Brief thoughts on the 2016 Toyota Prius

Toyota recently launched the new fourth generation Prius.

The company states the following about the exterior design:

Modern.” “Dramatic.” “Emotional.” Take your pick of adjectives to describe the new Prius. The design is as much about emotion as brains.

Designers imbued the new model with a greater sense of excitement. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion.

The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides and leave one of the most evocative nighttime signatures on the road today.
— Toyota Press Release

I'm not sure how the design of the new Prius is inspired by "a runner in the starting blocks." Thinking about an athlete about to run a race conveys feelings of preparedness, focus and an ambition to win. None of these qualities are evident in the exterior design.  

Haphazard may be a better word to describe the Prius. The front of the car, with its excessively angular headlamps and unnecessary creases in the bodywork, falls into the trap of equating an aggressive design with sportiness.

This aggressiveness isn't consistent with the remainder of the design either, with the slab sides and small wheels failing to continue the striking nature of the front design.

It is interesting to note that the designers of the Prius have blacked out the rear C-pillars of the car. Usually, this is done in conjunction with the A-pillar to give the impression of a "floating roof." Not doing so with the Prius further reduces the overall cohesiveness of its design.