Auto evaluate: Past gasoline economic system, the 2023 Toyota Prius is definitely fun-to-drive – InForum

The 2022 Toyota Prius has the design presence of an alien life kind, with an inside ambiance that by no means permits you to neglect that weight is the enemy, as each pointless gram of weight has been eradicated. It’s as if the automobile was engineered of balsa wooden and crepe paper. It has at all times been such, and with good purpose.

In response to the Toyota Prius’ chief engineer, the automobile was thought-about little greater than a commodity automobile by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, a automobile constructed to a value to attenuate CO2 emissions, not maximize thrills. The end result was a reasonably joyless automobile to drive, until you get your kicks from maximizing gasoline economic system. Definitely, the Prius was no pace demon, requiring 9.8 seconds to achieve 60 mph.

However that’s all modified for 2023, because the automobile’s mission has modified inside the Toyota lineup. Not a singular providing, as most Toyota fashions provide a hybrid variant, Toyota’s designers created a automobile that regarded sporty in addition to aerodynamic, and challenged engineers to create a driving expertise that matched the brand new automobile’s seems. The result’s a automobile that Toyota administration hopes has sufficient emotional attraction to lure patrons with its design, extra highly effective driveline and newfound dealing with finesse.

The result’s a Prius that delivers some semblance of driving thrills, because of the full redesign. Definitely, its look is way extra interesting. For the primary time, Toyota has eschewed its anti-design bias in favor of 1 that’s slick, sporty and interesting. It’s so good in reality, it elicits spontaneous enthusiasm from bystanders.

Created in Japan, the 2023 Toyota Prius is constructed utilizing the company TNGA-C platform that enables the automobile to sport a decrease middle of gravity, diminished weight and elevated rigidity in comparison with the 2022 mannequin. It additionally implies that this Prius has a wider automobile stance, whereas offering a 2-inch decrease roofline and decrease driving place, imparting a sportier profile.

That change could be very obvious once you climb inside, as there’s much less headroom than earlier than, though the entrance seats are extensive and cozy with a commanding driving place. Entrance seat area is ample, however rear seat legroom depends upon the generosity of entrance seat passengers. Clearly, design took some precedent over practicality. That stated, cargo area remains to be a beneficiant 20.3 cubic toes.


There’s much less headroom within the 2023 Toyota Prius, though the entrance seats are extensive and cozy with a commanding driving place.


As within the present mannequin, the instrument cluster sits far ahead, however it’s not centered within the cabin however reasonably centered in entrance of the motive force. However its placement just isn’t adjustable and might turn into partially blocked by the highest of the steering wheel until the wheel is tilted all the means down. The design means that Toyota needed an instrument cluster with the performance of a head-up show. Elsewhere, the cabin’s ergonomics are spot-on — together with its tech package deal.

With regards to tech, there are six USB-C ports, an 8-inch Toyota multimedia touchscreen, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for as much as 5 gadgets are normal. A 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, cloud-based and navigation are elective. There’s even ambient lighting — an indication of extravagance unknown in a Prius.

Additionally unknown? Excessive mileage wasn’t the designers’ first precedence; design and driving expertise have been. In reality, its aerodynamic effectivity has declined considerably. However gasoline economic system remains to be as excessive as 57 mpg, the very best of any hybrid.

While you sit within the pilot’s seat, the very first thing that strikes you is the stunning quantity of steering really feel; it’s much better that the fourth-generation Prius. Properly weighted and satisfyingly fast, it really has some street really feel, a rarity in fashionable automobiles.

As earlier than, the driveline has completely different drive modes, and this time round, it noticeably adjustments torque distribution and steering however not suspension. However, the Prius feels planted, with minimal physique lean in corners. Push this pet onerous and also you’ll discover it obediently tackles corners at the next pace than doable with any prior mannequin. It makes for a driving expertise that’s really enjoyable — a phrase you’d by no means use together with any Prius.

Acceleration is ample, and the general driving expertise is a sea change from what’s come earlier than. A bigger 2.0-liter engine and a revised hybrid system generates a whopping 60% extra horsepower, as much as 194 horsepower with front-wheel drive, 196 horsepower with all-wheel drive. It’s not engineered solely for top mileage on the expense of all else.

For the primary time Toyota has eschewed the anti-design, anti-performance mantra that has at all times marked the Prius’ disposition. It’s now been minimized to permit driving enjoyable to affix the get together, whereas nonetheless returning 50+ mpg, making it the primary Prius you may very well wish to drive.

Base costs: $27,450-$35,865
Powertrain: 2.0-Liter DOHC Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine and 83-kWh electrical motor
Horsepower/Torque: 194/152 pound-feet
EPA gasoline economic system (metropolis/freeway): 52/52 mpg
Gas required: 87 Octane
Size/Width/Peak: 181.1/70.2/56.3 inches
Floor clearance: 6 inches
Curb weight: 3,285 kilos
Cargo capability: 20.3 cubic toes

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