2014 TOYOTA PRIUS: As Toyota’s first production gas-electric hybrid model, Prius remains the world’s best-selling hybrid with more than three million sold worldwide since its introduction. The Prius also continues to dominate the hybrid category in the United States, where more than 1.5 million Prius vehicles have been sold since 2000. On display at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is the third-generation Prius hybrid, available in four model grades, known as Prius Two, Three, Four and top-of-line Prius Five. The Three and Four models offer as an option the world’s first sliding glass moonroof packaged with solar panels, located over the rear seating area. These power a ventilation system that helps reduce the interior air temperature when the car is parked in the sun. Toyota offers the dealer-installed PLUS performance accessory package for drivers who like to have fun in their Prius. The option adds 17-inch forged alloy wheels, low-profile 17-in. tires, seven-piece ground effects kit, track-tuned springs that lower the vehicle more than and inch, and rear stabilizer bar for flatter cornering. All models are powered by a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine and together with its electric motor, generates a combined 134 net horsepower. Linked to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the 3,043 pound Prius rates as the most fuel-efficient gas-powered passenger car available in the U.S. today, scoring 50 mpg combined city/highway. The '14 Prius offers four performance modes: "Normal," "Power," Eco" and new "EV" that allows driving on battery power alone at low speeds for about a mile. Another innovation is the world's first sliding glass moonroof packaged with solar panels. The 106.3-inch wheelbase helps provide Prius a smooth ride; the five-passenger room of a midsize sedan and 21.6 cu. ft. of cargo space with rear seat down.
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