How to Drive a Toyota Prius

Driving a car might be one thing, but when you have the ability to drive a hybrid car, such as a Toyota Prius, you should come to expect the wonders of anything. But when you factor in that the car has so many buttons and so many different processes, it's totally awkward to learn. This article can teach you these differences


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    Adjust all your mirrors that need adjusting. Check both your inside and outside mirrors to make sure you can see properly.
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    Start the Prius's engine.
    • If you don't hear any engine noise, this is because the car is running on electricity only.
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    Make sure your back window is clear of any precipitation. You can use your rear-windshield wiper to clear off any items that may be impeding your view. You can also manually clear off any precipitation that may be impeding your view. You may leave the wiper on, if you feel you need it to continue your journey.
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    Look at the dashboard's lights. Look specifically for the gas amount and temperature controls. Although the gas will tend to not be so much of a factor, the car does run for a short time on gas. Temperature ranges are read just like any other car.
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    Look at the dashboard's light for your speedometer. The car will give you a readout in digital form. Despite popular demand of what most cars give you, Toyota thought they'd make it easier on their customers to give them a more-enjoyable and more easily-read readout.
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    Look into your blind-spots, and signal. The turn signal is on the left stalk in the car.).
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    Disengage the parking brake the car. If it's already disengaged, skip this step.
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    Recognize that the pedals are in the same exact spot as what you would be up to had you bought another Automatic Transmission-driven car (brake on the left and gas/accelerator pedal on the right).
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    Use the same methods to pressing/depressing these pedals, as you would any other car with an automatic transmission.
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    Understand the spaces on the joystick-like shifter. Recognize that there is no Park position on the gearshift itself. Instead, you can use the Neutral (N) position.
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    Shift the car into either reverse or drive (R or D). Make sure the car is in the drive position and not in the overdrive mode. Look at the joystick-like shifter to the right of the button that powers the car to an on position.
    • When the car is in P mode, your dashboard will light up the P mode light (it will place a square around the letter P to the left of the digital speedometer. This selector is positioned in the middle right area of the gear selection knob where there is a large filled dot. This mode is much similar to the Park position on a Automatic Transmission car.
    • Shift into R mode when you need to reverse the car. However, shifting into R mode will trigger to turn on the rear camera on the vehicle. If you enable the feature by pressing the button, R mode will be the first mode you'll need to shift into to begin a ParkAssist maneuver with your Prius. R mode runs the same way as Reverse does in an another automatic transmission car. This mode is positioned at the top left of the shift column from the shift lever.
    • Use the N mode when you need to use the Neutral gear. Shifting into this gear on a flat slope will cause your car not to move anyplace, however on a downward slope the car will start to roll forward without any gas applied. N mode is straight across from P and must be shifted into each and every time to get it out of park and into a drivable gear.
    • Use the D mode when you want to drive the vehicle. D mode operates the same way shifting an automatic into Drive does. D mode is in the bottom left corner of the shifting column.
    • Use B mode occasionally. The B mode (shown on the gear lever) can also be used to make the car move forwards. When B mode is activated, engine braking is much more pronounced. It can be found immediately under P mode, and you shouldn't need to shift it into any other gear on the left to operate this mode.
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    Drive the car, using the same methods you would, following all signs (and anything else that a driver's manual has told you to listen to) and road conditions.
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    Follow through until you reach your destination.
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    Decelerate the Prius, until you reach a speed of 0 mph (km/h).
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    Adjust the gearshift one more time so the car is in neutral.
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    Press the Park button above the gearshift.
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    Turn off the car, by pressing the Power button once again.
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    Remove the key from the dashboard.


  • Most Prius cars have buttons on the steering wheel that can help you operate the radio, cooling/heating areas along with operating the display to switch the views about your car. Use these to your advantage when driving, to help eliminate the need to look down.
  • The Toyota Prius, being a hybrid automobile, is a car that has had the best MPG rating since it's inception in the United States in 2000[1].

Things You'll Need

  • Toyota Prius car
  • a driver
  • (optional) several passengers (no more than 5 legal other passengers, although the car will comfortably fit 6)

Article Info

Categories: Toyota Prius