The Next Generation of a Pioneering Hybrid
Here at GreenCars, we’ve raved about the design and fuel economy of the all-new 2023 Toyota Prius, which is landing in dealership showrooms this January. Totally redesigned inside and out, the all-new hybrid hatchback has concept-car looks, a significantly improved powertrain, and offers the option of both all-wheel drive.
Now, Toyota has announced pricing for the all-new Prius. Perhaps, given the total redesign and the step up in technology and quality, a starting MSRP of $27,450 – almost $3,000 more than the previous-generation model – shouldn’t be a surprise. We still think it represents a compelling value, and we still think it may be one of the best-looking hybrids ever.
Three Trim Levels
The 2023 Prius will be offered in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited. Each trim level is available either in front-wheel drive, or in all-wheel drive, which comes at a reasonable $1,400 premium.
The LE trim, with a starting MSRP of $27,450 ($28,850 for all-wheel drive) rolls on dark grey 17-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic covers, and actually offers the best fuel economy. Inside, the seats are fabric in black or grey, and there’s an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and six USB-C ports so your whole family can keep their devices charged.
The “base” Prius also comes with a lot of active-safety features as standard, including a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. The full set of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 systems also comes at no charge, and includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, road sig assist, and more. For a small upcharge, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking is available.
Step up to the XLE (starting MSRP of $30,895, or $32,295 with all-wheel drive) and you get 19-inch alloy wheels, a power heated driver’s seat, SofTex synthetic leather upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, smart key, wireless phone charger, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking, and more. $275 gets you the option to use your smartphone as a key, $735 offers an upgrade from 8 to 12.3 inches for the infotainment display, and you can also get a fixed glass roof for an extra $1,000.
The top-of-the-line Limited trim, at $34,465 or $35,865 with all-wheel drive, includes all of the standard LE and XLE features, and adds the 12.3-inch touchscreen display, killer JBL premium audio system, the fixed glass roof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, power rear tailgate, and smartphone key functionality (which comes as part of a one-year trial to Toyota Remote Connect). The only options are a panoramic view monitor, digital rear-view mirror, heated rear seats, and “advanced park.” This system can execute all of the necessary steering and braking controls to help drivers park their Prius in even the tightest parking spaces. It’s even capable of parallel parking and backing into a perpendicular space, using the Prius’ combination of cameras and sensors.
Thoroughly Upgraded Technology
Under the hood of every 2023 Prius is Toyota’s fifth-generation hybrid drivetrain, paring a 2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two motor-generators and a continuously variable transmission. Redesigned magnets and electromagnetic steel plates help the electric components generate increased output. Total power is up to 194 hp, and the estimated 0-60 time has dropped to 7.2 seconds for front-wheel drive models – a 26 percent improvement over the previous generation.
All-wheel drive Prius models feature an updated electronic on-demand system, which uses a third motor to drive the rear wheels. The on-demand system means that the rear electric motor runs only when needed, maintaining the Prius’ exceptional fuel economy while providing additional traction on slippery road surfaces and to aid with cornering. The extra motor raises total system horsepower to 196, and drops the 0-60 time to an estimated 7 seconds flat. More importantly, torque from the rear motor is increased from 41 lb-ft to 62 lb-ft.
Equally important to the Prius’ improved fuel efficiency is a new, electronically-controlled braking system. It coordinates the regenerative braking force of the electric motors and the hydraulic braking system to provide optimal stopping power, and also recovering as much energy as possible. A new brake hold system reduces driver effort in stop and go traffic, and every Prius also has an EV mode, which lets the vehicle operate as a pure electric car for short distances.
In Dealerships Soon
Toyota’s approach to carbon neutrality spans electric vehicles, combustion engines, plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and even hydrogen. The company’s strategy aims to reduce carbon emissions across the board, while offering a wide variety of options to meet consumer needs.
There are now nine hybrid models in the Toyota lineup, with a tenth, the all-new Toyota Crown, coming soon. The Prius, however, remains the original – and we’re eagerly awaiting our chance to get behind the wheel of this stylish new generation.