A Toyota Prius that looks cool? The 2023 Prius looks downright stylish with its new body design. But it delivers the same excellent fuel economy that has made it a global best seller for Toyota for more than 20 years.
Base Price: $34,465
As Tested: $37,494
Mileage: 52 mpg city/52 mpg highway/52 mpg combined
The Toyota Prius gets a much-needed makeover for 2023 and is now in its fifth generation. Let’s be real – the Prius was never an attractive car. But that changes now with a redesigned exterior and interior. During my week-long test drive, I had numerous people comment on how good the new Prius looks.
In addition, the Prius also gets a new powertrain that delivers peppier performance. These changes make the Prius more compelling and more competitive than the outgoing model. While the Prius was the original mass-produced hybrid, it now faces stiff competition from other Toyota models and other hybrids from other automakers.
The 2023 Toyota Prius is available in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. Starting prices range from $27,450 to $35,865. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for $1,400. There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating.
There are two powertrains. Models with front-wheel drive get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a combined output of 194 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. Models with AWD get the same engine and two electric motors that make two more horses for a total of 196 hp. Torque is the same. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic.
Performance is fairly lively. Of course, the Prius is no sports car, but acceleration is relatively brisk and there’s more than enough power for merging and passing at freeway speeds. Steering is crisp and easy. Brakes have a normal feel. Available all-wheel drive means the Prius can handle changing weather conditions. All in all, driving the Prius is a pleasant experience, and it excels as a daily driver.
Fuel economy is excellent for the class and stacks up well against other hybrids. EPA ratings for my tester are 52 mpg city and 52 mpg highway with a combined rating of 52. I got 52 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is more attractive than in previous models. Yes, there are still some hard plastics, but overall the quality is much improved. Still, the Prius has a way to go before its interior is competitive with some rivals. Controls are logically laid out. Front seats are supportive and comfortable with good leg- and headroom. The second row isn’t so spacious. Legroom is ok but headroom is tight due to the sloping roofline so taller passengers may feel cramped.
Standard features include a rearview camera, rear camera mirror, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, leatherette steering wheel, seven-inch digital gauge cluster, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six USB ports and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Available features include remote keyless entry, Digital Key (lets you use your smartphone to lock, unlock and start the Prius), push-button start, surround-view camera system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, infotainment system with 12.3-inch touchscreen, navigation, eight-speaker JBL audio system, wireless device charging, a fixed glass roof, automatic high-beam headlights, fain-sensing windshield wipers, and universal garage door opener.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-trace assist, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, rear seat alert, and safe-exit assist (alerts passengers exiting the Prius if there’s a vehicle approaching from behind).
Available driver assistance technologies include reverse collision warning, reverse automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and park assist.
The infotainment system comes with a standard eight-inch or available 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s user-friendly with one exception: the volume knob is a reach for the driver. Otherwise, menus are logically laid out, graphics look good and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. The system gets over-the-air updates to keep current.
The 2023 Prius has less cargo space than the outgoing model. There are 23.8 cubic feet in the hatch of the LE trim, and 20.3 cubes in the upper two trims. Still, these numbers are decent for a hybrid. A power liftgate is available.
Excellent fuel economy
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Tight second row
Not as much cargo space as previous model
My tester starts at $34,465. The digital rearview mirror is $200. The Limited Premium Package is $1,085 and includes Advanced Park and panoramic view monitor. Heated rear seats are $350. Carpet floor mats and cargo mat are $299. Delivery fee is $1,095 bringing the grand total to $37,494.
The redesigned 2023 Toyota Prius comes with sleek looks, peppier performance and an upgraded cabin compared to the outgoing model. But the excellent fuel economy remains. The only drawbacks are less cargo space and a tight back seat. Otherwise, the new Prius will doubtless be another hit for Toyota, and is worth checking out if you’re shopping for a hybrid.