist power rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, and dual front-side and side curtain airbags for both rows. Owners can add stability control as an option.

Liftback

18 national listings
Avg. Price: $13,567

A step up from the Prius Base trim, the 2009 Toyota Prius Liftback adds such standard features as a multifunction steering wheel with audio and climate controls, cruise control, heated exterior power mirrors, and a rear spoiler. Other standard interior features include keyless remote, automatic air conditioning with air filters, Bluetooth wireless connectivity for mobile phones, power windows and door locks with driver one-touch down, and a six-speaker AM/FM audio system with a CD player. Underfloor storage compartments, dual gloveboxes, a front center console, and 60/40 split rear seats also come standard. The Prius Liftback seats five passengers, though seating in the back will be tight for three large adults. A rear liftgate cargo door also comes standard. Exterior features include a chrome-finish grille, halogen headlights, and 15-inch wheels.

The '09 Prius Liftback's Hybrid Synergy Drive powerplant carries over from the previous year unchanged. It features a 76-hp, 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine joined to two electric motors, which generate 67 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid engine links to an ECVT, or electronic continuously variable transmission, which provides smooth acceleration. Drivers and reviewers note the hybrid engine shifts smoothly from the gas to electric engines. The front-wheel-drive Prius Liftback also includes such standard features as traction control, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and dual front-side and side curtain airbags for both rows of seats. Options include a navigation system with voice activation, leather upholstery, a nine-speaker JBL audio system, and stability control.

Touring

Avg. Price: $14,027

As the top-of-the-line Prius trim available for 2009, the Prius Touring includes such standard features as leather upholstery and trim and a JBL sound system with a 6-CD changer, an MP3 jack, and satellite radio. Outside, it also adds such standard features as front foglights, xenon headlights, and larger 16-inch alloy wheels, compared to the 15-inch wheels on the other two Prius trims. It retains the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powerplant as the other two trims, which consists of a 76-hp, 1.5-liter, inline four-cylinder gas engine mated to two electric motors generating 67 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid engine links to an ECVT, or electronic continuously variable transmission, and posts outstanding fuel economy numbers of 48/45 city/highway mpg.

Other standard interior features for the Prius Touring include a multifunction steering wheel with audio and climate controls, automatic air conditioning, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and cruise control. The Prius Touring seats five passengers, though seating can be cramped in the back for three adults. A rear liftgate cargo door gives owners access to the trunk area. Outside, standard exterior features include a chrome grille, heated exterior mirrors, and a rear spoiler. Traction control, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and dual front-side and side curtain airbags for both rows of seats also come standard.