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4Runner vs Land Cruiser sales
Hot TakesNews

Toyota selling the new 4Runner and Land Cruiser together might be shooting itself in the foot

History loves to repeat itself. Watching A New Hope and then seeing The Force Awakens decades later? Spanish Flu became H1N1 then COVID, and who knows what’s next? Fans of World War I? Wait ’til you learn about the sequel. In the late 2000s to early 2010s, there was the venerable Toyota 4Runner and a throwback-retro off-roader that shared DNA selling alongside one another. And today, it’s the same story on repeat. Toyota just launched the all-new 2025 Toyota 4Runner to accompany the downsized, downmarket Toyota Land Cruiser.

Fun! We get two off-roady family haulers that just so happen to be based on the same platform, share the same engines, occupy nearly the same niches, and will probably be priced within a stone’s throw of one another… Wait a minute.

Oh shit. That’s not good, is it?

Now there are two of them?

We live in an age where the crossoverfication of a brand’s model lineup is now common practice. Ford banks almost entirely on trucks and SUVs, while the Mustang stands as the last pony in its car lineup. BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are locked in a wee-wee measuring contest to see who can pump out the most turtle-shaped SUVs. And Toyota, while still leaning heavily into its car lineup, has been doubling down on filling every possible crossover and SUV niche with curiosities like the Venza, Corolla Cross, or Grand Highlander.

Toyota 4Runner
Image credit: Toyota

Now, it has two mid-size off-roadsters in its ranks, the recently launched 2024 Land Cruiser and the brand-new 2025 4Runner. Both run on the same Toyota New Global Architecture or TNGA platform (TNGA-F to be specific) that also underpins the mechanically similar Tacoma. Both feature four-wheel drive and run the Tacoma’s 2.4-liter i-Force MAX turbo-four hybrid powertrain. Both are being touted for their ruggedness, dependability, off-road prowess, and strong heritage. Sound familiar here? It sounds like the old 4Runner-FJ Cruiser story. And last I checked, only one of them is still standing.

Toyota Land Cruiser
Image credit: Toyota

How 4Runner sibling story last played out

The last-gen Toyota 4Runner launched in 2010, while the generation before that persisted from 2003 to 2009. Both generations rocked the mighty 4.0-liter “1GR” V6. The FJ stuck around from 2007 to 2014, although Toyota continued to manufacture and sell it in some Asian and South American markets until 2022. Like the outgoing 4Runner, the FJ is often criticized for archaic driving dynamics, which ironically also garnered praise from those who found it endearing and authentic to trucks of old. Paired with its hot retro styling, the FJ quickly became a modern classic, as used FJ prices have likely proven, even before the pandemic price booms. So why did it go away in the first place?

Well, in case we forgot, a certain economic crisis from around that time frame didn’t do so well for car buying. Gas guzzlers were out of style! How the hell were we supposed to drool over the latest and greatest Jeep fighter when some people couldn’t even guarantee they could keep their homes? It was rough on everyone, and its aftershock was felt for years to come.

As a result, new FJ sales never quite reached Toyota’s expectations, likely due to buyers swaying to the more practical 4Runner, which didn’t have its fun but silly suicide doors or atrocious blind spots. Not everyone could get on board with the dedicated off-roader, but they may just hop aboard its sibling with more space, conventional doors, better visibility, and more luxurious trim levels. They did what they had to after seven years of parading the FJ around and pulled it from the U.S. market.

What does the duo look like now?

They boast 6,000-pound towing ratings. Neat. They both feature the base i-Force MAX hybrid engines pumping out the same 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet, although the 4Runner will get a base i-Force powertrain pushing 278 ponies and 317 pound-feet. Alrighty then. Both rock double wishbones in the front and a multilink setup in the rear with disconnecting sway bars. Badass! Except, well, if you make them this damn similar, they’re bound to cannibalize each other’s sales. Or are they?

In the words of a little birdie in the car industry who gave me his two cents, there are two key sentences he told me: “Pricing is critical,” and “This is why product planners can be fucking stupid sometimes.”

Most people will gun for the presumably more affordable 4Runner, which would logically start anywhere between $40,000 and $45,000 and likely ship with the base non-hybrid i-Force engine. In theory, it can do everything the Land Cruiser can do and then some, especially once you step up to the TRD Pro and Trailhunter, which will feature a hot widebody wrapping over 33-inch all-terrains not offered on the Land Cruiser. But where does that leave the Land Cruiser, which now occupies nearly the same niche at a higher price (starts at $55,950) and doesn’t currently offer any such trim level?

“What they’re [Toyota] trying to do is cutting their cake into smaller slices,” says my anonymous industry insider. “The 4Runner buyer will be younger. Less affluent. More hardcore. The Land Cruiser buyer is someone who probably occasionally goes off-road but only to the campsite or the Grand Canyon, if that. Or they’re probably the buyer who likes the styling but doesn’t want to make that leap to the Lexus GX Overtrail.”

Of course, as he had mentioned, pricing is key to negate any overlap the two siblings will clearly have, as it will dictate who’s really buying them. “Realistically, we’re probably not going to see too many of the TRD Pros and Trailhunters for how much they’re going to cost. There is going to be some overlap, and I don’t know who a 4Runner Platinum is even for.”

In its own bid to stand apart, the Land Cruiser is seemingly leaving its old ultra-hardcore off-road image to the 4Runner. The rock crawlers, the mud boggers, and the Baja prerunners can have their fill, even without the fancy trims as it can be presumed they’ll be as easily modifiable as the last gen. The Land Cruiser appears to take a more relaxed approach in a similar vein to the far pricier Land Rover Defender, meaning it may ride plusher, be more friendly on the street with its more street-oriented tires, and be more refined with its more upscale interior. The Land Cruiser is also i-Force MAX only and features a full-time four-wheel-drive system not offered on the 4Runner, which uses a more traditional and rugged four-wheel drive with manual selection for rear-wheel, four-wheel, Hi, and Lo. The Land Cruiser has a more expansive greenhouse, whereas the 4Runner appears to be the same hunkered-down machine gun nest the old one was but now with the new Tacoma’s mug.

Interesting that they’re playing the practical card yet not offering the Land Cruiser with a third-row seat while the new 4Runner can be specced with one and the new Lexus GX has it standard. Weird.

Even so, you can still tell Toyota is trying for an SUV that may not cost much more than a mid-grade 4Runner. As my source says, it’ll be for the casual hikers, campers, or overlanders who don’t need something as riotous as a 4Runner Trailhunter and greatly appreciate the old-school boxy styling that old Land Cruisers were famous for and is making a comeback in modern SUVs. Also being a Land Cruiser, it’s not like its old-timey styling is a compromise on practicality. There are normal doors and big, expansive windows FJ owners could only dream of.

How the Land Cruiser and 4Runner will get along

Will the inevitable price and performance delta be enough to separate the two? I love both of them, and I wish for the success of both of them. There’s still plenty of overlap but also plenty of room for separation to let each truck shine on its own merits, and then the next question is, will buyers see that? Perhaps base model to base model, yes. But I’m skeptical as buyers start hiking up their respective trim levels. Those who don’t want a super hardcore 4Runner can just buy a lower trim level, sure. At the same time, the ambitious few who are especially into off-roading but may not need the likes of the TRD Pro or Trailhunter will buy one anyway because Americans love excess capability in case the universe catches us with our pants down on a leap year with all the stars aligned to create a situation where we might need it.

In the end, once the two meet on showroom floors, Land Cruiser will have its clear buyers. It will be remembered as a lovable, exemplary vehicle as the FJ once was, true to its heritage but with the added usability that not only makes it a great off-roader but a damn good car, as journos are just now finding out. But so will the 4Runner for similar, if not less, money thanks to its zealous, younger, and more adventurous fanbase. But what do I know? After all, the Land Cruiser banks on a far more prestigious heritage than a Venza and will be more refined and usable than any FJ before it. I could be proven totally wrong, and it and the Tacoma-with-a-bed-cap 4Runner will learn to live in harmony.

Anyway, I’ll take a base Land Cruiser with the round headlights, please. Thank you.

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Daihatsu safety data manipulation

Turns out Daihatsu was cheating crash safety tests for decades

Remember Daihatsu? Parent company Toyota likely wishes it didn’t. The Japanese automaker, whose vehicles were briefly sold here in the U.S., was found to have altered crash-test data on four of its models since 2022, but an internal investigation revealed falsified test results going back more than 30 years

Daihatsu suspended production at its last Japanese factory this week, with company executives appearing to be ready to fall on their swords. CEO Soichiro Okudaira said the company “Betrayed the trust of our customers. All the blame is on the management.” The first issues date back to 1989, but the company’s actions accelerated in 2014.

Among other issues, the automaker found that the doors of some models could become harder to open from the outside after a crash, though no injuries related to the problem have been reported. The automaker had previously admitted to falsifying data for crash tests of two hybrid vehicles and said it had stopped selling them. 

This has been an ongoing saga for Daihatsu and Toyota, and it just keeps getting worse. Even before the shutdown, the company admitted to fiddling with crash tests on almost 90,000 cars sold under the Toyota brand in Malaysia and Thailand. For its part, Toyota said it would step in and conduct a sweeping investigation of the management and company operations. 

Whatever the outcome here, it’s a complete shock that Toyota would let this go on for so long without very publicly stepping in. Yeah, shutting down production is an excellent first step, but it’s at least three whole decades too late. That said, executives taking responsibility is the right thing, and they noted that the company’s culture made it unacceptable to delay a product launch for safety fixes.

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Ferrari F355 Berlinetta
FeaturesHot Takes

Here are three of the most reliable and least reliable cars you can buy

Overall mechanical reliability is a crucial aspect of car ownership. Owning a vehicle that will get you from point A to point B without issue over the course of several years and thousands—scratch that, hundreds of thousands—of miles is important, and ensures a relatively stress-free and financially stable future. This isn’t a depending on who you ask scenario, either, it’s what pretty much all reasonable folks seek in their rides.

But there are those among us who are less than reasonable: They could care less about overall assumed reliability for several reasons. Maybe they enjoy the challenge of a project, it might be a second or third car that could sit in the shop for a while, or the juice may be worth the squeeze—meaning, it’s either fun enough to drive or nice enough to look at that, so they simply don’t care. It’s all about expectations.

Let’s outline three of the most reliable cars and three of the least reliable cars, and explain why each achieves its respective title. There are thousands of cars that could fit under either column, but here are six total that are worth looking into as your next faithful (or unfaithful) steed nonetheless. Some may surprise you, too, so buckle up.

Most reliable: Toyota Corolla (duh!)

Image credit: Toyota

This may be the shock of the century (kidding), but the wholesome, modest Toyota Corolla has belonged on this list for the better part of 25 years. Well, before that as well, but it’s a little tough finding clean examples made before the ninth generation debuted in 2000.

The top reason why they’re so reliable is there’s simply not much to ‘em. Sturdy, naturally aspirated Toyota four-cylinder, a conventional automatic, CVT, or manual gearbox, front-wheel drive, econobox amenities, traction control, ABS … and not much else. There have been a few higher-performance variants here and there, but even those are plenty sturdy in their own right.

Then, regular maintenance is cheap, as everything’s small for its respective measurements: common small tire sizes, modest brake dimensions, and small fluid capacities. Then, if any of this maintenance is performed DIY, these economy-level standbys are even cheaper to own. Outside of regular maintenance, there isn’t much to look out for. Just read the owner’s manual, follow the modest, factory-recommended service intervals, and enjoy a pious life of thrift.

Most reliable: E39 BMW 5 Series

Image credit: BMW

Did you think all I was going to outline was Japanese econoboxes? Think again! Life’s too short to make a list of all the usual suspects—Corolla, Civic, Accord, Camry, Mazda 3—as it’d not only be boring to write, but also perhaps not open one’s eyes to something new and different, and even make them into a connoisseur of sorts. Not that the aforementioned Japanese fare wouldn’t, I love ‘em as much as anybody. But the BMW E39 is special.

It’s a Bimmer (sidenote: not Beamer, that’s for BMW motorcycles) chassis that’s widely loved for its looks, interior amenities, ride quality, torquey inline-six engine, and fun-to-drive qualities. It’s also firmly cemented in the era of German cars that were better screwed together, had fewer squeaks and rattles, as well as an overall solid feeling in the way it rolled down the road. Fun fact: Its brilliance is also considered to be a bit of a measuring stick.

But there are still some things to look out for. Since it’s a BMW, oil and power steering leaks are a thing and could run up a shop repair bill, or be a little tricky to attempt to remedy on your own. But really, naturally aspirated inline-six Bimmers are easy to wrench on in the grand scheme of European cars. Other gaskets, as well as suspension arms and bushings, are also things to look out for, but those should be considered normal maintenance for any car. The key to reliable BMW service is regular maintenance—as long as it’s been kept up, the car’s various systems will continue to operate happily. But when something does give up the ghost, all parts are still widely available and for reasonable money.

Most reliable: Ferrari F355

Image credit: Ferrari

OK, hear me out! Let’s say you’re in the income bracket that could consider this legendary ‘90s exotic icon as a fun car to rip around in every day, on the weekends between Cars N’ Coffee events, or some combination of the two. Maybe you just hit it big in your career, or perhaps you selected the right lottery numbers. Or, you simply have earned enough of an income over the years to stash away for such a treat. The Ferrari F355 could be a very rewarding ownership experience, and, weirdly, more reliable than other exotics.

Its heart is a high-revving, 3.5-liter V8 that puts out 375 horsepower, which, when paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, will lunge to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Do yourself a favor and skip the clunky F1 automated manual gearbox, too, just stick with the stick if you’re able to. Redline is 8,500 rpm—nobody would ever call its soundtrack lacking. It’s also well-regarded for excellent, sporty handling, better ergonomics than other high-end fare of the era, and a drop-dead gorgeous exterior and interior.

Which means it could be worth putting up with the higher maintenance costs. It’s all about context, in that if you could afford a $100,000-or-so Italian sports car, these might not be too shocking. The Ferrari parts and fluid tax is a thing, but independent shops or attempting to do-it-yourself would save a lot of scratch over any dealer. Some trouble areas are faulty exhaust headers and catalytic converters on earlier models, valvetrains that need a little more attention than usual, and a timing belt service. That requires removing the engine from the car. OK, that’s not so ideal, but if you expect and plan for it, everything else is fairly modest for a Ferrari. Wait, one more: there’s also the electronic retractable roof on Spider and GTS variants—opt for a hardtop Berlinetta or have the retractable roof converted to manual to save a potential headache. 

Otherwise, these cars love to be driven and will reward regular miles with a very even-keeled temper. Stashing them away in the garage on a battery tender for weeks or months at a time makes them annoyed, and forces them to develop leaks and shorter service intervals.

Least reliable: B5 Audi S4

Image credit: Peter Nelson

From here, it’s all downhill: let’s kick off the least-reliable list right with an infamously complex and moody German car: the twin-turbo V6-powered Audi S4. These things are difficult to work on and incredibly complex, and did I mention they’re difficult to work on? And as a proud (and often frustrated) B5 S4 owner, it’s still a very worthwhile car to own if you know what to expect.

Since this is the list of bad cars, let’s start out with the negative aspects that impact reliability: Vacuum leaks caused by fragile materials, fluid leaks, no room to work in the engine bay, expensive servicing because of said lack of room, its stupid auxiliary water pump under the intake manifold, tiny/weak turbos that eventually die, sensors that give up the ghost quicker than other cars, plenty of areas for double the boost leaks—because double the amount of turbos—to occur, too many suspension bushings that are hard to replace, and more. It’s a challenge, to say the least.

However, there are still some big positives to discuss. While the S4’s engine sits entirely in front of its front shock towers—and therefore affects overall handling—it can still be set up to handle very well with a little tuning. The reason for the engine being so far forward is due to its massive, Quattro all-wheel drive system, which gives the S phenomenal overall grip in all road conditions. When that twin-turbo V6 is running happily and without boost leaks, it’s a very entertaining engine to rev out and can make a massive amount of power reliably with minimal modification.

Though, big caveat to the B5 S4’s infamous status: Regular maintenance. If you follow the factory-recommended service intervals, use quality fluids, are aware of and look out for trouble areas, and drive them reasonably responsibly, they’re tanks. And by reasonably responsibly, I mean letting the engine and transmission oil/fluid warm up before launching them off the line every chance you get. So, if you happen upon one for a nice price and with a good service history, don’t be scared, just be prepared.

Least reliable: Jeep Wrangler

Image credit: Jeep

Some may call this one an easy target, others may be triggered and never read Accelera Mota ever again. Whichever it is, let the record state that the Jeep Wrangler is still one of the best factory off-road-ready trucks that money can buy.

You just have to, you know, put up with some occasional annoyances. When it comes to outlining issues that more than a few consumers have aired their grievances over, Repair Pal is a great resource for quick reference. One of the big issues outlined here is known as the death wobble, which is a very strong vibration caused by prematurely worn suspension and steering components. Then, ignition switch issues, leaky door seals, worn-out exhaust components, various fluid leaks, and various electrical gremlins are discussed as well. Some of these seem to be a thing since the early ‘90s, but others are a little more recent.

I don’t want to sell the Wrangler short, though. Preventative and regular maintenance, and being aware of these issues could help provide a more trouble-free ownership experience, even if the comments sections and forum posts love to make it a punchline. They’re seriously fun trucks, have such a unique driving experience, and can overcome so much out on the trail, either right off the showroom floor or after a few choice modifications. Plus, Jeep’s doing the Lord’s work by still offering certain trims with a manual transmission for the 2024 model year—good on ‘em.

(Editor’s note: As much as I adore Jeeps to death, we can never ignore the damn Stellantis/Fiat-Chrysler electrical gremlins in the newer JL models, many ranging from mildly annoying to downright comical. To my Jeep friends, I wish you luck in your everlasting war with JL reliability.)

Least reliable: Honda Civic

Image credit: Honda

Talk about shots fired! “What on earth is he on?” they’ll probably say of the ramblings I’ve put on screen here. For the record, It’s just a lot of coffee on an empty stomach. But the Honda Civic has experienced some interesting little reliability issues over the past two decades or so. They’re not exactly life-and-death, but will result in a visit to the shop to remedy, and could rain on anybody’s Japanese-econobox-opinion parade.

Once again, according to Repair Pal, folks have reported a myriad of annoyances that their own Honda Civics have experienced. The top five are prematurely worn engine mounts, power window switch failure, broken hood release cables, a shift control solenoid fault, and windshield wiper motor failure. An occupancy sensor failure, too, which results in an airbag light, but that’s a pretty minimal one.

It must be said that a couple of these are specific to a certain generation, such as the broken hood release cable being a thing on pre-2007 models. And, for the most part, these are all relatively cheap parts that don’t require many labor hours to perform at the dealer or an independent shop. Or, once again, perform on your own with the proper tools and safety protocols. More costly jobs, like head gasket replacements, are reported on as well, though those seem rare—to the point of not being on par with basically any other car.

But really, here’s the thing

Image credit: Lotus

Outlining the Honda Civic as a lesser-reliable option is more of an exercise in showing that all cars have their little foibles, and may not always meet peoples’ expectations for bomb-proof reliability. To not anger too many car opinions out there: They’re plenty reliable.

But all this goes to show that overall reliability is a very subjective topic, and Lord knows people fight each other in comments day in and day out over many cars’ reputations. We’ve all seen some version of “What do you mean the 2003 Lotus Esprit V8 is unreliable? I’ve fed mine nothing but conventional diesel oil since day one, 150,000 miles ago, and launch it cold every chance I get! It’s more faithful than a Prius!” Well, that may be a bit hyperbolic, but you know what I mean.

However, one overarching theme to all of it is regular maintenance. Maintain. Your. Cars. Oh, and letting fluids warm up before any hard driving, that’s important, too. Even for something as wholesome as a Honda Civic. Doing so will not only guarantee efficient and reliable operation but also help extinguish the chance of developing trouble areas and help it retain value.

Moral of the story: If you dig a certain car for whatever purpose, become very familiar with it, know what to expect, budget accordingly, and take good care of it. Also, it’ll be much cheaper to commute day in and day out in a Honda Civic than in a Ferrari F355.

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Ariel Atom 4
Buying GuidesFeatures

10 lightweight sports cars you can buy today

Anyone looking for pure, svelte driver’s cars that are fun to whip around on weekend trips up and down PCH should look no further.  The beautiful idea of well-balanced power-to-weight ratios is usually best represented in lightweight sports cars. From 2+2s to roadsters, they provide a lightweight chassis, balanced handling, and a thrilling driving experience. Every day driving through crowded intersections, windy roads, or the track on weekends, the versatility of these modern machines offers a unique fun-to-drive factor. 

Nowadays, many lightweight sports cars provide approachable driving characteristics and price points that won’t absolutely break the bank. However, there are some that will push your driving skills and bank accounts to new limits. Anyone interested in the lightest sports cars that can be purchased this year should look no further. 

Mazda MX-5 Miata (ND)

Weight: 2,341 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Undoubtedly the most nimble drive on sale
  • Impressive fuel efficiency

What’s not?

  • A bit cramped for the average American
  • Can get expensive as you climb the trim ladder

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has spent decades maintaining its reputation for giving nothing less than a spirited driving experience. For those who can fit comfortably within its front mid-engine layout, there’s so much to appreciate with the classic yet modern feel. Top-down in the convertible option or closed in, there’s nothing like Mazda’s little roadster.

“ND2” variants and newer pack a 2.0-liter engine with about 181 horsepower and deliver a zippy yet smooth ride. The recently revealed ND3 adds updated tech and a retuned steering rack geared for improved precision and feel. Its manual or automatic transmission options ensure quick acceleration in approximately six seconds from 0 to 60 mph, although magazines have extracted even better test numbers from such a spritely car. Built for rear-wheel drive and agile handling, it promises overwhelmingly enjoyable driving.

Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86

Weight: 2,815 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Powerful engine for the price 
  • Awesome, track-capable handling 

What’s not?

  • Most hot hatches are quicker nowadays
  • Not the most practical entry-level performance car

Behold a fan favorite here at Acceleramota and one our editor has recently had the opportunity of road-tripping. The Toyota and Subaru collaboration has left the BRZ as the surviving and thriving of the two, at least in the wake of the GR86’s reportedly out-of-wack markups. Its agile handling, rear-wheel-drive dynamics, and precise steering are becoming just as recognizable as its boxer engine. The 86’s and BRZ’s balanced performance, affordability, and enthusiast-focused design captivate drivers seeking a truly engaging ride.

The second-gen Toyobaru platform continues its legacy with a 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated boxer engine, producing 228 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a choice of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, it boasts rear-wheel drive, a lower center of gravity, improved handling, and a refined chassis for an exhilarating driving experience. 2024 BRZ models now launch with EyeSight safety assists and a hot new tS model, while GR86s gain their own suite of similar safety tech and an Initial D fanboy-spec Trueno model.

Honda CR-Z

Weight: 2,639 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Sporty look and handling 
  • Fantastic hybrid fuel economy 

What’s not?

  • Rear visibility is a bit poor
  • Tiny size means it’s not for hoarders or Ubers

Discontinued in 2016, the Honda CR-Z was a sporty hybrid coupe that blended efficiency with style.  Its innovative design featured a 1.5-liter engine paired with an electric motor, offering a modest 122 horsepower. The CR-Z is now appreciated in the used market for its unique hybrid concept and agile handling.

The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a hybrid electric motor generates a combined output of 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque (123 pound-feet in CVT cars). Inventive for its time, the Honda CR-Z was one of the rare hybrid sports cars to be equipped with a six-speed manual alongside its CVT transmission. They weren’t fast! But they were spritely enough. And to have a sporty, manual hybrid econobox that could zip to 60 in under ten seconds in the early 2010s was something to brag about. I guess. Maybe. Supercharged CR-Z HPD, anyone?

Alfa Romeo 4C

Weight: 2,487 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Efficient yet powerful engine 
  • Great mini-supercar handling 

What’s not?

  • Lacks good rear-view visibility and cargo room
  • What in the heck is that 2 Fast 2 Furious radio radio unit?

Lightweight design, turbocharged power, and exceptional agility make the Alfa Romeo 4C as legendary as it was divisive… Like, really divisive. Still cool, though! And still a featherweight worthy of this list. With striking aesthetics and racing DNA, it captivated enthusiasts. Offering a unique blend of performance, analog purity, and style, its departure leaves a void in the realm of iconic sports cars.

The Alfa Romeo 4C features a 1.7-liter turbocharged engine producing 237 horsepower, paired with a dual-clutch automatic transmission. With a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, it weighed merely 2,487 pounds. This mid-engine sports car could sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, boasting impressive performance and agile handling, granted you can get to grips with that manual steering rack.

Lotus Exige

Weight: 2,593 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Top-tier sports car performance
  • Great fuel economy

What’s not?

  • May be difficult to get in and out of
  • The very definition of having a spartan interior

Discontinued in 2021, the final Lotus Exige epitomized automotive excellence. With its lightweight design, remarkable agility, and supercharged engine, the Exige offered an unmatched driving experience. Its aerodynamic finesse and track-focused precision made it a legendary icon among sports cars, capturing enthusiasts with its raw performance.

Before the end of its run, the final-generation Lotus Exige boasted impressive specs. It featured a supercharged Toyota-derived 3.5-liter V6 engine producing up to 345 horsepower. The Exige Cup 430 went even further, pushing roughly 430 horsepower. Weighing around 2,500 pounds, it sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, although earlier four-cylinder variants were even lighter than that, tipping in at a hair beneath one ton. Its aerodynamics, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, ensured exceptional handling and track performance.

Ariel Atom

Weight: 1,349 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Unique go-cart x Formula car design
  • Wicked fast and impossibly nimble, given its design

What’s not?

  • Not very practical for daily drivers… like, at all
  • Rare and expensive

The Ariel Atom’s thrill lies in its “no-frills” design, boasting crazy speed and handling. Its lightweight structure and powerful engine make it feel like driving a rocket. It’s an open-air, Formula 1-like experience, an adrenaline rush for anyone seeking pure, unadulterated driving joy or to show the Spec Miata club racers that it is not they who have been chosen to wield one of the UK’s finest.

Sourcing a Honda 2.0-liter i-VTEC or supercharged 2.4-liter mill, depending on the model, the Ariel Atom can hit 60 in under three seconds. However, should you yearn for more, the newly-minted Ariel Atom 4 sports a turbocharged Civic Type R motor, and yesteryear’s limited Ariel Atom 500 rocked a firebreathing 3.0-liter 500-horsepower V8. Other features include a six-speed gearbox and finely tuned suspension. Goggles or eyeglasses, not included, but you’ll need them.

McLaren 600LT

Weight: 3,099 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Blistering supercar speed
  • Agile handling

What’s not?

  • Questionable McLaren reliability 
  • Probably the most expensive car here

McLaren’s limited Longtail series production might have shifted focus recently, but the McLaren 600LT excels due to its potent 592-hp twin-turbo V8, track-focused Longtail design, and exceptional handling. Introduced in 2018, this model showcased McLaren’s racing heritage like no other in the form of a lighter, more ferocious iteration of its Sports Series 570S model.

The McLaren 600LT features a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 592 horsepower, enabling it to hit 60 mph in approximately 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph. Sporting a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it flaunts a track-focused design with advanced aerodynamics, carbon fiber components, and precise handling.

Audi TT

Weight: 3,197 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Awesome, baby supercar design
  • Matches handling with true sports car acceleration

What’s not?

  • Back seats are pretty useless
  • Not as engaging as other cars in its class

Sleek style and turbocharged performance make the Audi TT an outstanding coupe. It’s a dandy little sports car with the look and handling of performance cars far more expensive. Baby R8, maybe? You’re right. Too far-fetched.

The 2024 Audi TT boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering around 228 horsepower. Its lightning-quick seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system offer superb handling. Hotted-up S variants turn up the wick further to 292 horsepower, while a 400-horsepower, turbo five-cylinder TT RS model sits atop the food chain as a bonafide baby supercar. 

Mini Cooper John Cooper Works

Weight: 2,892 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Punchy powertrain
  • Handling is top-tier

What’s not? 

  • Expensive for a hot hatch
  • Not so “mini” anymore

The 2024 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works epitomizes thrilling performance in a compact package. With its turbocharged engine, precise handling, and iconic design, this model offers an exhilarating driving experience. Its fusion of style, agility, and power makes it an outstanding choice for car enthusiasts seeking an extraordinary ride.

Boasting a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces around 228 horsepower, the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works is paired with a six-speed manual or optional automatic transmission. However, should you wish, older variants with a 1.6-liter supercharged four-banger deliver their own kind of raucous fun. The current model’s enhanced suspension, Brembo brakes, 18-inch wheels, and sport-tuned exhaust system ensure agile handling and a thrilling driving experience, granted you can live with the lofty price tag new Minis are capable of.

Porsche 911 S/T

Weight: 3,056 pounds

What’s hot?

  • Perhaps one of, if not the best, driver’s car on sale today
  • Delightfully premium interior 

What’s not?

  • Could still be too hardcore for some, despite its road-oriented bias
  • Forget what I said about the McLaren’s price. This will make the dreamers cry

The 2024 Porsche 911 S/T kills for many reasons, as the lightest model from the hallowed German company one can purchase today. Its sleek design, coupled with a robust twin-turbo engine, delivers unparalleled performance. Cutting-edge technology seamlessly integrates with luxurious comfort, making every drive an exhilarating experience, setting a new benchmark.

Based on the 911 GT3 and copying the homework of the acclaimed 911 R, the S/T boasts a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine and pushes around 518 horsepower. It accelerates to 60 mph in approximately 3.5 seconds. Equipped with God’s gift, a wonderfully analog six-speed stick managing power to the rear wheels, it’s as pure as a modern sports car driving experience can be. Good luck getting your hands on one, even if you have the dough.

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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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Toyota FT-Se

Toyota unveils two new epic FT electric car concepts

The Japan Mobility Show is fast approaching, and Toyota is ready to showcase what they have in mind for the “future of mobility” with a duo of BEV concept cars. While there’s not a lot of information surrounding these vehicles yet, or if they’ll even enter production, there are some key takeaways that hint towards what Toyota has planned. It’s also worth noting that Toyota says these vehicles share “major components.”

The FT-3e is a low-slung vehicle with sharp lines and an aggressive angle to the rear window with wrap-around taillights. The side profile shows off an almost box-flared look to the fenders and rear quarter. A display on the lower part of the body displays information to the driver as they approach, including charge status, interior air quality, and cabin temperature. Dare I say it? This could be a battery-electric wagon

The other one, which Toyota calls the FT-Se is a sports car that is reminiscent of the early days of the GR Supra concept, with a long hood and aerodynamic shape. Complete with the integrated spoiler. However, it looks wider, and the lines are more pronounced. A shot of the interior shows a trio of screens, all driver-facing, and a yoke-style steering wheel. There is a prominent GR badge affixed to the front fender, which helps drive home the claim that the FT-Se is part of their vision for the next generation of performance driving.

These two concepts represent a bright future. In a future where Toyota hopes vehicle ownership will become more than just a point A to point B appliance, it will become a bond between the owner and the machine.

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Toyota bz4x

LG will supply EV batteries for Toyota electric cars

Toyota has over 20 million hybrids worldwide, more than any other automaker. So, no one can question that Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid electric vehicle production, which was an important step in the electrification of the automobile. But as the world moved towards battery electric vehicles (BEVs), Toyota began to fall behind. However, in recent months, Toyota has made numerous announcements about its commitment to producing more BEVs across its product line. They have even said they plan to have 30 BEVs across their product line and up production to 3.5 million globally by 2030.

Anyone can see that this is a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Toyota. And they’ve just made a major move to help solidify that goal by signing a deal with LG Energy Solution to produce NCMA battery modules at LG’s facility in Michigan. Investing 3 billion dollars to fit their factory with the needed assembly lines to meet their 2025 goals of producing 20 GWh annually. The modules will then be shipped off to Kentucky, assembled into complete batteries, and find their way into Toyota’s planned 3-row electric SUV.

A picture of LG Energy Solutions in Holland, Mi
Image credit: LG Energy Solutions

“Having secure supplies of lithium-ion batteries at scale with a long-term relationship to support Toyota’s multi-pathway approach and growth plans for BEVs in North America is critical to achieve our manufacturing and carbon reduction plans,” states Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, Toyota’s North American president and CEO. “Working with LG Energy Solution, we are excited to be able to offer products that will provide the performance and quality our customers expect.”   

Image: Lexus

LG, like Toyota, has a long history of supplying quality products to companies and consumers around the world. This is their largest agreement with an automaker for battery production and also means they now supply batteries to the Top 5 global automakers. And if all goes as planned, this partnership should help to push Toyota to the upper echelon of the BEV market. Soon, it won’t just be hybrids like the Prius making headlines, but a Toyota-branded electric car as well.

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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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