2023 Toyota Prius Prime First Drive: Is It as Cool as It Looks?
I had the pleasure of driving the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime around for a week. When I say “pleasure,” I mean it. No, it’s not a fancy sports car like its distant cousin, the Lexus LC 500, but the all-new Prius Prime does garner similar attention from onlookers.
Toyota updated the Prius for the 2023 model year, which included a complete redesign inside and out. Gone is the blocky look, which we think looked a little weird. Now, the Prius looks far more futuristic with its aerodynamic design and low-slung stature.
It looks cool, but after driving it, is it really as cool as it looks?
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime has enough power to get out of its own way
Toyota upgraded the Prius Prime’s powertrain for 2023. The 2022 model utilized a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor for a total power output of 121 hp. That was enough to scoot the car to 60 mph from a stop in a laggardly 10.3 seconds.
This new model, on the other hand, was blessed with a larger 2.0-liter setup. It produces a whopping 220 hp, which lowers the time to 60 mph to 6.5 seconds. I have driven a few Prius’ in the past and can say that this new version is far more punchier than before.
It’s not sportscar-fast, but the Prius Prime can finally keep up if you need to show an unsuspecting Honda Civic who’s the boss when trying to get ahead in traffic. That’s pretty cool.
The Toyota Prius Prime’s solar roof is not just a gimmick
When it’s time to charge the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime, the best way to do so is via a level 2 charger. With a 240-volt plug, the 39 miles of electric range is replenished in around four hours. That figure goes up to around 11 when you use a household 110-volt charger.
That’s not bad, considering you can conceivably plug in the Prius Prime when you get home in the evening, and it will be fully charged in the morning.
One cool charging trick that the Toyota Prius Prime has up its sleeve is a Solar Charging Roof. My XSE Premium tester came with the $610 add-on, and it brings me comfort knowing that it’s working behind the scenes to add juice to the depleted battery.
There’s even a screen on the infotainment system that displays the solar panel’s real-time performance. It also shows how many Watt-hours gained per day and kilowatt-hours gained over time.
Additionally, the solar roof can power the car’s accessories, like the air conditioner, which puts less stress on the hybrid system. Overall, considering the Solar Charging Roof isn’t a gimmick, I would say that it makes the Prius Prime that much cooler.
The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime has plenty of tech features
In addition to having more power and charging capabilities, the Toyota Prius Prime has a tech-rich cabin. My top-range test car came fitted with the JBL sound system, a digital rearview mirror, and an advanced parking system with park assist and a panoramic view monitor.
The Prius Prime also has heated/ventilated front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a large 12.3-inch display. For 2023, Toyota made the screen horizontal, unlike the tablet-style screen in the 2022 model.
Ultimately, it’s safe to say that the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is as cool as it looks. The extra power, better charging, and tech-savvy features make this new Prius a worthy contender for anyone who needs a hybrid car.