Update: ‘Price & Release date’ section updated.
With a sleek and sporty exterior, an upscale interior, and spirited performance, the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime PHEV dares all Prius naysayers and trolls to rethink their stand. And it does that while being more efficient. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the 2023 Prius Prime is Toyota’s most exciting product (on the electrified side of its line-up) in years! After several mediocre seasons, the Prius brand finally has the chance to score another home run.
It’s unusual for us to begin talking about a Toyota with the performance section, but the 2023 Prius Prime is a special case. Toyota’s thrown in everything it’s got before it goes all-electric and is making big claims about the new Prius’ performance aspects.
The 2023 Toyota Prius PHEV packs the company’s all-new, fifth-gen hybrid powertrain, which links a larger, 2.0L gas engine with two motor through an e-CVT. Both motors can act as a generator and recharge the traction battery pack, which is a newly developed lithium-ion unit, but only one of them can drive the (front) wheels.
The 2023 Prius Prime’s hybrid system develops 220 horsepower, which is a whopping 82% improvement from the previous model’s 1.8-liter engine-based powertrain (121 horsepower). The result – 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds! That means the 2023 Prius Prime is as quick as the 2023 GR86 automatic, which is impressive.
Toyota says it has optimized the location of the traction battery pack from the previous generation and placed it under the rear seat, which has lowered the center of gravity and also improved luggage capacity. The company says the brake pedal’s feel and feedback have improved, thanks to the usage of an active hydraulic booster on the braking system.
The 2023 Prius Prime is just as impressive in its main aspects, which are efficiency and electric driving range. Toyota is targeting an electric range of 44 miles, which is 76% higher than that of the outgoing model’s EPA-est. electric range (25 miles). The company has used a larger, 13.6 kWh battery pack in the redesigned car. For reference, the previous model has an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion unit.
The new Toyota hybrid car is also equipped with a 185-watt solar roof. The roof-mounted solar panels deliver supplemental power to peripheral devices like air conditioning. The onboard AC charger allows charging the traction battery pack at up to 3.5 kW, and at that rate, a full charge takes about 4 hours. Topping it up on a standard 120-volt home outlet takes about 11 hours.
|Aspect||2023 Toyota Prius Prime Specification|
|Height||55.9 in. (SE)/56.3 in. (XSE & XSE Premium)|
|Ground Clearance||5.6 in. (SE)/6.0 in. (XSE & XSE Premium)|
|Headroom (Front/Rear)||38.0 in./36.4 in.|
|Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)||55.3 in./52.8 in.|
|Hip Room (Front/Rear||54.7 in./51.7 in|
|Leg Room (Front/Rear)||43.2 in./34.8 in.|
|Passenger Volume||91.2 cu. ft.|
|Cargo Volume (Rear Seats Up/Folded Down)||20.3 cu. ft./26.7 cu. ft.|
|Engine||M20A-FXS 2.0L gasoline|
|Engine Power||150 hp at 6,000 rpm|
|Engine Torque||139 lb.-ft.|
|Traction Motor||Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous|
|Traction Motor Power||161 hp|
|Hybrid System Power||220 hp|
|Battery Pack||13.6 kWh Lithium-ion|
|Max. AC Charging Power||3.5 kW|
|Charging Time||~4 hours|
|Toyota-est. Electric Range||SE: 44 miles|
XSE: 39 miles
XSE Premium: 39 miles
|Toyota-est. Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||SE: 53/51/52|
XSE Premium: 50/47/48
|Toyota-est. MPGe (Combined)||SE: 127|
XSE Premium: 114
|0-60 mph Acceleration Time||6.6 seconds|
Toyota has launched the 2023 Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the U.S. market in three grades: SE, XSE, and XSE Premium.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime SE
The SE grade has 17-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers, rain-sensing wipers, an 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen infotainment system, six USB-C ports, SofTex and leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), Traffic Jam Assist, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0). Front and rear parking sensors with an automatic braking function are optional (USD 35).
2023 Toyota Prius Prime XSE
The XSE grade includes 19-inch unique wheels, clear tail lights, passive keyless entry, auto-dimming IRVM with Home Link, heated front seats, SofTex seat covers, wireless charger, direct light illumination, and front and rear parking sensors with an automatic braking function. Customers can specify a fixed glass roof (USD 1,000), the 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen infotainment system (USD 735), and digital key capability (USD 275) optionally.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime XSE Premium
The XSE Premium grade comes with the 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen infotainment system, digital key, and fixed glass roof as standard. Its standard equipment includes an 8-speaker JBL Premium Audio system, power liftgate, and ventilation and memory functions for the front seats as well. A solar glass roof (USD 610), 360-degree camera system (price TBA), rear seat heater (USD 350), digital IRVM (USD 200), and Advanced Park (USD 1,085) are optional.
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is available in six colors:
- Wind Chill Pearl (USD 425 paid option)
- Cutting Edge
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Reservoir Blue
- Guardian Gray
- Supersonic Red (USD 425 paid option)
Price & Release date
Prices of the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime start at USD 32,350 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee). The all-new plug-in hybrid car is officially expected to reach U.S. dealerships from May 2023. Mobile, Alabama-based Palmer’s Toyota Superstore, Mars, Pennsylvania-based Baierl Toyota, Garden Grove, California-based Toyota Place, Bloomington, Minnesota-based Walser Toyota, and many other dealerships have begun listing the new model on their websites, allowing prospective customers to conveniently find all the details online.
|Trim||2023 Toyota Prius Prime Price|
Impression from the American media & influencers
In her first impressions video (YouTube link), Maggie Clark from Motor City Maggie praised the stylish design of the 2023 Prius Prime. She noted that the new model’s estimated all-electric range of around 40 miles should make for a usable daily driver while pointing out the sporty-looking red interior accents and LED lighting – the latter serving as a visual alert for the driver in stop & go traffic situations. The reviewer also drew attention to the small driver’s display, which is easily obstructed by the steering wheel.
Jeff Teague from ToyotaJeff Reviews (YouTube link) noted how the new lithium-ion battery’s performance and the updated hybrid system’s total 220-horsepower of output are significantly better than the previous-gen Prius. According to Teague, the new model’s large glass cutout behind the A-pillar should enable better outward visibility for the driver, while being quite impressed with the eye-catching metallic finish on the gloss-black wheel arches.
Matt Maran Motoring revealed in his ‘first impressions’ video (YouTube link) that the all-new Prius Prime is an inch longer & wider than the old model while being two inches lower and offering a far more attractive & unique exterior design.
Kirk Kreifels mentioned in his YouTube video (link) that the new Prius Prime has a more capacious boot than the previous-gen model while also sporting a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds – making it about 3.5 seconds quicker than the 2022 model. The reviewer noted that the red stitching found on the new steering wheel has been inherited from the bZ4X while pointing out that the positioning of the new digital gauge cluster makes the lack of a dedicated HUD insignificant. He was also impressed with the inclusion of a 360-degree camera system and the overall rear-seat space.
Sales of the Toyota Prius Prime saw a massive decline in 2022. Toyota delivered 25,042 units of the plug-in hybrid car in 2021, but in 2022, it fulfilled just 11,857 orders. The company hasn’t revealed the reason behind the 52.7% year-over-year drop in its sales, but limited availability from the Tsutsumi plant (Toyota City, Japan) could be the main factor.
Ahead of the next-gen Prius Prime launch in May 2023, it seems the outgoing model is in the run-out phase. In Q1 2023, the latter recorded a sharp, 61.6% drop in sales. Compared to 2,586 units sold between January and March 2022, only 994 units were delivered between January and March 2023.
The new Prius Prime is an impressive plug-in hybrid electric car with an emotional exterior, a premium and high-tech interior, solid performance, and a good pure electric driving range. If you’re searching for a new compact PHEV, this new all-rounder has to be on your shopping list!
2023 Toyota Prius Prime FAQs
What is the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime release date?
The new Prius Prime will likely start arriving at U.S. dealerships in May 2023.
What will be the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime price?
The base 2023 Toyota Prius Prime (SE) has been priced at USD 32,350 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee).
Featured Image Source: Toyota