2023 Prius Prime. Driving a 2023 Prius has become a rolling acceptance that you’re ready to give up everything for maximum fuel economy. Power and performance have been reduced, which makes sense. Even so, no previous Prius could break the 10-second barrier to 60 mph. Aesthetic styling, good driver ergonomics, and a smidgeon of handling prowess were also among the attributes sacrificed.
That is no longer the case—except for the fact that the 2023 Toyota Prius has excellent fuel economy. Toyota believes it is even preferable at this primary mission. How about 57 mpg combined (57 city/56 highway)? That is for the LE with front-wheel drive and 17-inch wheels; the L Eco model is no longer available. The XLE and Limited front-wheel-drive models have a combined rating of 52 (city/highway) on their standard 19-inch wheels.
The first thing that comes to mind is how preferable the new 2023 Prius appears, words we’ve never used before. This occurred as a result of chief engineer Satoki Oya’s “love at first sight” approach to the fifth-generation Prius program. He gave the designers “the freedom to do whatever they want,” in contrast to the “relentless pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency” that resulted in the previous weird-mobiles.
As a result, the 2023 Prius is longer (1.1 inches), lower (1.6 inches), and wider (0.9 inch). However, its stance is even more impactful than those figures suggest. New 17- and 19-inch wheels are shod with two-inch-taller tires, and those wheel arrangements are pushed closer to the corners thanks to a track width that’s 2.3 inches wider up front and two inches wider out back. Meanwhile, the wheelbase has grown by two inches.
The apex of the peaked roofline has been yanked, allowing the hood to flow gracefully into the windshield and roof. Despite a deteriorated drag coefficient of 0.27 versus 0.24 last year, this styling decision was made. However, the effect is mitigated because drag is the product of Cd and frontal area, and the latter has shrunk as a result of the car’s significantly lower height. However, cargo space is reduced slightly, with the LE offering 24 cubic feet and the XLE and Limited offering 20 cubic feet. The loss of the hatch’s vertical glass panel reduces rearward visibility slightly as well.
Invisible changes beneath the skin may be more transformative. The internal-combustion engine has been upgraded to a 2.0-liter inline-four with 150 horsepower, up from a 1.8-liter unit with only 96 ponies. The permanent-magnet synchronous traction motor, which is more compact because it has six magnets per pole rather than three, now has 111 horsepower rather than 71 horses. This year’s combined output at full throttle is 194 horsepower rather than 121 horsepower, a 60% increase.
All-wheel-drive models get a new permanent-magnet rear motor with 40 horsepower, up from the previous induction motor’s 7 weak ponies. This greatly broadens the range of speeds and conditions in which rear-drive can be used, and, unlike last year, allows for a slight AWD peak-horsepower advantage: 2 horses more, for a total of 196. Every trim level, from LE to Limited, is now available with all-wheel drive, with the AWD LE seeing the greatest year-over-year improvement in fuel economy: 54 mpg combined, up from 49 mpg.
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This newfound power leads to transformative performance in our front-drive Limited test car—or simply “performance” in the case of a Prius. The sprint to 60 mph on a short freeway merge now takes 7.1 seconds instead of 10.5 ticks. When passing, the 50-to-70-mph romp takes 5.0 seconds rather than 7.1 seconds. When measured against the quarter-mile, the new car’s 15.5-second, 92-mph effort is 2.3 seconds and 13 mph faster than before.
2023 Prius enhanced handling and braking
The new car’s lower height and wider stance also eliminate the impression that it is standing on tiptoes. This is aided by Oya-desire san’s to apply his “performance worthy of the design” philosophy to chassis tuning. The largely similar front strut and rear multilink suspension has been tweaked for better handling, with KYB dampers featuring an internal check valve that closes when subjected to lateral forces to firm up damping in corners. Indeed, the new 2023 Prius has far less body lean than before, and it flows gracefully through corners. Our tests reveal a healthy 0.87 g of cornering grip when filtered through the contact patch of 195/50R-19 Michelin Primacy All Season tires. Even with the XLE and Limited’s low-profile 19-inch tires, the ride is nicely buttoned down over most pavement irregularities.
To improve feel, the front and rear brakes are larger, and the booster uses a hydraulic pump rather than a vacuum assist. The brake pedal feels consistent as the computer switches between regenerative and friction braking, resolving a long-standing Prius complaint. Stopping from 70 mph takes only 171 feet.
2023 Prius Interior Ergonomics Improvements
However, the swoopy roofline reduces headroom by 1.4 inches in front and one inch in back. The longer wheelbase adds 0.9 inch of front legroom and 1.4 inches of rear legroom. This results in a much more comfortable and less upright driving position. However, adjusting the steering wheel feels strange at first because it appears that the wheel must be in your lap to see the instruments. That’s mostly an illusion, because the steering column cover is designed to blend in with the dash. There’s actually good thigh clearance beneath the rim, and the Toyota logo on the horn pad is aimed at your chin rather than your sternum.
The fact that the steering wheel affects the instruments is novel for the Prius, as they are now (finally) dead ahead of the driver, rather than lollygagging off to starboard. It’s also a simple display, and the controls on the steering-wheel spokes make it simple to navigate the screen. The familiar Prius shifter remains, but it feels more logical and intuitive now that it protrudes straight up from the console close at hand rather than at arm’s length from the dash.
The central touchscreen on the LE is an 8.0-inch unit, but a larger 12.3-inch unit is optional on the XLE and standard on the Limited. Wireless smartphone mirroring is now commonplace. The physical HVAC toggles and buttons operate perfectly logically just below the screen, and a phone charging slot sits alongside the shifter, with a clever clamping action that securely holds your phone. A second phone tray is located ahead of the shifter, and there are six USB-C jacks located throughout the cabin.
The completely redesigned Prius will be available in January. The base price is higher because the base L Eco model is no longer available, but the starting price for the front-drive LE is only about $1100 higher than last year. The XLE costs $31,990, while the Limited costs $35,560. If you want all-wheel drive, add $1400 to any of the above. From our perspective, the small extra cost of the new car is well worth it because you get the same fuel economy as before without sacrificing good looks, reasonable performance, a dash of driving fun, or your dignity.
2023 Toyota Prius Cost
The Toyota Prius 2023 is the brand’s fifth generation hybrid model, and it receives a radical redesign that makes the car look nothing like any previous iteration. The new shape could even be described as sporty. The online configurator is now available, allowing you to specify the ideal example of a more eye-catching machine. The top trim, with every option and accessory available, costs $42,639 after the $1,095 destination fee.
The Prius 2023 comes in three trim levels: LE, XLE, and Limited. All-wheel drive is available on all grades.
After the destination charge, the Limited AWD starts at $36,960. Midnight Black Metallic, Cutting Edge Silver, Guardian Gray, and Reservoir Blue are the colors available for the car. Supersonic Red and Wind Chill Pearl white are available for $495. Inside, there are two color options: Gradient Black and Light Gray.
Buyers can choose three of three options. The cost of a digital rearview mirror is $200. The heated rear seats cost $350. The Limited Premium Package, which costs $1,635, includes both of these features as well as an advanced park system and a panoramic view monitor.
Toyota has 26 accessories available for the new Prius. For $299, they include all-weather and carpeted floor mats, as well as a section covering the cargo area. For $452, you can get either of these covers with a cargo net, first-aid kit, and rear bumper applique.
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There are also two catalytic converter shields available to keep thieves away from this valuable component. A stainless steel variant costs $200, while an aluminum variant costs $140.
The company provides paint protection in a variety of areas. The film costs $525 to cover the front bumper. It costs $439 for the hood, fenders, mirror caps, and door cups. The cost of a rear bumper appliqué is $69.
Toyota has not yet released pricing for the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime. Details will be released in the first half of 2023. This model produces 220 horsepower (161 kilowatts) and accelerates to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 6.6 seconds. The estimated range on electric power alone is 37 miles. A roo
2023 Prius Prime
A new crescent automobile with far more power than its predecessor makes its debut at this year’s Los Angeles auto show. But this isn’t some Rodeo Drive-bound exotic—the it’s Toyota 2023 Prius Prime. Although it’s still a long way from being a hybrid supercar, the redesigned Prius PHEV hatchback promises higher performance, technology, and range—not to mention aesthetics—than any previous Prius.
Is the 2023 Prius Prime cool now?
The new Prius Prime, like the equally new 2023 Prius hybrid (the one without a plug), gets a mouth-watering glow-up. To be sure, the previous model raised the styling bar about as high as a Toyota Supra’s ground clearance, but the new Prii (including the identical-looking hybrid) may be the first to entice buyers with its design, rather than just its affordability and efficiency. We imagine that someone at Toyota eventually questioned whether stylistic self-flagellation for the sake of MPGs was necessary. The body has a sleek aerodynamic shape with dapper sculpting and clever details like hidden rear door handles. The wedge-shaped Prius, which is based on an updated version of the TNGA-C platform, is roughly 2.0 inches shorter, 1.0 inch wider, and 1.0 inch longer than the previous model. The thin LED headlights, which would not look out of place on a sports car, are the most eye-catching feature. In fact, there are some amusing similarities between the Toyota‘s headlight design and, well, the same pieces on the most recent Ferraris.
Unlike the previous model, the new 2023 Prius Prime‘s body is nearly identical to the standard Prius. Toyota is distinguishing the Prime by positioning it as a performance variant in the Prius lineup. It’s available in SE, XSE, and XSE Premium trim levels, which are reserved for Toyota‘s sportier trim-level pillar. (Toyota‘s L-based designations, such as L, LE, and XLE, are reserved for more luxury-focused models, and are the only options on the standard 2023 Prius.) The Prime’s design distinguishing features include a cute cursive “Prime” tailgate badge, unique wheels, interior trim, and an available clear lens for the LED taillights.
The Most Efficient And Electric Prius Ever
What appear to be two fuel doors are a subtle detail seen only on the 2023 Prius Prime. In reality, gasoline enters through the driver’s side flap, while electricity enters through the passenger’s side charge port, which has a J1772 connector fitting to recharge the now lithium-ion onboard battery.
This new battery is housed beneath the rear seats, resulting in a lower center of gravity and more cargo space in the hatchback. Although official EPA certification is still pending, Toyota promises an increase in all-electric driving range of more than 50% over the outgoing model—estimate 37 or 38 miles in EV mode. When parked, a rooftop solar panel can help recharge the battery and power accessories while driving. When driven as a hybrid, the 2022 Prius Prime achieved a combined fuel economy rating of 54 mpg, which is slightly higher than the standard Prius’ 52 mpg. Given that the new 2023 Prius is aiming for 57 mpg combined, it appears likely that the hybrid efficiency of the new Prime will improve as well.
The electric drivetrain is supplemented by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine, which replaces the previous 1.8-liter mill. It is still paired with a planetary-type continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is only available on the standard Prius hybrid. Together, the battery and motor boost the Prius Prime’s power to 220 hp, up from 121 hp; the standard Prius produces 194 hp with FWD and 196 hp with AWD. As a result, Toyota estimates the Prius Prime will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which is significantly faster than the 10.0-second result our test team obtained from the previous Prime. Toyota claims that the Prius Prime’s accelerator responses have been tuned to feel more like those of an all-electric vehicle.
2023 Prius Prime Holistic Use of Screens and Buttons
Toyota gets a nod for not following the industry trend of ditching physical buttons in favor of digital everything inside the Prius Prime. The dashboard has hard keys for HVAC controls, the center console has drive mode options, and the steering wheel, which appears to be borrowed from the brand’s bZ4X all-electric crossover, has a variety of other functions.
Nonetheless, there is no shortage of pixels. The Prius Prime’s driver, like the bZ4X, looks at a digital gauge display. The SE and XSE grades come standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, while the 12.3-inch unit is optional on the XSE and standard on the XSE Premium. Both screens support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as dual Bluetooth device connectivity and future over-the-air updates. Every Prius Prime comes standard with six USB-C ports, and the XSE Premium will include a wireless charging pad. Furthermore, the top-tier trim includes a digital rearview mirror, semi-autonomous parking, and a surround-view camera system.
2023 Prius Prime Self-driving capabilities are included as standard.
The Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of driver-assist and active safety features will be standard on all 2023 Toyota models, including the Prius Prime. The latest version 3.0 of the technology is available here, which includes front automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, and automatic high beams; XSE and XSE Premium models add blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic braking.
Proactive Driving Assist, which is new to TSS 3.0, works in the background to provide assistance in situations that are less dire than those that would activate, say, automatic emergency braking. Rather, Proactive Driving Assist is constantly monitoring traffic conditions to provide minor steering and braking inputs.
Toyota‘s new Traffic Jam Assist makes its debut on the Prius Prime. This system expands on the adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist systems to provide hands-free driving in less than 25 mph traffic. A camera built into the steering column monitors the driver’s eyes to ensure they are focused.
Is this the best Prius ever?
Toyota revolutionized the auto industry by introducing hybrids into the mainstream with the original Prius. However, as the world moves toward all-electric vehicles, Toyota has lost its position as the market leader. Can the allure of the 2023 Prius Prime’s alluring looks and improved electric driving range serve as an appetizer for Toyota‘s upcoming EV models? Time will tell, but one thing is certain: the car has mojo like it’s never had before. Expect pricing to start a few thousand dollars higher than the standard Prius when it is announced in the first half of calendar year 2023.