The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime stands as the epitome of a versatile plug-in hybrid designed for the dynamic pace of modern life. Equipped to handle daily commutes with ease, its fully charged capability boasts an impressive all-electric range of up to 44 miles, according to manufacturer estimates. For more extended journeys, the Prius Prime seamlessly transitions to its fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain, securing an estimated combined rating of 52 MPG on the SE grade.
Presented in SE, XSE, and XSE Premium grades, the Prius Prime now features an enhanced 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery, showcasing a remarkable 76 percent increase in all-electric range compared to its predecessor. Specifically, the SE grade sees a leap from 25 to 44 miles. The XSE and XSE Premium grades offer an estimated range of 39 EV miles. When venturing on extended drives, the Prius Prime relies on Toyota’s cutting-edge fifth-generation hybrid system, uniting a highly efficient 2.0-liter engine, an electric generator, and an electric motor to deliver an exceptionally efficient driving experience.
Noteworthy advancements extend to the performance realm, with the new Prius Prime boasting a robust 150-hp 2.0L engine and an augmented 161-hp electric motor generator. The combined 220-system-net-horsepower represents a substantial increase of around 100-hp over the previous generation. This enhanced output also contributes to a 32-percent boost in torque, surging from 105 to 139 lb.-ft., resulting in a 35-percent faster 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds. The Prius Prime is not just a vehicle; it’s a leap forward into a new era of hybrid efficiency and performance.
The completely redesigned Prius Prime not only excels in performance but also commands attention with its captivating exterior. Boasting a sleek and sporty design, it is 2 inches shorter, 1 inch wider, and 1 inch longer than its predecessor, creating a dynamic presence on the road. The aerodynamic profile is accentuated by a hammerhead nose, a lowered roofline, and a widened rear. To further enhance its assertive appearance, the Prius Prime XSE grades are equipped with distinctive machine-finished 19-inch wheels, while the SE features standard 17-inch wheels.
Inside the Prius Prime, drivers are greeted with a premium and comfortable environment. The interior features a new standard digital driver’s display that provides a clear line of sight, ensuring an optimal driving experience. The seating, available in fabric or SofTex® trim depending on the grade, adds to the overall luxurious feel. Toyota’s new Audio Multimedia system takes center stage, providing advanced connectivity and entertainment options.
Adding a touch of convenience to the driving experience, all grades of the Prius Prime are equipped with Toyota’s innovative Traffic Jam Assist technology. This radar-based system alleviates the stress of stop-and-go traffic on limited-access roadways by taking control of the steering, gas, and brake pedals under certain conditions, particularly at speeds between 0-25 mph. The Prius Prime not only redefines hybrid efficiency but also elevates the driving experience with its eye-catching design and cutting-edge features.
Made for Life on the Go
Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime share Toyota’s advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, seamlessly blending the power output from the gasoline engine and electric motors to optimize efficiency. However, a notable distinction lies in the Prius Prime’s ability to recharge its lithium-ion battery pack by plugging it in. Home charging is a straightforward process, requiring no special equipment—simply connect the Prius Prime to a standard household outlet using the provided cable (Toyota recommends a dedicated GFI 15A outlet). Recharging takes approximately eleven hours on a standard 120V home outlet and about four hours on a Level II charger under ideal conditions. In instances where plugging in is not possible, the Prius Prime seamlessly operates as an efficient hybrid.
The Prius Prime offers a range of drive modes to cater to diverse driving needs: EV Mode, HV/EV Auto Mode, and Hybrid Mode. In EV Auto Mode, the vehicle prioritizes electric power for city driving. The HV/EV Auto Mode intelligently engages the gasoline engine on steep hills or at higher speeds where it is more fuel-efficient. Hybrid Mode seamlessly alternates between the gasoline engine and electric motor, optimizing the synergy of engine drive force and electric power from the hybrid battery.
Enhancing efficiency further, the Prius Prime employs advanced features such as Predictive Efficient Drive with Predictive Deceleration Support. By learning the driver’s stopping patterns on frequently traversed routes, the system suggests when to release the accelerator for optimal efficiency. This predictive capability, informed by daily driving data, identifies points of deceleration and stopping, advising the driver when to ease off the accelerator and applying assisted deceleration to enhance fuel efficiency. The Prius Prime is not just a vehicle; it’s a smart and eco-conscious driving companion.
Prius Prime: Moving toward “Beyond Zero”
The Prius Prime stands at the forefront of Toyota’s ambitious initiative to go “Beyond Zero” carbon emissions. Beyond Zero encapsulates Toyota’s vision to transcend zero emissions, striving for a net positive impact on both the planet and society through products, services, and operational practices. Toyota’s commitment to environmental stewardship is evident in its comprehensive lineup of electrified vehicles, offering customers a diverse array of choices to actively reduce their carbon footprint.
In the realm of environmentally conscious driving, the 2023 Prius Prime takes center stage, embodying the principles of Beyond Zero. With its unique blend of fully electric and highly efficient hybrid driving capabilities, the Prius Prime serves as an ultra-low-emission vehicle, contributing to Toyota’s multifaceted approach in the battle against carbon emissions. Empowered by its new 13.6 kWh battery, the Prius Prime boasts a manufacturer-estimated 44-mile all-electric range when fully charged, making it well-suited for daily commutes in electric vehicle (EV) mode. Even on longer journeys, the Prius Prime seamlessly transitions from EV mode to its highly efficient hybrid powertrain, requiring no additional effort from the driver.
Toyota’s commitment to carbon reduction is further exemplified by the extensive range of electrified vehicles offered to customers. The lineup includes 11 hybrid models, two plug-in hybrid models, the all-electric bZ4X battery electric vehicle, and the zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric Mirai (currently available in California). As a symbol of Toyota’s dedication to carbon neutrality on a global scale, the 2023 Prius Prime proudly bears the Toyota “Beyond Zero” badge, signifying the company’s holistic efforts toward achieving carbon neutrality not only in its products but also in manufacturing and beyond. The Prius Prime serves as a tangible manifestation of Toyota’s commitment to a sustainable and eco-friendly future.
Powerful and Efficient
The 2023 Prius Prime is propelled by Toyota’s cutting-edge Fifth generation hybrid powertrain, an engineering marvel that harmoniously pairs the M20A-FXS inline four-cylinder 2.0L gas engine with two motor-generators (MG1 and MG2) through a continuously variable transmission with a planetary-type configuration. This sophisticated setup ensures a seamless balance between responsive performance and exceptional energy efficiency. The gas engine, in collaboration with the electric motor (MG2), delivers agile and dynamic performance, while both electric motors (MG1 and MG2) work in unison to charge the lithium-ion battery, maximizing energy conservation.
A noteworthy enhancement in the Prius Prime’s powertrain is the introduction of a new compact high-output/low-loss drive motor for the transaxle/motor. This motor features a redesigned magnet and electromagnetic steel plate configuration, incorporating two additional magnets to boost output. In Hybrid mode, both engine power and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) battery power collaborate during acceleration, resulting in an exhilarating driving experience. The cumulative effect is an impressive 220 combined hybrid system horsepower, 139 lb.-ft. of torque, and an estimated 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds—a remarkable 35% improvement over the outgoing model’s 10.2-second time.
Contributing further to Prius Prime’s fuel efficiency is the Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) system, a sophisticated technology that coordinates the regenerative braking force of the electric motors with the hydraulic braking system to optimize stopping power. This cooperative control maximizes fuel economy by actively recovering electrical energy through regenerative braking. The conventional (non-regenerative) braking system is equipped with an active hydraulic booster, enhancing the pedal feel and feedback for the driver. Brake Hold, a standard feature, offers added convenience by reducing driver effort while waiting at a traffic light or navigating heavy traffic. When the driver presses the accelerator, Brake Hold releases instantly, ensuring a smooth and efficient driving experience. The 2023 Prius Prime not only redefines hybrid performance but also exemplifies Toyota’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.
Drive modes on all Prius Prime grades include:
NORMAL: Allows the hybrid system to achieve an ideal combination of fuel economy and vehicle acceleration. The accelerator opening amount changes linearly in response to the accelerator pedal operation.
ECO: Improves hybrid system efficiency by limiting power in response to light to moderate accelerator pedal input.
SPORT: Enhances dynamic performance and acceleration.
Sport Grades Across the Model Lineup
The 2023 Prius comes in three dynamic sports grades: SE, XSE, and XSE Premium, offering a range of features to cater to various preferences. Standard color options include the all-new Cutting Edge, Guardian Gray, Midnight Black Metallic, and Reservoir Blue. Premium colors, Wind Chill Pearl and Supersonic Red, add a touch of sophistication. All Prius Prime grades are available in Front Wheel Drive.
The SE grade boasts dark grey 17-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers, an 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen, and 6-way adjustable fabric front seats in black with red trim. Standard features include the Smart Key System on the driver door, six USB-C ports, an Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). Optional features include Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking (PA w/AB).
Building on the SE grade, the XSE grade incorporates all standard SE features and adds dynamic-looking machine-finished 19-inch alloy wheels as standard. For enhanced comfort and a premium feel, an 8-way adjustable heated power driver’s SofTex-trimmed seat is included. The seating is black with red trim. The XSE also features a Smart Key system on the front doors and trunk, a wireless charger, and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking (PA w/AB). Available options for the XSE grade include a 12.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, fixed glass roof, and Digital Key.
The top-tier XSE Premium encompasses all standard SE and XSE features and introduces a JBL Premium Audio system with eight speakers, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, fixed glass roof, SofTex-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats with a Driver Memory seat, power rear liftback, and Digital Key as standard. Available options for the XSE Premium include a Panoramic View Monitor, Digital Rearview Mirror, heated rear seats, and Advanced Park, which assists in steering and braking controls for parking maneuvers. Advanced Park can handle parallel parking and backing into a perpendicular space by utilizing cameras and sensors to recognize the vehicle’s surroundings.
An exclusive option for the XSE Premium is a 185W solar roof, capable of charging the drive battery with solar power while parked. The solar charger also supplies power to auxiliary functions while driving. Prius Prime models equipped with the solar roof display power generation information in the vehicle’s Multi-Information display. The 2023 Prius lineup delivers a blend of style, technology, and sustainability, catering to the diverse needs of modern drivers.
The 2023 Prius Prime is built on the second-generation Toyota New Global Architecture TNGA-C platform, representing a fusion of a sleek new design and enhanced functionality. This platform not only introduces a refreshing aesthetic but also brings about notable improvements in performance. The TNGA-C platform is characterized by a lower center of gravity, reduced weight, and increased rigidity compared to its predecessor. The optimized placement of the traction battery under the rear seat ensures a low center of gravity and maximizes luggage capacity.
The platform’s inherent strength plays a pivotal role in elevating Prius Prime’s handling responsiveness, steering feel, and ride quality. The use of hot-stamped and high-tensile steels, known for their lightweight yet robust properties, is widespread throughout the body. Additionally, aluminum components, such as the hood and brake calipers, contribute to managing the vehicle’s weight effectively. Innovative construction methods, including laser screw welding and advanced adhesives, further enhance the structural integrity of the Prius Prime.
The 2023 Prius Prime’s distinctive silhouette embodies aerodynamic excellence, boasting a remarkable 0.27 Coefficient of Drag (Cd). Consistent with its predecessors, front grille shutters are strategically incorporated to optimize air inflow, enhancing both cooling efficiency and aerodynamic performance. Aero-stabilizing underbody panels play a crucial role in minimizing drag and road noise, contributing to a refined driving experience.
The XSE and XSE Premium models showcase larger wheels, not only adding visual appeal but also promoting sport-inspired proportions that enhance performance and handling. Complementing these larger wheels are 12-inch brake rotors on the front and 11.1-inch rotors on the rear, emphasizing the Prius Prime’s commitment to both style and functional design. The 2023 Prius Prime stands as a testament to the synergy of form and function, delivering a driving experience that is as visually striking as it is dynamic.
Connected Tech at the Ready
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime redefines convenience with its cutting-edge technology and connectivity features. Spearheaded by the available 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system, crafted by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team, the Prius Prime offers an array of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including Over-the-Air (OTA) updates for continuous improvement.
Interacting with the system is made seamless through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. The Connected Service Drive Connect provides access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. Intelligent Assistant responds to simple voice commands like “Hey Toyota,” allowing users to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, and more. Cloud Navigation utilizes cloud technology to download the latest map, traffic, and routing information, ensuring up-to-date navigation capabilities.
For comprehensive connectivity, the Prius Prime supports dual Bluetooth phone connections, standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The available Wi-Fi Connect offers a 30-day or up to 3GB trial, turning the Prius Prime into an AT&T Hotspot for up to five devices. Additionally, Integrated Streaming allows users to link separate Apple Music and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.
For an enhanced audio experience, the Prius Prime XSE Premium features a JBL Premium Audio system with eight speakers, including newly designed JBL Horn Tweeters and inverted woofers for an immersive sound experience. Clari-fi technology breathes life into compressed digital music formats, providing brilliant high-frequency clarity.
Connected Services include Safety Connect with Emergency Assistance, Service Connect for Vehicle Health Reports, and Remote Connect for staying connected to the Prius Prime through the Toyota app. Digital Key, available for the XSE Premium grade and optional for the XSE grade, enables convenient smartphone control for locking, unlocking, and remote starting the vehicle.
The Prius Prime incorporates a unique door lock-unlock tone, designed by sound engineers for a pleasant and distinct indication. The infotainment system’s customizable settings allow users to adjust the volume. The vehicle also features six USB ports for device charging, ensuring passengers stay connected.
Safety features abound, with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) standard on all grades, and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking (PA w/AB) available on SE and standard on XSE and XSE Premium. The XSE Premium further offers a Panoramic View Monitor and Advanced Park, a hands-free system for parallel parking or backing into spaces. The 2023 Prius Prime is not just a vehicle; it’s a technological marvel designed to make every journey more connected and convenient.
For 2023, Prius Prime will come standard with the latest Toyota Safety Sense generation, TSS 3.0. This suite of active safety systems includes the existing feature set available on the prior generation Prius Prime but includes some additional enhancements and capabilities.
This suite of safety features includes:
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Lane Tracing Assist
Road Sign Assist
Automatic High Beams
Proactive Driving Assist
Proactive Driving Assist is the newest feature of the TSS suite. When system operating conditions are met, using the vehicle’s camera and radar, this system provides gentle braking into curves or gentle braking and/or steering to help support driving tasks such as distance control between a preceding vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist. Proactive Driving Assist is not meant to be a substitute for the Pre-Collision System and operates in different circumstances.
The Toyota Safety Sense features from the prior generation Prius Prime have been enhanced for TSS 3.0:
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Lane Tracing Assist
Road Sign Assist
Automatic High Beams
Proactive Driving Assist
The 2023 Prius Prime introduces a suite of advanced features, leveraging front-corner radar sensors and a driver monitor camera for enhanced safety and convenience. These features include Lane Change Assist, Front Cross Traffic Alert, Advanced Park, and a groundbreaking addition to the Toyota lineup, Traffic Jam Assist.
Lane Change Assist collaborates with Lane Tracing Assist and is activated when Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is engaged. When the driver signals a lane change, the system utilizes sensors to ensure there are no vehicles in the intended path, providing steering support into the new lane while the driver keeps hands on the steering wheel.
Front Cross Traffic Alert uses front-corner radar sensors to detect vehicles approaching from the side, such as when approaching or stopping at an intersection. Visual warnings and audible alerts are triggered to warn the driver if cross traffic is detected.
Advanced Park takes parking convenience to the next level by autonomously handling steering and brake controls to guide the vehicle into a selected parking space. This feature supports parallel parking, backing into a perpendicular space, and can assist in exiting a parking space, all under the driver’s supervision and hands-free.
A remarkable addition to the Toyota lineup, Traffic Jam Assist, alleviates the stress of stop-and-go traffic by providing hands-free control of steering, braking, and acceleration at speeds under 25 mph on limited-access roadways. The system requires an active Drive Connect subscription or trial, and the driver monitor camera ensures the driver’s eyes are on the road for hands-free operation. The XSE Premium grade and the XSE grade equipped with the upgraded 12.3-inch multimedia screen receive a 1-year trial of Drive Connect, including Traffic Jam Assist. The SE grade and the XSE grade with the 8-inch multimedia screen are Drive-Connect capable, but Traffic Jam Assist requires activation of this service. These advanced features showcase Toyota’s commitment to incorporating innovative technologies for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience in the 2023 Prius Prime.