The world's favourite hybrid has received a range of upgrades for 2012, including a restyled front end, more equipment and improved comfort. Fuel economy and emissions of 72.4mpg and 89g/km (or 70.6mpg and 92g/km for models wearing 17-inch wheels) stay the same.
Most of the styling changes take place on the lower part of the front end. A redesigned bumper - which adds another 20mm to the Prius' overall length - houses a larger front grille. Clear-lens headlights are added, while the LED daytime running lights are relocated to underneath the indicators in the front bumper - the fog lights are now imbedded in the lower grille.
Equipment levels have been increased with the Toyota Touch central touchscreen now standard on T3 and T4 models. Top-spec T-Spirit models get the Toyota Touch and Go Plus system as standard, which adds sat-nav, voice recognition and allows you to use Google local search through your phone's 3G connection.
The Prius now comes in eight colours, including two new shades - Dark Blue and Cabernet Red. New kit on the T Spirit model includes water-repellent glass, dusk-sensing LED headlights and an electrochromatic rear view mirror.
By increasing the number of welding spots, the body is now marginally stiffer, which has a couple of knock-on effects. Firstly the suspension can be dialled back to a softer setting without any loss of body control, and secondly the steering column becomes more rigid - improving the steering feel.
Prices begin at £21,350 for the T3 model, £23,080 for the T4 and £24,620 for the T Spirit - and increase of £295, £310 and £335 respectively - and sales begin in March. Later in the year the Prius range will grow with the introduction of the Prius Plug-in and seven-seater Prius +.