Given the vast improvements elsewhere, it may come as a surprise that the new Prius is actually slightly slower than the old model – 0-62mph takes 10.6 seconds, rather than the 10.4 figure of before.

It’s a silly aside, really, because the Prius is all about fuel economy and the new model blows the old car out the water here, being 18 per cent more efficient. A combination of a 98hp 1.8-litre petrol engine and a 72hp electric motor allow it to return quoted fuel economy of 94mpg (the old car managed 72mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 70g/km.

All cars come with a CVT gearbox that’s designed to keep the engine-motor combo working as efficiently as possible, but the way it holds engine revs is neither aurally pleasing nor particularly good at conveying the sensation of speed. Neither negatives are likely to put off Prius buyers, but do mean the Toyota is less appealing to enthusiasts.

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