It might come as a surprise, but Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle is already in its fourth generation.

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Entering the fourth generation, the body is getting more stiff than its predecesors'; thanks to lower installation of its powertrain, it also comes with a lower center of gravity and therefore ensures improved road handling capabilities. It also has a new chasis with double wishbone geometry of rear axle that contributed to larger boot volume.

Overall, the powertrain components are significantly smaller compared to the third generation Prius, which is mostly due to a smaller battery that - in the new generation Prius as well - remains the nickel–metal hydride one. The fact that the petrol engine has 40 percent higher thermal efficiency than before, contributes to rejoycing over a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption. The new engine also allows smoother and more linear excelleration and overall more pleasant drive on the highways.

Considering the design, the new Toyota Prius can't deny it's flirting heavily with the Toyota Mirai fuel cell car. With the new generation, it also became a little larger. It's 60 mm longer and 15 mm wider compared to Toyota Prius of the third generation, as well as 20 mm lower, which contributes to a much more elegant appearance on the road.

The latest Prius is also the first model, based on Toyota's new global platform.

Sept. 10, 2015 Driving photo: Toyota

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