Toyota has unveiled the latest Prius at an event on the eve of the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, and it says the model is the most fuel-efficient entry in the lineup to date: Based on the automaker's own estimates, the entry-level front-wheel drive version of the model has a 57 MPG combined fuel economy rating. The company designed the 2023 Prius, which will come in LE, XLE and Limited grades, with a low center of gravity, a wider stance and a lower driving position. Its roofline is 2 inches lower than its predecessor's, and it is one inch wider at the rear. Toyota was clearly going for a more sporty, modern look, aided by the larger wheels in the XLE and Limited variants.
Of course, the new Prius comes with performance improvements, as well. It uses Toyota's 5th generation hybrid powertrain and a new lithium-ion battery, which offers a 15 percent increase in output compared to the lineup's old nickel metal battery technology. That means the company was able to develop a smaller and lighter battery for the vehicle without compromising its performance. But since Prius is still a hybrid and doesn't solely rely on electricity for power, Toyota has also equipped it with a bigger two-liter gas engine.
The automaker says the Front-Wheel Drive variants have a 194 horsepower output and can go from 0 to 60 mph within 7.2 seconds, faster than the outgoing FWD vehicles' 9.8 seconds. The All-Wheel Drive models have a 196 horsepower output and the capability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds. All models have three drive modes: Eco, which enhances fuel economy, and Power and Sport modes, which increase throttle responsiveness.
Other features include half a dozen USB-C ports and the Toyota Audio Multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Toyota's Connected Service Drive Connect also gives owners access to an intelligent assistant that can follow voice activated commands and cloud navigation, which can download the latest available map, traffic and routing information from the cloud. And in case drivers are truly having a tough time finding the way to their next destination, they can also use the Destination Assist feature to talk to a live agent any time of day
For driver assistance, the vehicle has Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, as well as Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking on all variants. The Limited version has a Panoramic View Monitor that provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle and a hands-free system that can help drivers with parallel parking or backing into a parking space.
In addition, the 2023 Prius will come with the latest version of Toyota's Safety Sense generation, which enables a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist and cruise control. A new addition to the feature and to Prius as a whole is proactive driving assist that enables gentle braking into curves or when it senses a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist ahead of the vehicle.
Toyota has yet to reveal the pricing and availability of the 2023 Prius, but it promises to make another announcement with those details before the year ends.
Update 11/17/22 6:53AM ET: We added information about the vehicle's fuel economy rating based on Toyota's estimates.