Toyota Prius camper
The Prius gives you unmatched consumption whilst still boasting a good-size boot for a station wagon/estate body type, even with the battery being in the boot. So if you are looking for a low-fuel cost car that you still can sleep in, the Toyota Prius is a very good choice.
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|Boot height (cm)||
|Boot width [wheel arches] (cm)||
|Boot door type|
|Consumption MPG (UK)||
|NimbleCamper rating (out of max 5)|
|Average used price, GBP (2015)||
- boot length with seats up (cm): 98
- If you are looking for a bit more room, go for the Prius+
- The odd-shaped boot actually works really well for camping because the boot floor sticks out more than the tailgate opening – so you can sit in the boot back-straight without hitting your head into the tailgate or boot opening. See how in this video.
- PLUS – when inside and the tailgate is closed, you can stargaze through the boot door 🙂
- IMPORTANT – always check where does your Prius have its battery cooling vents, so you don’t block them with clothes or a DIY camping conversion kit
- The boot height is average for an estate, but there is a lot of storage space behind the battery in the double-floor compartment that’s also removable (it’s basically a plastic box you can take out, with all your stuff inside)
- NCAP safety rating: 5/5
- ADAC autotest (lower = better): 2.4
Standard rating (not focused on car camping):
Average rating: 3.9/5
How to sleep in a Toyota Prius: DIY camping conversions & other posts
I’ve collected 8 ways to sleep in a Toyota Prius and sorted them by their complexity. Easy quick ones to advanced camping conversions for your car.
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Prius interior and exterior dimensions
Toyota Prius interior dimensions + walkthrough
Living/sleeping in a Prius – full setup and tour
Prius camper – useful links:
- Instructables – DIY Prius camper conversion (rear seats taken out)
- Prius DIY camping/sleeping platform (rear seats folded) by Jennifer and Zach
- Here’s an interesting Prius camping conversion idea – an external platform that slides out from the boot, where you put a tent that connects with the tailgate
- Average used price, GBP (2015) – I use Carsite.co.uk‘s price aggregates from 2015 (or the nearest possible year if not available), or, if not found, from autoscout24.com. For new cars, I specify the closest possible match (i.e. if released this year, it’s the new price, if released two years ago, it’s the 2-years old price etc). It’s here to give you a benchmark comparison (- a like for like, an apple with an apple) of the value of each car and for filtering purposes. It’s not meant to be used as an accurate estimate of used car value – it is updated once a year, so make sure you know what the car should cost at the time of purchase if you decide to buy one.
- Boot dimensions – taken from various sources across the web, starting with official, supplemented with other reliable websites (like ridc.org.uk), supplemented by user-generated content – images of measurements from forums or social networks. It’s also used for filtering, comparison and to give you a good idea of the car’s suitability for camping.
- Comfort rating – a benchmark used to simplify the car’s comfort & driving score based on equipment, furnishings, handling, safety, and costs ratings from external sources like whatcar.com, carwow.co.uk, autocar.co.uk etc. It gives you an indication of whether the car will drive and feel like a van (low rating) or offer better interior & handling (higher rating). A simple van-like car, for example, a Renault Kangoo is 0.5, a well equipped and comfortable car like a Ford S-Max is a 2. No hard math behind it, just an indicator, f.e. 0.5= basic car that does the job, 1.5 = hey, that’s nice to have!, 2 = oooh, comfyyyy.
- Consumption – I take the average 2017 consumption or closest match from Fuelly.com, or if none is available, from other sources like honestjohn.co.uk. If there are not enough cars for a single year, an average for several years is calculated.
- NimbleCamper rating – a weighted score of boot length (45% weight), boot height (40%), consumption (10%) and comfort (5%). The logic of weighing length & height higher than consumption and comfort is – headroom is important when you sleep in the back of the car, so is the length. A comfy ride is a factor, but you can sleep in a big car that’s not that comfy, however, it’s much harder to camp/sleep in a comfy car that’s too small. Read more about the NimbleCamper rating and criteria here.
- a note for EVs (electric vehicles) – for consumption, I am using the Fuel Equivalent Consumption estimate by ev-database.org. It is usually much lower than combustion engines, giving EVs an advantage – which I think is fair. They do have a small disadvantage in terms of having to plan your trips around charging stations + longer waiting time, but that will get better over time. More charging stations, faster chargers and better batteries. Therefore I am not adjusting the calculation for EVs in any way.
- In short: a litre of petrol contains about 8.9 kWh of energy. If we divide the energy consumption of an EV by this (f.e. 16 kWh/100 km divided by 8.9 kWh/litre), we get equivalent fuel consumption of 1.8 l/100 km.
- EV stats – taken from ev-database.org