Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2023 Toyota Prius Prime is shown from a high angle parked in a driveway.

4 Mind-Blowing Features of the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota recently revealed the new 2023 Toyota Prius, and it has the car world talking. Let’s be honest; the Prius had a certain reputation before. It was for people who were into practicality but not necessarily style, who loved the environment but didn’t need luxury. The Prius hasn’t always been “the cool car” to get. Valets don’t exactly park it at the front of the venue to give the restaurant or hotel a certain aesthetic. But all of that will change once people see the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime.

This plug-in version of the hybrid vehicle is absolutely stunning. It boasts a unique, continuous curvature, a sleek fascia, a sharp profile, and a look that’s just unlike anything Toyota has put out before. It doesn’t only look great, though. The Prius Prime is loaded with features we suspect other brands will soon be copying. Toyota really wanted to make a show-stopper, and it did.

Once you’ve experienced some of the intuitive and intelligent features of the 2023 Prius Prime, it will be hard to drive a car that doesn’t have them. That becomes especially true when you consider that the Prius is a sustainability-focused vehicle, and more drivers are already moving in that direction each year. Now Toyota has removed any style or technology excuses to not get a Prius. Here are four features of the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime that will blow you away.

#1 – Solar Panels

If you notice the roof of the 2023 Prius Prime looks a bit different, that would be the available solar panels. They not only allow passengers to enjoy a breathtaking view of their surroundings, essentially acting as a giant sunroof, but they also have practical functions––very practical functions. First, when the Prime is parked, these solar panels recharge the car’s battery. If you worry that driving a plug-in hybrid will mean forgetting to, well, plug in while you’re inside grocery shopping or having dinner with a friend, worry no more. These solar panels will charge your car’s battery (provided the sun is out).

The solar panels don’t stop working when you drive off, either. When the vehicle is in motion, the solar panels continue to provide power to other systems, such as the air conditioning, removing some of the burdens from the car’s battery and helping it last longer. Oh, and if you were worried that the electrodes of the solar panels would be an eyesore, don’t––Toyota thought of that and concealed them. You’re just left with sleek, seamless, and smart solar panels.

The black and red interior of a 2023 Toyota Prius Prime shows the two front seats and center console.

#2 – Traffic Jam Assist

If you have to battle your way through bumper-to-bumper traffic on a regular basis, then you know that type of driving can be even more exhausting than long-distance freeway trips. All of that stopping and going and monitoring the cars ahead of you––it’s maddening. The good news is that Toyota offers something to address that in the Prius Prime: Traffic Jam Assist. It comes standard on the plug-in version and is available on some upper trims of the regular Prius.

Traffic Jam Assist is like cruise control but for low-speed environments. Once activated, it uses a combination of radar and cameras to take over acceleration, braking, and steering for you. It can even bring the vehicle to a full stop and start again once the traffic in front of you picks back up. If the system senses traffic is speeding up, it alerts the driver to take over. After experiencing this feature, you won’t want to go back to a car that doesn’t have it. This is a game-changer for the Prius brand.

#3 – Advanced Park

Here’s another brilliant feature of the 2023 Prius Prime: Advanced Park. If you live in a city where you have to fight for rare and tight parking spots, then you know what a pain that can be. Taking those eight-point-turn parking jobs day after day is a grind, so let the Prius Prime handle that job for you. Advanced Park allows for hands-free parallel parking and exiting from spots.

Here’s how it works: pull up next to the spot you want and activate Advanced Park. Its sensors will scan the spot and confirm whether or not the vehicle will be able to fit. Then it will use a combination of cameras and sonar to swiftly put your car in that spot, taking over the steering wheel, brakes, and acceleration. It will automatically stop once the car is parked.

Once you’re ready to leave the spot, depress the brake and turn on the Advanced Park switch. Select the direction in which you need to exit. The system can measure the distance between the car and other vehicles and the size of parking spots to smoothly get you out of the spot. Oh, and if there’s an unmarked parking spot you have to get in and out of on a regular basis, this system even has a memory function that remembers the exact location of such spots. It’s almost like having a car and a personal valet in one.

#4 – Extended Range

Toyota says that the new Prius Prime will have an extended electric range––think 50 percent more––compared to the previous model. This enables the car to run on battery power for about 37 miles before you have to charge up. Since the average American travels less than 40 miles a day, the extended range means the Prius Prime can function as an EV for most driving, only tapping into its gasoline engine on long road trips.

However, unlike a full EV, that gasoline engine in the Prius Prime means you aren’t tied to battery chargers. Once the battery is depleted, this car functions just like a normal hybrid, getting excellent gas mileage along the way. You won’t be stuck in traffic either since the upgraded powertrain provides an impressive 220 hp, perfect for passing on the highway.

Are You Ready for a New Kind of Prius?

Are you convinced yet that the Prius Prime got a makeover and is ready for prime time? Its beautiful new aesthetic definitely earns it a spot at the front of the trendy five-star hotel trying to attract top clientele, and it’s filled with features that appeal to environment lovers, money-conscious consumers, and, well, really any driver.

The solar panels mean you get even more free power and don’t need to worry as much about remembering to plug in (plus, they’re pretty). Traffic Jam Assist means you can take your mind (and hands) off of the stop-and-go traffic for a while and get back to worrying about tomorrow’s presentation. That Advanced Park System will put an end to your parallel parking woes. You know that living nightmare you have where people are staring at you while you struggle to get into a parking spot? Yeah, that can end now.

The best part is that, while it sounds like this car will be expensive, it’s not. It still has a modest MSRP for all that it has to offer, and we didn’t even yet mention that Toyota is offering discounts to drivers who opt for the over-the-air updates features of the Prius Prime. Yup, they might pay you to use a feature you were already excited to use anyways!