The Legacy Continues
When the Toyota Prius made its groundbreaking debut in 2000, it changed the automotive industry forever. The high-tech sedan ushered in a new generation of vehicles that combined an electric motor with a high-efficiency engine. That unmatched legacy continues with the recent reveals of the all-new 2023 Prius and 2023 Prius Prime.
As the most fuel-efficient Prius to date, the 2023 Prius has a EPA-estimated 57 miles per gallon combined fuel economy rating (LE FWD model), bringing accessible electrification to drivers everywhere. The 2023 Prius Prime also adds to the innovative nameplate. Now after a decade in production, this plug-in hybrid model continues to offer customers the flexibility of getting around town on zero-emission battery power or hybrid mode for fuel-efficient road tripping. What’s more, it also offers extra performance and technology, enhancing an already enticing package.
Without question, both the 2023 Prius and 2023 Prius Prime are key vehicles in Toyota’s diverse electrified portfolio as the company works to achieve carbon neutrality. Available in a variety of grades to complement customers’ personal tastes and lifestyles, both vehicles are ready to uphold Prius’ legacy as a respected and sought-after global nameplate.
Read on to learn about the top five things that make the 2023 Prius and 2023 Prius Prime innovative additions to the eco-sensitive Prius family.
Modern and Mindful Design
Built on the second-generation TNGA-C platform, both vehicles offer a low center of gravity and increased rigidity compared to the previous generations. The result? A wider stance and lower driving position that feels nimble yet comfortable. The 2023 Prius will be available in LE, XLE and Limited grades, and the 2023 Prius Prime will be available in SE, XSE and XSE Premium grades, respectively. No matter the grade, they all provide a smooth ride.
The attractive features don’t stop there. Both vehicles’ exteriors boast modern, polished designs. Each possesses a piercing silhouette with sporty yet sleek exterior styling. With an aerodynamic flair, the 2023 Prius and Prius Prime feature a roofline 2 inches lower compared to the prior generation for a more athletic look. The vehicles are 1 inch longer and nearly 1 inch wider in the rear, adding to the aesthetic appeal.
For both the 2023 Prius and Prius Prime, the position of the battery is also optimized, with placement under the rear seat for enhanced luggage capacity.
The Prius Prime also blends its cool aesthetic with a bit of star-powered tech: a solar roof. This on-board charging feature uses roof-mounted solar panels to recharge the Prius Prime’s battery when parked. The panels deliver supplemental power to accessory functions, like air conditioning, when driving. A clever design conceals the electrodes for a seamless, glossy appearance.
Drivers can expect enhanced acceleration and effortless handling when they get behind the wheel of both the 2023 Prius and 2023 Prius Prime. Both have larger 2.0L engines and newly developed lithium-ion batteries. New for 2023 Prius, the battery pack is smaller and lighter and achieves a 15% increase in output compared to the previous-generation nickel metal battery.
The 2023 Prius Prime’s battery has been improved as well. The new, larger lithium-ion battery is projected an all-electric estimated range increase of more than 50% over the previous estimated range of 25 miles. The EPA figures are expected to be available in Spring 2023.
Superb dynamic performance is a key benefit of the 2023 Prius all-wheel-drive (AWD)-equipped vehicles due to the capable Electronic On-Demand AWD system. It uses a motor to drive the rear wheels, enabling stable driving performance when starting off and when driving on slippery road surfaces such as snow. What’s more, the 2023 Prius has three drive modes: NORMAL, ECO and SPORT. In ECO mode, the drive force response to accelerator operation is suppressed slightly to modulate the throttle and enhance fuel economy. In POWER mode or SPORT mode, the drive force in the low to mid-accelerator operation is increased to help enhance throttle responsiveness.
Top-Notch Tech Capabilities
The 2023 Prius and 2023 Prius Prime are designed and equipped with the tools to make life easier and more convenient — thanks to the available 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system feature. The drivers of both vehicles will also have the opportunity to access a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features. The system is capable of Over-the-Air (OTA) updates to keep things up-to-date.
Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the available Connected Service Drive Connect, drivers and passengers have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awaken the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find points of interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more — all hands-free.
To sonically elevate the journey, the eight-speaker JBL® Premium Audio system comes standard only on the 2023 Prius Limited grade and the 2023 Prius Prime XSE Premium grade. With the use of Clari-Fi® technology, the system is also able to breathe life into compressed digital music formats, enhancing the audio experience.
Safety and Convenience Features
Safety is one of Toyota’s priorities. The Toyota Safety Sense generation, TSS 3.0, which comes standard, helps the 2023 Prius and 2023 Prius Prime uphold those high-quality standards. This suite offers an array of active safety systems that include the existing systems available on the prior generation Prius; but they also include some additional enhancements and capabilities, all of which are designed to help keep drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe.
To help drivers prevent collisions, the Safety Sense comes with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection. The system is designed to detect preceding vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists while providing audio and visual alerts. Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) is a feature that works in collaboration with the Pre-Collision system. It can help detect and warn drivers of vehicles that are approaching or positioned near or in adjacent lanes.
Another noteworthy feature is the Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which adds a fourth following distance setting to the previously available three. Enhanced vehicle detection allows for the ability to detect more than one preceding vehicle, as well as vehicles in adjacent lanes. This is designed to help the system provide smoother, more natural speed adjustments, especially when the driver changes lanes.
There have also been enhancements to Lane Tracing Assist. This system now helps provide more space between vehicles being passed by cars in adjacent lanes. It works by offsetting the vehicles’ driving paths with minor steering adjustments while helping to keep the vehicle within its lane.
Another feature that’s been enhanced is Road Sign Assist. It has expanded sign detection capabilities that now include certain intersection signs and warning signs, like pedestrian crossings.
Proactive Driving Assist is new to Prius and the Toyota Safety Sense suite of technologies. When system operating conditions are met, the vehicle’s camera and radar are designed to provide gentle braking into curves or braking and steering to help support driving tasks such as distance control between a preceding vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist.
The Rear Cross Traffic Alert is designed to help detect vehicles that are approaching from either side while pulling out and alerting drivers with a visual and audible warning.
Collectively, all these features and amenities work to help create a dynamic driving experience that’s stylish, convenient and, most importantly, designed to help with safety.
As Toyota continues its commitment to finding highly efficient and zero emission solutions that fit customers lifestyles across the U.S., the 2023 Toyota Prius and 2023 Prius Prime will be a part of a lineup that looks to move “beyond zero.” As a symbol of that commitment, the 2023 Prius will be the first Toyota vehicle to wear a new “Beyond Zero” badge, a global effort to achieve carbon neutrality in Toyota products, manufacturing and beyond.
originally published December 19, 2022