Speaker 1: The Toyota Prius, you almost can't overstate its importance. It kicked off the modern era of mainstream electrification of cars 25 years ago when a really homely, dumpy looking version of it first arrived. Since then, there have been many versions, iterations, and iconic status, but the new 2023 Prius, that's a looker. And when that drape was pulled off, it revealed more than new sheet metal. It revealed why Toyota thinks just about everybody else who's obsessed with battery electrics [00:00:30] is doing it all wrong. Let's take a look at the new Prius and find out what it means.
Speaker 1: Now where Tesla, for example, is all battery electric. Toyota is kind of all everything. Hybrid plugin, hybrid also battery electrics, hydrogen fuel sale, and of course the majority combustion engine. [00:01:00] Toyota spreads their bets so broadly because they're a very mainstream automaker. They like to make sure their cars appeal to all people, all purses in all parts of the world. It's a little different mission than Tesla regardless of what they say. And it may not be fair, but in the real world of selling cars, it sure helps to look good no matter what your specs are. The prs got along fine without doing that in most people's estimation, but now it does turn your [00:01:30] head for good reasons.
Speaker 1: The Prius was more of a social statement. There was a number of celebrities who could afford to roll up in Lambos or Bentleys, but chose to drive in a Prius because it made a statement. There were also people who would roll a coal whenever they passed a Prius also to make a statement. Getting to this new good looking Prius required a lot of subtle changes and in some they radically changed the car. Let's take a look. First of all, the ride height is lower. The [00:02:00] wheel base is longer. That's the distance between the axles on a car. That appears to push the front wheels further out to where the long slope of windshield and hood land, but it does have a little better look. Because of that, you also have the ability to option 19 inch wheels for the first time on a Prius. Big wheels and lower ride height do a lot for a car's look for its stance.
Speaker 1: The new Prius will have up to 196 horsepower if you get an all wheel drive [00:02:30] model and it'll get that partly from a 2.0 liter engine up from 1.80 to 60 in 7.3 seconds at 57 miles per gallon. The new Prius should come in as the most fuel efficient car in America, partly because that new MPG is just a tick higher than the outgoing car and partly because Hyundai is no longer making what they call the Hyundai Ionic blue hybrid, which was actually a couple of mpg more efficient than the Prius, but it's off the market going forward. [00:03:00] So Prius wins and on the plugin version of this new 23 Prius, Toyota is estimating 50% more range in all electric mode. Something which plugins can do that should be about 35, 37 miles on battery only. That comes pretty close to being a pure EV most days for a lot of people. That's interesting. A panoramic glass roof will be available and you can get things like yellow paint or that [00:03:30] urban milky gray color that's gonna age so badly, but both are nods to fashion that the Prius didn't really do before.
Speaker 1: Inside is a big and welcome change. There'll be an available 12.3 inch center stack lcd, but most important to me is a proper driver instrument panel for the first time in a Prius instead of a pad of dashboard in front of the driver and a sterile info display in the middle of the dash, all of which to me always whispered [00:04:00] golf cart. Now it has more of a message of a driver's car. The sheet metal says it, and that instrument panel right in front of you driving says it. Little things mattered. Now, sure, the Tesla model three has only a blank dashboard and central screen, but to my eye, that's actually where its designers gave up rather than found inspiration
Speaker 1: In some Toyota says, this is now a car without compromise. Fun to drive, nice to look at. Incredibly [00:04:30] efficient. It does make one big compromise. It's not a utility vehicle and that's what 80% of American buyers are looking for. Even though Prius's have a hatch and definitely have a roominess inside, it's gonna be tough to compete against its own sibling. The rav4, which already trounces the Prius in sales for hybrids and plugin hybrids. But the Prius remains an important standard bearer, an icon that establishes Toyota as the number one company for hybridization. And this 23 [00:05:00] appears to be very well suited to extend that.