Striking 2023 Toyota Prius Nets Estimated 57 MPG, Nearly 200 HP
Toyota’s fifth-generation Prius is here, and it’s a serious departure from the norm.
The current Toyota Prius has been on sale since 2015. A lot has changed in seven years, and it's time for a new version of the world-beating economy car. The latest 2023 Prius doesn't resemble any previous version of the compact hybrid; it's unusual looking, to say the least. Like the aesthetics or not, there's more power than ever, greater efficiency at 57 combined miles per gallon, and available AWD from the get-go.
The 2023 Prius still comes standard with front-wheel-drive, and it packs 194 horsepower from a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine and accompanying hybrid system. Yes, even the Prius has nearly 200 hp these days. On the power electronics front, Toyota has finally left the stone age, ditching the nickel metal hydride battery for a more energy-dense lithium-ion unit below the rear seats. This new battery can discharge quicker, meaning that more juice can be sent to the ground as well as to the optional electric rear axle. On paper, this increases the AWD Prius' output by just two horsepower in total. The current Prius AWD-e system adds seven horsepower, though, so the rear electric motor likely produces more punch than Toyota lets on.
As a result, the base Prius will now sprint to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. The AWD model does the same run in seven seconds flat, which is about as fast as a previous-generation Toyota 86 sports car. Good thing the new one has more power.
In terms of size, the 2023 Prius is two inches lower and one inch wider than its predecessor, although no details were given on its length. Thanks to its new platform, it's also lighter, more rigid, and has a lower center of gravity. Combine the new looks with this attention to performance and it seems like Toyota is trying to shed some of the car's econobox image. It's still exceptionally economical, though, as the automaker estimates 57 mpg combined, although it has yet to offer a breakdown in terms of city and highway mileage.
The inside of the car has been changed as well, but not as much as the outside. On the dash, you'll find a moderately well-integrated, free-floating touchscreen for infotainment. It's 8 inches on lower-trim LE cars and as big as 12.3 inches on higher-trim XLE and Limited cars. The images above show a higher-trim car. Praise be: Physical climate control buttons have been retained.
Connectivity features like wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay are standard on all trims, as are six USB-C ports for charging. If you want heated seats, you have to spring for the XLE trim. If you want to heat all four seats as well as the steering wheel, you need the Limited trim, which also gets you ventilated seats and a better sound system.
Standard safety features include a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, radar cruise control, lane departure warning and lane tracing, as well as automatic high beams.
Pricing and a start-sale date for the new Prius have not yet been announced. The Japanese automaker says that information will come later this year, but the good news is it's already November.
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