2023 Toyota Prius Prime Review – The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is the only Prius you can get with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but like all Priuses, it looks more like a spaceship than a hatchback car. While Prime is about as fast and fun to ride as a horse-drawn carriage, it boasts impressive EPA fuel economy ratings and a short, albeit useful, all-electric driving range of 40 miles. This does not make it the best choice for long journeys – there the gas engine will take over after sipping the juice. But it is ideal for people who want to live a particularly environmentally friendly lifestyle, tend to drive short trips and want all the latest driver assistance. The 2023 Prius Prime is not the best plug-in hybrid, but it has its own unique sense of science and benefits from Toyota’s reputation for reliability.
Toyota RAV4 Prime, known in Japan as RAV4 PHEV, has officially launched in the brand’s home market. Along with the launch comes the specifications for the new model. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) estimates in Japan link the RAV4 PHEV range to 95 kilometers or 89 miles (available on Toyota’s global media website). However, Toyota has prepared customers in the American market to expect the 42-mile EPA Estimated EV range. So why the difference in range?
The torque news was first presented to Toyota to confirm that both vehicles have the same drive. We were told it is. Thus, the differences in the range are closely related to the differences between the ratings of the regulatory agencies of the Japanese and United States governments.
As any vehicle tester will tell you, EPA ratings have become increasingly conservative in recent decades. EPA ratings for things like fuel economy are now very close to accurate. Of the hundreds of vehicles we test each year, almost none is able to return real fuel economy below estimates for a “combined” EPA. Exactly opposite. We often find that the vehicles we test far exceed fuel economy estimates. And this applies to hybrids as editor Patrick Rally’s long-range Prius test.
What’s new in 2023?
The 2023 Prius Prime gets enhanced active safety features as well as Android Auto. The enhanced list of driver assistance mechanisms includes road sign recognition, improved pedestrian detection and bicycle detection. Finally, the Wind Chill Pearl replaces the Blizzard Pearl White color.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Prices and which to buy
Each Prius Prime model has the same plug-in-hybrid system with up to 40 miles of electric-only driving range. So your biggest decision will be what standard features you want in your Prime. Even the entry-level LE has a set of Toyota Safety Sense-P active safety features, including lane departure warning, automated pedestrian emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, and a 7.0-inch infotainment display. The Midrange XLE receives wireless charging and a huge 11.6-inch screen. The upper limited adds color head-up display, park assist, blind spot monitoring and rain capture wipers; It’s a lot more cars for not much more money. However, we recommend the XLE as most of the features you want when you enter just over the $ 30,000 mark.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Engine, transmission and performance
The Prius Prime is a four-cylinder engine powered by an electric motor, battery and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to increase Prime efficiency. In this respect, it succeeds, but the deplorable recovery of power is otherwise unpredictable. Prime switches effortlessly and smoothly between gas and electric propulsion, while three driving modes (Power, Normal and Eco) try to affect the perception of acceleration. No one will produce anything that is fast approaching. Its battery can be charged either in a standard 120 volt household socket, which takes about 5.5 hours, or in about two hours at a 240 volt socket. Prime is usually comfortable and suitable for young people throughout the city. However, its journey becomes nervous and harsh when it encounters a severely damaged pavement. Clicking the selector in position B increases the regenerative braking and the ground decelerates significantly as soon as the driver leaves the accelerator. In normal mode, drivers will not notice Prime regen, and although the transition from regenerative to friction braking is smooth, it is difficult to brake easily or early enough to stay in the Prius odometer eco zone.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Fuel economy and real world MPG
All three Prius Prime models have the same EPA ratings, which are 55 mpg city and 53 highway gasoline engine. Combined with electricity from the hybrid system, the government estimates it will earn 133 MPGe. This makes Prime a good choice for fuel-conscious buyers, but its limited electric-only range is demerit. The EPA-rated 25-mile all-electric range may be sufficient for some daily trips, while the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid has a slightly longer range of 47 miles. Also, the primes we tested on our 200-mile fuel economy route did not match their EPA highway rating. However, since we are testing at significantly higher speeds (75 mph) than EPA, we would be surprised by any plugin that could match the EPN number. In hybrid mode, Prime Plus earned 47 mpg on the highway and the Premium model earned 49 mpg. We also tested each EV mode, where Plus earned 116 MPGe and Premium earned 118.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Interior, comfort and cargo
The instrument panel layout is unconventional, with a stubby electronic switch glued directly from the center of the dash and a set of digital gauges placed between the driver and the front seat passenger, rather than directly in front of the driver. While the cabin of the Prius Prime and the hybrid of the standard Prius are equally good, the Prime cargo compartment is meaningfully reduced by its largest battery. It provides less real-world luggage space than the standard Prius and some of its races. Internal storage is ample, but family trips will be ideal.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Information and connectivity
The Prius Prime LE is based on a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The XLE and Limited models have an 11.6-inch touchscreen that includes map integration that shows available charging stations. Both systems have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, the screen has only a few available configurations, which means it works more than a two-screen system, with one screen permanently locked in navigation, rather than a dynamic, customizable tablet.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Safety and driver aids
The 2023 Prius Prime has not been inspected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has not affected the Road Safety Insurance Institute (IIHS). Toyota has built much of its driver assistance technology standards on all models. Despite the generous standard offers, blind spot monitoring is not mandatory, it is a release that could motivate buyers for the prime most expensive top trim levels.
2023 Toyota Prius Prime Warranty and maintenance coverage
Toyota’s warranty coverage is in line with the plans offered by a large number of competitors, even outperforming some competitors by including two scheduled maintenance visits in the first two years of ownership.
This is not the first example of the Japanese market valuing a green vehicle with a foreign fuel economy number. The Japanese agency rated the 2010 Prius at 89.4 MPG. American owners have never seen daily averages anywhere near that.
The new RAV4 Prime will soon be available in both markets. We expect owners to find that their RAV4 Primes only EV range will be 30 to 45 miles depending on weather, driving conditions and other factors that affect the EV range. Watch the torque news for our upcoming own test. We hope to have a test RAV4 Prime in the middle of summer.
John Gorem is a lifelong car nut and recovery engineer. John focuses on technology, safety and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar electric vehicle from scratch. His role was as a battery thermal control designer. For 20 years, he used his engineering and sales talents in the high-tech world and published many articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008, he retired from this career to pursue his dream of being a car writer. In addition to torque reports, John’s work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers, and he provides feedback on many vehicle shopping sites.