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Toyota Announces Pricing For 2006 Prius Hybrid
11/04/2005 Torrance, CA
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) today for the 2006 Prius hybrid sedan.

The Prius is the best-selling gas-electric hybrid vehicle in the United States and the world. For 2006, Prius adds several styling, safety and convenience enhancements, further increasing its overall value.

Exterior enhancements on the Prius include restyled headlights and taillight clusters, and a new front lip spoiler. The front grille has been updated with a new chrome finish on the center bar.

On the inside, new darker seat fabric and a black textured instrument panel center accent the high-tech interior styling. The rear seat bottom cushion has been slightly re-positioned to improve headroom and ride comfort. For the first time, due to strong consumer demand, Prius will offer optional leather seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for enhanced comfort.

A new rear back-up camera is now available as an option. The rear camera automatically projects an image of what the lens can detect behind the vehicle onto the dash-mounted LCD display monitor when the vehicle is in reverse gear. The optional voice-activated DVD GPS navigation system has been improved, offering enhanced map quality, and estimated time of arrival display, and a route tracer function. The system also features a voice recognition search function, which allows entry of a destination through voice recognition while the Prius is being driven. The system can also be set to operate in English, French and Spanish.

Prius buyers can also order new audio system upgrades that feature MP3-media capability and a mini-jack port located in the center console. The mini-jack port allows connectivity to most portable music players and allows users to listen to their portable music collection through Prius upgraded audio systems.

Already featuring a high level of safety technology, Prius gains even more for 2006. The standard driver and front passenger advanced airbags are now equipped with an occupant classification sensor to help determine if the seat is occupied and if an occupant meets the adult weight requirement for airbag deployment.
The front passenger airbag will only deploy when the sensor detects an adult passenger is occupying the front passenger seat. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System is now standard equipment in Prius. The system can detect a significant loss in air pressure in one or more tires and alert the driver by a warning light. Prius employs the industry-leading Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD), Toyota's third-generation gas-electric hybrid powertrain technology. HSD gives the Prius acceleration comparable to a four-cylinder, mid-size car, with zero-to-60 mph acceleration in about 10 seconds.

Prius not only provides the best fuel efficiency ratings of any mid-size vehicle sold in America, it also returns an even higher combined mileage rating than any compact sedan sold in America. HSD yields exceptional fuel efficiency in the Prius, with estimated EPA ratings of 60 mpg in city driving, 51 mpg on the highway and 55 mpg in combined driving.

HSD produces more than 80 percent fewer smog forming emissions than a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. The Prius is certified as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) in California and in states adopting California standards. In addition, in California and states adopting California rules, Prius is certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV).

The base MSRP for the 2006 Prius will be $21,725, an increase of $450, or 2.1 percent. The price will take effect when the 2006 Prius goes on sale in mid-November.


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So it's official. Tire pressure monitor is standard.
No indication of IPod control, though it has aux in. Hopefully the IPod was an oversight.
 

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TPMS makes sense because it's cheap now, but on the Mercs and Porsches I've seen, it's pretty much irrelevant -- check your tires and inflate from a known dry air source and you're going to be good from month to month. Slow leaks will show up and you might react sooner, but if you're driving and not checking your tires from month to month, you're asking for the hand of fate to bring you at least an unpleasant trip one day.
Coincidentally, I hit a pothole at speed yesterday and blew out a front (curbside) tire at 45mph on a curve. The traction light came on -- presumably because the tires were suddenly very different sized donuts -- but I was already expecting trouble because it was a heavy hit on the pothole. Sure enough, a second later the front washed out and the steering pulled heavily to the right, but I was already slowing (without braking) and it all came to a grinding halt in the space of a few hundred feet. No big drama given the potential for disaster with a blow-out on a front-drive in a curve.
Nonethless, I thought it strange that the Prius didn't have TPMS originally.
 
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