2023 Toyota Prius Redesigned to Shine Even Brighter
While most Toyota models offer an electrified variant these days, the pioneering Prius remains the company’s flagship hybrid. And for 2023, a new generation makes its debut—the fifth to hit the road in a quarter-century.
Following a global reveal in Japan less than 24 hours earlier, Toyota took advantage of the Los Angeles Auto Show this week to introduce the North American-spec Prius. Here’s everything you need to know.
- Also: Study: Five-Year-Old Hybrids With the Highest Satisfaction Rate
- Also: The Prius' All-Wheel Drive System: How Does It Work?
The 2023 Toyota Prius continues to offer regular hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, the latter found in the Prius Prime model. What’s the point of keeping the former around when the Corolla is also available with hybrid technology? Good question. In order to add more separation between the two, Toyota will only sell the Prius with AWD in the Canadian market from now on.
Two trim levels are part of the lineup including XLE AWD and Limited AWD. Standard content includes 19-inch alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as the latest suite of safety and driver assistance features called Toyota Safety Sense 3.0.
The top-line Limited AWD gets extra goodies like heated rear seats, wireless smartphone charging, JBL premium audio and a 12.3-inch touchscreen.
Motivation for the Toyota Prius again starts with a four-cylinder gasoline engine, though displacement is increased from 1.8 litres to 2.0 litres. Meanwhile, the old nickel metal hydride battery is replaced by a new lithium-ion pack. With a manufacturer-estimated 4.1 L/100 km, this is the most fuel-efficient Prius ever.
Combined output is now rated at 196 horsepower, with a permanent-magnet electric motor driving the rear axle. Remember, the outgoing generation produced a very modest 121 horsepower, so the improvement is massive.
Toyota claims the new Prius is more engaging to drive thanks to the TNGA-C platform which contributes to a lower centre of gravity. As for performance, look for 0-100 km/h sprints in an estimated 7.2 seconds, leaving your dad’s Prius in the dust.
Unsurprisingly, the 2023 Prius boasts a polarizing design just like its four predecessors. Aerodynamics were evidently a big part of the development process, and somehow the car manages to look a bit sporty at the same time. As you can see, the rear door handles are now built into the C-pillars for a coupe-like appearance. Oh, and the new model is both wider and lower than the previous one.
The taillights are basically just a strip of light that stretches across the entire rear end, with the car’s name in block letters positioned in the middle of the liftgate (to be clear, we’re still talking about a five-door sedan). Elsewhere, the interior is beautifully updated and decidedly more conventional than in the past—a good move by Toyota.
Prius Prime to Offer Longer Range
What about the Prius Prime? Obviously, it’s all-new for 2023, as well. Styling is pretty much identical, so the key difference remains the plug-in hybrid system under the body—and the available federal and provincial incentives that come with it.
The Prius Prime will prove more attractive and consequently more popular with the approximately 50 percent increase in zero-emission range. The outgoing model can travel up to 40 km on pure battery power, so that means the new one should be good for about 60 km.
Unlike the Prius, the Prius Prime still can’t be had with AWD, however. Canadians will have a choice of three trim levels including SE, XSE and XSE Premium.
Pricing and on-sale date for the 2023 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime will be announced later. We’ll keep you posted.