Home » The 2024 Toyota Prius Is Over $5,000 Cheaper Than A 2001 Prius, How Much Better Is It?

The 2024 Toyota Prius Is Over $5,000 Cheaper Than A 2001 Prius, How Much Better Is It?

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In the early days of hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius stood out as an icon. It was heralded as the harbinger of a new green revolution, with celebrities jumping on the bandwagon to showcase their green credentials. It was also derided by the gas-guzzling set as a virtue-signaling nonsense car and a black mark on combustion’s good name. Hybrids were a hot-button issue, and the Prius was at the center of it.

Fast forward to today, and hybrids are common, and even dominating in some sectors. Meanwhile, the fifth-generation Prius is racking up sales with a sleek new look and a plug-in hybrid option. I decided it was time to compare the Prius of today with the awkward model from before the craze.

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We’re going to dive into the figures and see just how far the Prius has come from its early days. We’ll examine whether the Prius is still a smart, economical option, and how it’s position has changed over the years. Calculators at the ready, let’s go!

Photos Toyota Prius 2000 1
Remember sedans?

PRICE: 2024 Prius v. 2001 Prius

The 1997 Toyota Prius was effectively a new class of car entirely, and was the first modern hybrid car on the market. However, it would only reach North America in late 2000, having just been beaten to the US by the original Honda Insight. It sold for $19,995, which pencils out to $36,407 in 2024 dollars. As a guide, Corolla cost just $13,753 for the 2001 model year, or roughly 25,042 today. In that year, the US median family income was $42,228 in 2000, equivalent to $76,890 today.

Prius Brochure

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The 2024 Toyota Prius starts at $29,840 by comparison. That’s quite a bit cheaper than the original 2001 model, leaving the two virtually lineball after 23 years after accounting for inflation. Median family income was $74,580 in 2022, the closest year that the Census Bureau has released data for. Adjusted for inflation in the last two years, it’s equal to $79,083 today.

2024 Prius Limited Windchillpearl 001 1500x984

Fundamentally, the price of a Prius has changed for the better in the last 23 years, and median incomes are ever so slightly up. Price-wise, the Prius is a good a deal now as it was then. It’s always been a costlier option than conventional ICE-powered vehicles, though the idea is that greater fuel economy would offset the higher purchase price. However, appealing to the customer’s wish to reduce their carbon footprint has often been a bigger selling point for Toyota’s hybrid offering.

2024 Prius Xle Supersonicred 001 1500x763

POWER & WEIGHT: 2024 Prius v. 2001 Prius

Let’s talk propulsion! The 2001 model used a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It was capable of running on the Atkinson cycle, where variable valve timing was used to hold the intake valve open longer, which lets some air flow back into the intake manifold during the traditional compression stroke. This cuts the effective compression ratio of the engine while leaving the expansion ratio intact, and due to fancy thermodynamic reasons, improves efficiency at the cost of some power. The power tradeoff doesn’t matter so much when you’ve got an electric motor to fill in torque and add power. The Prius started the trend of hybrids using Atkinson cycle engines, and many later hybrids followed in its footsteps.

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2001 Toyota Prius. 010701
The original Toyota Hybrid System was the predecessor to Hybrid Synergy Drive seen in later models.
Challenges 03 003
Unlike the Honda Insight, Toyota never offered a manual Prius. The hybrid drivetrain relied on a CVT instead.

The 2001 Prius netted 70 horsepower and 82 foot-pounds of torque from its gasoline engine. Meanwhile, the electric motor could put out 44 horsepower at maximum, along with a mighty 258 foot-pounds of torque right from zero RPM. The motor was powered by a relatively low-tech nickel-metal hydride pack of just 1.78 kWh capacity. Set up in a parallel hybrid configuration, either the motor or gasoline engine could drive the front wheels. The electric motor also provided regenerative braking to recharge the battery. Peak combined output came in at 101 horsepower. Meanwhile, the model weighed in at 2,765 pounds.

2024 Prius Xle Engine 001 1500x1000
Like so many modern Toyotas, the engine bay is not particularly attractive in the new Prius.

The newest Prius debuted in late 2022, and no more would it make do with limited power figures. The 2024 model instead rocks a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 150 horsepower and 139 foot-pounds of torque on its own. With the addition of two electric motors, it delivers a combined output of 194 horsepower. Those were entry-level sports car numbers back in the day, and now you’re getting them on one of the most famous “green” cars of all time. You can also upgrade to a heavier all-wheel-drive trim which gets a rear electric motor, with a small bump in combined output to 196 horsepower. Curb weight is 3,199 pounds.

The Prius Prime is the plug-in hybrid model, and it’s even more impressive. It has the same 2.0-liter engine, but gets more powerful motors and a larger 10.9 kWh lithium-ion battery. The combined output is an impressive 220 horsepower. However, the Prius Prime does pay a weight penalty, coming in at a heftier 3,536 pounds. It’s also only available in front-wheel-drive form.

2024 Priusprime Xse Supersonicred 007
The Prius Prime is no better.

The 2001 Prius achieved a power-to-weight ratio of 0.036 horsepower per pound. Meanwhile, the new Prius offers 0.061 horsepower per pound, while the Prius Prime dials in at 0.062.

Naturally, the higher power output of the current Prius nets serious gains in the real world. Where the original Prius took over 13 seconds to hit 60 mph, the new model will do it in just 7.1 seconds. The Prius Prime is even quicker, making the sprint in just  6.7 seconds. That’s equal to a 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata—the one with the turbo! The Prius Prime is so good, in fact, that it can beat the 2001 Prius on electric power alone—achieving the dash to 60 mph in 11.7 seconds according to Car and Driver.

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Economy: 2024 Prius v. 2001 Prius

But what of the Prius’s key feature—fuel economy? Well, the original Prius achieved 41 miles per gallon as per current EPA rating guidelines. That was a nice leap over the 30 mpg achieved by the contemporary Corolla.

The new Prius is altogether more capable though, delivering 57 mpg combined. The Prius Prime is a more complicated proposition, by virtue of its ability to run up to 44 miles on electricity alone. It achieves a rating of 114 mpg-e from the EPA, or 48 mpg relying on gasoline alone. The latter figure is likely lower given its weight penalty to the standard Prius. As a guide, a 2024 Corolla Hybrid will deliver 47 mpg combined. That pencils out to using approximately 0.3 gallons more gas than the Prius over a 100-mile drive.

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Options: 2024 Prius v. 2001 Prius

When automakers are releasing something out of left field, they like to keep the options list tight. If initial sales are low, having a huge amount of variants and options adds unwelcome costs. For the launch of the Prius in North America, Toyota indeed kept things simple. It was well-equipped from the start, with keyless entry, alloy wheels, air conditioning, automatic climate control, power windows, and ABS as standard. It rocked an AM/FM cassette unit, but you could upgrade to a CD player if so desired. A navigation system was also available.

Wallpapers Toyota Prius 2000 1
“Very oughts.” One suspects there are only a handful of cars that got both GPS navigation and a tape deck.
2024 Prius Limited Windchillpearl 012 1500x1000
 Premium 2024 models get the bigger infotainment screen – such is the way. Will today’s Prius interior have aged better 25 years from now than the original car’s has in the 25 orbits of the sun since the Prius debuted? We’ll see.
1717647231712 D3138d49 D708 4237 82c2 0a4e1bb87bbf 10
Color options on the original Prius were a little different.

Today, the Prius is a well-established model with a rich assortment of trims. Still, the base models are well-equipped. You get six USB-C ports for charging, push-button start, and an 8-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get a backup camera as standard, along with the Toyota Safety Sense collision warning system.

Prius Colors
The new Prius has a relatively conventional color palette.

You can upgrade the Prius substantially if you so desire, too. Higher trims get a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, premium JBL audio, and a panoramic 360-degree view camera system. Other available equipment includes a glass roof, digital rearview mirror, and heated front and rear seats. There’s also the ability to upgrade to electric all-wheel-drive, with 2024 Prius models able to be configured with a rear motor option. However, the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime doesn’t offer that choice.

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2024 Prius Limited Reservoirblue 005 1500x993
Where the original Prius featured a digital dash, the current model has a fully graphical LCD screen for the instrument cluster.
2024 Prius Limited Reservoirblue 004 1500x996
As with the first Prius, the new model features feedback for the driver on the usage of the hybrid system.

Stepping Up

Ultimately, the new Prius is a bold step forward over the original model. Since its launch, it was a gas-sipping hero for the environment, which prioritized function over form. Today, it’s a stylish street crawler with good economy and good power.

Realistically, buying a Prius today gives you a lot more than you got in 2001. You get an altogether more complete car that’s faster and better looking to boot. The better fuel economy is money in your pocket, too. To say nothing of the convenience of wireless phone charging, modern infotainment, and all the other comfort features available on the new one. Fundamentally, none of this is revolutionary, it’s just a sign that the Prius is absolutely moving with the times.

2024 Prius Limited Windchillpearl 009 1500x1000
“Oh my gosh, look at her butt!”
2024 Priusprime Xse Supersonicred 003
It’s wild how good this thing looks in red. It’s a shame yellow isn’t available, too.

At the same time, the Prius is no longer the darling choice of the climate-conscious set. There are plenty of full EVs on the market that use no gasoline at all. Plus, there are a million other hybrids on the market, too—even from Toyota itself. Once a standout in the Japanese automaker’s range, you can now get everything from a Corolla to a Tundra with a hybrid drivetrain.

In that context, it’s almost surprising that the Prius still exists in Toyota’s lineup. Where it once commanded over  236,000 sales in 2012, it hasn’t broken the six-figure mark since 2017 in the US market. It crested 30,000 units a year in 2022-2023, and should do so again in 2024. Still, it’s nowhere near the volume seller it once was.  It’s sales numbers are stunted on by the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, year in, year out, and the hybrid SUV sold a full 161,125 units in 2024.

2022 Corolla Hybrid 0001 H 1500x900
There are a lot of hybrid Toyotas now.

You can get the same fuel-sipping technology on the rest of the company’s range, so it’s hard to imagine why the Prius persists. And yet, it does, with a unique style and positioning all its own.

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Whether the Prius will exist long into the future is a vexed question. Toyota’s plans for the ever-more-electrified future remain opaque. But for now, it’s economical transportation that looks hotter than ever, with more punch to boot. The Prius was always efficient, but in the last few years, it got cool. That’s not a bad thing.

Image credits: Toyota

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Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
11 days ago

Your mention of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid has me interested in a direct Corolla Hybrid to Prius comparison. How do those two pencil out? My guess is they’re pretty close competitors on the showroom floor.
Another thing I’ve wondered for 20+ years since the mainstream acceptance of the Hybrid is this. What if manufacturers took the additional cost of the Hybrid hardware and applied it to lightweight materials instead? Think magnesium, titanium, carbon, aluminum. I’m not an automotive engineer, so I don’t know if it’s cost feasible in a mainstream car. But if you were able to reduce the weight of the vehicle while maintaining it’s size, you would not just achieve increased fuel economy, but all of the other benefits that Colin Chapman would approve. Handling, acceleration, braking, etc. Also, in the reverse of the automotive trend, lightening things allows others to be reduced, as in, ligher car, means smaller brakes, means lighter brakes, lighter duty suspension components, or smaller fuel tank will maintain range, etc. The benefits are all around.
Not to mention not having the additional complexity of the Hybrid system and a large expensive battery to replace in time.

Last edited 11 days ago by Ariel E Jones
Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
6 days ago
Reply to  Ariel E Jones

The Prius and Corolla Hybrid are two different classes of cars.

The Corolla Hybrid starts at $24,500, has 138 horsepower, and gets 46 city / 53 highway mpg.

The Prius starts at $29,800 (~$5300 more), has 194 horsepower (56 hp more), and gets 57 city / 56 highway mpg ( 11 / 3 mpg more).

This is why the Prius still exists. It gets better mpg than any other car in Toyota’s lineup at a decent price, and now it’s somewhat fast to boot.

Those who want to save $5300 up front can get a Corolla Hybrid (which will be both slower AND less fuel efficient), and those who want more space for passengers and cargo can get a Camry Hybrid.

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
6 days ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

I found an article on another site that compared the two models. With some back of the napkin math, I figured that you would have to drive hundreds of thousands of miles to break even on the additional cost of the Prius. So if fuel economy, for strictly economic reasons, is your main driver, the Prius isn’t worth the price premium. That said, I do understand that it also offers additional performance, looks, etc.

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
6 days ago
Reply to  Ariel E Jones

To answer your other question in a simple way, weight is not the main driver of fuel economy in cars; it’s aerodynamics, rolling friction, engine efficiency, drivetrain losses, etc. Then at the bottom of the list we have weight.

Hybridizing a car the way Toyota does doesn’t add much cost (usually a $1000-$2000 up-charge) and seriously improves fuel economy. It would be impossible to achieve similar benefits via weight reduction for only $1000 to $2000. The math doesn’t add up. This is why no one is doing it.

By the way, Toyota hybrids are a lot less complicated and add a lot less weight than people think. One of the electric motors replaces the starter, the second electric motor works together with the first one to essentially replace the transmission, and the hybrid battery pack weighs less than 100 pounds. Besides a relatively small weight gain, $1000+ increase in price, and needing to replace the hybrid battery after maybe 150,000 – 200,000 miles or so, there really is no downside. That is why the new Camry is hybrid only.

And before anyone whines about the cost of replacing the hybrid battery, don’t forget that your average modern VW, Hyundai, or Subaru wont even make it 200,000 miles before it gets junked, and that for another $3000 you can get a brand new battery that will take you another 150,000 – 200,000 miles.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
13 days ago

You know the early Prius interior may be a little odd and not the prettiest but at least its got personality. The new Prius has such a dull interior-it’s like they putt all the design effort into the swoopy outside and did the most generic toyota interior they could get away with on the inside. It’s kind of a disappointing contrast.

Epochellipse
Epochellipse
12 days ago

The gauge cluster and steering wheel area on the new Prius might be the ugliest I’ve ever seen on a car. And I don’t think it’s just a style choice that doesn’t appeal to me personally. I feel like Toyota didn’t care or didn’t try.

Comet_65cali
Comet_65cali
13 days ago

The best thing Tesla ever did, is draw the negative social crowd away from the Prius, a decent PHEV.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
13 days ago

Whether the Prius will exist long into the future is a vexed question.”

The next Prius will only remain relevant if they turn it into a BEV… and maybe with an optional solar roof.

If they can make the Prius be the most efficient BEV or at least, the most efficient in the Toyota line by a wide margin, it will be worth keeping.

The Prius has always been about being a vehicle that can meet any current and future emissions and fuel economy standards in a practical and reliable package with decent enough performance.

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
13 days ago

Not gonna lie, I’ve seriously considered a Prius Prime for my commuter. I daily a Corolla Hatchback 6MT and get 30MPG in town. It’s my fun car for now but my commute is 22 miles a day. It sure would be nice to basically never buy gas again.

Last edited 13 days ago by Shinynugget
Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
13 days ago

I’m still mad they didn’t have the courage to offer it in the gorgeous yellow of the concept car. Having red and blue are fine, but that’s the minimum acceptable amount of colors. Go crazy! Give me a yellow or green Prius! I very seriously considered a prime for a while when they were new but no one even had one I could sit in let alone take for a drive and I am not buying a new car like that.

Lightning
Lightning
13 days ago

At the same time, the Prius is no longer the darling choice of the climate-conscious set. There are plenty of full EVs on the market that use no gasoline at all. 

Yet take note that the hybrid Prius is actually better for the environment than many larger EVs. The EPA has figures for CO2 emissions at the fueleconomy.gov site. It shows that the Prius’s combined tailpipe and upstream greenhouse gas emissions is 187 grams per mile. Compare that to the Rivian R1T with 22″ wheels at 206 grams per mile in the average US location (and 262 grams per mile in my zip code, which has dirtier electricity). That’s not counting the emissions used to make the much larger battery.

Counting emissions from that initial battery production, I suspect that the hybrid Prius is probably better than many non-truck EVs too. For example, the Mach-E emits 159g/mi CO2 in the average US location, only 15% less than the hybrid Prius (and 202g/mi in my zip code, straight up worse than the hybrid Prius). Add up emissions from the battery production, and that 28g/mile advantage probably won’t ever be made up. For example, if the battery production caused 10,000 lbs of CO2 emissions, it would take 357K miles in the Mach-E to reach the break even point.

Last edited 13 days ago by Lightning
Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
13 days ago
Reply to  Lightning

Interesting, thanks for looking that up and sharing. This illustrates Toyota’s point that getting more people into hybrids is easier and thus will have a bigger environmental effect than a smaller number going full EV-and that’s assuming EV carbon footprints come down more over time.

Elhigh
Elhigh
13 days ago

A detail you don’t touch on is the fact that the newest Prius is available with a solar roof. Before you roll your eyes, think:

No vehicle you currently own gains more range just by sitting in the sun.With my not-atypical use case, a solar roofed Prius could be as much as 5% solar powered. People driving fewer miles than me could enjoy a higher percentage than that.It’s only available on the most expensive trim line, but the solar roof itself is only about $700 more in that model. That achieves cost-per-mile parity with the displaced gas burn in just 11,000 electric miles, or in my use case, about 10 years. Considering I drive a 15-year-old Prius now, that’s not extraordinary. Every EV mile after the tenth year is free.Slow, gentle recharges like that keeps batteries healthier, longer in general. It may have a higher first cost but the solar roof Prime is probably cheaper to live with.

Last edited 13 days ago by Elhigh
RustBucket67
RustBucket67
13 days ago

I think the new prius is going to sell really well for the young family group. In high school / college I definitely didn’t like the prius. I even had a “death before prius” sticker on my motorcycle helmet. This was mostly because of the behavior of the people that drove them. Snobby, arrogant, surprisingly aggressive drivers typically with a “I’m better than you” attitude.

This effects car buying a lot for people that pay even a little attention to car culture. there’s the standard stereotypes today that may dissuade customers.

  • big trucks: brodozers, a holes, moose mode, aggressive driving
  • subarus: sick vape bro, man-child, aggressive driving
  • BMW: what’s a turn signal, I’m better than you, aggressive driving

… come to think of it, I think the biggest detraction is the stigma of “aggressive drivers / jerk owners”.

I would argue now, the old vocal buyer that bought priuses and was aggressive / “better than you” now drives a tesla. So priuses (priai?) are losing the stigma. At least for me.

And this converges with a time in my personal life where gas is expensive, budgets are tight, my dollar only goes 70% as far as it used to, house repairs / modifications are needed, kids, etc. So, saving money where I can comes to the forefront.

So now, the former “I will never buy a Prius” guy has ordered a FWD LE because:

  • it’s a great deal price wise
  • 55-60mpg
  • I drove a rental and was impressed
  • it’s not offensive to look at anymore (see previous gen)

I think these factors get overlooked in the pursuit of the “it’s better for the environment” argument. I think being a good custodian of the environment is always a plus. But ultimately, most buyers will look at a Prius because of the above.

TL;DR – Prius is no longer ugly, a great deal, saves people money. it’s a great car for the current economic environment

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
13 days ago
Reply to  RustBucket67

Depending on where you live too, at least here in Seattle ( but I suspect many urban areas are the same ) the Prius has become the ubiquitous taxi, uber, lyft, door dash etc and thus just as likely to be driven like its a Gran Prix qualifier as hogging the left lane, so the eco weenie stigma has kind of faded. And of course the adoption of Tesla as the eco conspicuous consumption vehicle of choice hasn’t hurt either.

Interestingly-I have also seriously considered whether we should my wife a Prius that I’ll share with her for the reasons you mention. And I was absolutely someone who made fun of Prius drivers (and still occasionally do).

Musicman27
Musicman27
13 days ago

I love Priuses. Although the new Priuses butt looks a little rough in my opinion.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
13 days ago

If my current Prius blows up tomorrow, I’m probably test driving a new Prius first. If I can find one to drive. The Prime is still a relatively cost effective way to get a PHEV.

I still prefer a hatchback. I’ve used my Prius for a lot of “hauling”, so I’d prefer the Prius over the Corolla or Camry hybrids that get excellent gas mileage. Maybe the Corolla Cross hybrid could tempt me. Or the Crown Signia or NX350h if I feel like buying something nicer that uses more gas. Maybe I’d go check out a Kia Niro PHEV too. And maybe the Ford Maverick.

I appreciate the extra power of the current Prius but still delivering excellent gas mileage. The interior is a bit more “normal” than mine with the center mounted instruments. Apparently it is a bit “tight” inside due to the sleeker roof compared to the previous gen models.

I could do without 19″ wheels on the car I buy for low operating costs. I specifically kept the 15″ wheels on my car instead of the 17″ that were available. Thumbs up for cheap tires with sidewall.

I do wish there was an interesting color in the bunch. But Toyota seems to have lame colors amongst their whole lineup in the US. I checked out the Lexus TX for the other spot in our garage…no Nori Green there, just the lamest set of colors you could imagine on a “premium” product.

Elhigh
Elhigh
13 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

+1 on the hauling. I brought home a new dining table in the back of mine. Drop the rear seats, in it went. No problem.

My son took home a rocking chair in his. Drop the rear seat, in it went. Just be careful closing the hatch so you don’t blow out the glass, and you’re good.

An awful lot of people with SUVs and trucks think they need them, and they don’t. Not as much as they think they do.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
13 days ago
Reply to  Elhigh

Yeah I find it more useful for hauling stuff around than my larger Subaru Outback. I’ve hauled garage cabinets in there, dirt, mulch, 8′ long boards. Would have a hard time going back to a sedan.

If it just had some tie down points in the back, I could strap down stuff that a bit too long to get the trunk closed.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
14 days ago

If I wasn’t waiting to get the new smaller hybrid truck, a Prius would be probably cross shopped with the hybrid Corolla as dumb as that may sound.

If I could avoid the customary Toyota tax, and bullshit dealer add ons and MSRP mark ups, I would have probably already bought a Toyota hybrid.

The new Prius is the best yet as far as looks and driving dynamics. To me it is actually a good looking car.

Everything considered it’s a better car, and a better cost value than the original model was. YMMV.

Last edited 14 days ago by Col Lingus
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
14 days ago

“There are plenty of full EVs on the market that use no gasoline at all.”

So make a Prius that runs well on pure ethanol with a 14 gallon fuel tank. That should get the same range with no gasoline use.

Autonerdery
Autonerdery
14 days ago

“Very oughts.” One suspects there are only a handful of cars that got both GPS navigation and a tape deck.

A bit off-topic, I realize, but you brought on this digression—lots of cars did! It’s one of my favorite confluences of old and new eras. Pretty sure the first car I ever saw nav in, my grandparents’ 2000 Acura 3.2TL, had both a tape deck and in-dash CD player. Early BMW nav systems, most common in E38 7-series and E39 5ers up to 2001, had a prominent tape slot right next to the teensy screen; the wider-screen model in ’02-03 E39s, including both of my ’03s, has a little eject button in the top-right corner that motors the entire screen down to reveal the tape player hidden behind it!

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
14 days ago

” 194 horsepower. Those were entry-level sports car numbers back in the day, ”

Back in the day??? The ND Miata only makes 181, and the BRZ96 barely makes 200!

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
14 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

If I could give you a frowny-face vote right now, I would. 🙁

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
14 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

If not a sports car then what is it?

Rich Wilcox
Rich Wilcox
12 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

What does 350hp & 200mph get you? You can beat the guy in the lane next to you off the line and to the cop up ahead waiting to give you a $300 ticket. Fun. My idea of fun is a car that responds eagerly, but not necessarily ferociously, to every one of my inputs, lets me throw the top down, and just enjoy driving. Many don’t understand that pure driving enjoyment does not just equate to horsepower. It surprises me that a writer for an auto journal wouldn’t though. But that’s fine. Less competition for those of us who want a golden retriever rather than a mountain lion. You go have fun with your mountain lion.

Last edited 12 days ago by Rich Wilcox
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
14 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Even more to the point 194 HP and a 6.7s 0-60 sprint is the same as a US spec E30 M3:

https://www.bmw-m.com/en/topics/magazine-article-pool/bmw-m3-e30-portraet.html

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
14 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Which wasn’t exactly entry level back in the day.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
14 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

MR2 SW20 Turbo: 200; ITR: 195; Supra NA/SC300: 220; even the 240SX only had like 155. NB was like 140 max. This is the back in the day, not 2019 lolololololol.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
13 days ago
Reply to  NebraskaStig

Right? MR2 AW11 = 120, Fiero I4 = 95, V6 = 140. Those are entry level sports cars from back in the day. I’m not really sure what Lewin considers to be a sports car, though, if a Miata ain’t it.

Dirk from metro Atlanta
Dirk from metro Atlanta
14 days ago

Had GM developed a third gen Volt, and we’d be seeing the 2025 year model rolling out of dealerships…

But GM’s gotta GM, and I guess the Prime is the PHEV hatchback we deserve?

Elhigh
Elhigh
13 days ago

My younger son bought a Volt and I don’t think you could pry him out of it at the point of a gun. He is a fan. He reports that he can easily go a month with the engine only firing up for its regularly scheduled exerciser routine.

Thevenin
Thevenin
14 days ago

The price tag for the 2024 Prius Prime has to be judged by what’s available in real life, not just the MSRP on paper.

Go to Autotrader, Cargurus, and Edmunds and try to find the base trim. There are approximately four (4) Prius Prime SE’s within 200 miles of Denver. Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, you’ll be getting the XSE, which is $37,745 after destination.

Toyota loves trimflation, and they deserve to be called out for it from time to time. It’s one of the main reasons I’m in a Clarity instead of a Prius Prime today.

Elhigh
Elhigh
13 days ago
Reply to  Thevenin

While all of this is true, the Clarity is no longer produced. It was never quick, the EV model had worse-than-LEAF range (although the EV range of the PHEV model was actually pretty good for the segment), and the fuel cell model was doomed from the beginning, having disregarded the excellent infrastructure-first example of Tesla. The Clarity was Honda throwing stuff at the wall to see what stuck, and the answer was telling:

None of it.

Thevenin
Thevenin
13 days ago
Reply to  Elhigh

You’re not wrong. But despite all that, in 2018 (and with 2018 tax credits) a base-trim Clarity blew a mid-trim Prime out of the water, and I couldn’t find any base-trim Primes back then, either.

My point is that Toyota’s trimflation has been hurting their value proposition for a while; this is not a one-time thing.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
14 days ago

I believe the 2024 Prius starts at $27,950 for the base model ($29,045 with destination charge), going up to $36,365 for the top of the line Limited AWD.

I remember a lot of people complaining about the original Prius being too expensive for such a small car, and how the price premium would take forever to offset with lower fuel consumption, but, now, with average new vehicle prices sitting at $47,000+, a Prius is seriously a comparative bargain.

That said, it is still more than the larger Camry ($26,420) – but that one has actually gone up more than inflation, by better than a grand.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
14 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Either way, its still remarkable – holding a price for 20 years when everything else skyrockets, or finding a way to drop it significantly despite increasing regulatory mandates, both commendable on Toyota’s part.

Der Foo
Der Foo
14 days ago

Putting aside the people that are buying the RAV4 Hybrid/Prime, I think the Camry is really going to take a bigger share of the Prius market now that the 2025 is really close to the same MPG in an arguably more useful/traditional form.

The Prius seems to be part Crown and part Camry, but does that make it too indistinct to survive?

I might even wager that the Prius might not have a future generation in the same form and function, if there is one at all. Sure, in a decade or two Toyota might pull a page from the ‘domestic’s’ playbook and revive the name on some product that invokes some emotion, but no relation to the original.

Cayde-6
Cayde-6
14 days ago

Its cargo space is, quite frankly, pitiful.

I can fit my two checked bags and two carry-ons into the trunk of pretty much any midsize sedan on the market.

I got the new Prius as a rental a few weeks back, and it left me wondering whether I would leave my backpack or my laptop bag in the back seat, because I couldn’t fit both in the trunk and use the trunk cover

VanGuy
VanGuy
14 days ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

This is how I feel, too. They sacrificed the “spirit” of the Prius for looks and performance. (Albeit I concede it was the right move for their bottom line.)
I’ll keep my 2012 v running as long as I can, but if I ever get another Prius…it’ll be a 2022 model (last of gen 4).

Black-Villain
Black-Villain
14 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Yep, As someone who has owned multiple older Prii…. The new one was a major letdown for me when I got a chance to experience it back when they first came out. They sacrificed all of the practicality that made the Prius great for style… Arguably understandably… But I pretty much lost all interest in it after experiencing it. A late Gen 4 is near the top of my list for my next car

Last edited 14 days ago by Black-Villain
Elhigh
Elhigh
13 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

The facelifted Gen4 undid some of the hideous restyling of the earlier years of that generation, but still – yikes. Nowhere near as yikes as it had been, but it was still a step away from the austere aerodynamic sensibility of the GenII, or the somewhat friendlier face of the GenIII.

The Gen5 isn’t what I would call friendly, but it has a more neutral demeanor in my opinion, despite its brutalist presentation.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
13 days ago
Reply to  Elhigh

Eh, I don’t need the Prius to look good. It was about utility when I bought one. It is reliable, economical to operate, and I can use it to carry a surprising amount of stuff back and forth from my house.

I’d take an uglier Gen 5 if it meant 60+ mpg, or more cargo space.

VanGuy
VanGuy
12 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

This is precisely how I feel, but I understand that unfortunately, aesthetics are important to most people.

I have been wondering if they could’ve hit EPA 60+ mpg with the new one if they went with a smaller ICE, or smaller %$#&#^! tires. (Me? No, I’m definitely not bitter.)

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
14 days ago

I like that the Prius isn’t quite a Corolla or a Camry is the Toyota lineup but I agree that it needs to be more than just another hybrid car. I think a GR Prius with the GR Corolla engine and still a hybrid for more power would accomplish this.

Joe L
Joe L
13 days ago

I would love the Corolla GR powertrain in the Prius body. Use a waste heat recovery system along with a small electric motor somewhere in the drivetrain for regenerative braking to charge a smallish battery. You could use it to provide a little extra torque in off-boost driving and puttering along in traffic.

Cerberus
Cerberus
14 days ago

Without straining too hard, this is the only car model I can think of that only got better over time. Sure, it gained weight like everything else, but it’s not like it’s a sports car where that really matters and it’s still relatively reasonable (especially the base FWD at about 3100 lbs). Since I easily beat the Corolla hybrid mileage rating, I would guess I’d do the same with the Prius, which would handily put it in 60 mpg range on cheap fuel.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
14 days ago

Whenever I think about how to pronounce Prius, I always imagine it spoken by Sean Connery and that must be the correct way.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
14 days ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

But Trebek’s Mother says it differently. At least she did last night.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
14 days ago

the best one is the Prius V with lots of space and lots of fuel economy 😀

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
14 days ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Crown Signia who?

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
14 days ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Hell yeah, we are still rocking a 2014 Prius V. I can’t figure out why they weren’t more popular. America doesn’t really want wagons after all I guess

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
14 days ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

They were rather on the pricey side at a time when hybrids still had the “payoff period” stigma, plus diesels were trendy so VW was riding the wave with the Jetta/Golf wagon.

A Prius v started basically where a top-trim nonhybrid RAV4 was, and adding some options meant stepping up over the $30k mark for a Five. Sure it could be optioned to park itself but it still lacked some little creature comforts for the price like a power driver’s seat (at least in the first few years).

And they were still just weird for conventional tastes. The hybrid RAV4 saw a lot more success and while the SUV form surely helped, it was also just a more familiar vehicle type, not to mention more powerful and more equipped for the price.

Elhigh
Elhigh
10 days ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Imagine the Prius V with latest-gen power and Prime EV range. It’d be like the Chrysler Pacifica but without the breakdowns.

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