Any Star Trek fan, especially of "The next generation" series, would probably feel at home in the Prius. Everything, from the way the center console "flows" all the way between the front seats to the odd gray upholstery looks and feels like it's from the 1990s Sci-Fi movie-set.
The interior design is destined to appeal to pretty much every inner geek in you using both design and the hi-tech features available. As far as the ergonomics involved, we have to say that this is probably the first time when we don't find a center-mounted speedometer too weird or hard to follow. This probably because, unlike on the Citroen C4
we tested last year, for example, the numbers are very clear thanks to a mellow holographic effect of the center display.
The holographic effect is even more persistent on the head-up display, which can show the driver his current speed and the way the means of propulsion work in the car (the ICE, the battery level and the electric engine) at any given time. Plus, the position of the HUD can be conveniently changed from just a push of a button near the steering wheel, so both taller and shorter drivers can be properly accommodated.
The interior space is rather large for such a compact car, with more than enough leg room for all four (or even five) passengers. The head room is above-average for the front passengers, but the way the roof gets lower towards the rear can crash the party for your taller passengers. It's not cramped back there, but more like "adequate" when it comes to headroom.
The luggage compartment is very roomy and has one of the best entries of any hatchback we tested, since the hatch is very wide and low. The rear seats can also laid completely flat in a 60:40 in order to enlarge the total trunk capacity from 445 liters (15.7 cubic feet) to over 1000 liters (35.3 cubic feet).
As far as the quality of materials used inside, Toyota managed to surprise us by adding a new range of plant-derived ecological bio-plastics that actually don't feel crappy at all. Most of the interior plastics are made from cellulose found in wood or grass instead of petroleum-derived substances. In other words, whenever someone brags about their expensive wood inserts in their car you can always say that your Prius's interior is mostly made out of kenaf (a type of hibiscus) and ramie (or "China grass", as some people know it). Continue reading