Five-Point Inspection: 1997 Toyota Prius

Five-Point Inspection: 1997 Toyota Prius

1. The More Things Change…

As the old saying goes, the more things become different from how they used to be, the more they remain exactly as they were in pastimes. Right? The 1997 Toyota Prius was a revolutionary car when it went on sale in Japan. It was the world’s first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid.

Over the years it’s saved countless gallons of gasoline as well as tons (literally) of nasty tailpipe emissions. In the process it’s even spawned an entire family of Toyota hybrids, from the standard-issue Prius, to a versatile wagon model to an affordable compact version and even a plug-in variant.

Beyond these cars the Prius has also kick-started an entire segment of vehicles from competing automakers. Would Ford have ever built a C-Max hybrid had the Prius never been introduced? Probably not. That, more than anything else, is this car’s legacy.

Curious about shopping for a new Prius? You can learn more about Toyota’s entire family of hybrids in AutoGuide’s new car section. Or if you prefer, navigate directly to the latest version of the car that started it all by clicking here.

Discuss this story at our Toyota forum.