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Toyota Prius Prime
New Car Reviews

Toyota Prius Prime review: Look how far we’ve come with toasters on wheels!

Growing up, I earned my learner’s permit driving my mother’s absolutely ratchet first-generation Honda Civic Hybrid. Remember that piece of boring, banal, borderline-indistinguishable, and certainly unmemorable mediocrity? Hopefully not. However, a couple of years after I stepped up to adulthood and earned my license, my mom bought a 2008 Toyota Prius. In those days, the purposefully fugly second-gen Prius served as something of a West LA status symbol but also served the fam well as a damned good car: getting superb mileage, with plenty of room for pets and gear, and over the years, proved reliable as the day is long (once we installed a cat shield to foil constant thievery, anyhow). 

But more about the old Prius later because last year—boom!—Toyota hit us with a total redesign, a radical revamp, a veritable resuscitation of the entire concept of the commuter hybrid. And now, I finally got the chance to revisit those early days of hybrid driving in a 2024 Prius Prime, the plug-in version that best suits this West LA commuter crowd.

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Toyota Prius Prime
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Price and specs

Base price:$32,975
As-tested price:$34,434
Engine:2.0-liter inline-four with dual electric motors
Transmission:Single-speed + CVT
Drivetrain:Front-wheel drive
Power:220 horsepower combined
Torque:139 pound-feet
Weight:3,461 pounds (3,571 pounds as-tested)
0-60 mph:6.7s (11.2s in full EV mode) 
¼-mile:15.1 seconds @ 94 mph (hybrid), 18.7 seconds @ 75 mph in (full EV)
Top speed:112 mph
MPG:50 city, 47 highway, 48 combined
Battery capacity:13.6-kWh lithium-ion
All-electric range:44 miles (39 miles as tested)

Prius Prime exterior design

Toyota’s advertising campaign leading up to the LA Auto Show debut of the new Prius ended up coming across as a bit funny since, even considering the svelte and futuristic styling, nobody will ever consider this common car a “black sheep.” And yet, damn if that new design doesn’t hit the nail on the head. Just look at the pics! Anyone remember the first-gen Echo twin? My, how far we’ve come.

Now, my boss here at Acceleramota has already covered the “base” (non-Prime) Prius, so go ahead and click back through his review before continuing to learn more about my time with the Prime. 

The only thing I might add, in terms of exterior styling, is that I parked the Prime next to my mother’s still-cranking, sun-faded, and bird-shit-splattered 2008 Prius just for comparison—and the new car’s roofline looked around five or six inches lower! So much so that I actually Googled the official measurements. It turns out the 2024 model rides exactly 2.8 inches shorter. Not as much as my eyeballs perceived, in fairness, but a serious statement about how stellar styling can make so much of a difference in a car’s profile and presence.

What’s hot?– Some style, at last
– Plug-in hybrid system allows for choice at a reasonable cost
– Simple, stark interior
– Noticeably improved aerodynamics
– Vastly improved performance and handling

Prius Prime pricing breakdown 

The non-Prime that Jeric drove starts at $27,950, and adding the plug-in capabilities bumps the price up by $5,025. The Prime comes in three trim levels, with the SE at the bottom of the gradewalk sporting manually-adjustable fabric seats, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a slicktop roof, and 17-inch wheels for max range. Stepping up to the XSE swaps on 19-inch wheels, which result in slightly less electric range and diminished fuel economy stats, plus a parking assist system. And the XSE Premium, topping the lineup at a $39,670 MSRP, comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen and the choice of a glass roof or an optional solar panel roof to soak up photons on sunny days.

As tested, my SE tester’s window sticker reads just about as basic as possible. Options limited to a cargo mat in the rear, door sill protectors, and wheel locks result in a $34,434 price tag—almost how I might spec my own Prius Prime. Leather or faux-leather seats might be nice for my pets and the generally filthy life I lead.

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Prius Prime interior and tech

As on a non-plug-in Prius, most of the interior and tech options come standard depending on the Prime’s trim levels: both the eight-incher and the larger screen support wireless Apple CarPlay, thankfully. For Prime specifically, though, the small gauge cluster display needs to combine EV and ICE readouts. The resulting barrage of constantly shifting charge levels, range estimates, so-called “EcoScore” and “EcoZone” stats, and driver aid widgets all get lost in their own wash, to an extent.

Toyota Prius Prime
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Toggling to a simplified screen cleans up some of the mess, and really, just drive more slowly to max out the range in either HV (hybrid) or EV (fully electric) mode. Otherwise, the rest of the interior—despite a lower roofline—comes across as spacious and simple, with plenty of leg and headroom for tall drivers (even in the backseat).

And kudos to Toyota for delivering a straightforward design exactly as it should be: just a toaster that toasts toast as efficiently as possible.

It’s finally Prime Day!

A bit of battery power goes a long way

Slotted in between one of the most ridiculous press loaner schedules of my professional career—as I played car Tetris with a Ferrari 296 GTS, Porsche 911 Dakar, Bentley Continental GTC Azure, and an MV Agusta Dragster America—the Prime was arguably the most important car. And I can admit to feeling a bit of excitement before actually receiving it!

Too excited, maybe, because I promptly ruined the all-electric range without even realizing it by driving straight out to the Valley in full EV mode. A big whoops but a nice lesson on figuring out the toggles and switchgear before blasting through traffic in a plug-in hybrid (while thinking that Toyota had finally solved the hybrid drone sound the whole time). But luckily, I always snag a pic of the odometer when I first get into a press car so I can report my stats and figures for that inaugural drive.

In all, I used 68% of the reported battery capacity to drive 21 entirely unaware all-electric miles. That falls right in line with the claimed EV range of 44 miles, and even better, over the course of that jaunt, the overall combined EV and ICE range actually went up by three miles.

Next, I used the supplied charge cable (housed beneath the rear cargo deck) to plug into a standard 120-volt garage outlet for almost exactly three hours. In that time, the Prime added 33% charge—again, just about spot on for the onboard computer’s prediction of a nine-hour window to fully charge up the petite 13.6-kWh lithium-ion battery. Then I drove 11 more miles in hybrid mode and checked in again to discover that doing so used zero additional percent of battery charge. 

I spent the rest of my time in the Prime trying to max out the hybrid and EV range, but I also pushed a little harder just for fun. More official testing might skew the results, presumably, but so far, Toyota’s engineering seems pretty perfect. Especially considering the typical use case, when commuters might do most of their daily driving in full EV mode and top off the battery at home every night. For longer road trips—after remembering to remember to switch into HV mode—driving over 500 miles per 10.6-gallon tank shouldn’t even require too much hypermiling diligence.

Lower, sleeker, faster, stronger

On the 405 freeway, always a true test of suspension dynamics, the Prime’s lower and tighter suspension definitely produces a bit more rollicking than a second-gen Prius. But then again, in town or on a winding road, the new setup makes most driving much more fun: peppy and quick, with a 220-horsepower combined rating, and the torque delivery is almost full-EV-like given that an electric motor modulates the ICE engine’s power on the way to the e-CVT system. I missed a bit of the hybrid glide path ride quality of earlier Priuses, but I would definitely take those 99 additional ponies versus the previous gen and even some slight torque steer in trade.

Toyota Prius Prime
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Equally as important, this generation seems to include more sound insulation to reduce hybrid drone and wind/tire noise—though speaking of wind, the exterior redesign also finally solves the sailing phenomenon of the second-gen on long highway bends, which was always a truly sketchy sensation.

In terms of nits to pick, the typically frustrating Toyota driver aids still chime and ding incessantly. The fact that the Prime also defaults to EV mode, rather than sticking in hybrid mode after a power cycle, requires a bit more attention than I expected. And relatively slow charging rates limited by the onboard 3.5-kW charger, without Level 3 capability, means that, for example, anyone who does space out and forget to switch into HV mode can’t rectify their mistake particularly quickly.

Toyota Prius Prime
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle
What’s not?– Still a hint of hybrid drone
– Automatically reverts to full EV mode instead of hybrid
– Digital gauges are still small and in a silly location
– Naggy driver aid chimes
– Slow charging rates, no Level 3

Have we reached peak Prius?

Toyota openly wants to stick with hybrids as much as possible in the foreseeable future and only plans to build EVs reluctantly. Much of the argument makes sense since minimizing the use of lithium and other rare earth minerals while maximizing the use case of each individual vehicle will serve both customers and the environment best. Prime stands as a testament to that commitment (as does, considering perhaps a contrapositive, the peculiar Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra situation).

But if government regulations don’t snap back to reality—oh, there goes (the Lucid) Gravity—then Prius may need to go full electric in the near future, as well. All of which means that there’s a solid chance this little blue car might just be peak Prius Prime, the final form of one of the most important and influential automobiles in world history—no exaggeration, truly, despite my obvious penchant for obscene hyperbole.

Toyota Prius Prime
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

And this Prime indisputably takes a major leap forward, even if the tech does so slightly less. When a fourth-gen plug-in Prius drops a good chunk below $30,000 on the used market in the next couple of years, even a rear-drive sports car and four-wheel-drive rally racing fanatic such as myself might be tempted. And that is, truly, the greatest compliment I can give.

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2023 Toyota Prius XLE
New Car Reviews

2023 Toyota Prius XLE review: a handsome hybrid that’s shockingly fun to drive

“YOU DRIVE A TOYOTA PRIUS!? HA, WHAT A LOSER,” exclaims everyone who watched a little too much Top Gear in 2005. But here you stand, grown and matured, ready to tackle the 9-to-5. And it is you who shall have the last laugh. Or will you?

The 2023 Toyota Prius XLE is indeed as pedestrian as econoboxes come and always will be. The shape. The stigma. The acceleration. You can get a Toyota Prius in almost any color, but its personality was always never more than beige. It has never garnered much respect over the years despite all it has done over the years to polish its image and be the best damn everyday economy car money can buy, but no amount of gas mileage or interior space was enough. Not for enthusiasts nor for Dirty Mike and The Boys. But those who have welcomed it into their hearts and homes love it for a reason. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be a new Prius.

So here we are. The Toyota Prius has gradually been honing its skills and changed threads every few years to get with the times to divisive reception, but this new one? Oh-ho, this new Prius. Toyota may have just struck gold thanks to some stints at the gym and a trip to its tailor, and now it’s here to ask the haters who are laughing now.

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2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

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Author’s Note: This review was made possible thanks to Turo and the generous owner, who agreed to allow us to rent this vehicle for review purposes. Check out the app or site to see what rides are available in your area! 

Prius price and specs

In a world of astronomical price increases and rampant inflation, the Prius remains grounded in the ever-shrinking realm of affordability. This time, it does so with an extensive list of standard features and worthwhile upgrades over the outgoing generation, not least of which is a significantly more powerful hybrid powertrain with a larger two-liter gasoline engine and a heap of standard driving safety assists. Our vehicle was a 2023 model from Turo, but the equivalent 2024 XLE bases at  $31,095. 

Base price (2024):$31,095
As-tested price (2024):$33,925
Engine:2.0-liter inline-four + 2 AC electric motors
Drivetrain:front-wheel drive
Power:194 horsepower
Torque:139 pound-feet (engine only, total system not rated)
Redline:N/A (no tachometer!)
Weight:approx. 3,200 pounds
Zero-to-60 mph:7.1 seconds
¼-mile:15.5 seconds @ 92 mph
MPG:52 city,  52 highway, 52 combined
Observed MPG:50.3 mpg
Fuel Capacity:11.3 gallons

(Author’s Note: Performance numbers reflected in Car and Driver’s review from December 2022)

Prius exterior design

Glow-up of the century

Don’t deny it. The new Prius is hot! Still an egg, yes. But it’s a smoking pistol compared to the car it replaced and the cars it rivals. More interesting than a Corolla. More understated than an Elantra. Yet, it’s sleeker and more aerodynamic than them all. Less goofy cues and proportions than an Ioniq Hybrid. Gone are the angular Gundam slashes that adorned the awkwardly shaped body of the last Prius, and in its place are smooth lines, soft creases, and a seemingly elongated nose complementing the short decklid. 

The rear lights are comprised of a single light bar, while the front angular C-shaped headlights are perhaps the sharpest lines on the Prius and arguably its most attractive feature. Further enhancing the sporty appeal of Toyota’s reborn hybrid hatchback is an upward sweeping side skirt that screams tuner car body kit.

2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

A slippery little snake

Of course, the still-eggy silhouette of the Toyota Prius will forever be a staple of its design and an integral key to its efficiency, and the current generation rocks more than just a prettier face. 

Smoothened lines, grill shutters, and rounded edges contribute to the 0.29 drag coefficient or 0.27 with the lower trim levels’ smoother wheels, which are actually up from the previous car’s slipperier 0.24. This is likely due to the new Prius’ newfound inch of extra width and higher-trim wheel that value style over outright economy.

What’s hot?– The same fuel miser it always was
– Actually quick and dynamic-ish!?
– As maneuverable as even smaller cars
– Rapid-fire touchscreen response
– Abundance of storage nooks in the cabin
– Audio system engineer deserves head pats

Prius pricing breakdown

Prius pricing for current 2024 models starts as low as $27,650 for a stripper LE and rockets as high as nearly $43,000 for a loaded Prime plug-in XSE Premium. A 2024 equivalent for our non-plug-in XLE loaner will ring in towards the lower end of the spectrum, with the dual moonroofs and enlarged 12.3-inch touchscreen bringing the total to roughly $34,000 before taxes and fees. Other add-ons like a digital key, as is a smorgasbord of $300 to $450 carpet and all-weather floor mat packages, are available. Our XLE tester came standard with dual-zone climate and heated seats. However, higher trims offer heated rear seats and digital rearview mirrors as part of smaller options packages priced at a few hundred dollars. Solar charging is available on Prime plug-ins as part of its exclusive option packages, and Toyota’s AWD-e is available on standard Prius hybrids for $1,400. 

Not too bad, given how inflation has affected other vehicles far more significantly. Pricing is on par with what a Prius Four Touring cost in 2016, albeit with stronger performance, similar efficiency, and a much more attractive look inside and out. 

Prius interior and tech

As tech-savvy as always

Our Prius XLE came equipped with a lovably clear and ultra-fast-responding 12.3-inch touchscreen that handled nearly everything from stereo controls to vehicle settings, although a physical volume knob and power button are appreciated. I just wish it wasn’t on the damn passenger side. Seriously, why there? I’m right here, not there. At least the screen is big, bright, and quick to respond.

Besides a bit of confusion digging through the menus to set up CarPlay, the screen worked flawlessly. Bluetooth connection was quick to sort itself out on every start-up, and while wireless CarPlay does drain your battery, it’s nowhere near as taxing as other cars I’ve experienced. And if your battery is still a concern, the wireless charger is there to come in clutch with spring-loaded grips to keep your phone from flopping around over bumps. And it actually charges, too, unlike older Toyota wireless chargers where I found they just kept your phone held at a certain charge. 

Toyota’s Safety Sense systems are also standard, with blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise with lane-centering, and even a mild brake assist that leans into your hybrid system’s brake regen to help you slow down when it detects stopped traffic in the distance. It won’t fully stop and will flash a warning if you get too close, but it’s a nice little helper around town.

2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Faux luxury

And to think all of this comes wrapped up in a package that’s just as attractive as the outside. Dare I say you could probably slap on some wood paneling here and call it a new Lexus CT200h? It’s cozy and modern, like an overpriced luxury apartment.

Regardless of screen size, it’s saddled atop the dash right in the peripherals of the driver, as is the digital gauge cluster, which sits high but rather far down the long dashboard. And I mean a long dashboard (see gallery below). They are brilliantly lit and wonderfully crisp, like a 4K TV, and even the animation of sliding between screens and menus appears to be in 60 FPS, evoking thoughts of cars that cost multiples more. Even some Mercedes products don’t have screens this nice. But for those who admonish the overuse of screens, the hard buttons for the climate controls are a nice complement. There’s also no shortage of storage cubbies throughout the cabin, including the cheeky #HIDDENCOMPARTMENT bin beneath the climate controls. Clever, aside from the very obvious latch to open it.

The glass roof doesn’t open, but it does let an appreciable amount of light in for an even airier feel for the already-expansive greenhouse. Best of all, it’s tinted well enough that it blocks heat and UV quite well. Of course, if it’s still not enough, roll-up shades are stored in the center bar dividing the glass panels. The dashboard lightbar above the climate controls and soft white LED interior lighting are a fun touch for adding a splash of color and modernity to this frugal front-driver, and the optional gray interior would spur that theme further. I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone. It’s perhaps a little too youthful and videogamey in here. But it sure is nice to decompress after a long day of complaining on social media and shopping at Trader Joe’s. 

2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Yep, the new Prius is still an NPC car

A coddling egg

But you certainly won’t complain about how the new Prius goes about its daily business. Ever heard jokes about NPC (non-playable character) cars? The new Prius is the definitive NPC car, and I mean that in the most positive and inoffensive manner possible. This car is a lovely and unbothersome place to eat up the many miles loaded into that minuscule gas tank. Like, damn near 600 miles out of 11.3 gallons, not including the full-EV stints you may accomplish. I hope you can remember what side the tank is on.

The seats are reasonably plush and supportive for a budget-minded car, and the expanses of glass yield impressive visibility everywhere but the rear quarter views. Back there, thick pillars and a lack of sizable quarter glass force you to rely more on the blind-spot monitor, which softly beeps when it detects you are signaling into a pesky hidden car.

2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Another nitpick inside would be that the glass roof impedes headroom, forcing my six-foot-plus friend to readjust his seating position. The spare tire kit protrudes upward into the hatch space, wiping away what could be feet of space had it not been for the annoyingly intrusive styrofoam tray of just-in-case-the-universe-hates-you tire sealant. Additionally, the digital gauges, while legible, are a tad small and in an awkward place far along the dashboard, which means some drivers who like their steering wheels a bit high, like me, may have their view partially obstructed. There’s always a catch with modern car interiors, isn’t there? At least everything else is as comfortable and ergonomic as can be for the price point.

The engine is a little droney, as Priuses have always been, but I’m happy to report it’s easy to drown out with the standard eight-speaker stereo that genuinely bumps when cranked up without sounding cheap or tinny. What an appropriate stereo to blast Eurobeat out of if Toyota didn’t wire it to the most inappropriate car for Eurobeat. I imagine the optional JBL system must be a certified banger. And for such a small cabin, there’s an abundance of chargers, including the wireless charger, ports beneath the climate controls, and USB-C ports for the rear occupants mounted on the otherwise minimal center console stand. Because charging matters more to your rear occupants than air conditioning. 

Drives as easily as it looks

Once you’re off, it’s immediately apparent how quick and light the steering is, meaning parking lot maneuvers are brainless. The Prius further buffs its maneuverability with a tight turning radius spanning parking spaces wide. Anyone who feels like pushing that turning circle will get an audible slap on the wrist from the handy (and perhaps a bit too overreactive) front parking sensors.

As for the highways, the Prius eats interstates like its GR86 stablemate devours corners. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a car that hasn’t jittered over expansion joints or wandered at the site of ruts. This thing just tracks straight and glides over asphalt, its newfound horsepower making short work of passes where the old car would wheeze its way to barely inch up. Hold it at 75 mph on a flat stretch of road, and you’re humming along in full electric-only mode for as long as the battery says it can.

Its 587-mile cruising range can stretch beyond that if you can hold it in electric-only driving. Nowadays, I’m starting to grow weary of press car stints in vehicles that need a fill-up at least once a day. With the Prius, 260 miles of driving over three days in my care barely knocked the fuel gauge down to below half. Note that lower-trim Priuses feature a more economical and aerodynamic wheel-and-tire package that delivers a meaningful boost in mpg, ensuring easily attainable 600-mile ranges all day long. Huzzah!

The B mode on the shifter is not brake regen like I previously thought but actually a slight engine braking mode to rely less on regen when the battery is fully charged. Alternatively, the aforementioned mild brake assist leans into the regen when the car detects stopped traffic head, which is handy for urbanites who wish to have every ounce of juice available. An actual EV mode exists, but like prior Prius models, it’s solely for parking lot speeds and deactivates upon too much throttle input or when exceeding 25 mph. See Prius Prime for all your I-don’t-want-an-electric-car-copium. 

But Sport mode, however…

How the hypermiler got hyper-cool

Oh yeah. In case it wasn’t already clear, the new Prius is fun. And kind of fast? I think. Nah, it is. This is a quick car with a competent chassis that just so happens to get over 50 mpg everywhere it goes when you’re not making it groan and howl like a garbage disposal. Thanks for that, CVT. But other than the droney engine noise, this thing is fun. Get that. A cool Prius? I didn’t think I’d ever see the day.

So about Sport mode. The new Prius has it. And it sure is something.

2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

With Sport mode, throttle response and battery power ramp up and show you how far of a leap that 194 horsepower, two-liter hybrid powertrain is over the outgoing car’s measly 121 horsepower. Slam the throttle, and the electric powertrain whirs as the engine groans, their combined power thrusting you to 60 mph not far off the likes of the Fiat 500 Abarth, Ford Fiesta ST, Mk6 Golf GTI, or Scion FR-S/Toyota 86. This thing scoots! Or at least it scoots enough to piss off traction control from a stop. Don’t ask me how I know, wink, wink. But you won’t be pulling such antics in the last-generation car. 

Stoplight sprints are no longer a chore, and highway on-ramps are more of a pleasure than an obstacle, not only due to the power but also the Prius’ revamped chassis and steering that no longer wallow at the sight of a one-degree bend. Just as the Prius is surefooted and stable on interstate escapades, it’s a (kind of) playful and competent city runabout. No, it’s not a hot hatch. It’s not even lukewarm or even room temperature. It’s too numb for that, and the CVT is, well, a CVT. Not that the average Prius buyer cares. But finally, at long last, the Prius not only looks good but drives well enough, too. This is a likable driving experience.

What’s not?– Groany engine noises
– Tire repair kit interferes with trunk space
– Glass roof may hinder taller occupants
– Digital gauge cluster is small and in a stupid place
– Lower trims get more efficient wheel-tire packages
– Faces formidable competition from plug-ins, crossovers, and full EVs

The near-perfect daily driver for almost anyone 

Never thought I’d say this. But the Toyota Prius? Pretty damn cool nowadays. Unfortunately for Toyota, Dirty Mike’s posse has more options than ever. EVs and plug-ins are edging closer and closer to mainstream relevancy each day, with advancements bringing greater range, more practicality, and improved infrastructure, even if it’s marginal gains. Rivals like the Honda Insight and Hyundai Ioniq are also highly compelling choices from rapidly improving and maturing companies, meaning the Prius doesn’t stand alone as the king of this hill anymore.

But even so, the Prius still makes a case for itself with its own suite of upgrades at a good value that ensures newcomers and veteran fans alike will find something worthwhile. I certainly have. It’s loaded with tech, all of which works quite well. The improved performance is a hoot for getting errands knocked out quicker at the Albertson’s Grand Prix and for turning the tides of rush hour death matches in your favor. And it does it all while still getting over 50 miles to the freaking gallon. Five-zero! 

2023 Toyota Prius XLE
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

The enthusiast who may snag one as a daily will greatly appreciate the improved dynamics and not paying a gazillion-bajillion dollars at the pump, while the average consumer will walk away from every commute unoffended by the maturity and composure the Prius now carries in spades. Those two attributes in tandem definitely make for a great car and a stellar consumer product. So who’s laughing now, Clarkson?

Now let’s urge Toyota to put a GR version into production.

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2023 Toyota Prius: Who’s laughing now?

“It’s not you, it’s me,” and “You’ve changed, Prius,” are phrases Toyota’s long-running fuel-saving car would hear if it could have human-like relationships. The car got a significant overhaul for 2023, which brought a striking styling update, improved powertrain and performance, and better tech across the board. Looking at the new and improved 2023 Prius, it’s a little frustrating that Toyota could have given us this car years ago, but we’ll have to settle for better late or never. 

Toyota offers the 2023 Prius as a traditional hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) or as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The PHEV variant, called the Prius Prime, has been a mainstay in the Prius lineup since it was first introduced in 2012. While it does have to be routinely connected to a charger, the 2023 Prius Prime delivers higher performance and up to 44 miles of purely electric range. In either case, depending on the configuration, the car brings up to 57 mpg in the city and 56 mpg on the highway when the engine and electric motor are both in use.

The 2024 Prius hasn’t hit the streets yet, but we expect minor updates to the line, including a potential high-performance variant. Toyota made enough improvements to the car’s powertrain and styling that it’s reasonable to expect an enthusiast model with slightly more power and a more aggressive look, especially given its newfound popularity with modders.

2023 Toyota Prius interior

2023 Prius price, trim levels, mpg, and 0-60 performance

Toyota offers the Prius in several configurations and with all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) Prius Prime comes in sportier trims with a higher starting price and no all-wheel drive option. The tradeoff is that Prime buyers get up to 44 miles of all-electric range, meaning there could be extended periods without stops for gas, depending on the driver. 

Making up to 220 horsepower, we know the 2023 Prius is no slouch. But real-world performance is about more than just horsepower. Weight and torque also play an important role. Pushing 139 lb-ft of torque and a curb weight between 3097-3571 lbs, the Prius Prime can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds while the regular Prius still manages a decent 7.

While those aren’t record-shattering numbers, the 2023 Prius’s 0-60 performance is a far cry from the 10.3 seconds of the 2012 model our Editor-in-Chief mentioned owning in his interview with Mag-X.

2023 Toyota Prius LE

  • $27,450 (AWD +$1,400)
  • Up to 57 mpg combined
  • 194 net horsepower
  • 139 lb-ft torque

2023 Toyota Prius XLE

  • $30,895 (AWD +$1,400)
  • Up to 52 mpg combined
  • 194 net horsepower
  • 139 lb-ft torque

2023 Toyota Prius Limited

  • $34,465 (AWD +$1,400)
  • Up to 52 mpg combined
  • 194 net horsepower
  • 139 lb-ft torque

2023 Toyota Prius Prime SE

  • $32,350 
  • 127 MPGe
  • 44mi all-electric range
  • 220 net horsepower
  • 139 lb-ft torque

2023 Toyota Prius Prime XSE

  • $35,600 
  • 114 MPGe
  • 39mi all-electric range
  • 220 net horsepower
  • 139 lb-ft torque

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Premium

  • $39,170 
  • 114 MPGe
  • 39mi all-electric range
  • 220 net horsepower
  • 139 lb-ft torque

The 2023 Prius is part of a sprawling car lineup from Toyota. The automaker also offers the Corolla as a sedan or hatchback with an optional hybrid powertrain. The Camry is also available as a gas or hybrid, and Toyota recently revived the Crown nameplate for use on a hybrid-only premium sedan. In terms of pricing, the Prius is more expensive than the Corolla and starts off a little below the Camry’s base price. 

Toyota has always done a decent job with value and offering a simple vehicle build process. With the 2023 Prius, buyers have a wide range of colors and options packages to choose from. Most popular features come with trim level selection, making the buying process much easier to navigate. The car also gets a load of standard safety equipment, including blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and much more. 

2023 Toyota Prius dashboard

Toyota hybrids: 2023 Toyota Prius vs 2023 Toyota Corolla hybrid

The Prius’ move upmarket with power and styling made it more compelling than the Corolla on paper, though neither car is remarkably exciting nor quick. The 2023 Prius delivers 194 horsepower, while the Corolla is limited to 138 ponies. Both cars get a continuously variable transmission and are available with all-wheel drive. 

Most versions of the Prius outperform the Corolla Hybrid on fuel economy. The most efficient front-drive Prius LE delivers 57 mpg in the city, while the Corolla Hybrid tops out at 50 mpg city. The Prius offers ten more cubic feet of cargo space than the Corolla, although both leave much to be desired in this department. 

Toyota has massively improved its technology offerings in recent years, and the new 2023 Prius gets the full benefit of the automaker’s latest interface. It comes standard with a standard 7-inch display or an optional 12.3-inch display, and the new infotainment system runs flawlessly on both. The Corolla also got a new interface for 2023, but its largest display is an 8-inch touchscreen. Both cars get upscale tech features that were considered luxuries just a few years ago. These include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a digital gauge cluster, and more. 

2023 Prius news

Toyota just got a new CEO after long-time leader Akio Toyoda stepped down from the position earlier this year. The company has been a public skeptic of the move to electric vehicles for many years. This has led Toyota to push forward with the development of hybrids and other fuel sources, such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The automaker’s first mass-market EV, the Toyota bZ4X, was plagued with delays and a recall early on but has reached the market with generally positive reviews.

The company has announced its plans to release ten new EV models by 2025 and said plug-in hybrids are the way forward with electrification. Toyota is working on new PHEV models with electric ranges of more than 124 miles, giving them several times the range of today’s most robust PHEVs. The automaker believes that PHEVs will be considered “practical BEVs” and hybrids will become the lower-cost alternatives while still saving fuel. 

At the same time, Toyota is in the middle of a modernization push with its truck and SUV line. The automaker overhauled its ancient Sequoia SUV and Tundra pickup truck last year and has begun releasing teaser images for the upcoming Tacoma refresh. 

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