Toyota wasn’t the first to bring a hybrid car to the U.S. market, but it’s been by far the most successful, prompting hybrid competition from just about every major carmaker, some of them using Toyota’s own system under license. The Prius continues to dominate hybrid sales and still accounts for more than half the market. A major element in this car’s ongoing appeal is that it broadcasts its owner’s commitment to green values. Even after five years on the market, the second-generation Prius is hard to mistake for anything else.
And, of course, there’s fuel economy. Even with the more-stringent EPA test procedures, it’s rare for everyday drivers to match government fuel-economy ratings, in this case, 48 city mpg and 45 highway. Nevertheless, the front-drive Prius delivers exceptional fuel economy: 54 mpg on a suburban test loop, 50 mpg on the highway.