Twenty-two years ago, a high-tech sedan rolled into U.S. Toyota dealerships and forever changed the automotive industry. The 2001 Prius, Latin for “To Go Before” became the world’s first production hybrid car and ushered in a new generation of vehicles that combined an electric motor with a high efficiency engine to squeeze more miles out of every gallon. Now, over two decades later, this legendary nameplate is ready to yet again show it is at the forefront – with the reveal of the all-new 2023 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime at a kickoff event the eve of the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show at the LA Convention Center.
“As a company, we set our sights on developing a new Prius for the future, and our design and engineering teams really delivered,” said Toyota group vice president and general manager Dave Christ. “The weight of the Prius name is heavy – it carries with it the identity of an entire category of vehicle powertrain. We’re confident the all-new 2023 Prius and Prius Prime will continue this important legacy.”
Since the original Prius launched, the automaker envisioned a world where hybrid-powered fuel efficiency was not the alternative, but rather the norm. Now, with over 5 million units sold in North America, and over 20 million globally, Toyota hybrids are not only a common sight, but they have made a difference, too, preventing over 82 million tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. With the addition of the most fuel-efficient Prius to date, achieving a manufacturer estimated 57 MPG combined fuel economy rating on the LE FWD model, this Toyota hybrid brings accessible electrification to drivers everywhere.
As part of Toyota’s diverse approach to carbon neutrality, the Prius hybrid is part of lineup that looks to move “beyond zero.” With ten hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, the new bZ4X battery electric vehicle and zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology Mirai, Toyota is committed to finding highly efficient and zero emission solutions that fit customers lifestyles across the US. 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 our products, manufacturing and beyond.
The price and on-sale date of the exciting, all-new 2023 Prius will be announced later this year.
When it comes to performance, Prius is purpose-built. The new hybrid system enhances both the fuel economy and driving performance with increases to both engine and battery output. The acceleration feel and vehicle handling have also been enhanced, providing a driving feel and accelerator response unique to electrified vehicles.
Under the hood is the 5th generation hybrid powertrain coupled with a larger 2.0L engine and a newly developed lithium-ion battery, located underneath the rear seat. On AWD models, an Electronic On-Demand AWD system has been adopted which 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. The newly developed lithium-ion battery pack offers a 15% increase in output compared to the previous generation Nickel Metal battery – reducing the size and the weight.
The result is an engaging acceleration experience with 194 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds for the Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) models. This is a 26% improvement compared to the outgoing FWD model of 9.8 seconds.
For All-Wheel Drive (AWD) models, Prius offers 196 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 7.0 seconds. A high-output IPM (Interior Permanent Magnet) motor has been adopted for the rear motor on AWD models, allowing for a compact design that enhances the low traction road climbing performance and the stability when turning.
Prius offers three drive modes – NORMAL, ECO and SPORT mode. In ECO mode, the drive force increase in response to accelerator operation is suppressed slightly to enable finer accelerator control and enhance the fuel economy. In POWER mode or SPORT mode, the drive force in the low-/mid-accelerator opening is increased to enhance throttle responsiveness.
The all-new 2023 Toyota Prius is equipped with the tools to make life more convenient – thanks to the available 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team. Prius drivers will also have the opportunity to access a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including Over-the-Air (OTA) updates.
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.
Cloud Navigation, the available onboard navigation solution, utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic and routing information. To ensure users have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate the next destination.
The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. With further connectivity, the Prius has an available Wi-Fi Connect 1-month trial that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices – turning the Prius into an AT&T Hotspot.
Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription, Wi-Fi Connect also enables the new Integrated Streaming feature, providing customers the ability to link their separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.
For those looking for an enhanced audio experience, the Prius offers a JBL® Premium Audio system with eight speakers, creating a mobile concert from any music genre. Standard on the Limited grade only, with the use of Clari-Fi® technology, the system is also able to breathe life into compressed digital music formats enhancing the audio experience.
Each Prius offers a host of additional available Connected Services. Safety Connect includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator and Collision Assistance with up to a 10-year trial. Service Connect gives drivers the ability to receive Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts and reminders, also with up to a 10-year trial.
With the Toyota app, users can stay connected to their Prius with a 1-year trial of Remote Connect service, available on LE grade and standard on XLE and Limited. Users can activate headlights, lock/unlock the doors and remotely start the vehicle. Users can also check vehicle status, receive reminder notifications and set Guest Driver Alerts. Digital key is also available with Remote Connect for the XLE and Limited Grades – making it easy to lock and unlock doors, remote start and more all from a smart phone.
Ready to handle all your device charging needs, the Prius is equipped with six USB ports in the cabin. Up front, two Type-C USB ports at the bottom of the center stack plus two more Type-C USB ports in the center console. For second-row passengers, two Type-C USB ports are located at the bottom rear of the center console.
Convenience features are aplenty for Prius, too. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is standard on all grades. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is available on all grades. A Panoramic View Monitor is available on Limited and provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle. Advanced Park is available on Limited, a hands-free system designed to assist you with parallel parking or backing into a parking space.
For 2023, Prius 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 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
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Lane Tracing Assist
- Road Sign Assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Proactive Driving Assist
Proactive Driving Assist is new to Prius and the Toyota Safety Sense package. 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 a substitute for the Pre-Collision System and operates in different circumstances.
The Toyota Safety Sense feature from the prior generation Prius has been enhanced for TSS 3.0:
- The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection has enhanced detection capabilities thanks to new system sensors. It receives enhanced intersection support with improved detection capability in certain circumstances. It also adds the capability to detect motorcyclists, in addition to bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist has enhanced lane recognition that includes detection of certain 3D objects, like guardrails, that may be used to help define the lane.
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control adds a fourth following distance setting, from 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 helps the system to provide smoother, more natural speed adjustments, especially when the driver changes lanes.
- Like Lane Departure Alert, lane recognition is enhanced for Lane Tracing Assist. This system now also helps provide more space between vehicles being passed in adjacent lanes. It works by offsetting the vehicles’ driving path with minor steering adjustments while keeping the vehicle within its lane.
- An Emergency Driving Stop System has been added to Lane Tracing Assist. It’s designed to monitor the driver’s inputs, such as steering operation, to determine if they’re inattentive or non-responsive, such as during a medical emergency. This feature can bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn’t respond to alerts to take control.
- Road Sign Assist gets expanded sign detection capabilities that now include certain intersection signs and warning signs, like pedestrian crossings.