Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
11/24/09 12:00 a.m.

Since its introduction and through two generations, the Toyota Prius has become the poster child for the green car movement. While other cars--notably the Honda Civic Hybrid and VW's TDI Jetta and Golf--can equal or exceed its fuel mileage, the Prius's space-pod styling have made it the perfect statement car for environmentally aware car buyers.

For the third generation, the last thing Toyota wanted to do was change up its eco-icon too much. This version has all-new, sleeker sheet metal, but it's still instantly identifiable as a Prius. Under the hood, the new 1.8-liter gas engine is more powerful and more efficient.

The top-of-the-line V model we tested came nicely loaded, helping us wallow in luxury as we turned 50 mpg.

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