2023 Toyota Prius Prime Evaluation: Higher Styling, Extra Energy, Extra Vary


The 2023 Toyota Prius was out of the blue scorching. The oddball that sipped gas received a glow-up and was one of many sharpest-looking fashions on the highway. On the automobile’s first media drive, each time I ended for images anyone wished to know what the automobile was.

Look underneath that glossy sheet metallic and the Prius is lastly enjoyable. For the primary time, this can be a automobile that doesn’t really feel like a slug. As a substitute, it felt extra such as you had been driving the high-tech model of a classic Paseo.

So, what did Toyota have in retailer for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model of the absolutely up to date Prius?

In brief: For the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime, the out of the blue fashionable mannequin will get extra vary and extra energy. It’s now one thing you’d be comfortable to have in your driveway, not the solely pragmatic selection it as soon as was.

  • Powertrain
    2.0L inline 4-cylinder plus electrical motor
  • HP
    220 hp mixed
  • MPG
    SE 53 metropolis/51 freeway/52 mixed mpg, XSE 50/47/48 mpg
  • Electrical vary
    SE 44 mi., XSE 39 mi.
  • Cargo capability
    20.3 cu. ft.

  • Nice appears

  • Freeway-grade electrical energy

  • Superior driver assists

  • 44 miles of electrical vary

  • Spectacular gas economic system (over 50 mpg)


  • No all-wheel drive

  • Tiny trunk

  • Lack of headroom

  • Cramped rear cabin

  • Finest ADAS options value month-to-month

2023 Prius Prime Delivers Extra

Extra energy, extra vary, extra miles per gallon.

A brand new 2.0L four-cylinder engine and a brand new electrical motor every make extra energy than the last-gen Prius Prime. The full is sort of 100 extra horses.

The four-cylinder’s 150 horsepower and 160 horsepower from the electrical motor give the Prius Prime a complete of 220 peak horsepower. No, that doesn’t math, however the fuel and electrical powerplants don’t each make their max energy on the similar time, so all of it does add up.

Considerably extra energy makes the Prius rather more responsive. It’s higher for freeway merging, passing, and zipping round city. It’s much more enjoyable while you’re on a twisty highway.

Crucially, the additional electrical energy allows you to spend extra time in electrical mode. Prime now has no hassle on the freeway in EV mode. The motor allows you to keep in electrical mode at speeds as much as 84 miles per hour, and Prime is not torpid on the way in which there, serving to you utilize much less gas.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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Extra Battery Energy, Extra Electrical Vary

Prime’s battery has added capability too. It holds 13.6 kWh of power, up from 8.1 kWh within the outgoing Prime. The capability improve comes with 75% extra electrical vary.

This 75% extra provides the Prime an estimated 44 miles of vary. That’s for the SE, at the least. Getting the XSE or XSE Premium trims provides bigger 19-inch wheels and drags vary all the way down to an EPA-estimated 39 miles.

The top results of all of this further energy isn’t only a automobile that’s faster — and a bit extra enjoyable. It’s a automobile that doesn’t quit a lot in the way in which of gas economic system.

On the mixed take a look at cycle, the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime will get an estimated 52 miles per gallon — 48 for XSE and XSE Premium. That’s two fewer than the older, slower Prime. In the actual world, although, it ought to use considerably much less gas as a result of it might probably go a lot farther with out fuel due to all of that further EV vary.

Plug the Prius Prime into the wall and it’ll take about 11 hours to completely cost. The Prime can deal with Stage 3 quick charging as effectively, with a 3.5kW max velocity topping up the battery in round 4 hours. After all, you don’t ever have to plug it in, because it’s a PHEV, although that defeats the entire level of this automobile.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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No All-Wheel Drive for Prime

Prius affords all-wheel drive due to a small electrical motor mounted to the rear axle. Prius Prime is front-drive solely. There’s not sufficient room again there for the large battery, a fuel tank, and all the gear that goes with the additional motor. If you need your Toyota with all-wheel drive, an engine, and a plug, you’ll have to step as much as the bigger RAV4 Prime.

Upsizing can be a disgrace as a result of the Prius Prime is a a lot better automobile than its bigger sibling. Together with the trendy new metallic, Toyota made the Prius a lot nicer inside than any prior Prius. Subsequent to the Corolla Cross, the opposite mannequin I drove on this occasion, the Prius Prime seems like a Lexus.

Identical Small Cargo House as Non-PHEV

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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However, there’s one different cause you would possibly wish to improve to the RAV4, and that’s cargo house. Regardless of the hatchback rear (there’s even an accessible energy hatch), Prime holds simply 20.3 cubic ft of no matter you wish to put again there with the rear seats in place.

Fold the rear seats and house grows marginally — by simply 6.4 cubes.

It’s a small hatch. The low glass line signifies that the house is large and lengthy, however it isn’t tall. Put something bigger than a duffel bag within the again, and it’s going to come back into battle with the cargo cowl after which the glass.

No Extra Heart Cluster

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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After generations of an oddball heart instrument cluster, Toyota has moved the gauges again in entrance of the driving force. However they’re mounted a lot greater than is regular and set again nearer to the windshield.

This gauge cluster structure leaves an odd empty house between the steering wheel and the display. However the excessive and much location is nearer to your pure focus factors while you’re driving. You don’t want to maneuver your eyes as far down to have a look at the sprint. This lets you spend extra time watching the place you’re going. So, very like the Prius Prime as a complete, it’s uncommon however efficient.

The middle display is within the regular location, sitting a lot nearer to the driving force and passenger. SE grade Primes get a small 8.0-inch display, however XSE and up get an even bigger 12.3-inch unit.

All screens massive and small get the identical Toyota multimedia interface. The identical system Toyota launched with the newest Tundra and is rapidly placing in each one among its automobiles.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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The system is quick and responsive. The {hardware} behind the display does its job impressively rapidly. The improve from the last-gen Toyota infotainment system to this one is an enormous leap, and one which was lengthy overdue.

This infotainment interface is loaded with intelligent voice controls. Pure speech requests can change features and tune the radio. If the speech request can’t do it, it is going to take you to the proper web page so you may make the change rapidly your self.

The trick, as with most of those techniques, is to keep away from attempting to overthink. Don’t ask a sophisticated query; simply say you’re chilly. Or ask in your favourite radio station.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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Security Contains a Toyota Precedence

Toyota at all times goes all-in on security, and the Prius Prime isn’t any completely different. Toyota Security Sense 3.0 is commonplace and contains the same old collision avoidance and radar cruise options. Blind spot monitoring can be included on all trim ranges. Model 3.0 has extra options than 2.0 or 2.5. It additionally has longer-range sensing due to {hardware} and software program enhancements.

There are some new options, too. Proactive Driving Help is new and it’ll gently brake into curves or assist steer to be sure to keep away from cyclists or pedestrians. Lane Change Help does a few of the steering while you’re altering lanes.

There may be additionally the accessible Superior Park system that may provide help to park in a parallel or perpendicular house. One other system can cease the automobile safely if it detects an unresponsive driver.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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Arms-Free Site visitors Jams

When you reside wherever the place visitors is an issue, Site visitors Jam Help is value your consideration. It really works at speeds as much as 25 miles per hour, sustaining the space to the automobile in entrance of you and staying centered within the lane.

The low-speed system works hands-free, although it does watch to be sure to’re watching the highway and never your cellphone.

Site visitors Jam Help is a subscription function and is obtainable on all grades of Prius Prime. Any Primes with the 12.3-inch display comes with a one-year Drive Join subscription. You’ll have to pay after that. For fashions with the 8.0-inch display, you’ll have to pay for a Drive Join subscription from the beginning. As of this writing, Drive Join is $15 monthly.

There are another intelligent security options, too, just like the crimson LED gentle strip in that anodized-look crimson trim across the sprint. The crimson lights are on as ambient lighting at the hours of darkness however have a second operate.

When visitors forward of you pulls away from a cease, the strip will flash. A bit of heads-up in case you’re in your cellphone. The identical strip will flash to warn you that the energetic assists are detecting an issue (they’ll additionally beep). Helpful in case you’re wanting down as an alternative of up on the highway forward.

Or, in fact, you could possibly simply put your cellphone down when behind the wheel.

The expertise behind the wheel just isn’t what you anticipate from a Prius, however that’s simply, to steal a phrase, the brand new regular.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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Prime Presents Comfy, Drama-Free Drive

Prius Prime is now, dare we are saying it, enjoyable. Not the type of enjoyable that you just’d get from a sports activities sedan — that is no Gazoo Racing mannequin — however the enjoyable that makes drives extra pleasant. A easy journey combines with splendidly direct steering to make this a automobile that simply will get on concerning the process at hand. Whether or not that’s a twisty highway or a concrete freeway, the 2023 Prius Prime doesn’t care.

Heave and roll are effectively managed, however there’s no sense of stiffness within the suspension — very like how the steering is kind of pleasant however has zero highway really feel and a load of energy help. That is Toyota as a high-quality equipment. Intelligent design and glorious ergonomics rule the day, although this one does have some fancy sheet metallic wrapped round it.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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2023 Prius Prime: 3 Trim Choices

Toyota is launching three trims of Prius Prime: SE, XSE, and XSE Premium.

Base SE comes with many of the goodies you need — rain-sensing wipers, a heated leather-based wheel, six USB-C ports, and each wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Surprisingly, although, it has a heated wheel, however you’ll have to step as much as XSE for heated entrance seats. On that trim, they’re additionally completed in Softex faux leather-based as an alternative of cloth, and the driving force seat has energy adjustment.

 Together with the heated seats, you get 19-inch wheels, cup holders for the rear, and entrance and rear park help. An possibility pack on XSE provides the 12.3-inch display, nonopening twin sunroofs, and the power to make use of your smartphone as an alternative of a key fob for entry and begin.

The highest XSE Premium will get the larger display, energy hatch, and vented entrance seats. You’ll want so as to add one other bundle on prime to get the digital rearview mirror, superior park self-parking, and heated rear seats.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Evaluation: Abstract

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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The Toyota Prius Prime has supplied a powerful worth proposition because it was launched again in 2012. The PHEV was one of many first in the marketplace and delivered plenty of Prius weirdness and an virtually alarming skill to avoid wasting gas, augmented with a spread of simply 6 miles. It couldn’t even hit freeway speeds on electrical energy.

At present’s Prius Prime delivers even higher gas economic system, greater than seven occasions the vary, and has practically 100 extra horsepower. It may well additionally break the velocity restrict on practically each freeway within the nation. Higher but, the 2023 Prius Prime can do all of these issues with out being an excessive amount of of an oddball.

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review
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The Prius Prime is not a automobile you purchase solely for effectivity. It’s a automobile you purchase as a result of it appears good and drives effectively, which simply occurs to be one of the crucial environment friendly automobiles on the highway.