New 2023 Toyota Prius is a coupe-styled hybrid EV [Update]

  • Is lower, sportier & more aerodynamic than the previous model
  • The Elantra Hybrid, Civic Hybrid & perhaps even the Ioniq 6 are the challengers
  • To begin arriving at U.S. dealers in January 2023
  • Costs USD 27,450 in the base configuration

Update: ‘Design’ section updated.

The 2023 Toyota Prius marks the arrival of the fifth generation of the company’s globally acclaimed eco-car nameplate. For the third time, the latest Prius line-up includes a hybrid variant and a plug-in hybrid variant, with the latter badged ‘Prime’ in the U.S. In this story, we detail the Hybrid variant (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), which will be the first in the launch order.


Media outlets have reacted well to the dramatic change in the character of the fifth-generation Toyota Prius. Satoki Oya, the chief engineer of the 2023 Prius, was interviewed by The Detroit Bureau about the priorities for the fifth generation. Oya replied that Toyota put a lot of effort into making this design a reality and giving it the performance one would expect. According to him, design and performance were the main criteria for development.

2023 Toyota Prius Limited front three quarter
The 2023 Toyota Prius features a hammerhead shark-like design at the front. Image Source: Toyota

Achieving maximum fuel efficiency wasn’t the goal while designing the Prius for the fifth generation. The compact car fulfilled its role of popularizing hybrid technology after the fourth generation. In order to make customers fall in love with the Prius, Toyota designed the 2023 model as an emotional hybrid car.

For 25 years, the Toyota Prius has been unmistakable in terms of design. Its peculiarity makes it instantly recognizable, and it’s more aerodynamic than comparable mass-market compact cars. The new-generation Prius is a sporty coupe with a significantly improved desirability.

At the front, the 2023 Prius has a large hammerhead shark-like shape with C-shaped slim headlights, a slim upper grille, an angry-looking lower air intake, and a smooth bumper. This frontal shape communicates the car’s low and wide stance.

2023 Toyota Prius XLE side profile
The 2023 Toyota Prius looks more appealing, thanks to the flatter and more coupe-like shape. Its coefficient of drag, though, much to our surprise, is 0.03 Cd higher than the previous model – 0.27 Cd. Image Source: Toyota

On the sides, the 2023 Prius has a more streamlined design than the previous model. Toyota designers have lowered the A-pillar angle and the height of the roofline, making the car flatter and more aerodynamic. The hidden rear door handles, larger, 19-inch wheels that fill the wheel wells better, bulged-out and smoother body panels, and a new, leaf-shaped greenhouse make the side profile even more interesting. The simple yet toned body of the 2023 Prius with minimized character lines has a more emotional look. These changes could help the car’s aerodynamics, and contribute positively to its mpg.

At the rear, the 2023 Prius looks smoother and stubbier than the previous model and a little cleaner, too. The license plate is on the bumper instead of the liftgate. The free space on the liftgate features a new block-lettered model inscription with wide spacing to accentuate the wider stance and elevated sophistication of the fifth-gen Prius. A ducktail spoiler finishes off the sporty new exterior.

2023 Toyota Prius Limited rear three quarter
The 2023 Toyota Prius’ shorter rear overhang and swoopy tail section give it a sportier styling. Image Source: Toyota


The 2023 Toyota Prius’ sleek and futuristic styling extends to its interior. The new layout is more conventional, aimed at reducing the driver’s distraction and making operations more intuitive. The dashboard appears to float above an expansive interior landscape. It integrates an ambient light that highlights that floating effect. 

The instrument cluster is a new, 7-inch TFT display. Positioned directly in the driver’s forward eye line, above the steering wheel, it allows the driver to view it with minimal eye movement. Also new is a stubby three-spoke multifunction steering wheel. It looks like Toyota lifted both of these elements straight from the bZ4X.

The 2023 Prius gets the Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team. The new system offers OTA update capability, cloud-based built-in navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, dual Bluetooth phone connectivity, and more. The new infotainment system comes in 8- and 12.3-inch sizes and its features vary as per the size selected.


The 2023 Toyota Prius comes with the Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0) ADAS suite that debuted in Toyota bZ4X as standard. Like TSS 2.0, TSS 3.0 includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, and Automatic High Beams. Plus, it packs a new Proactive Driving Assist feature.

Proactive Driving Assist uses the car’s camera and radar to provide gentle braking into curves or gentle braking and/or steering to aid driving tasks like controlling the distance from a vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist ahead. It doesn’t replace the Pre-Collision System; it’s a system that operates in different circumstances.

TSS 3.0 includes improved versions of carried-over features, too. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection works better, as it has improved detection capabilities and can detect motorcyclists in addition to bicyclists and pedestrians. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist has improved lane recognition. It can detect guardrails and some other 3D objects used to define the lane.

Lane recognition works better in Lane Tracing Assist. Moreover, it provides more space between vehicles being passed in adjacent lines. Lastly, Lane Tracing Assist in TSS 3.0 includes a new Emergency Driving Stop System that checks the driver’s attentiveness and responsiveness. It can stop the car if the driver doesn’t respond to alerts to take control.

Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control includes one more, fourth following distance setting in TSS 3.0. Road Sign Assist, unlike in TSS 2.0, can detect certain intersection signs and warning signs, like pedestrian crossings. Also new on the safety front is a digital interior rearview mirror.


Toyota offers the 2023 Prius in the U.S. in LE, XLE, and Limited grades. The LE grade includes 17-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers, 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen, SofTex steering wheel, 6-way adjustable fabric front seats, six USB-C ports, electronic parking brake, and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Front and rear parking sensors with automatic braking are optional.

The XLE grade’s highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, smart key, 8-way adjustable heated power SofTex seat for the driver, wireless charger, and front and rear parking sensors with automatic braking. The 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen, a fixed glass roof, and a digital key are optional.

The Limited grade comes with a power liftgate, 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen, 8-speaker JBL Premium Audio with an amplifier, fixed glass roof, SofTex heated and ventilated front seats, and heated steering wheel. A 1-year trial for Toyota Remote Connect, which includes digital key, is also standard. A 360-degree camera system, digital IRVM, heated rear seats, and Advanced Park are optional.

Color & upholstery options

The 2023 Toyota Prius will be available in the U.S. in six exterior colors:

  • Cutting Edge
  • Guardian Gray
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Reservoir Blue
  • Supersonic Red
  • Wind Chill Pearl

As for interior colors and upholstery options, there are four options:

  • Black (Fabric)
  • Gray (Fabric)
  • Black (SofTex synthetic leather)
  • Gray (SofTex synthetic leather)


The table below shows the dimensional changes from the previous model:

Dimension\Measurement2023 Toyota Prius2022 Toyota PriusDifference
Length181.1 in.180.0 in.+1.1 in.
Width70.2 in.69.3 in.+0.9 in.
Height56.3 in. (XLE/Limited)/55.9 (LE)57.9 in. (FWD)/58.1 (AWD)-1.6 in.
Wheelbase108.3 in.106.3 in.+2.0 in.
EPA Passenger Volume91.2 ft.393.1 ft.3-1.9 ft.3
Toyota-est. Cargo Volume (Seats up)23.8 ft.3 (LE)/20.3 ft.3 (XLE/Limited)27.4 ft.3-3.6 ft.3
Headroom (Front/Rear)38.0 in./36.4 in39.4 in./37.4 in.-1.4 in./-1.0 in.
Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)55.3 in./52.8 in.55.0 in./53.0 in.+0.3 in./-0.2 in.
Hip Room (Front/Rear)54.7 in./51.7 in.53.4 in./51.9 in.+1.3 in./-0.2 in.
Leg Room (Front/Rear)43.2 in./34.8 in.42.3 in./33.4 in.+0.9 in./+1.4 in.
2023 Toyota Prius vs. 2022 Toyota Prius – Dimensions (Source: Toyota)

Platform & Specifications

The 2023 Toyota Prius debuts the second-gen TNGA platform. It is because of the new platform that Toyota was able to give the 2023 Prius exhilarating styling, improved driving performance, a lower center of gravity, and larger wheels. Thanks to additional body reinforcement, the 2023 Prius has improved rigidity and quietness, says the company.

The 2023 Toyota Prius in the U.S. employs a newly developed, fifth-generation powertrain. The M20A-FXS 2.0-liter gas engine, two motor-generators (MG1 and MG2), an eCVT, and all-new lithium-ion battery pack work together in the redesigned hybrid car. The lithium-ion battery pack, located underneath the rear seat, offers 15% higher output than the previous model’s Nickel-Metal Hydride unit, which is why it is smaller and lighter.

2023 Toyota Prius engine bay
The U.S.-spec 2023 Toyota Prius has the company’s fifth-gen hybrid powertrain. Image Source: Toyota

The new hybrid system produces 194 hp in FWD configurations and 196 hp in AWD configurations. The AWD configurations pack a separate rear-mounted electric motor. While the rear motor of the previous Prius AWD produces 7 hp and 40 lb.-ft. of torque, the rear motor of the 2023 Prius AWD develops 40 hp and 62 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 2023 Prius AWD accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in seven seconds flat (Toyota-est.). The 2023 Prius FWD is a little slower in the 0-60 mph sprint, taking 7.2 seconds (Toyota-est.), but it’s 2.6 seconds quicker than the previous Prius FWD. Toyota claims that the 2023 Prius is the most efficient hybrid car for MY2023. The company is expecting a combined fuel economy of up to 57 MPG (FWD)/54 MPG (AWD).

Aspect2023 Toyota Prius Specification
EngineM20A-FXS 2.0-liter gasoline
Battery Pack222 V, 4.08 Ah (0.9 kWh) lithium-ion
Drivetrain LayoutFWD/AWD
System Power194 hp (FWD)/196 hp (AWD)
Toyota-est. Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)LE FWD – 57/56/57
LE AWD – 53/54/54
XLE FWD – 52/52/52
XLE AWD – 49/50/49
Limited FWD – 52/52/52
Limited AWD – 49/50/49
2023 Toyota Prius specifications (Source: Toyota)

Price & Release date

The 2023 Toyota Prius will begin arriving at U.S. dealers in January 2023. Prices start at USD 27,450 and go up to USD 35,865. A USD 1,095 DPH fee is extra and applicable across the range.

Configuration2023 Toyota Prius Price
LEUSD 27,450
LE AWDUSD 28,850
XLEUSD 30,895
LimitedUSD 34,465
Limited AWDUSD 35,865
2023 Toyota Prius prices (USD 1,095 DPH fee extra)

Sales & Strategy

The 2023 Prius has received a great response from the media, and there’s wide anticipation of it being a sales success in the U.S. However, Toyota expects to sell just around 35,000 units annually, Lisa Materazzo, the company’s local Vice President of Marketing, told Road & Track. That’s quite a small number, and compared to the outgoing model’s 2022 sales (Prius & Prius Prime), a growth of just 5%.

We hope Materazzo was issuing a conservative estimate, and she did indicate that, saying “there could be upside potential.” In the end, if a good transformation like this one can’t bring back six-digit sales numbers for the Prius, then almost nothing can.

2022 sales

In its glory years, circa 2012, 200,000 units of the Prius were sold in the United States. Sales have plummeted over the years because of the launch of more electrified vehicles from Toyota and also other automakers and the rising popularity of the SUV body style.

2022 was not the best year for the Prius family in America. Toyota was able to sell just 25,062 units, which marked a 26.2% year-over-year decline (2021: 33,968 units). The Prius Prime particularly saw a steep decline in 2022, registering just 11,857 units, 52.7% lower than in 2021 (25,042 units).

Considering the positive praise that it has received from the media and the American public, the new generation model can reignite the fire and possibly revive Prius sales. That said, the emergence of affordable and long-range electric vehicles is a rising threat to the brand that was once an innovator in the car industry.

History of the Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius Generations
The first and second-generation Toyota Prius hybrids triggered a radical shift toward electrification in the global automotive landscape. Images: Toyota Newsroom


In the 1990s, the Toyota Prius was the beginning of a new era, not just for the Japanese carmaker but also for the automotive world. In 1997, the year it was launched, it became the world’s first mass-market strong hybrid vehicle. However, it faced criticism for its simple design, after which Toyota reimagined the model in 2003, bringing to life the now-famous wedge-shaped rear. An improved Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) improved fuel efficiency to 46 mpg combined, an impressive figure even today.

The 2000s

The second-generation Prius represented environmentalism and became a famous sight among celebrities who endorsed climate consciousness. It was owned by Hollywood celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Natalie Portman. Toyota also introduced the THS II with the second generation. The more advanced iterations of THS II are in use even today, with a variety of engine displacements in vehicles like the Camry, RAV4, Lexus models, etc. The third-generation Toyota Prius (2008) brought more innovations; it had a solar ventilation system, an electric water pump, and a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine.


The fourth-generation Prius (2015), based on the TNGA, brought along with it a paradigm shift. It had a more aerodynamic design, and its engine had a claimed thermal efficiency of 40%. Toyota’s pioneering hybrid technology prompted other carmakers to invest in the technology, and today customers have no shortage of options with brands offering multiple HEVs and PHEVs in their portfolio.

TopElectricSUV says

As the world increasingly turns to electric vehicles, there are still many limitations that prevent them from being a practical choice for everyone. Chief among these are the lack of charging infrastructure and the high cost of batteries.

A hybrid car like the Toyota Prius is a great choice for many drivers who want to reduce pollution and save money on gas. Though it’s not a fully-electric car, the Prius still has a lot to offer drivers in terms of efficiency and affordability. The all-new model with its sleek and aerodynamic design, more conventional and upscale interior, and more efficient powertrain is sure to appeal to customers who are not yet ready to go all-electric.

Also Read: Next-gen 2023 Toyota C-HR to get 1.8L Hybrid variant: Report

2023 Toyota Prius FAQs

What is the 2023 Toyota Prius release date?

The 2023 Toyota Prius will reach U.S. dealerships in January 2023.

What is the expected 2023 Toyota Prius price?

Expect the 2023 Toyota Prius to start at a little over USD 27,450 in the United States.

Which are the competitors to the 2023 Toyota Prius?

The Prius will compete with hybrid and all-electric sedans, including the new Honda Civic Hybrid, Hyundai Elantra Hybrid & the VW Aero B EV.

Featured Image Source: Toyota