Next-generation Toyota Prius will come retaining hybrid powertrain

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Sales Strategy

2021 YTD and Q1 2022 sales

In 2021, Toyota managed to sell 59,010 units of the Prius in the United States, a figure that was up by 34% over the pandemic-marred 2020, when the brand only sold 43,525 units. Toyota achieved new milestones in the first quarter of 2022 when 25.8% of total Toyota sales in the U.S. were electrified models. However, Prius sales seem to have significantly impacted over Q1 2021. Toyota sold 10,278 units of the Prius in the first three months of 2021 compared to 14,050 units sold in the same period last month, accounting for a 26.8% decline.

In its glory years, circa 2012, 200,000 units of the Prius were sold in the United States. Japanese website BestCarWeb stated that between April 2021 and March 2022, 44,935 units of the Prius were sold in Japan, a drop of 24% compared to the previous fiscal year. Even at home, the Prius has found the going difficult, where once it was the best-selling car for consecutive years.

A new generation model may reignite the fire and possibly revive Prius sales. The emergence of affordable and long-range electric vehicles is a rising threat to the brand that was once an innovator in the car industry.

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Styling cues

On December 14, 2021, Toyota held a press conference in Japan, where President Akio Toyoda revealed 16 new Toyota and Lexus pure electric concepts it plans to launch in the next few years. While the 2023 Toyota Prius was not revealed, we have some idea of what the face could look like.

The two crossover concepts showcased on November 14, 2021 hint that sharp C-Shaped lights could become a standard feature on most future Toyota models. Image Source: Noriaki Mitsuhashi/N-RAK PHOTO AGENCY & Toyota

Taking design cues from the Toyota Cross EV and small SUEV concepts, we think the front fascia could feature a sweeping bonnet line that meets the front grille area. A split headlamp setup with C-shaped LED DRLs on the top of the bonnet, and LED headlights on the bottom extending into the glossy black slab stretching the width of the car could be part of the Prius’s redesign.

How much does the 2023 Toyota Prius cost?

Fourth-generation Toyota Prius | Toyota
Fourth-generation Toyota Prius | Toyota

We don’t have official specifications yet for the 2023 Toyota Prius, but KBB provides an estimated starting price of $26,000. That’s only about $1,000 more than the current 2022 Prius, but it may be accurate. 

Going off of that estimate, we can guess for the rest of the models in the new Prius lineup:

  • 2023 Prius L Eco: $26,000
  • 2023 Prius LE: $27,200
  • 2023 Prius XLE: $30,200
  • 2023 Prius Nightshade Edition FWD: $30,400
  • 2023 Prius Limited: $34,200   

Even with a small increase, the 2023 Prius should remain one of the cheapest all-wheel drive cars that run on a hybrid powertrain.

More efficient hybrid powertrain

Toyota will use the current 1.8-liter petrol engine in the hybrid system of the 2023 Prius. Though the displacement is unchanged, the gasoline engine will be discernably more efficient, it is reported. For reference, the current Prius’s maximum fuel economy is 32.1 km/l as per Japan’s WLTC test method. Best Car adds that the Prius also carries the current Lithium-ion battery pack into the next generation.

2023 Toyota Prius interior features and design

The interior of the fourth-generation Toyota Prius
The interior of the fourth-generation Toyota Prius | Toyota

Performance aside, potential owners are likely most interested in changes to the 2023 Toyota Prius interior. While this comfortable and versatile hatchback offers the most real-world cargo space for its size, the cabin is not very exciting. KBB says that “the control layout in the center of the dashboard—not to mention the tiny gear-lever sprouting from the dash—has been a quirk of this fuel-sipping car since it first arrived roughly 20 years ago.”

“Quirk” is a kind term. The Prius’ interior hasn’t seen a major overhaul in a long time, and it’s long overdue.

Outside, the 2023 Toyota Prius will likely offer the same or similar colors. However, it may add new colors to the Toyota Nightshade Special Edition package, like the new 2023 Camry.

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