News: 2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid and Prius Prime PHEV Clean Fleet Report

Get ready for the fifth generation Prius

The Toyota Prius has come a long way since its debut 22 years ago as the first hybrid car to be sold in the United States. The initial skepticism of many boiled down to – “What is a hybrid car?” This is rarely heard because hybrid technology has proven itself and the all-new 2023 Toyota Prius is here to show what the best-selling hybrid car in the world is today.

Toyota removed the foiling from the 2023 Prius in front of the media in Los Angeles on November 16. This is a quick preview, but we’ll be getting behind the wheel soon, so check back in December for a full review with driving impressions. So far, that’s what we know so far.

A sleeker look for next year’s Prius

New powertrain, increased efficiency

The 2023 Prius Hybrid is available with a single electric motor and front-wheel-drive (FWD) or with two motors for the all-wheel-drive (AWD) model. Both are mated to a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with a lithium-ion battery that replaces the nickel-metal hydride battery of previous generations. Toyota claims the lithium-ion battery is 15% more efficient and weighs less, two key elements for achieving high fuel economy. The wheels are driven by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with three driver-selectable drive modes: Normal, Eco and Sport.

Lower, wider, faster (looking)

Performance specs are sparse at this point, but Toyota said the single-motor, front-drive hybrid Prius can go 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds, 2.6 seconds faster than the outgoing model. . The 196-hp dual-motor AWD Prius is a little quicker, clocking that sprint at 7.0 seconds.

If you opt for the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the 0-60 time drops to 6.6 seconds.

Autonomy and charging

Toyota rated the 2023 Prius hybrid at 57 combined miles per gallon (mpg). For the Prius Prime PHEV, Toyota has not released the expected fuel economy. However, when we last test the Prius Prime in 2020, we were able to get 61.4 mpg. Anecdotally, we know of Prius Prime owners who exceed that garish number.

The Prius Prime’s EVonly range is 50% longer than the last generation, which was 25 miles. Both the Prius Hybrid and the Prius Prime use regenerative braking which converts kinetic energy into electricity when braking or coasting and returns it to the battery for later use. The Prius Prime, as a plug-in hybrid, can be charged with these approximate times:

Level 1: 120 V – 5.3 hours: discharged to full charge

Level 2: 240 V – 2.1 hours: discharged to full charge

Redesigned exterior

The 2023 Prius is available in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited. Expect performance and efficiency to be the same for each, with features and options increasing as you move up the trim ladder. The exterior has been significantly changed and modernized, with Toyota finally recognizing that a hybrid car no longer needs to be different from other cars to grab people’s attention.

Next to the current Prius, the 2023 Prius is lower and wider, giving it an attractive profile. Color options will be Wind Chill Pearl, Cutting Edge, Guardian Grey, Black, Supersonic Red or Reservoir Blue.

Modern interior

A more conventional dashboard

With the low position comes a lower driving position, which will add an air of sportiness. Driver visibility is good and the dashboard has two screens. The driver information display rises behind the steering wheel, while the infotainment screen dominates the center of the dashboard. This screen measures 8 inches on the LE, while the XLE and Limited get a 12.3-inch multimedia screen.

The multimedia system includes navigation and SiriusXM/AM/FM radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. USB ports and wireless phone charging are standard. A JBL Premium sound system is optional on the XLE but standard on the Limited, as is a fixed glass roof.

The seats, heated and electric on the two upper grades, are covered with synthetic leather that is also found wrapping the steering wheel. As with previous Prius models, three adults can sit in the back seat where they get cup holders.

Security, price and availability

The 2023 Prius comes with active and passive Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) using Toyota Safety Sense technology.

Prices and availability have not been published. We’ll report on both in our review in December.

Observations: 2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid and Prius Prime PHEV

It took a while, but Toyota delivered a Prius that will have people saying “Ooooo!” Gone is the old wedge shape with hard angles, transitioning to a sleek, aerodynamic, high mileage and very different hybrid car – the 2023 Toyota Prius.

We say Bravo!

Next month we’ll let you know if it’s more than just new looks

Be sure to register for Own fleet report newsletter (top right of the page) to stay up to date with all new vehicle stories and reviews, including our Prius Drive Review which will include a report on its performance, handling, ride and range.

Story by John Faulkner. Photos by Toyota.

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