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Whether you loved the Toyota Prius in the past or not, it’s hard to deny that the all-new 2023 model is quite the looker. Toyota updated the Prius’ styling to make it look sleeker and more futuristic. It’s also highly fuel-efficient and comes in regular hybrid or plug-in hybrid form – also known as the Prius Prime.

If you have your heart set on buying a Toyota Prius, it can be challenging to know which model best suits your daily needs. Here’s a rundown to help you decide on the regular Prius or the Prius Prime.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid vs. Prius Prime: Fuel efficiency

The 2023 Toyota Prius parked near trees
2023 Toyota Prius | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The main difference between the 2023 Toyota Prius hybrid and Prius Prime is their powertrains. They are both powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor. However, the Prius Prime uses a larger motor and battery.

The larger size makes it eligible to run on the electric motor alone for up to 44 miles in its base SE form and up to 39 miles in the XSE and XSE Premium models. Regarding the hybrid setup’s efficiency, the EPA estimates the regular Prius can achieve up to 57 city/56 highway mpg in its base LE form and 52/52 for the upper XLE and Limited trims.

Adding all-wheel drive drops those estimates to 53/54 for the base model and 49/50 for the higher trim levels.

The Prius Prime, on the other hand, is EPA-rated at 53 city/51 highway mpg when the all-electric range runs out. As a normal hybrid, the Prius achieves better fuel efficiency, but the Prius Prime gets better fuel economy overall due to its electric range.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid vs. Prius Prime: Power

A view of the powertrain in the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime
2023 Toyota Prius Prime | Toyota

Toyota upgraded the Prius’ engine power for 2023. The Prius hybrid has 194 hp in FWD form and 196 hp in AWD form. The editors at MotorTrend tested the 2023 Prius and recorded a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds, which is much quicker than the 10-second times from past Prius.

The Prius Prime offers more performance with its 220-hp rating. With the added power, the Prius Prime can cover the same distance in 6.6 seconds.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid vs. Prius Prime: Charging

The 2023 Toyota Prius Prime plugged into a charger
2023 Toyota Prius Prime | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The beauty of choosing the 2023 Prius hybrid over the Prius Prime is the lack of charging needed. Since the Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid, it must be charged to recoup the 40-ish electric miles, which could take up to 11 hours on a household 120-volt plug.

However, charging it on a level 2 (240-volt) outlet reduces that time to around four hours. Either way, the Prius hybrid is the way to go if you don’t want to deal with charging the car.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid vs. Prius Prime: Drivetrain

The rear end of the 2023 Toyota Prius
2023 Toyota Prius | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The Toyota Prius Prime may have more power and performance than its hybrid sibling, but the regular Prius has an ace up its sleeve. The Prius hybrid can be equipped with the brand’s e-AWD system, which adds rear-wheel traction in slippery conditions. The Prius Prime is only offered in a front-drive configuration, so those living in snow states could benefit from the Prius hybrid more.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid vs. Prius Prime: Price

Price is always a huge factor when buying a car. As such, the 2023 Toyota Prius hybrid carries a lower price tag than the Prius Prime. The 2023 Prius starts at $27,650 and tops out at $34,665 for the top-trim Limited model.

The Prius Prime starts at $32,350 and tops out at $39,170 for the XSE Premium trim level. That said, the Prius hybrid is better suited for lower budgets.

2023 Toyota Prius Hybrid vs. Prius Prime: Which hybrid car should you choose?

Considering both Prius models have similar interior and exterior features, the Prius Prime is the prime choice if you can plug it in. The electric range makes it more efficient overall and doesn’t sacrifice the car’s drivability. However, if you can’t plug the car in or need an all-wheel drivetrain, the regular Prius hybrid is a better option.