Toyota’s latest Prius Prime for 2023 has been unveiled, and it’s turning heads with its impressive design and hybrid performance upgrades. In a market dominated by electric cars, the all-new Prius Prime is making a statement with its sleek and sporty appearance. The front windshield is dramatically raked, giving it the look of a sports coupe rather than an efficient city car. The sloping rear roof adds a futuristic edge to the design, while the flat rear bumper complements the front’s near-90º angled fascia.
Toyota has made some bold moves with the Prime XSE Premium’s wider stance and 19″ machine-finished wheels that sit two inches lower than the previous generation. These design choices give the car an aggressive look that goes against the grain of efficiency, but it works well with the Prius Prime’s overall appeal. Sharp angular LED headlights, a low and pronounced front air dam, and a rear LED light bar are just a few of the other standout design features.
Inside the cabin, the Prius Prime feels refined and evolutionary. The driver-passenger enhancements to touch points and visuals are noticeable, and dashes of red add a pop of colour to the otherwise black upholstery. The dual digital screens, acting as the gauge cluster and infotainment centre, are a nice touch. Bonus points for all the climate controls being accessible through knobs and buttons rather than within menus, and for the volume knob, although it was a bit far for the driver to reach. The steering wheel feels small in hand, giving the impression that whoever designed it had handling and sportiness in mind.
The Prius Prime’s performance has also seen significant improvement over the last generation. With a 2.0L gas-powered engine and a 161 hp electric motor working in conjunction, the net total comes to 220 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque. This allows the Prius Prime to accelerate from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, a significant improvement over the previous model. While not a sports car, the Prius Prime’s acceleration is competitive against other electric cars like the Audi A3 e-tron Sportback, BMW i3, and Mercedes-Benz GLA 250.
So why did Toyota create a new Prius with big wheels, a wider body, and a lower stance, all of which go against the ideals of maximum efficiency? The answer is simple: to make the Prius a contender against the “new norm” of electric cars. The Prius’s design adds a new layer for consumers in search of a car that looks great and drives well, even if it sacrifices a bit of efficiency. Toyota has flipped the script on the Prius’s reputation, turning it from a bland and boring car to an alternative to the new defacto.
The Toyota Prius Prime XSE Premium starts at $39,170 USD and begins shipping in May. If you’re looking for something from Toyota that’s no compromises, the GR Corolla is the latest in the sporty offerings department. The Prius Prime is different, daring, and possibly even “cool.” It’s a car that challenges the status quo and proves that hybrid cars can be both efficient and stylish.