2022 Toyota Prius

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2022 Toyota Prius Review: Still Worth A Look

The car that ultimately kickstarted the mainstream hybrid offering, the Toyota Prius, has been with us for many years, but it's no longer the only car of its kind. While the Prius may have been the first to have brought hypermiling to the masses, it's now got plenty of competition from rivals such as the Honda Insight and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, as well as from within its own marque in the form of the Corolla Hybrid. With a base price of under 25 grand, it still has a lot going for it, but with just 121 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque, it's not the most exciting hybrid out there. But at least you can have all-wheel-drive. Nevertheless, with so many alternatives out there, is the Prius the best and worthy of consideration, or is it time for Toyota to completely rethink the Prius offering?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 6 /10
  • Performance 5 /10
  • Fuel Economy 10 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 7 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Toyota Prius Changes: What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Toyota Prius?

The Prius is Toyota's first dedicated hybrid model to be available in a Nightshade Special Edition model from this year, based on the XLE trim. As is the case with other Toyota models with this package, the Nightshade Edition has blacked-out exterior styling elements. It is only available in white, black, and silver. Some standard features include leatherette trim on the seats, steering wheel, and door armrests. Front-wheel-drive Nightshade Editions have black 17-inch alloy wheels and AWD models have 15s as well as standard heating for both the steering wheel and front seats. Standard on all Prius grades this year is a rear-seat reminder system.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent gas mileage
  • Good reliability
  • Plenty of standard safety features
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Drives like Fred Flintstone powers it
  • Interior design is poor

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2022 Toyota Prius Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
L Eco
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
1.8L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Toyota Prius Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

As you can tell from the engine and everything you may already know about the Prius, this isn't the kind of car that you expect to see excelling in an Autocross event. Nevertheless, for what it is, the steering of the Prius is well-weighted and easy to judge with good responses, although there is very little in the way of feedback. Still, it's not like you'll be going very fast when you make the skinny tires understeer. In terms of road noise, we do have some complaints, although the Prius has improved over the years. Again, we prefer city driving in the Prius, as there's quite a lot of wind noise and engine intrusion when at freeway speeds, although not bad enough to make long journeys unbearable.

Slowing down in the Prius is another area that could use a little more refinement, as the regenerative braking system can be a little tricky to acclimate to. It's not overly bad though, and the middle pedal is responsive and feelsome enough. Our biggest complaint comes from the design of the cabin, however, as the driver info display is both small and poorly placed, necessitating a diversion of your gaze from the road when you want to do something as banal as checking your speed.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Toyota Prius A Good Car?

This is fairly simple: if you absolutely love to virtue signal and brag about how eco-friendly your sustainably-sourced, vegan, water-flavored almond milk is, then the Prius is perfect for you. All jokes aside though, the Prius has lost its appeal long ago. Its interior, although spacious, is a total nightmare for ergonomics while its exterior styling does little more than draw attention to your holier-than-thou demeanor. However, we have to note that the Prius does exactly what it promises by being exceptionally light on gas, and if that's all you need from a car, then the Prius is ideal. We're also capable of appreciating the Prius for its large cargo area and standard safety features. But if you enjoy driving in the slightest, the lukewarm performance of the Prius will deter you just as much as the edgy styling will. With respectable acceleration from competitors and good styling from Toyota's own Corolla Hybrid - which is not exactly a gas guzzler either - the Prius is essentially obsolete. We'd look elsewhere.

Check out other Toyota Prius Styles

2022 Toyota Prius Comparisons

Honda Insight
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Hyundai

2022 Toyota Prius vs Honda Insight

The Honda Insight is, most obviously, a far more attractive vehicle to look at than the Prius, and it starts at $25,210, not much more than the base cost than the Toyota Prius - although for that price, it is better equipped than the base Prius and has a full suite of driver-assistance features. It's also more powerful, with Honda claiming a very precise figure of 151.5 hp. Torque from the Honda's electric motor is much better too, at 197 lb-ft. It also gets proper wheels (16-inch alloys) as standard, along with a more conventional interior that looks far more upmarket and classy in comparison to the cheap and flimsy-feeling Prius. Although the most efficient Prius is lighter on gas, the Insight isn't far behind with best EPA-rated figures of 55/49/52 mpg, which matches specific FWD versions of the Prius in mixed driving conditions. Where the Prius badly outshines the Insight is its cargo volume. The Honda only offers between 14.7 and 15.1 cubes, but as with the Prius, you can always fold the seats for more space. If you need something that just works and offers plenty of space, a case can be made for the Prius, but the Honda Insight is by far the better choice overall.

See Honda Insight Review

2022 Toyota Prius vs Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Much like the Honda Insight, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is more powerful than the Toyota Prius, producing an impressive 139 hp. Despite this, the Hyundai can achieve a Prius-beating EPA rating of 58/60/59 mpg, and with a base price of just over $23,600, it's more affordable too. In addition, it has an ergonomic and stylish interior that, again, doesn't feel as cheap as that of the Prius. It slightly lags behind the Toyota in terms of cargo space with 26.5 cubic feet of volume, but at least you get dual-zone climate control, Android Auto on every model, and an available seven-inch driver info display. This isn't our first choice for a hybrid in this segment, but with an attractive design and good value, we'd still take it over the Prius.

See Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Review
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