Say goodbye to the Prius One, Two, Three, and Four.
Ever look into buying a Toyota Prius? Then you might have noticed rather unconventional (but simple) names for its trim levels. But Toyota's getting rid of those to more closely match the dedicated hybrid's trim structure to the rest of its lineup.
Instead of the Prius One, Prius Two, Prius Three and Prius Four (previously represented by Roman numerals before the arrival of the now-defunct Prius V wagon), CarsDirect reports that the 2019 versions will be called Prius L, Prius LE, Prius XLE, and Prius Limited. The move follows a similar measure undertaken a few months ago with the smaller Prius C hatchback.
There's more changes in store as well for the option packages, too. The most fuel-efficient Eco model will now become the base version, and the Touring model is being phased out – although a new Advanced Technology Package will be available on the XLE.
Pricing details have yet to be announced, but Toyota will be wise to position the restructured Prius lineup against the Hyundai Ioniq that's eager to take a piece of the benchmark Prius' share of the market for dedicated hybrids. That's something that Honda has had difficulty doing with three very different iterations of the Insight.
Honda introduced the first Insight in 2000 as a three-door hatchback. The second-generation Insight that replaced it adopted a five-door form much closer to that of the Prius, with the since-discontinued CR-Z taking the original Insight's place. Neither of those panned out, though, so Honda based the third iteration more closely on the Civic, replacing both the Insight and the Civic Hybrid with one model.
Whether the new Honda Insight and Hyundai Ioniq will fare better remains to be seen. But as it stands, the Prius is still king, and you can bet Toyota will take measures to secure its crown.