2013 Toyota Prius Review
Critics say the 2013 Toyota Prius isn’t thrilling to drive, but its spacious trunk, high fuel economy ratings and roomy interior will appeal to shoppers who want to save gas and need a versatile hatchback.
The Prius has a four-cylinder engine and electric motor that combine to make 134 horsepower. This powertrain is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Toyota Prius’ fuel economy estimates of 51/48 mpg city/highway are outstanding for the class. Since the 2013 Prius’ mission is to conserve fuel, reviewers don’t expect it to be engaging behind the wheel. They say it has numb steering, a floaty suspension, spongy brakes and hesitates from a stop, but they do think the Prius delivers a comfortable ride. The Prius also has one of the highest reliability ratings in its class.
The Toyota Prius was the 2013 Best Hatchback for Families because it has the best combination of quality, size and family-friendly features in its class.
Inside, test drivers are impressed with the amount of cargo space and back-seat passenger room. Most reviewers think the Toyota Prius’ seats are comfortable. The 2013 Prius wins some test drivers over with materials they consider upscale, while others think some of the plastics aren’t up to class standards. Standard features include Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, push-button start, Smart Key and seven airbags. The 2013 Prius can be equipped with features like navigation, a backup camera, a head-up display, a touch-screen infotainment system, satellite radio, HD Radio, an upgraded JBL sound system and a moonroof with solar panels that power the ventilation system. Although most reviewers report that the audio and climate controls are intuitive, one thinks the navigation system is confusing and hard to see. Other auto critics dislike the Prius’ digital gauges and displays because they think they’re distracting and difficult to read, especially with sunglasses on. Available safety features include lane keep assist, a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control and Safety Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator, an emergency SOS button and roadside assistance.
- "The Toyota Prius is a fine midsize car that just happens to achieve some of the best fuel economy we've ever experienced. There are some compromises, namely in terms of acceleration, rear visibility, and a somewhat cheap-looking interior. In the grand scheme, these are fairly minor niggles given the car's decent ride, accommodating cabin, and exceptional cargo versatility." -- Consumer Guide
- "We’ve never gotten too excited about the Toyota Prius around here. On one hand, as an extreme fuel sipper with a distinctive design and contrarian appeal, the Prius is laudable in the manner with which it eschews traditional luxury and conspicuous speed in favor of high-tech eco features, utter thrift, and unconventional hatchback living. On the other hand, with skinny tires, a loud cabin, terrible rear vision, and a boomy ride, the Prius has been the exact opposite of fun to drive." -- Car and Driver (2010)
- "Toyota calls its Prius an ‘Eco-Icon,’ and the latest generation should have plenty of available gadgets for technological and environmental die-hards." -- Cars.com (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
Although the redesigned Ford Fusion Hybrid has a higher price tag than the Prius, reviewers say that it is more engaging to drive. They also like its new exterior styling, roomy cabin and outstanding fuel economy estimates of 47/47 mpg city/highway.
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is highly-ranked among hybrid cars and affordable midsize cars thanks to its smooth transmission, upscale interior and long warranty. Auto critics like that there are hardly any performance trade-offs compared with the gas-only Sonata, and think it is one of the most stylish hybrids available. The Sonata Hybrid's fuel economy ratings of 34/39 mpg city/highway are much lower than the Prius’ 51/48 mpg though.
Details: 2013 Toyota Prius
The 2013 Toyota Prius is available four trim levels: Two, Three, Four and Five. The Prius is powered by a four-cylinder engine and electric motor that are paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Prius Plug-in, larger Prius V and smaller Prius c are reviewed separately. The Prius was last redesigned for the 2010 model year. Since it hasn’t changed much since then, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as 2013.