Toyota
Prius
2013
Go
Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - January 22, 2013

2013 Toyota Prius OVERVIEW

The Toyota Prius launched in Japan in 1997 and made its debut in the U.S. in 2000 as a 2001 model year vehicle. The Prius quickly picked up steam and as of the 2013 model year, it is one of the most recognizable hybrid cars on the road.

Coming into the 2013 model year, the Toyota Prius is a carryover with the exception of its new trim level, the Three SE, which is also called the Persona Series Special Edition. In total, the Prius has five easy-to-remember trim levels: Two, Three, Three SE, Four and Five. All of the trims come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine combined with electric motors to create 134 horsepower that travels through a CVT to the front wheels. This combo nets the 2013 Prius 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway.

The Two trim level is the entry-level model and it includes your basic AM/FM/CD audio system, cloth seating and 15-inch alloy wheels. The Three trim level adds in things like a backup camera, keyless entry and voice command. The Three SE adds SofTex faux leather, various interior upgrades and an exclusive exterior-color option. The Four trim level gets you a power driver seat and an upgraded sound system. The Five trim level caps it all off with 18-inch wheels, fog lamps and other premium exterior features.

On top of the trim levels, Toyota also offers three optional packages. The Solar Roof Package is only available as an option on the Three trim level and adds in a power sunroof, a solar-powered ventilation system, remote A/C and a sliding sunshade. The Deluxe Solar Roof Package is an option on the Four trim level and adds a heads-up display, hard-drive-based navigation and Safety Connect to the Solar Roof Package’s basic features. The final optional package is the Advanced Technology Package, which is only available on the Five trim level and includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, Lane Keep Assistant, premium hard-drive-based navigation, Entune and Safety Connect.

The hybrid realm is constantly growing, so the Prius has plenty of competition. The top competitor for the Prius is the 2013 Honda Insight, which includes a 98-horsepower driveline, continuously variable transmission and 41 mpg city. Next up is the Ford C-Max Hybrid, which includes a 188-horsepower driveline, a CVT and 47 mpg in the city. You also can consider the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which has a 188-horsepower engine-and-motor setup that travels through a CVT, 17-inch alloy wheels and 47 mpg city.

The Prius definitely has its hands full with its competitors, but its superior city mpg may be enough to put it over the top.

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