Execs: Glorious gasoline economic system; cool appears to be like; optionally available all-wheel drive; fast for a hybrid; good inside storage
Cons: Small cargo space; gauges could also be arduous to see; tech can frustrate
Why sure, the automotive you see up there’s a 2023 Toyota Prius. Appears good, doesn’t it? And never simply “appears to be like higher than the outdated one,” trigger that’s a particularly low bar, however legitimately good. Cool even. We don’t often focus on the deserves of automotive design because it’s so reliant on private choice, however on this case, it’s such a serious a part of the brand new Prius story. Not solely will you save a bunch on fuel, however you now not should drive one thing that appears dorky (or worse) to do it.
As soon as once more, the Prius is out there in common and plug-in hybrid Prius Prime variations, with the common providing all-wheel drive. That’s uncommon for an eco-oriented automotive at this worth vary, even these marketed as crossovers just like the Kia Niro and Chevy Bolt EUV. Gasoline economic system for the common Prius is mainly the identical as earlier than (between 49 and 57 mpg mixed relying on trim stage), however a severe enhance in energy has dramatically improved Prius acceleration. The affect is even larger within the Prime plug-in hybrid, which isn’t solely massively faster than the outdated one (0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds versus a slug-like 10.2), however genuinely fast, interval. It has twice as a lot electrical vary, too, with both 44 or 39 miles relying on trim.
On the identical time, the brand new Prius is much better to drive than earlier than, with extra responsive steering, a extra composed suspension and quieter, smoother operation of its hybrid system. The inside can also be extra standard by way of management and show placement, and supplies high quality has improved. It’s not fairly as spacious, particularly within the cargo space, however normally, that is such a massively superior automotive from each an goal and subjective perspective that it deserves much more consideration from any automotive purchaser seeking to save as a lot fuel as doable with out going totally electrical.
Inside & Know-how | Passenger & Cargo Area | Efficiency & Gasoline Financial system
What it is prefer to drive | Pricing & Trim Ranges | Crash Scores & Security Options
What’s new for 2023?
The Prius is all-new for 2023 except for its underlying platform. Try the video above to dig deeper.
What are the Prius inside and in-car expertise like?
These coming from a earlier Prius era are sure to seek out issues have moved round a bit inside: The shifter is now on the middle console and the gauges are instantly in entrance of the motive force. For these coming from some other automotive, you’ll discover the brand new Prius refreshingly regular. That goes for each performance and look, however by way of the latter, it’s a lovely design that doesn’t lose itself to its tech components. Supplies high quality is improved, with above-average supplies for eco-oriented vehicles on this worth vary. The middle console additionally gives considerate storage: large cupholders, a intelligent vertically oriented wi-fi cellphone charger, a big ahead bin and a cavernous under-armrest bin.
We like that Toyota has maintained separate, bodily controls for the local weather system quite than mashing all the pieces into the touchscreen as different manufacturers more and more do (together with Lexus). The most recent Toyota infotainment system is current, which works the identical no matter whether or not you get the usual 8-inch dimension or the 12.3-inch unit discovered within the uppermost trim ranges. This technique is actually one of many better-looking ones, however it suffers from just a few snafus which have us pulling our hair: no straightforward option to shortly exit Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, odd radio performance and the navigation system erasing your most well-liked zoom and orientation settings each time you go to a different touchscreen menu. Toyota ditching its outdated bodily menu shortcut buttons is an enormous a part of this.
One other controversial component is the gauge cluster. We like that it’s now not in the midst of the automotive, however its placement above the pleasingly small steering wheel isn’t fairly excessive sufficient to stop the wheel rim from blocking the view for some drivers. The shorter you might be, the larger the issue appears to be. Principally, Toyota solved one downside and created one other.
How large is the Prius?
The Prius is mainly the identical dimension as its predecessor, and by way of the broader automotive panorama, is mainly a compact automotive like a Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. It does pay a worth for its racier appears to be like, nevertheless. Cargo capability is down by a not-insignificant 7 cubic ft for 2023, and in our cargo capability testing, we discovered that it holds much less baggage than a Kia Niro and Honda Civic Hatchback (which will probably be out there as a hybrid subsequent 12 months). The decrease, extra raked roofline is the wrongdoer right here, which additionally reduces its versatility as a hatchback.
Rear seat headroom was already tight within the Prius and it mainly stays the identical regardless of the racier roofline. In case you’re tall, your head goes to the touch the roof. The slope of the door made it difficult to elevate a child into a baby seat (and likewise will increase the probabilities of adults clonking their heads). Legroom is simply tremendous for a compact automotive, that means 4 adults can match fairly comfortably. There’s no challenge with area up entrance. The roof could also be decrease up there, however it was goofy-tall earlier than, and the seat has been lowered. This not solely creates adequate headroom, however gives a extra carlike driving place. The next middle console furthers the automotive’s general racier really feel in addition to growing storage.
What are the Prius gasoline economic system and efficiency specs?
The usual Prius hybrid powertrain now consists of a much bigger, 2.0-liter inline-four and two electrical motors, one in all which contributes energy to the entrance wheels. The all-wheel-drive Prius encompasses a third motor powering the rear wheels. Complete system output is 194 horsepower (up from a measly 121) or 196 hp with all-wheel drive. The automotive’s 0-to-60-mph time is 7.2 seconds (or 7 with AWD), which is fast for each a compact automotive and a hybrid.
Gasoline economic system is 57 mpg metropolis, 56 mpg freeway and 57 mpg mixed for the bottom LE trim stage. It drops to 52 mpg in metropolis, freeway and mixed within the XLE and Restricted trim ranges. Choosing all-wheel drive drops these estimates right down to 53/54/54 for the LE and 49/50/49 for the XLE and Restricted. In accordance with the EPA, the precise annual gasoline value distinction between the most- and least-efficient common Prius variations is barely $150.
You do not want to plug within the common Prius for its battery to be recharged – the automotive does that itself by recouping power usually misplaced whereas braking. The Prius Prime has a a lot bigger battery, and though it too recoups a small portion of its capability by way of regenerative braking, its full capability is achieved by plugging it in. A daily family outlet will do, however it’ll take 11 hours to recharge. Set up a 240-volt outlet or a house charger, and that point drops to 4 hours.
The result’s that the Prius Prime can journey an estimated 44 miles (SE) or 39 miles (XSE, XSE Premium) utilizing its electrical motor alone. The engine will nonetheless hearth to life do you have to want a little bit extra acceleration oomph or if the local weather management system calls for it. As soon as the all-electric vary is depleted, the Prime operates in the identical means because the common model … albeit with much more energy. Complete output jumps to 220 hp and the 0-60 time falls to six.6 seconds.
Gasoline economic system estimates are difficult with plug-in hybrids since they’re so depending on how typically the person proprietor recharges the automotive and the way far they routinely drive. In brief: the extra you drive inside the electrical vary, the extra environment friendly the automotive will probably be. That mentioned, the Prime’s mile-per-gallon-equivalent estimate (aka the EPA’s finest try at measuring the gasoline economic system of PHEVs) stands at 127 mpg-e for the SE and 114 mpg-e for the XSE trims.
What is the Prius prefer to drive?
By Prius requirements, the brand new automotive is a revelation. The electrical motor runs only a bit longer whereas accelerating from a cease and when the engine does interact, it’s a a lot smoother transition and mixing of energy. There’s typically much less noise and vibration, which can also be because of the extra highly effective powertrain that doesn’t should work so arduous. The outdated automotive’s hopelessly numb and imprecise steering is gone, and there’s even a Sport mode for many who need just a bit extra heft when turning the wheel. Physique motions are additionally now higher managed and the experience high quality remains to be good, even with 19-inch wheels.
Transferring past comparisons to the outdated automotive, the brand new Prius is a surprisingly spry driver. We took it up a good, technical mountain highway and it held its personal, flicking backwards and forwards between corners with spectacular poise from the chassis. The steering is numb by way of suggestions, however the effort is constant and appropriately weighted. Altogether, the brand new Prius is extra pleasurable to drive than the Kia Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
There’s nonetheless loads of engine droning because of the means the hybrid system operates, however that is alleviated to some extent with the Prius Prime (pictured above). Working in electrical mode removes the engine from the equation in common driving, although it is going to kick in with a hefty stomp of the throttle. Doing so will create no scarcity of noise, however the ensuing acceleration made us legitimately go “whoa” the primary time we skilled it.
One oddity in each vehicles is the usual Proactive Driving Help that slows the automotive down when coming as much as a slower automotive forward or when approaching a flip. It appears like having adaptive cruise management or low-level EV regenerative braking engaged (the latter of which the Prime doesn’t supply), and though the outline of it sounds a bit HAL 9000, it really works in a surprisingly pure method. I solely seen it when approaching different vehicles, nevertheless, and never on a number of the extra participating roads we examined the vehicles on. You possibly can flip it off, however it comes again on after shutting the automotive off.
What different Toyota Prius opinions can I learn?
2023 Toyota Prius First Drive Overview: It does not suck!
Dig deeper into all the pieces that is new in regards to the 2023 Prius, together with its design and engineering.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime First Drive Overview: Appears nice, goes like stink
We went again to San Diego to drive the following batter up within the Prius lineup: the Prime plug-in hybrid.
What’s the 2023 Prius worth?
The common Prius and Prius Prime supply completely different trim ranges. The common is available in LE, XLE and Restricted, whereas the plug-in hybrid gives the supposedly sportier SE and XSE. In contrast to different SE/XSE Toyotas, there are not any suspension and steering modifications other than a small structural brace within the entrance finish of the XSE. There aren’t even notably noticeable design variations other than the purple trim on the Prime’s sprint and seats. Broadly talking, the LE and SE, XLE and XSE, and Restricted and XSE Premium align by way of tools. The Prime does supply a “photo voltaic roof” perform not out there on the common mannequin that’s able to charging the battery whereas parked (albeit to solely a tiny diploma) and might even provide energy to auxiliary car capabilities as soon as underway.
All costs beneath embody the $1,095 vacation spot cost. The Prime will not be eligible for federal tax credit.
All-wheel drive is actually a $1,500 possibility on the above trim ranges.
Prime SE: $33,445
Prime XSE: $36,695
Prime XSE Premium: $40,265
What are the Prius security rankings and driver help options?
Each Prius comes with the “Toyota Security Sense 3.0” suite of driver help tech: ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection and computerized emergency braking, rear computerized braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, Secure Exit help (will warn you should you’re about to open a door into an oncoming automotive), the distinctive Proactive Driving Help function (see Drive part above), and adaptive cruise management with lane-centering steering help and hands-free driving capability beneath 25 mph on a freeway.
The 2023 Prius had not been crash examined by a 3rd get together on the time of this writing.