Johannesburg - Toyota’s slow-selling Prius hybrid hatch has been given what its maker describes as a simplified design language, which is probably a nice way of admitting that its designers went a bit over the top with the previous model.

Anyhow, the facelifted model has just arrived in South Africa, available in a single trim grade and priced at R486 000.

The facelift brings new front and rear bumpers as well as slimmer headlights with dual-beam LEDs and redesigned combination lights at the back. Fresh wheel covers round off the design changes and the Prius is also available in two new metallic exterior colours: Sky Blue and Fierce Red.

A few of minor but meaningful cabin tweaks aim to freshen things up inside, including a redesigned centre console (now in Piano Black in place of its predecessor’s white trim) and new switches for the seat heating system. As before those seats are upholstered in black leather.

Also carrying over is the proven hybrid powertrain that mates a 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine to a pair of electric motors for a system output of 100kW.

But the headline figure here is economy and to that end Toyota claims a combined cycle figure of 3.7 litres per 100km, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 87 g/km.

Standard spec includes dual-zone climate control, cruise control, six-speaker touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera, Heads Up Display and seven airbags.

The Prius also ships with a six-service or 90 000km service plan, with intervals pegged at 15 000km.

IOL Motoring