Hybrid Reviews Toyota

Review: 2023 Toyota Prius AWD-e

The Toyota Prius was the original vehicle that started the hybrid craze. Technically, it was beaten by the Honda Insight as the first mass-produced hybrid but the Prius is the one that captured the imagination of those that wanted a much more fuel efficient eco car. For 2023, the Prius enters its 5th generation with a new “eco-chic” philosophy.

2023 Toyota Prius


Engine – One of the biggest changes to this 2023 Toyota Prius is the bigger engine. It is not 2.0L in displacement, whereas the previous generation had a 1.8L. On its own, this engine produces 150 hp & 139 lb-ft of torque (112 kW & 188 Nm). Already, that’s more power than the outgoing model. With the addition of the electric motors, total system output is 196 hp (146 kW). Toyota does not like to share the total torque figures. 

2023 Toyota Prius

In everyday driving, the bump in power is not too noticeable. The electric motor helps the engine get the car up to speed and then the engine will shut off while the electric motor maintains the speed. Where you will notice the bump in power is when you’re merging onto a highway or overtaking another vehicle or going up a hill at speed. These actions are effortless in the 2023 Prius Hybrid. It doesn’t feel like the car is struggling.

Another thing that you’ll notice is that the 2023 Prius likes to drive on electricity alone, more often than before. But just like before, the car can accelerate from a stop to city speeds just on electricity. Granted the acceleration will be very slow. Additionally, there is an EV mode that allows for faster electric-only acceleration but this mode gets disabled if you push too hard on the throttle pedal or if the speed exceeds 40 km/h (25 mph). 


Fuel Economy – With the addition of the extra power, fuel economy has not been sacrificed. This 2023 Toyota Prius eAWD is rated for 4.8 L/100km (49 MPG) in a city and 4.7 L/100km (50 MPG) on a highway. Here in Canada, the eAWD version is the only option we have. In the United States, there is a FWD variant available with better fuel economy figures (57 mpg city / 56 mpg hwy). But the silver lining is that it is possible to achieve better fuel economy figures in the real world. I managed to average 4.4 L/100km (53.5 MPG) during my 350 km (217 miles) week with the Prius. On one trip, I managed 3.6 L/100km (65 MPG). 

Transmission – Like many other hybrid vehicles, the 2023 Prius utilizes an eCVT automatic. This transmission does a great job of helping the engine achieve the low fuel economy figures. It will hold the engine rpms while the car is accelerating and then drop them down as quickly as possible to increase the fuel efficiency. 

2023 Toyota Prius

Braking – The battery gets recharged partially through regenerative braking. The Prius does not have adjustable levels of regen braking like in some other hybrids, and instead it’s all controlled through the brake pedal. The good thing is that the switch between regen braking and the physical brakes is seamless. Additionally, the brakes provide an adequate amount of braking force under emergency situations but the pedal travel is on the long side.

Handling – The Toyota Prius was never designed to be a fun car on a twisty road. This one is the same. But with that being said, this new generation Prius handles quite well around corners. Steering is sharp and the car doesn’t give you the feeling that it’s going through a corner at 45 degrees. There are definitely more fun-to-drive mainstream cars out there but this Toyota Prius is surprising and a huge improvement compared to the previous generation.

For us here in Canada, the 2023 Prius is only available with an eAWD powertrain. An electric motor provides power directly to the back wheels and the computer always holds a small amount of charge so that AWD is available all the time. In the United States, eAWD is optional.

2023 Toyota Prius


Ride Comfort – The 2023 Toyota Prius has a compliant ride over most roads. Moderately sized potholes and road imperfections are absorbed well by the suspension. It’s only the roughest of roads that spoil the ride of the Prius but then again, it would take S-class levels of luxury to cope with those types of roads.The front seats provide adequate support as well as cushioning. The rear seats are also comfortable but space becomes an issue for some.

2023 Toyota Prius

Interior Space – In the front, tall adults like myself at 6’4”, have enough space. Legroom is more than plentiful and headroom is good so long as the seat is lowered. Unfortunately, this new generation Prius has a lower roofline than the previous which does impede on interior headroom. In the back seats, this lack of head space is much more noticeable. But at least legroom is decent with my knees brushing against the back of the front seat behind my tall driving position. 

The trunk accommodates 575 L (20.3 cu-ft) of space. That is a significant drop compared to the previous generation’s 776 L (27.4 cu-ft). There is some small item storage under the trunk floor and the rear seats can fold down 60/40. It does not have a spare wheel and instead uses a tire repair kit.

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – In everyday, rush hour traffic, the 2023 Toyota Prius is generally a quiet car. On highways, you do notice a bit more tire and wind noise but more so tire noise. When the engine turns on, you can feel the action but only if you pay very, very close attention for it. Otherwise, it’ll never bother you and you won’t notice it. What you will notice is how buzzy it can get when it is under load. Going up a steep hill at speed or accelerating to merge onto a highway is faster than the previous generation Prius but just as loud. 

2023 Toyota Prius

Odds and Ends

Pricing – Unfortunately the 2023 Toyota Prius has become more expensive for this new generation. As mentioned earlier, it is only available with an eAWD powertrain here in Canada and there are only two trim levels to choose from. The XLE starts at $36,650 CAD ($32,295 USD) while this Limited will set you back $42,990 CAD ($35,865 USD).

In the United States, there’s an even lower trim called the LE and each trim level of the Prius is available with either FWD or eAWD. Interestingly, the starting price of $27,450 USD comes out to around $37,000 CAD when making a direct conversion. 

2023 Toyota Prius

Gadgets – The 2023 Prius is packed with more technology than ever before. The usual features are still present like heated front & rear seats, heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, wireless phone charging pad, keyless entry with push button start, power driver’s seat with memory, and so on. 

But it now has a lot of extra convenience features such as ventilated front seats, a dual-pane fixed sunroof, surround view cameras (that can display an invisible car), a rear camera mirror, a large 12.3” touchscreen, power liftgate (which is no longer made out of carbon fiber like before), and a parking assist feature. This system can detect parking spots, even if there are no cars in them, and park the car on its own. It can also pull the car out of a parking spot. It’s not 100% perfect but most of the time it correctly detects the parking spots and moves the car into the correct position. 

This new Prius incorporates Toyota’s latest infotainment system. It’s a nice looking system and it is intuitive to use. If you’re coming from the older system, take 10-15 minutes to play around with this new one and it’ll become very familiar. It allows for wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and you’ll want to use those systems if you want navigation. Toyota’s new infotainment has a subscription based navigation system. This demo vehicle did have it enabled and it looks quite similar to Google Maps. The one thing that irks me is that the map settings are always reset everytime you move away from the navigation screen. Hopefully, that will get fixed with an over the air update.

2023 Toyota Prius

Interior Design – One of the most polarizing changes to the interior of the 2023 Toyota Prius is the new driver instrument cluster. It is positioned far away from the steering wheel and close to the bottom of the windshield. This allows the digital display to be closer to the driver’s field of vision when looking ahead. However, it has a huge problem. No matter how you adjust the steering wheel, it either blocks a portion of the display or the steering wheel is touching your legs. I predict that in the future, a yoke steering wheel may become optional as it would solve these problems. But not everyone is a fan of this type of steering wheel.

The rest of the interior is a nice update over the last generation. The climate controls are still physical, the touchscreen is large but not over the top, and there’s even a strip of ambient lighting incorporated into the dash. I also get the feeling that Toyota is aiming this car towards millennials and early Gen Z as there are printed hashtags on some parts of the interior. There’s a “#WirelessCharging” strip if you look inside the phone holder and there’s “#SecretCompartment” under the lid in front of the gear selector.

2023 Toyota Prius

Exterior Design – The 2023 Toyota Prius looks as though it belongs in 2077. This is one of the most stylish cars on sale today, and it’s an eco car, not a sports car. I particularly like the double slit daytime running lights. There are also little details such as the portion of the body just in front of the rear wheels that folds in on itself which seems to direct air under the car. 

Safety – The 2023 Prius comes equipped with every available safety & driver aid on both trim levels except for the surround view cameras & the advanced park assist feature. Everything else such as emergency braking, blind spot sensors, full-speed range adaptive cruise control, auto high beams, lane departure warning with steering assist, and so on are all standard.

Warranty – The 2023 Toyota Prius eAWD is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km basic and 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. The hybrid components are covered by an 8 year / 160,000 km warranty while the battery itself is covered by a 10 year / 240,000 km warranty. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here. (Scroll to bottom of page)


Conclusion – Overall, Toyota did a great job with the 2023 Prius. It no longer looks like a run of the mill eco car but rather something that you’d actually want to own. It’s also much more powerful but without sacrificing the fuel economy and it’s loaded with more tech. But it’s not as spacious as before and I am not a fan of the new driver display. Additionally, it has become quite expensive over the years and for us in Canada, we don’t get to choose from as many trim & drivetrain options. But still, it’s an overall great car with more of the pros outweighing the cons.

Thank you to Toyota Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Toyota.ca

2023 Toyota Prius Gallery


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