2023 Toyota Prius Drives Even Higher Than It Now Appears

Over time, driving a Toyota Prius was a rolling admission that you just’d be keen to sacrifice every little thing on the altar of most gas financial system. Energy and efficiency had been axed, which makes some sense. Nonetheless, no earlier Prius might crack even the lowly 10-second barrier to 60 mph. The listing of forsaken attributes additionally included enticing styling, good driver ergonomics, and the barest modicum of dealing with prowess. The Prius has at all times been a one-trick pony that lacked precise ponies.

That ends now—aside from the half the place the 2023 Toyota Prius generates stellar gas financial system. In actual fact, Toyota estimates it is even higher at this core mission. How does 57 mpg mixed (57 metropolis/56 freeway) seize you? That is for the LE with front-wheel drive and 17-inch wheels—the L Eco mannequin is historical past. The XLE and Restricted front-wheel-drive fashions are good for 52 mixed (52 metropolis/52 freeway) on their customary 19-inch rolling inventory.

The very first thing that stands out is how fascinating the brand new Prius appears to be like, phrases we’ve got by no means typed earlier than. This took place as a result of chief engineer Satoki Oya, newly assigned to the fifth-generation Prius program, pursued a “love at first sight” strategy. He allowed the designers “the liberty to do what they need,” in stark distinction to what he termed the “relentless pursuit of aerodynamic effectivity” that produced the prior weird-mobiles.

This led to a 2023 Prius that’s longer (1.1 inches), decrease (1.6 inches), and wider (0.9 inch). However its stance is much more dramatic than these numbers counsel. New 17- and 19-inch wheels are shod with two-inch-taller tires, and people wheel assemblies are shoved nearer the corners due to a observe width that is broader by a whopping 2.3 inches up entrance and two inches out again. In the meantime, the wheelbase is a full two inches longer.

Past that, the apex of the peaked roofline has been pulled again so the hood flows gracefully into the windshield and roof. This styling choice was made regardless of a worsened drag coefficient of 0.27, versus final 12 months’s 0.24. However the impact is softened as a result of drag is the product of Cd and frontal space, and the latter has shrunk owing to the automobile’s considerably decrease peak. Cargo house is down a bit, although, with the LE providing 24 cubic ft, and the XLE and Restricted good for 20 cubic ft. Rearward visibility takes a small hit too, owing to the lack of the hatch’s vertical glass panel.

Acceleration Leaves the Outdated Automotive (Far) Behind

Invisible modifications below the pores and skin are arguably extra transformative. The interior-combustion engine is now a 2.0-liter inline-four that generates 150 horsepower as a substitute of a 1.8-liter unit good for simply 96 ponies. The permanent-magnet synchronous traction motor—made extra compact as a result of it options six magnets per pole slightly than three—is now good for 111 horsepower as a substitute of 71 horses. This 12 months’s mixed output at full whack is 194 horsepower as a substitute of simply 121 horsepower, a 60 p.c enhance.

HIGHS: Precise look-at-me styling, deft dealing with, now not a shifting chicane.

All-wheel-drive fashions get a brand new permanent-magnet rear motor good for 40 horsepower; the earlier induction motor wrangled simply 7 feeble ponies. This tremendously expands the vary of speeds and circumstances below which rear-drive will be deployed and, not like final 12 months, permits for a slight AWD peak-horsepower benefit: 2 horses extra, for 196, to be exact. Each trim from LE to Restricted can now be had with all-wheel drive, and the AWD LE enjoys the largest year-over-year fuel-economy acquire: 54 mpg mixed, up from 49 mpg.

2023 toyota prius limited

Marc Urbano|Automotive and Driver

In our front-drive Restricted take a look at automobile, this newfound energy results in transformative efficiency—or just “efficiency,” within the case of a Prius. The sprint to 60 mph on a brief freeway merge now takes a breezy 7.1 seconds as a substitute of a wheezy 10.5 ticks. The 50-to-70-mph romp when passing consumes 5.0 seconds as a substitute of seven.1 seconds. And for individuals who decide in opposition to the quarter-mile, the brand new automobile’s 15.5-second, 92-mph effort is a full 2.3 seconds faster and 13 mph sooner than earlier than.

Improved Dealing with and Braking

The brand new automobile’s decrease peak and broader stance additionally remove the sensation that it is up on tiptoes. That is enhanced by Oya-san’s need to increase his “efficiency worthy of the design” ethos to chassis tuning. The largely related entrance strut and rear multilink suspension has been massaged with dealing with in thoughts, that includes KYB dampers with an inner test valve that closes when subjected to lateral forces to agency up damping in corners. Certainly, there’s far much less physique lean than earlier than, and the brand new Prius flows gracefully by means of corners. Filtered by means of the contact patch of 195/50R-19 Michelin Primacy All Season tires, our exams reveal a wholesome 0.87 g of cornering grip. The journey is properly buttoned down over most pavement irregularities, even with the XLE and Restricted’s low-profile 19-inch rubber.

The entrance and rear brakes are bigger, and the booster employs a hydraulic pump as a substitute of vacuum help to enhance really feel. That brake pedal really feel stays constant as the pc toggles between regenerative and friction braking, rectifying a longstanding Prius bugaboo. Stops from 70 mph take simply 171 ft.

Improved Inside Ergonomics

The swoopy roofline does cut back headroom by 1.4 inches up entrance and one inch in again, although. The additional wheelbase helps, permitting 0.9 inch extra entrance legroom and an added 1.4 inches behind. That modifications the driving place to 1 that is way more agreeable and fewer upright. Adjusting the steering wheel does really feel odd although as a result of at first, it looks like the wheel have to be in your lap to see the devices. That is principally an phantasm, because the steering column cowl is uniquely styled to mix into the sprint. There’s really respectable thigh clearance beneath the rim, and the Toyota brand on the horn pad factors at your chin, not your sternum.

2023 toyota prius limited interior

Marc Urbano|Automotive and Driver

That the wheel impacts the devices is new territory for the Prius, as they’re now (lastly) useless forward of the driving force, not lollygagging off to starboard. It is a easy show, too, and the controls on the steering-wheel spokes make it simple to peruse the display. The acquainted Prius shifter stays, but it surely by some means feels extra logical and intuitive now that it juts straight up from the console shut at hand as a substitute of protruding from the sprint at arm’s size.

LOWS: Decreased cargo house, pinched rear visibility, lack of headroom.

The central touchscreen is an 8.0-inch show on the LE, however a beneficiant 12.3-inch unit is non-obligatory on the XLE and customary on the Restricted. Wi-fi smartphone mirroring is customary. Slightly below the display, the bodily HVAC toggles and buttons function with good logic, and a cellphone charging slot sits alongside the shifter, with a intelligent clamping motion that holds your cellphone securely. A second cellphone tray sits forward of the shifter, and 6 USB-C jacks are sprinkled all through the cabin.

The utterly reimagined Prius will go on sale this January. The bottom worth is larger as a result of the bottom L Eco mannequin is not any extra, however the front-drive LE’s beginning determine of $28,545 is barely about $1100 greater than final 12 months. An XLE is $31,990, and the Restricted instructions $35,560. Add $1400 to any of the above if you would like all-wheel drive. From the place we sit, the brand new automobile’s small additional spend is totally value it, since you get all of the gas financial system of earlier than with out having to sacrifice beauty, cheap efficiency, a splash of driving enjoyable, or your dignity.



2023 Toyota Prius Restricted
Car Kind: front-engine, front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

Base/As Examined: $35,560/$35,560
Choices: none

DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4, 150 hp, 139 lb-ft + 2 AC motors (mixed output: 194 hp; 0.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack)
Transmission: constantly variable automated

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 11.1-in vented disc/11.0-in disc
Tires: Michelin Primacy All Season
195/50R-19 88H M+S

Wheelbase: 108.3 in
Size: 181.1 in
Width: 70.2 in
Top: 56.3 in
Passenger Quantity: 91 ft3
Cargo Quantity: 20 ft3
Curb Weight: 3199 lb

60 mph: 7.1 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.5 sec @ 92 mph
100 mph: 18.8 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 8.1 sec
High Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.0 sec
High Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.0 sec
High Velocity (gov ltd): 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.87 g

Noticed: 45 mpg

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 52/52/52 mpg


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