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Could VW’s Diesel Snafu Spell Good News for the 2016 Toyota Prius?

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2016 Toyota Prius VW dieselgate

The 2016 Toyota Prius

Last week, the auto industry was hit by scandal as details emerged of Volkswagen using special software on its diesel models to cheat emissions tests. Not only could this cost VW billions in fines, but it could also turn away some of its most loyal customers who bought their turbodiesel models on the assumption that they were using clean fuel. But VW’s potential loss could spell good news for Toyota, which is preparing to launch the next-generation Prius next year.

2016 Toyota Prius interior VW dieselgate

Inside the 2016 Toyota Prius

Volkswagen “clean diesel” vehicles were appealing because they offered outstanding fuel efficiency numbers alongside high horsepower and torque ratings. In other words, the TDI Clean Diesel models were VW’s answer to the hybrid. In the wake of the scandal, eco-conscious VW drivers will be looking for a good alternative, and the 2016 Prius might be their best option.

The 2016 Prius has a new look, with a sportier exterior, a floating roof, lowered hood and spoiler, and standard LED headlamps. Its new, lighter hybrid system is expected to earn the hybrid a 10% increase in fuel efficiency, which should put it at an impressive 55 mpg combined. Compare that to the VW Golf TDI SE, which claims 43 mpg highway, and it’s a no-brainer. VW customers who were previously turned away by the Prius’ frankly boring exterior could change their minds about Toyota’s famous hybrid once they see its new style for 2016.

2016 Toyota Prius vw dieselgate

VW surpassed Toyota as the world’s largest automaker earlier this year, but with the shocking news about the emissions test cheating, Toyota is in the perfect position to take back its crown. The only catch is that VW drivers will have to wait until the 2016 Prius is available for purchase in the first quarter of 2016. Those drivers who want to replace their TDI models ASAP will likely find another alternative in the meantime.

  • guest

    Definitely won’t buy a Pruis when (if) I’m able to sell my Golf TDI. Great gas mileage, environmentally friendly, but ugly and not fun to drive.

    • The_Clayton_Bigsby8

      Sounds like a jilted lover.

      • guest

        Hah! Well, that’s one way to put it. I used a lot more four-letter words when this news broke… I’ll be searching for another environmentally friendly car with good gas mileage, but you’re correct – I was a fan of VW/Audi before this.

        • The_Clayton_Bigsby8

          I empathize, I was a fan of VW, they made some iconic cars, beetle, GTI, rabbit, etc. Why they would indulge in this ruse is utterly absurd, bordering on insanity.

        • sean t

          Why? Greed!

    • Peter

      I feel like the 2016 Prius at least missed a few branches on the ugly tree that the current-gen model clearly hit, but it’ll still never look as good as the Golf.

      • sean t

        To me, the Golf is ugly.

    • JANSone

      i have owned two Prii and am looking to get another one in a few years… to me some of the advantages of owning a Prius that no one ever mentions are 1. Never had to replace my brakes – not on my 2005 that had 225k miles when i traded it in, and not on my 2010 which has 80k miles now, and 2. Never need to get a smog check, which most Californians dread every other year since it takes time and costs money, especially if u don’t pass.

      you’re right about the ugliness and lack of driving fun – i always look at the price of used Golf TDIs & Subaru Imprezas when i get bored of driving what feels like a big golf cart…