While test-driving the new 2023 Toyota Prius Prime for a week, the first thing that struck me was its refined and quiet demeanor. The cabin insulation effectively minimizes road and wind noise, creating a serene environment for the driver and passengers.
The enhanced fuel efficiency of the Prius Prime also impressed me during my test drive. The combination of the electric motor and gasoline engine seamlessly transitioned between power sources, optimizing fuel consumption. The regenerative braking system also played a vital role in recharging the battery while coasting and braking, maximizing efficiency, and reducing the need for frequent charging.
The highly anticipated fifth-generation Toyota Prius debuted in November and has a sleek redesign and an upgraded plug-in hybrid variant known as the Prius Prime. With improved performance, enhanced fuel efficiency, and new features, the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is set to make a strong impression in the plug-in hybrid market. Again, Toyota took an already successful Prius platform and elevated it to new heights.
Power: The Prime is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine and an electric motor powered by a 13.6-kWh lithium-ion battery. Together they produce 220 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft of torque. In addition, the new Prius goes from 0-60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. It sets itself apart from its predecessors with a sportier image and improved performance.
The larger battery can be plugged into the grid or home outlet to recharge—giving it an estimated EPA combined electric range of up to 44 miles for the base SE model or 39 miles for higher-level XSE and XSE Premium trims. It’s rated at 51 mpg combined in hybrid mode and 47 mpg for the XSE, and XSE Premium.
Since it’s a plug-in hybrid, getting an MPGe of 133 electric miles is possible by staying within the 44-mile electric range and recharging the Prius. Otherwise, the Prius hybrid will have about the same fuel economy as the regular Prius hybrid. Plug-in hybrids are like EVs in that they must be charged to experience their full capacity.
Models/Price: Toyota’s decision to rebrand the trim levels, replacing the LE, XLE, and Limited with SE, XSE, and XSE Premium, emphasizes Prius’ sporty persona.
The exterior of the 2023 Prius Prime showcases a refreshed and modern design. Its sleek lines, bold front grille, and futuristic LED headlights give it a distinct presence on the road. The Prime’s aerodynamic profile enhances its visual appeal and contributes to its impressive fuel efficiency.
The base SE model starts at $33,445, representing a $3,580 increase compared to its predecessor. Stepping up to the XSE trim comes with a price tag of $36,695, a significant $5,050 bump from the previous XLE trim. The top-tier XSE Premium has additional features and technology and starts above $40,000, reflecting a $4,620 increase over the 2022 Limited model.
Technology/Features: The 2023 Prius Prime is equipped with an array of advanced technology and features, making it a compelling choice in the hybrid market. The redesigned interior offers a comfortable and spacious cabin with high-quality materials and modern accents. The centerpiece of the dashboard is a user-friendly touchscreen display that provides access to various infotainment and connectivity options.
Safety: The Prime also incorporates Toyota’s latest safety and driver-assistance systems, ensuring a secure and confident driving experience. Features such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control enhance the vehicle’s overall safety and provide the driver and passengers peace of mind.
Visit www.decisivemedia.net for a complimentary subscription to my blog to get updated car-buying tips and reviews on the latest new cars, SUVs, and trucks. Randi Payton, Decisive Media Network