Toyota Prius Used Car Buying Guide: 2010 – Current (2012)
The third-generation Toyota Prius, introduced in March of 2009, as a 2010 model, was yet another complete redesign. Enhancements to the concept included more power, better fuel economy, improved steering, and sleeker styling. This model of the Prius also incorporated the ability to park itself.
Rear disc brakes were added for the first time, the displacement of the gasoline engine was increased to 1.8 L and the corresponding output was improved as well to 98 horsepower. Combined power output (incorporating that of the electric motor) was a total of 134 hp. The new engine employed added an electric water pump to the electric power steering pump, so it needed no accessory drive belts. The hybrid powertrain features, including the electric motor and the inverter were smaller and lighter.
Plant derived bioplastics were used in the construction of the car, made from cellulose derived from wood and grass instead of petroleum. On the safety front, the IIHS rated the 2010 Prius as Good except for its side-impact structure/safety cage performance, which was rated Acceptable.