Toyota’s 2010 Prius debuts next month. Based on a few reviews I read, the 3rd generation Prius is a higher-performance car (0 to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds) but is still rated at 50 miles a gallon.
How much will this markedly improved package cost?
That is another good question that has more than one answer. Prices have not been announced, and the most basic version, to be called Prius I, will not be available until later this year. It is likely to be priced comparably to the base 2009 model, which was $22,600. (Toyota said last week that it was planning a hybrid version of its Yaris subcompact that would compete more directly with the less expensive Honda Insight.)
The mainstream version that goes on sale in May will be the Prius II, in the mid-$20,000 range. From there, there will be Priuses III, IV and V, with additional luxury features and higher prices.
But wait, as the infomercials say, there’s more. Stand-alone options like a navigation system, solar-cell roof ventilation, pre-collision automatic braking, radar cruise control, lane-minders and automated parallel parking are all in the works. Fully loaded, the Prius will easily top $30,000.