The Toyota Prius is one of the most hated cars around, but I wanted to find out if it makes sense to buy one but I’m not going to be easy on it because I’m putting it against the BMW 530e plug in hybrid which isn’t exactually unpopular with car magazines. Straight away though there is a problem, the starting price of the Prius is £32,645 which is very steep as for the same money, on your driveway could be a new BMW 128ti and although a 530e will cost over £50,000 from new, I found a used ‘69’ reg 530e M-sport with 11,000 miles for £29,450.
You may be thinking, the main reason you’d buy a Prius over a 5 series is because it is more efficient and kinder to the environment, but don’t speak too soon on that one because a Prius in whatcar’s real world tests did 50MPG and that is well-impressive, but the BMW did 72MPG.
Environmentally, it is even more impressive as the Prius has to pump out 78 grams of carbon dioxide every kilometre and that is staggering but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) the BMW pumps out just 46 grams per kilometre. The Prius has an all-electric range of a once again impressive 25 miles but the BMW trumps that with an electric only range of 37 miles in whatcar’s tests. The Prius is built in Japan which is 6,000 miles from London and the BMW is built in Germany which is 600 miles from London; this may not seem like a large issue but MG found out that 46% of emissions of electric cars are in the production and shipping of them. Tell me in the comments if you’d like me to do a review or comparison of the all-electric MG ZS EV. My last environmental point is oddly about power, I’m referring to a top gear test (series 11, episode 1) where a Toyota Prius was driven against the BMW M3 which had the 4.0 V8 at the time. With the Prius going as fast as it could around the track the BMW just followed, and the Prius achieved 17MPG and the BMW achieved 19MPG. My point is, the BMW has 249BHP yet the Prius makes do with just 120BHP (less than half).
So as far as I’m concerned, the BMW is cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, faster and what I haven’t discussed is that it is better to drive, better looking, got more technology, has a better interior, better ride (especially with optional M-Sport Pro plus pack) and has a better badge. Hmm… that is possibly why over 8 million 5 series have sold worldwide despite the price when new.