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Following its radical redesign, the 2023 Toyota Prius remains one of the go-to hybrid sedans. Now with more power, better fuel economy, and achingly good looks, it’s likely to coax the hearts and minds of potential buyers. However, which of the Prius’ three trim levels—LE, XLE, and Limited—is most worth it? Many may jump to the top-tier Limited as their pick, considering it’s the most expensive. But be careful; better value can be found lower on the trim level list.

2023 Toyota Prius performance and fuel economy

The all-new Prius’ much-improved drivetrain must be addressed first. Gone is the wheezy, 121-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder. In its place is a 2.0-liter unit that puts down 194 horsepower in the front-wheel drive (FWD) version. All-wheel drive (AWD) Prii—a $1,400 optional extra—get an extra boost to 196 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard on all models. 

Although the 2023 Toyota Prius can snap a speedo in under seven seconds, it’s even more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. The base Prius can achieve a combined 57 mpg in the FWD configuration. AWD drops the number by a few mpg but will do better than the upper trim levels. The mid-range and top-tier Prii will only manage 52 mpg combined with FWD, and 50 mpg in AWD. Nevertheless, the second biggest area of redesign behind the exterior is what the Prius offers inside.

The base 2023 Toyota Prius LE

Massive price increases for the all-new Prius didn’t pan out as many predicted. For just $27,250, potential customers can step into the base Toyota hybrid sedan. Standard features in the five-seater include manually adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and cloth upholstery all around. Despite a wealth of hard plastics, the cabin’s fit and finish are excellent.

On the tech side, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system is the center point of the redesigned dash. Wireless Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and other Bluetooth functions like satellite radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot can play tunes through a six-speaker stereo system. The 2023 Toyota Prius is also one of the most well-stocked vehicles when it comes to charging devices, with six USB ports.

As part of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, the Prius has a host of standard safety and driver’s assistance features. But it incorporates more than other offerings like the Corolla Hybrid. They include adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring, a hill start assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian and cyclist detection. Additionally, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-trace assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rear seat alert, a rearview camera, safe-exit assist, and traffic sign recognition. If that isn’t enough, front and rear parking assist with automatic braking is available for an extra $35.

Mid-range XLE

For a starting MSRP of $30,895, the Prius XLE gains a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and synthetic leather upholstery. The only tech upgrades are found in a wireless charging pad, keyless entry with a push-button start, and a universal garage door opener. The XLE includes the optional parking assists in the price, and features reverse collision warning, reverse automatic emergency braking, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Otherwise, there are a few packages available to upgrade the mid-range Prius. For instance, potential customers can get a digital smartphone key for $275 (plus a subscription), a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen for $735, and a glass roof for $1,000.

The top-tier Prius Limited

The Limited starts at $34,465. On top of the standard features and options packages in the XLE, the Limited gains an eight-speaker JBL audio system, a power liftgate, and ventilated front seats. Further add-ons include a $200 rear-camera mirror and $350 heated rear seats. For $1,635, Toyota will throw in a park assistance system with a surround-view camera system.

Is the 2023 Toyota Prius Limited worth the extra money?

The 2023 Toyota Prius is a nice hybrid car
2023 Toyota Prius XLE | Toyota

A car in the mid-$30,000 range may not seem like a lot, but it gets you looking closer. There’s a big gap between the base and the top-spec Prius. Interior wise, synthetic leather upholstery is a nice addition, but the LE’s cloth seats aren’t depressingly drab. Moreover, they fit well with the Prius’ sea of interior plastics. But even the top-of-the-line Limited is full of plastics. While it’s expected in a mass-market car, it does narrow the $7,000 divide between the LE and Limited.

If you’re looking for a worthwhile hybrid sedan for the lowest price, the base Prius LE has more than enough features to make anyone feel special. The build quality is brilliant, making those plastics look less offensive. Also, it’s the best-stocked vehicle in terms of standard safety features. But if one seeks more amenities in their Prius, select the mid-range XLE and option it out.


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