Past gasoline financial system, the 2023 Toyota Prius is definitely fun-to-drive

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

In line with the Toyota Prius’ chief engineer, the automotive was thought-about little greater than a commodity automotive by Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, a automotive constructed to a worth to reduce CO2 emissions, not maximize thrills.

The consequence was a reasonably joyless automotive to drive, until you get your kicks from maximizing gasoline financial system.

Actually, the Prius was no velocity demon, requiring 9.8 seconds to succeed in 60 mph.

However that is all modified for 2023, because the automotive’s mission has modified throughout the Toyota lineup.

Not a novel providing, as most Toyota fashions supply a hybrid variant, Toyota’s designers created a automotive that regarded sporty in addition to aerodynamic, and challenged engineers to create a driving expertise that matched the brand new automotive’s seems.

The result’s a automobile that Toyota administration hopes has sufficient emotional enchantment 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, due to the overall redesign.

Actually, its look is way extra interesting.

For the primary time, Toyota has eschewed its anti-design bias in favor of 1 that is slick, sporty and interesting. It is so good the truth is, it elicits spontaneous enthusiasm from bystanders.

Created in Japan, the 2023 Toyota Prius is constructed utilizing the company TNGA-C platform that enables the automotive to sport a decrease middle of gravity, lowered 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 may be very obvious once you climb inside, as there’s much less headroom than earlier than, though the entrance seats are large and cozy with a commanding driving place.

Entrance seat area is ample, however rear seat legroom will depend on the generosity of entrance seat passengers.

Clearly, design took some precedent over practicality.

That stated, cargo area continues to be a beneficiant 20.3 cubic ft.

As within the present mannequin, the instrument cluster sits far ahead, however it’s now not centered within the cabin however somewhat centered in entrance of the motive force.

However its placement will not be adjustable and might grow to be partially blocked by the highest of the steering wheel until the wheel is tilted all the method down.

The design means that Toyota wished 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.

In terms of 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 had been.

Actually, its aerodynamic effectivity has declined considerably.

However gasoline financial system continues to be as excessive as 57 mpg, one of the best of any hybrid.

If you sit within the pilot’s seat, the very first thing that strikes you is the stunning quantity of steering really feel; it is higher that the fourth-generation Prius.

Properly weighted and satisfyingly fast, it truly has some highway really feel, a rarity in fashionable vehicles.

As earlier than, the driveline has totally different drive modes, and this time round, it noticeably modifications torque distribution and steering however not suspension.

Nonetheless, the Prius feels planted, with minimal physique lean in corners.

Push this pet exhausting and you will find it obediently tackles corners at the next velocity than doable with any prior mannequin.

It makes for a driving expertise that is truly enjoyable — a phrase you’d by no means use at the side of any Prius.

Acceleration is enough, 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 is now 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 is now been minimized to permit driving enjoyable to hitch the get together, whereas nonetheless returning 50+ mpg, making it the primary Prius you may very well need to drive.

2023 Toyota Prius

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 financial system (metropolis/freeway): 52/52 mpg

Gasoline required: 87 Octane

Size/Width/Top: 181.1/70.2/56.3 inches

Floor clearance: 6 inches

Curb weight: 3,285 kilos

Cargo capability: 20.3 cubic ft

(Larry Printz is an automotive journalist based mostly in South Florida. Readers could ship him electronic mail at

©2022 Tribune Content material Company, LLC


The 2023 Toyota Prius has six USB-C ports, an 8-inch Toyota multimedia touchscreen, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Toyota/TNS)


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


The 2023 Toyota Prius. (Nathan Leach-Proffer/Toyota/TNS)

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