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Car and Driver: Safer Travels: Toyota Announces New Safety Equipment, Pricing for 2017 Prius and Yaris

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2016 Toyota Prius Four

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Toyota is adding a host of new safety equipment to both the Prius hybrid and Yaris hatchback for the 2017 model year, and it’s making the items standard. Meanwhile, the former Scion iA, an IIHS Top Safety Pick + award winner, enters the Toyota lineup as the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA—but does not get the new safety gear.

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Following last year’s complete redesign, the Prius enters 2017 with the additions of pre-collision warning with pedestrian-detection, automatic high-beam headlights, a lane-departure alert system that can assist in bringing the vehicle back into its lane, and adaptive cruise control. The tech features are grouped under what Toyota calls “Toyota Safety Sense P” and are standard on all 2017 Toyota Prius models. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, though, and the additional tech results in a modestly more expensive Prius, with costs rising by as much as $515 for 2017 Prius Two, Three, and Four models, and as little as $45 on Prius Three Touring and Four Touring trims.

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Similarly, all 2017 Yaris hatchbacks now come standard with a pre-collision warning system, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-departure alert. These additions bring with them an average price increase of $355, according to Toyota, with the cost of entry rising by as much as $380 for Yaris L models equipped with the optional automatic transmission, and as little as $330 for the Yaris SE.

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Finally, adding a Toyota badge to the iA ups the subcompact sedan’s price by $250. Like last year, the vehicle’s only option is an automatic transmission, as all other features, such as a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, push-button start, alloy wheels, and a backup camera, come standard.

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While consumers may want to save $250 by scooping up a 2016 Scion iA instead of a 2017 Toyota Yaris iA, we’d recommend that those interested in a Prius hybrid or Yaris hatchback hold out for the 2017 model year vehicles, as the additional safety equipment is well worth the models’ small price increases.

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