2023 Toyota Prius PHEV is Official

yes.

that’s a Prius.

but it’s not just better looking inside and outside, it also goes from 120 hp to 220 hp in plug-in version.

the other huge improvement is the old plug-in had battery taking up most of the trunk while now the battery is under rear seat. the old plug in was also only 4-seater because rear suspension was overloaded by battery in the trunk and they saved weight by eliminating the 5th passenger. i haven’t checked but i assume the new one has 5 seatbelts.

i wanted the Prius Plug-in ( previously called Prime, now just PHEV ) but it was such a crippled car in last gen i couldn’t do it. it had ugly wheels, battery eating up the trunk, no 5th seat, but worst of all it only had 120 hp.

and all those problems with last gen Prius Plug-in were for the same exact reason - it was an afterthought. in last gen they took a regular Prius and added a plug to it.

even so Prius Prime was one of best selling PHEVs on the market …

but as a model Prius was doing badly … and needed to be spiced up.

i think Toyota has done EXACTLY what they had to do to fix the problems.

of course one problem Prius had was it was noisy, and only a Test Drive can tell if that was fixed.

but it seems they fixed most of everything else.

whereas before i told everybody to skip the Prius Prime and was myself forced to go to Volvo ( even though i wanted a Toyota ) now Prius PHEV is looking solid.

i have driven enough Toyota hybrids to have an idea what Prius PHEV will drive like and it should be ADEQUATE.

i feel like Prius has finally matured from an econobubble to a car.

if you have a garage you can charge in definitely put 2023 Prius PHEV on your test drive list.

you will have a car that is both efficient and reliable.

meanwhile Volvo S60 Recharge ( Plug-in ) is going from 400 hp ( my model year ) to 450 hp ( 2023 model )

that is a welcome improvement but it is incremental.

whereas Prius going from 120 hp to 220 hp is the difference between being the slowest car on the road and actually having enough power for most situations.

i drove a Camry Hybrid with 212 hp for three years and i was completely fine with it except i wished it was a hatch back and a plug in. and the new Prius PHEV is literally that !

well the Prius will probably be less spacious and a bit more noisy with slightly less premium audio system …

yeah the Audio system in the Volvo is something i will miss … but i can live without it.

all wheel drive is something i will miss as well …

but ironically the only time the Camry got stuck in the snow was on the day i picked up the Volvo … well it didn’t get stuck - i just couldn’t get it up the driveway so i had to leave it street parked which wasn’t ideal because that left it in the way of the snow plows …

last gen offered AWD prius but not sure about Prius Prime …

regardless obviously Prius PHEV will not be as nice as Volvo S60 Recharge in some areas the point is rather that Prius is finally competitive with popular cars such as Camry and Civic whereas before it was sliding into irrelevance …

a wise Jew once prophesied that some day i will drive a Prius …

he said that when i was driving a V8 BMW …

we’ll see …

if it has AWD, decent sound insulation, JBL subwoofer and good availability / deals ( unlike Rav 4 Prime ) then it’s a no brainer.

Toyota Rav 4 Prime was in such short supply it would have cost me the same as Volvo which just didn’t make a lot of sense …

If Prius PHEV has same problem as Rav 4 Prime ( short supply, not available for a good price ) or if it is as noisy as the old one ( which is likely ) or has some other major issue then maybe look elsewhere.

But if they got it right it’s an almost perfect car. Though i would always STRONGLY prefer AWD in any area that get snow.

or maybe i should just move to Atlanta an solve the snow issue that way !

another way to think about it is the new Prius PHEV replaces the old Chevy Volt that was discontinued …

i test drove the Volt and liked it but the seats were horrible and the price was wrong …

if the new Prius is like that old Volt but done right then it’s what the doctor ordered

the Volt was a sexier, sportier alternative to the Prius but it had some major problems like NO POWER SEATS for example or for that matter seats so bad you wouldn’t last very long in them, or rear seats that were basically useless and so on …

even so real fans of the PHEV genre loved the Volt … Matt Farrah used the Volt as his daily driver while also being an owner of an Aston Martin …

if Toyota has taken the best parts of Volt ( sporty, sexy ) and Prius ( reliable, roomy ) then they have a winner.

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some negatives:

  • interior space is cramped
  • electric range of 40 miles is the same as Volvo

but in Volvo the efficiency / electric range is only a bonus. You buy the Volvo S60 Recharge for the great seats, the AWD, the quiet cabin and great sound system … whereas in Prius efficiency / range is the entire point of the car.

to deserve the name “Prius” ( which means first ) it should have been BETTER than other cars …

in the past better meant more efficient, which it still is …

but now better means more electric range, but the Prius Prime only MATCHES other cars here …

even though 40 miles is actually a logical amount of electric range it simply doesn’t justify the Prius calling itself “first” …

original Chevy Volt had 35 miles electric range in 2011, that’s 12 years ago. six years ago 2nd gen Volt had 53 mile range.

in 2023 Toyota Prius Prime still only has 40 miles of electric range …

perhaps i got too excited. this Prius makes a lot of sense but it merely returns Prius to where it should have been in the first place in 2023.

it is not any sort of a quantum leap forward like the original Prius was.

if i was going to design a car for myself compared to the actual 2023 prius prime i would have made it about 10% bigger with about 50% more electric range and i would definitely give it AWD with Limited Slip Differential.

the biggest difference you feel driving Volvo S60 Recharge versus Camry Hybrid isn’t the almost double the horsepower - it’s the limited slip differential and all wheel drive. even with only 212 hp the camry would spin the wheels off the line whereas with 400 hp the Volvo does not - it bites down into the pavement and surges forward even in the wet.

biggest issue with ( current ) Volvo is shit ( nearly useless ) navigation and limited electric range.

but Volvo is slowly replacing their shit Navigation with Google maps and electric range has also been improved from 22 to 41 miles from my model year ( 2021 ) to the 2023 model year.

regardless, Prius is back in the conversation and that’s a good thing.

They will electrify something more expensive to meet that…
You see Prius as “first”…so do they…a first in their new electrification drive.
Even what we see there is probably just a base Prius model.

the point is original Prius was ahead of its time, but it no longer is.

now it’s just a well made Economy car with a capital E.

whereas in the past everybody was playing catch up with Toyota’s hybrids it is now Toyota playing catch up to Tesla and others.

even 5 years ago when i got Camry Hybrid it was ahead of the curve.

but in the green vehicle space the last 5 years might as well have been an entire century.

Toyota isn’t enthused about electric cars.
For them to be ahead of the curve, would require a new power source: methanol fuel cell, viable hydrogen etc.

yes but when i saw the radial styling and almost doubling of horsepower i thought maybe Toyota has changed …

but when i saw the EV range i realized it’s still Toyota - they just did what they had to do, nothing more …

they pretty much just made their entire lineup more youthful / aggressive starting with 2018 Camry and then Rav 4, Corolla and now Prius …

they basically realized their main competitor was Honda and the reason people were buying Hondas is Hondas are perceived as more cool, sporty and youthful than Toyotas …

i would say Toyota succeeded in closing that gap with Honda where now arguably the new Civic is more boring than the new Prius …

but at the end of the day there are no miracles …

the Prius will be a success.

it has UNMATCHED reputation for reliability, efficiency and practicality.

and now it’s sexy, cool and sporty.

if the price is right they will sell like hot cakes.

but it won’t be special.

And that’s what Toyota wants to hear.
And profit from.

i want to drive a part of history, not just something that ticks check boxes.

i was just looking at power wheelchairs for grandma and they have about 20 miles range on average

the new prius has 40 miles electric range

so you can cover half of the Prius’s electric range in an AVERAGE motorized wheelchair

fucking pathetic

Lucid AIR has 500 miles of electric range

now of course Prius is not an EV, it’s a plug-in hybrid …

but for example it’s 30 miles from me to Metropark station:

so for a round trip that’s 60 miles. that’s in real world miles. you will need 100 miles or EPA range to make that trip in winter.

ok i don’t actually use Metropark station but it’s a reasonable use scenario if i wanted to commute to Manhattan. there are closer stations i can use, yes, but none are as nice. if i had a self-driving car with over 100 mile EV range i would probably just go to Metropark.

also, despite being one of the biggest parking garages i have ever seen Metropark doesn’t have a single EV charging station … so you need enough range for a round trip.

anyway …

Aah…but compare the cost of Lucid AIR to the PRIUS…

the average Lucid is probably selling for about 4X the average Prius ( $120,000 vs $30,000 ) but has 12X electric range ( 500 miles vs 40 miles )

my point though ( which i should have explained before, but didn’t ) is that EVs begin to hit diminishing returns at about 300 miles of range which is a point where the weight of the battery begins to take a toll on efficiency …

most popular EVs are going to cluster around that 300 mile mark and cost around $60,000 …

Lucid is so expensive because it pushes past diminishing returns and towards the limit …

i am disappointed in Prius because it makes zero attempt to even approach the point where diminishing returns become a thing …

on a somewhat related tangent 60 mph is a point of diminishing returns where air resistance surpasses drivetrain and tire losses …