The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is out for blood. Toyota had people talking about its fifth-gen Prius, the best-looking and first non-dorky Prius ever made. It’s two inches shorter in height, an inch wider, and an inch longer than the outgoing Prius, and it now has a design that won’t frighten adults or kids alike.
But for the plug-in-hybrid Prius Prime, Toyota has given it plenty of usable power, up to 44 miles of all-electric range, a stiffer and lighter TNGA-C chassis, and a manufacturer-estimated fuel economy of 53 mpg combined. Meanwhile, the TNGA-C architecture provides a lower center of gravity than the outgoing variant. This recipe translates to better handling and a sportier, more responsive drive.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime: What’s New?
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is the PHEV model of the fifth-gen Prius lineup. It has an exhilarating, swoopy design that is not merely for show, as the Prius Prime has some genuine muscle underneath its space-age façade. Toyota removed the LE, XLE, and Limited to make room for a new trim level set consisting of the SE, XSE, and XSE Premium.
Potent Hybrid Synergy Powertrain
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime has a larger-displacement 2.0-liter inline-four gas engine with 160 horsepower. It has two electric motors that add more grunt to increase the output to 220 horsepower, 100 more horses than the previous Prius Prime, making it more potent than a base Honda Civic or Mazda3.
The hybrid powertrain pumps out 139 lb-ft. of torque (34 more lb-ft. than before), allowing the 2023 Prius Prime to rush from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, about four seconds quicker than the old model. All Prius Primes have a front-wheel drivetrain, but we feel (hope) an AWD option is soon in the cards.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime: Charging & Range
Powering the hybrid components is a more substantial 13.6 kWh battery, unlocking a Toyota-estimated 44 miles of all-electric driving range, the most in a Prius PHEV. In addition, the top-end Prius Prime XSE Premium has optional roof-mounted solar panels that can recharge the batteries while parked.
Furthermore, a solar charger can power accessories like air-conditioning while on the go. It takes four hours to recharge the Prius Prime batteries using a Level 2 home charger and 11 hours with a standard 120V outlet. However, you don’t need to plug it in constantly, as the Prius Prime will keep running as long as there’s gas in the tank.
Further increasing efficiency is an electronically controlled braking system that optimizes regenerative braking and the hydraulic brakes to maximize stopping power while recovering as much juice as possible. The 2023 Prius Prime has a standard Brake Hold feature that keeps the brakes engaged even if your foot is off the brake pedal. When ready to go, pressing the accelerator releases the brakes automatically, a handy feature when driving through traffic.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime: Trim Levels & Pricing
The Toyota Prius Prime has three trim variants: SE, XSE, and XSE Premium. Below is a breakdown of each model and the accompanying standard equipment and MSRP. The price figures are inclusive of the $1,095 destination charge. If you have questions about new vehicle financing, this auto loans 101 guide will point you in the right direction.
Prius Prime SE
The base Prius Prime SE starts at $33,445. The equipment list includes 17-inch dark gray alloy wheels with aero-optimized covers, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, fabric upholstery, six USB-C ports, rain-sensing wipers, a smart key, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen.
Prius Prime XSE
The Prius Prime XSE has a $36,695 starting MSRP. It has everything from the SE but receives numerous upgrades like 19-inch machine-finish alloy wheels, an eight-way power and heated driver’s seat, SofTex upholstery, and wireless charging. Meanwhile, the options list includes a fixed glass roof, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a digital key.
Prius Prime XSE Premium
The Toyota Prius Prime XSE Premium starts at $40,265. It combines the standard kits of the base SE and midtier XSE with a few additions like an eight-speaker JBL audio system, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated and ventilated SoftTex front seats with memory settings, and a power liftgate.
Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 3.0
All Toyota Prius Primes come standard with TSS 3.0, an advanced driving assistance package that includes dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, road sign assist, and more. Furthermore, lane change assist, front cross-traffic alert, advanced park, and traffic jam assist round out the list of safety nets.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Warranty
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a five-year perforation warranty. Hybrid components have an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, while a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty applies to the battery.
The Toyota Prius Prime leaves the factory with two years of complimentary maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for three years (unlimited mileage). Options are available to extend the warranty on any Toyota vehicle, including the Prius Prime.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.