After introducing the new Toyota Prius PHEV in Europe, the automaker is ready to highlight the US version. The 2023 Prius hybrid and 2023 Prius Prime plug-in look identical to their European counterpart inside and out, but we now have more information about the US model, including details about the all-wheel-drive version
The fifth-generation Prius rides on the company’s second-generation TNGA-C platform. The new hybrid is 2 inches (50.8 millimeters) shorter and one inch (25.4 mm) wider than the model it replaces. The hip point is also one inch lower. Toyota placed the battery under the rear seats to help lower the car’s center of gravity and preserve its cargo space.
Gallery: 2023 Toyota Prius
The Prius packs a larger 2.0-liter engine with a newly developed lithium-ion battery pack that offers a 15 percent increase in output, which all power the front wheels. The combined output is 194 horsepower (142 kilowatts), which can send the hybrid from zero to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 7.2 seconds, a 26 percent improvement compared to the outgoing front-wheel-drive model, which needed 9.8 seconds.
The automaker estimates that the entry-level FWD model can achieve a combined fuel economy rating of up to 57 miles per gallon. The 2022 Prius has an EPA rating of 52 mpg combined.
Toyota will offer the new Prius with an all-wheel-drive version, with a high-output interior permanent magnet motor driving the rear wheels. Its 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain produces 196 hp (144 kW), propelling the car to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds.
The Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is the sportiest of the bunch. It also uses the new 2.0-liter engine and battery, but the combo produces 220 hp (161 kW) in this variant. The more potent powertrain propels the car to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. The new powertrain also increases the previous-generation model’s electric-only range of 25 miles by more than 50 percent, but the math suggests 37.5 miles of pure electric driving. Helping to recharge the Prime’s battery is an optional solar roof panel.
Gallery: 2023 Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota will offer the Prius and Prius Prime in three trims. The regular hybrid gets LE, XLE, and Limited designations, while the plug-in is available in SE, XSE, and XSE Premium. Both top trims feature Toyota’s 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen (and over-the-air updates), an eight-speaker JBL premium audio system, and heated and ventilated front seats.
The pair of mid-grade trims arrive with 19-inch wheels, two additional rear-seat cup holders, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and wireless charging. The two entry-level trims sport 17-inch wheels and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Toyota Safety Sense is standard across both lineups.
Toyota will announce Prius pricing information and an on-sale date later this year. We’ll have to wait until the first half of 2023 for Prius Prime details. In the meantime, enjoy more Prius content with other LA Auto Show debuts and plenty of witty banter in the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.