Paws on Wheels Presents: 2016 Prius Four

Buying a car is an important decision and one that tends to be based on the answers to a multitude of questions. How well does the car handle while driving off road? What type of city and highway mileage can I expect? What is the size and performance capabilities of the engine?

The answers to these questions can be found in a million and one car reviews today. They are the standard questions that car buyers are asking and therefore the ones you read about. These questions and answers pertain to the average car buyer who may be buying just for themselves or for part of the family. But what about your pets? Are they not also members of the family? Shouldn't their well-being play a part when composing your car buying matrix?

That's where we can help. Paws on Wheels is a new car review platform from the pet owner perspective. The partnership was formed between Bumper2Bumpertv, an established car review blog and TV channel with over twenty years of experience, and Petopia, an online web platform and resource guide for pet owners. As pet owners and pet enthusiasts, the founders of Paws on Wheels understand the challenges of buying a car suitable for you, your family, other passengers, pets, and luggage. We have established five categories that will help ease your decision and the information provided will answer those questions that you may not have initially considered. What size dog can fit into the back seat or cargo space? Will I be able to fit both my cat carrier and dog in the car together without being seated next to each other? Will I be able to tow my horse trailer?

Once these pet considerations are taken into account, the answers to your initial questions can also be answered through our forum. Each review includes a video or article that provides you with the complete overview of the car features, performance, design, and more! In this review, Paws on Wheels presents the 2016 Prius Four - a stylish and environmentally friendly hatchback paired with practicality and efficiency for people and packages.

1. DESIGN & PET ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES:
The car has excellent seat legroom in the front 43.2", and sufficient legroom in the rear, 33.4". Both are enough to fit a small pet carrier on the floor. The car sill is 5.1" from the ground which makes is easy for small pets to climb in and out of the car. There are sufficient a/c vents to keep the cabin temperature steady so that pets in the rear seats or cargo area do not overheat.
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2. PET CABIN CAPACITY:
A medium size dog can rest comfortably in the rear seats, and the cargo capacity behind the rear seats is 27.4 cu. ft. However, for additional room, you can fold the 60/40 rear seats down to increase the cargo space to a total of 65.5 cu. ft.
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3. HAIR/ STAIN REMOVAL, & SCRATCH RESISTANCE:
The Prius Four Touring model has SofTex seat coverings. SofTex is an environmentally friendly synthetic leather that does not include any animal-based material and is designed for wear, easy cleaning, and resisting spills.
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4. HANDLING & SAFETY FEATURES:
It is a compact car with improved handling from the previous model and comes equipped with safety features like the lane keeping aid and pre-collision breaking system which can be beneficial for avoiding collisions with stray animals and wildlife.
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5. PERFORMANCE & TOWING CAPABILITIES:
The car has a 1.8L 4 cylinder engine combined with 3.6 Amper Lithium ion battery; 121 HP; 105 lb-ft. Because of the engine performance the car is not recommended for towing. However, on the bright side, because this is a hybrid, the increased fuel efficiency allows for an average fuel consumption of 52 mpg for city and highway driving combined.
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The perfect paws on wheels rating is 25 out of 25. Overall the 2016 Prius Four received a score of 18/25 which results in a 4 Paw-Friendly rating.

  1. The Prius Four is a hatchback and built for practicality and efficiency for people and packages, but not for pets. Although it has a stylish and modern design, the functionality is restricted in certain areas which is why we deducted 1 Paw from the Design & Pet Accessibility Features category.

  • Secondly, the cargo space has the capacity to increase from 27.4 to 65.5 cu. ft, however, the sloping roof decreases the headroom and therefore tall items like pet carriers may not fit all in one piece. Therefore medium sized pets are better situated in the rear seat area only, which is why we deducted 2 Paws from the Pet Cabin Capacity category.
  • Thirdly, although the SofTex seat coverings are good for wear and spills, it is unclear how scratch resistant the material may be for cat or dog claws. This is why we deducted 1 Paw from the Hair/Stain Removal, & Scratch Resistance Category.
  • Fourthly, the car handles well and is comfortable for long drives, but is best suited for city driving because of the hybrid powertrain. This is why we deducted 1 Paw from the Handling & Safety Features Category.
  • Finally, as noted, the Prius is built for efficiency for people and packages, but not for power. And while the engine is compatible with the car, it is not sufficient for towing which is why we deducted 2 Paws from the Performance & Towing Capabilities category.
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    Final score of 18/25 results in a 4 Paw-Friendly rating

    According to Bumper2Bumpertv, the 2016 Prius Four has a lot more to offer than what you might think at first glance, which is why they decided to take a second look. The newly designed Hybrid is a stylish hatchback suitable for the city and small pets.