Advertisement
Go
2013 Toyota Prius Photo

2013 Toyota Prius - Review

 
 Get email updates
What will I get by subscribing to email updates?

At The Car Connection we are continually striving to get you timely, relevant information about the vehicle you are interested in. Our email updates will notify you whenever we have new information on this vehicle.

For example:

  • new car reviews for this model by our editors
  • news including price changes, new models, or recall info
  • new incentives and rebates that are being offered for this vehicle

Our goal is to keep you informed as you research!
Interested in purchasing?Get a Quick Quote
 
7.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

?
BASE
INVOICE
$22,054
BASE
MSRP
$23,215
Quick Take
The 2013 Toyota Prius is a spacious, practical mid-size hatchback that will hold five people and their gear, while remaining the highest-mileage car sold without a plug. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

sportier, more handsome look

Wired »

looks like a water bug

AutoWeek »

the same oddly shaped hybrid that almost two million buyers love

AutoblogGreen »

Some reshaping around the grille and hood brings in Toyota's new design language, while the roof peak has been moved back a bit to increase rear head room and create better aerodynamics.

CNET »

Styling remains instantly recognizable, but the fat-foreheaded look of the prior model is reduced somewhat

Car and Driver »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$23,215 $30,005
MSRP $24,200
INVOICE $22,748
Get Price Quote
5-Door HB Two
Gas Mileage 51 mpg City/48 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas/Electric I4, 1.8L
EPA Class Midsize Cars
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
7.4 out of 10
Shopping for a new Toyota Prius?

GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE
Choose a Style Below for Colors and Options
STYLE INVOICE MSRP
2013 Toyota Prius 5-Door HB Two (Natl)
5-Door HB Two
Gas/Electric I4, 1.8L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 22,748 $ 24,200
2013 Toyota Prius 5-Door HB Three (Natl)
5-Door HB Three
Gas/Electric I4, 1.8L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 23,985 $ 25,765
2013 Toyota Prius 5-Door HB Four (Natl)
5-Door HB Four
Gas/Electric I4, 1.8L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 26,470 $ 28,435
2013 Toyota Prius 5-Door HB Five (Natl)
5-Door HB Five
Gas/Electric I4, 1.8L
Front Wheel Drive
$ 27,930 $ 30,005
More Styles »

The Basics:

The Toyota Prius is now four years into its third generation. But, it's also new for 2013, in the sense that it's now family of hybrids–last year, the Prius liftback was joined by the Prius C hatchback and the Prius V wagon, as well as the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, thus spinning a sub-brand off from the original nameplate.

The five-door Prius Liftback is the core of the Prius lineup, and by far its best-selling member. Its high tail, vertical rear, split rear window, and overall profile make it an iconic and a shape that's been instantly recognizable since 2004. It's all in service of lowering the drag coefficient, to minimize the energy used to push it through the air at speed. It's the same look the Prius has worn since the 2010 model year, when it emerged as a slightly sleeker iteration of the green icon. There's not much need to change style, really, when you're the most fuel-efficient, gas-powered vehicle on the road--both the Prius and the Prius C are rated at 50 mpg combined by the EPA.

Of all those versions, this review covers the Prius Liftback and Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which are all but identical from the exterior, with just a different badge and some tweaked trim here and there--and of course, a charge-port door on the right-rear fender.

The heart of the 2013 Toyota Prius is its Hybrid Synergy Drive system, consisting of two motor-generators that can power the car solely on electricity (at speeds up to 30 mph), add torque to supplement the power of its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, and recharge the battery pack during engine overrun or braking.

Together, the engine and drive motor produce 134 horsepower--giving it slightly better acceleration than earlier models. The quoted 0-to-60-mph acceleration time is just under 10 seconds, though flooring the 2013 Prius produces plenty of howling from up front. The blending of regenerative braking with the all-disc friction brakes is excellent, and Toyota's had longer experience than any other maker in refining it.

Using the same running gear, with a few additions, is Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid--the first Prius that can be plugged into the electric grid to recharge its battery pack. While it looks like a regular Prius, its battery pack holds three times as much energy, and that gives it 6 to 11 miles of all-electric range when fully charged.

But that electric range may not be continuous--unlike the the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car--because the plug-in Prius has to switch on its engine whenever it needs more power than the small electric motor can deliver. One example: full acceleration into fast-moving traffic from an uphill freeway on-ramp. The EPA says the Prius Plug-In Hybrid gets the same 50 mpg as the regular Prius hybrid once its battery is depleted. Like all plug-in hybrids, an owner's real-world mileage depends entirely on how much the car can be used for short trips in all-electric mode, with frequent recharges of the small pack.

Driving any Prius for the first time can be startling to novices. The continuously variable nature of the hybrid system means the engine speed (and hence noise) doesn't rise and fall with road speed--which can take some getting used to. And the handling is hardly going to elate sports-car fans. Like virtually all of Toyota's electric power steering systems, the Prius feels numb and lifeless through the wheel--though it responds fine and the car corners capably enough.

While many think of it as a compact, the 2013 Toyota Prius Liftback has the interior volume of a mid-size car and offers plenty of space for four adults, or five if rear-seat passengers will stagger their shoulders. Hollowed-out front seatbacks help increase rear-seat legroom, though the padding on the front seats is skimpy and taller drivers will find the hard-plastic center console cutting into their knee room.

The Space Age styling of the "flying buttress" console is striking, but while it offers storage space underneath, that can be hard to get to. The dashboard offers information in two different areas: an Information Center mounted close to the windshield base and high up, along with more conventional instruments closer to the driver, mounted in a cluster behind the steering wheel. Plastic surfaces are mostly hard, but the effect is distinctive--if hardly luxurious.

The 2013 Toyota Prius has seven airbags as standard, along with the usual array of stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Radar-based adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning system, and a rear-view camera are all optional. While Ford's system is better, Toyota's much-advertised Intelligent Parking Assist, which controls the steering wheel to help parallel-park a Prius using the car's cameras--though the driver must brake--is a step in the right direction. A further option is a "Safety Connect" system that will alert first responders after a crash.

For 2013, the Prius five-door continues with its traditional four trim levels: Two, Three, Four, and Five. (An ultra-stripped-down base-level Prius One exists, but civilians can't buy it--it's only offered to commercial fleets.) Notable options include the Touch Tracer steering-wheel controls, which let drivers swipe and navigate through menus displayed in the Information Display, keeping their eyes closer to the road ahead than if they focus on the close-in cluster. 

The lowest-level Two and Three models are priced in the low and mid twenties, but the highest-spec trim levels--with either the Technology Package or the first-in-your-neighborhood solar moonroof panel, which runs a small ventilation fan to cool the cockpit when the Prius is parked--will go beyond $30,000. Remote air conditioning, LED headlamps, Bluetooth, and a navigation system are available.

The sole trim change for 2013 is the addition of a special edition called the Prius Persona Series. This trim package is effectively a Prius Three model with 17-inch alloy wheels in a special finish, a Black Cherry Pearl exterior color (Blizzard Pearl and Black are also available), charcoal interior trim with black accents, red stitching on the seats, dark-chrome interior accents, and a special exterior badge.

The other two members of the 2013 Toyota Prius family, added last year, are the Prius V wagon and the Prius C subcompact hatchback, both reviewed separately.

The Prius V offers far more load space, all the traditional Prius virtues, and a combined EPA gas-mileage rating of 42 mpg--though it sometimes can feel underpowered. The Prius C subcompact is more lithe and sporty--in comparison to the mid-size Liftback, nayway. Its smaller engine and battery pack, and simpler interior, give it a base price under $20,000, while retaining a 50-mpg combined gas mileage rating.

Likes:

  • Best gas mileage in the U.S.
  • Spacious interior
  • Surprisingly practical hatchback
  • Wide array of high-tech options
  • Plug-in, wagon, and subcompact models

Dislikes:

  • Not much fun behind the wheel
  • Impractical flying-buttress console
  • Far from luxurious materials
  • Makes a statement, like it or not
  • Plug-in has lowest electric range in U.S.
Next: Interior / Exterior »

Would You Prefer a Free Dealer Price Quote?

With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
There are no dealers in our network that are located near the ZIP code. Please change your ZIP code or
Update ZIP Code
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself
Palo Alto, CA 94301 Change ZIP Code
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We care about your privacy. By submitting your request, your data will be subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms and you agree that the dealers checked above may contact you using an auto dialer or an automated message.
Advertisement
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

More From High Gear Media


 
 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.