• Toyota has unveiled the US version of the 2023 Prius Hybrid and the Prius Prime Hybrid.
  • The standard model produces 194 or 196 horsepower, while the Prime has 220 hp.
  • The new Prius will go on sale in the US next year.

UPDATE 11/23/22: This story has been updated with additional photos of the 2023 Prius.

Every new car aims to be faster and better looking than its predecessor, but it wouldn’t take much for Toyota to make such claims about the new 2023 Prius. Being slow and ugly has always been the Prius’s thing—and that doesn’t even mean it’s going to knock. Slow and ugly worked on the Prius, which was a sales hit for years and even won one of our top 10 awards in 2004. But the quintessential mass market hybrid has recently lost popularity among buyers and C/D employees alike.

The heavily redesigned fifth-generation Prius seems to be just the antidote. Much more powerful than before, it also offers slightly better fuel economy and adds many new features, including solar panels and hands-free driving. And wait, it looks like that what?!

The same drop-shaped shape remains, but the smooth side surface, elegant details and much sportier proportions make us look back at previous model and wondering – what happened? If the Prius could look like this all along, why didn’t it? The front end features elongated headlights with C-shaped LED accent lights, while the rear end features a full-width LED taillight strip that looks like the new Crown sedan. Two inches lower than before and one inch wider, the Prius has a whole new stance—and a seemingly new outlook on life.

This extends to a new transmission that increases output from 194 to 220 horsepower depending on the configuration. That’s a huge increase over the raucous 121 hp. previous model. Toyota claims the new Prius will hit 60 mph in 6.6 to 7.2 seconds, which could make it feel like an NHRA dragster, compared to the previous model’s 10-plus seconds.

While Toyota has yet to release detailed powertrain specifications, one contributing factor to the newfound muscle is a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine that replaces the previous 1.8-liter unit. All Prius now use a lithium-ion battery mounted under the rear seat; the old nickel metal hydride package, still found in some versions of the outgoing car, is gone. The all-wheel-drive Prius also replaces its rear-axle-mounted asynchronous motor with a new permanent-magnet synchronous unit.

Front-wheel drive with a capacity of 194 hp. is standard, and the all-wheel-drive model adds 2 hp. FWD only Prius Primemeanwhile, tops the range with a 220-hp plug-in that includes a larger lithium-ion battery that promises about 38 miles of electric range, up from the previous Prime’s 25-mile rating.

View photos

2023 Toyota Prius Prime

Michael Simari|Car and driver

Despite the​​​​​​additional grunt, Toyota also promises a combined EPA rating of 57 mpg for the base LE model with front-wheel drive and 17-inch wheels. That’s one better than the outgoing 2022 Prius Eco’s 56 mpg rating, though the addition of all-wheel drive and the choice of larger 19-inch wheels on the XLE and Limited models will likely lower that number somewhat.

Unlike before, the Prime plug-in is visually indistinguishable from the stock car (thankfully, they both look good now). But now that it’s the most powerful Prius, Toyota is claiming it as a sports car, as it will only be offered in SE, XSE and XSE Premium trims. The standard car will continue to have LE, XLE and Limited models.

While the lower trims aren’t anything fancy – they lack power seats, have a relatively small 8.0-inch touchscreen and will likely look bulkier on their 17-inch wheels – Limited and XSE Premium models present some new technical advantages and convenient functions. A huge 12.3-inch touchscreen is included in the top trim along with a power liftgate, and a digital rear-view mirror is optional. The Prime offers solar panels for the glass roof, which charge the battery while the car is stationary to assist accessory and air conditioning functions. Also, uniquely optional on the Prime is Traffic Jam Assist, which allows the driver to operate hands-free under certain circumstances at speeds up to 25 mph.

We expect Toyota to raise the price of the Prius somewhat, but the base model should still cost less than $30,000. The top versions will likely top $40,000, but maybe that’s not too much, thanks to the Prius’ new speed, upscale features, and most of all, its undeniable appeal.

This content is imported from a survey. You may be able to find the same content in a different format, or you may be able to find more information on their website.

This story was originally published on November 16, 2022.

This content is imported from a survey. You may be able to find the same content in a different format, or you may be able to find more information on their website.


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