2023 Toyota Prius vs. 2023 Toyota Prius Prime: Head to Head

2023 Toyota Prius and 2023 Toyota Prius Prime
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Battle of the Gas-Sippers

There are many options for drivers seeking a car that will save them money on gas. The Toyota Prius and Prius Prime are two of the most capable.

Both cars are fully redesigned for the 2023 model year. If you’re looking for a car that treads lightly at the gas pump, you may wonder which Toyota is the better choice.

The powertrain is, of course, the most notable difference between the two. The Prius is a standard hybrid with a four-cylinder gas engine that gets a fuel economy boost from electrification. On the other hand, the Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid that travels up to 44 miles using just electric power.

In the following slides, we’ll pore over data and scores in our new car reviews to compare the Prius Prime and Prius in areas that matter most to shoppers searching for a fuel-efficient compact car. You can use these findings to determine which model suits your needs.

We constantly update scores on our site as new expert reviews and data become available. Therefore, the scores mentioned in this slideshow may differ from those in our reviews.

Next:Price

2023 Toyota Prius
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Price

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius

Plug-in hybrids are typically more expensive than their hybrid counterparts. So, it’s unsurprising that the Prius wins the opening round of our showdown for having a lower base price than the 2023 Toyota Prius.

The Prius has a base price of $27,450. Three trims are available, offering varying levels of equipment. The top trim in the range is the Limited, and it comes with ventilated front seats, a power liftgate and a 12.3-inch touch screen with navigation.

You’ll pay $32,350 for a base model of the Prius Prime, and three trims are available. The top XSE Premium trim costs $39,170 and includes equipment similar to the Prius Limited.

The Prius Prime used to be eligible for federal tax credits, but, unfortunately, this model no longer qualifies because it doesn’t meet the requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022.

Next:Reliability

2023 Toyota Prius and 2023 Toyota Prius Prime
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Reliability

Winner: Inconclusive

The Prius does OK regarding predicted reliability, earning a J.D. Power score of 75 out of 100.

So, what does that number mean? A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, and a score of 81-90 is Great. A score of 70-80 is Average, and a score of 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.

The Prius Prime doesn’t yet have a score for predicted reliability. As a result, we can’t pick a winner in this category.

Next:Seat Comfort

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Interior
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Seat Comfort

Winner: Tie

The Prius and Prius Prime have many similarities, and seat comfort is one of them. Both cars are two-row hatchbacks that seat five people. The front seats are spacious, supportive and comfortable, but headroom in the rear is tight in both vehicles because of the sloping roofline. Legroom isn’t abundant, either.

Both cars are available with heated and ventilated front seats. There aren’t any meaningful differences in seat comfort between these two models, so they tie in this category.

Next:Cargo Space

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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Cargo Space

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius

It’s hard to beat a hatchback if you want a car with excellent cargo space. The Prius and Prius Prime share a hatchback design. Both offer solid cargo capacity, but the Prius has an advantage.

The Prius Prime has 20.3 cubic feet of cargo room with all seats in place. Lowering the rear seats opens up 26.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Toyota’s Prius has more cargo room with all seats in place if you choose the LE trim. Those models have 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Capacity dips to 20.3 cubic feet with the XLE and Limited models. Toyota doesn’t disclose what cargo room for the Prius is with the rear seats lowered.

Next:Interior Quality

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Interior
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Interior Quality

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius and Prius Prime are similar regarding cabin design and interior quality. The Prius Prime, however, has a sporty red-and-black interior color scheme, giving it a slightly more stylish look.

Both cars have cabins with a clean, modern design. The overall look is attractive but subdued, and the build quality is solid. There are soft-touch surfaces, but you’ll also find some hard plastics.

Next:Interior Features

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Interior
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Interior Features

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius packs a number of appealing interior features. The infotainment system has an 8-inch touch screen with an intuitive layout and crisp graphics. Base models provide a robust selection of standard equipment, including satellite radio and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports are on hand to connect your devices, and automatic climate control keeps the cabin comfortable. A Wi-Fi hot spot is also standard.

Toyota’s Prius Prime matches the Prius and goes a step further. It builds on that car’s standard equipment with remote keyless entry and push-button start. Those features are optional on the Prius.

Because it has more standard interior amenities, the Prius Prime wins this round.

Next:Acceleration

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Photos
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Acceleration

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius Prime wins this round because it has more horsepower.

Front-wheel-drive Prius hatchbacks have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor; this powertrain generates 194 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel-drive models match that engine with two electric motors for an output of 196 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque.

All Prius Prime hatchbacks have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors, producing 220 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque.

Both Toyota hatchbacks deliver quick acceleration and good passing power on the highway. The Prius Prime’s horsepower advantage makes it a more energetic choice, however.

Next:Fuel Economy

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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Fuel Economy

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius is notable for being one of the most fuel-efficient standard hybrids you can buy. It returns up to 57 mpg in the city and 56 mpg in highway driving. Those are impressive numbers that will dazzle anyone with an interest in fuel economy.

The Prius Prime, however, has the advantage of plug-in hybrid technology. That setup allows it to travel up to 44 miles using electric power with a fuel efficiency of 127 MPG-equivalent. So, if you have a short commute, you could drive to work and return home in the evening without needing the gas engine. Once that engine kicks in, the combined mileage is 52 mpg.

The Prius Prime has the edge in fuel efficiency and wins this round.

Next:Ride and Handling

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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Ride and Handling

Winner: 2023 Toyota Prius

The Prius and Prius Prime are evenly matched in many areas regarding driving dynamics. They both have a smooth ride that soaks up bumps and jolts. Hybrids sometimes have grabby brakes, a consequence of their regenerative braking systems. However, both the Prius and Prius Prime have brakes that feel natural and linear.

However, the Prius outdoes the Prius Prime in this section of our head-to-head for one key reason: It’s available with all-wheel drive, while the Prius Prime isn’t. All-wheel drive boosts traction in wet, slippery conditions and can make driving safer in rain and snow.

Next:Safety

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Interior
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Safety

Winner: Inconclusive

The Prius Prime and Prius have an impressive selection of standard safety features. Base models have amenities such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition. Both are available with park assist, front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view parking camera system.

Neither car, however, has been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Therefore, we can’t select a winner in this round.

Next:The Winner Is …

2023 Toyota Prius Prime Photos
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The Winner Is …

2023 Toyota Prius Prime

Neither the Prius nor Prius Prime will disappoint you if you want a capable small car with stellar fuel efficiency.

Toyota’s Prius costs less than the Prius Prime. Also, it has more cargo space, and available all-wheel drive helps it come out on top for ride and handling.

The Prius Prime, however, won in a majority of categories. It has superior interior quality and more standard interior features. It also has better fuel economy and a more potent powertrain.

Take each model for a test drive to see whether you agree with our assessments. You may also want to consider taking a look at other impressive hybrids, such as the Honda Accord Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Next:More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report

More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

Read their reviews to get a complete picture of the Prius and Prius Prime, and then check out our hybrid rankings to see how these models compare with the competition.

Finally, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program to find the best deal at a dealership near you. We partner with local dealers to get you guaranteed, pre-negotiated savings. Whether you’re buying or leasing, shoppers who use the program save an average of more than $3,000 on their new vehicle.

Next:2023 Toyota Prius vs. 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

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