Considering we tested the mid-range trim level of the European Prius, there were some gadgets missing from the top of the line version, but that doesn't mean the ones included weren't more than enough. For example, we didn't get to test how good the intelligent sunroof works, since that is only available for the most expensive Prius out there.
Why do we call it intelligent? Well, for the top of the line version there is a sunroof which includes a solar-powered ventilation system for when the car is stationary. Apparently, the original solar-powered system should have been used to additionally power the Prius' battery, but the Japanese engineers discovered that that configuration was causing electromagnetic interference that affected the radio.
Anyway, as we mentioned, we didn't have that system on the car we drove so we can't talk about it much. We did have the high-tech head-up display though, which is especially helpful for the drivers who never look at the dashboard while driving. Other than that, our test car was also fitted with a strange bi-xenon-like HID headlight system equipped with a light sensor. We call it strange because it wasn't exactly a true bi-xenon system, since both headlights on each side were only used for the low-beam.
The hi-fi audio system and the HDD-based navigation system were both using a touchscreen display that was beautifully-integrated in the swooping center console in a pretty ergonomic position. Other than the four electrically-operated windows with an automatic feature and the cruise control system, the most impressive gadget was probably the car itself, or better yet, its drivetrain. We say this because the Prius incorporates some of the most modern technologies currently available for a self-propelled car. Continue reading