2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid

2021 MODEL
$24,325 - $32,500
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2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 20, 2020
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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

Toyota Prius celebrates its 20 years in the US with the all-new 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback. What began as a fashioning of a fuel-efficient hybrid car in 2001 has now become the most iconic and highly acclaimed automotive icon. It isn’t the first-ever hybrid to be available in the country, but it’s the most influential one. From 2001 to 2021, the car has evolved into a hatchback with improved efficiency and size. The Japanese multinational manufacturer has inspired the automotive industry with its Toyota Prius, especially in the segment of hybrid cars. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive fuel efficiency 

Comes with All-Wheel Drive

Remarkable levels of noise insulation

Fully equipped with hi-tech features

Cons

Dreary design

Dull cabin

Not so exclusive

Inferior to its rivals  

What's New?

Black exterior trim

New colours added: Wind Chill Pearl and Supersonic Red 

Automatic high beam headlamps

LE and XLE trims come with optional e-AWD


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Review video
2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Interior video

Styles

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid in blizzard pearl color 2021 Toyota Prius hybrid in Classic Silver Metallic color 2021 Toyota Prius hybrid in Electric Storm Blue color 2021 Toyota Prius hybrid in Magnetic Gray Metallic color
blizzard pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Safety

9.0

9.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Toyota Prius hybrid L Eco

L Eco

power
121 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
46 combined

$24,325


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
L Eco 5dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $24,325 MSRP (48/46/43) 121 hp @ 5200 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid LE

LE

power
121 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
46 combined

$25,535 - $26,935


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $25,535 MSRP (48/46/43) 121 hp @ 5200 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5
LE 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $26,935 MSRP (48/46/43) 121 hp @ 5200 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt all wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid XLE

XLE

power
121 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
46 combined

$28,375 - $29,375


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $28,375 MSRP (48/46/43) 121 hp @ 5200 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5
XLE 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $29,375 MSRP (48/46/43) 121 hp @ 5200 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt all wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Limited

Limited

power
121 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
46 combined

$32,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $32,500 MSRP (48/46/43) 121 hp @ 5200 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

9.0

Overall Rating


Toyota’s celebration is real, but it is not coming out with a lot of changes in its 2021 Prius hybrid. It will be available as a plug-in hybrid that shall give you the pleasure of electric-driving. All its four trims come propelled with a 1.8-litre Inline-4 Hybrid powertrain generating 121 hp @ 5200 rpm and a torque of 105 lb. ft. @ 3600 rpm. It’s starting MSRP is expected to be $24,325 up to $32,500.

Toyota Prius acquires the top place in the list of hybrid cars. However, lately, many car manufacturers, inspired by Prius, have gained a seat next to it in the first arena. Not just this, its competitors like the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and the 2020 Honda Insight have left Prius behind in terms of drivability and efficiency. The one area where Toyota Prius braced its defeat is its looks and design chiefly in comparison to 2020 Kia Niro. However, one might expect the 2021 model to be easy on the eye!


 
 
 
 
 

9.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Features

The Toyota Prius Hatchback Hybrid comes with four trim levels: L Eco, LE, XLE, and Limited. The L Eco trim level will feature a 7-inch Toyota Entune 3.0 touchscreen infotainment system with Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Also, it comes equipped with 15-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels. In its LE trim, you get intelligent, active park assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert that secures your safety two-fold. XLE trim level features a 17-inch 5-spoke alloy with power-adjustable driver seat and 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen. Toyota Prius’ most premium trim level, Limited has all the great features of the rest three trims along with navigation, a colour head-up display, sunroof, and a 10-speaker JBL surround system. 

Trim

L Eco

LE

XLE

Limited

MSRP

(FWD)

$24,325

$25,535

$28,375

$32,500

MSRP

(AWD)

NA

$26,935

$29,375

NA

Key Features

15-inch five-spoke Alloys

Intelligent Active Park Assist

17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels

Navigation System

 

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa

Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

Power-Adjustable Driver’s Seat

Sunroof

 

7-inch infotainment touchscreen

Rear WIndow WIper

11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen

Color Head-up display

 

6-speaker sound system

Heated Mirrors

Leather Upholstery

10-speaker JBL surround-sound system

 

Push Button Start

Rear Window Wiper

Heated, eight-way power-adjustable front seats

Adaptive Cruise Control

 

2 USB Ports

Keyless Entry

Heated Steering Wheel

HD Radio and SiriusXM satellite radio connectivity

As compared to its rivals, the four trims of Toyota Prius are priced quite decently. However, some would find it overpriced in comparison to 2020 Hyundai Ioniq and 2020 Honda Insight.

We Recommend 

The Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e addition is a substantial value thanks to its heated and power-adjustable seats, heated steering wheel, proximity-key function, and wireless phone charger. AWD-e here means electronic all-wheel drive.

The fuel economy fine for its all-wheel drive system is about unreal. The XLE AWD-e trim is available with the Advanced Technology Package too, which combines navigation and a head-up display.

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Engine and Performance

It’s a known fact that Toyota does not revolve its concentration around the engine and performance. However, the 2021 Toyota Prius is more burly, better pressed together, and more fuel-efficient. So, what’s under the hood is a 1.8-litre Inline-4 cylinder gasoline engine with a horsepower of 121 @ 5200 and a torque of 105 @ 3600. It comes powered with two motor generators via an electronically-controlled variable transmission. 

The 2021 Prius trim levels, LE and XLE, that work on All-Wheel drive have its rear wheels powered with an electric motor that functions away from the hybrid system of the car. Besides, its XLE trim level is coming in a special anniversary limited edition which would offer you an electronic All-Wheel drive option.

Models

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

MSRP

$24,325

$22,400

$22,930

$24,430

Engine

1.8-liter Inline-4

1.6L Inline-4 

1.5L Inline-4 

1.6L Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

2-Speed CVT W/Od

6-Speed Auto-Shift Manual W/Od And Auto Manual 

2-Speed CVT W/Od

6-Speed Auto-Shift Manual W/Od And Auto Manual 

Power (hp @ rpm)

121 @ 5200

104 @ 5700

107 @ 6000

139 @ 5700

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

105 @ 3600

109 @ 4000

99 @ 5000

195 @ 2400

Talk of the engine and Kia Niro has its hands raised! It has the most powerful engine as compared to Prius and other rivals.

How quick is the 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback?

Acceleration isn’t a strong point of Toyota Prius Hybrid. Its acceleration goes 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds and covers quarter-mile in 19.6 seconds. However, these are expected figures as per the 2020 Prius hybrid hatchback. So, we can keep our fingers crossed for the 2021 version. 

So, what stops the car from being a speedy one? Well, for one, the vehicle takes its me-time to pick up speed due to its rigid frame. The AWD variants are even more sluggish due to the extra 150 pounds added by the supplementary electric motor. 

Models

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

0-60 MPH

10.5

9.7

7.7

8.6

Quarter mile

19.6

17.3

16

15

Top Speed

112

103

120

125

Engine

1.8L Inline-4

1.6L Inline-4 

1.5L Inline-4

1.6L Inline-4

In terms of outright acceleration, Honda Insight leaves behind Toyota Prius and all other rivals. In top speed, the leading one is Kia Niro.

How well is the 2021 Toyota Prius’s braking?

Similar to any other hybrid hatchback, the 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback would feature an amalgamation of friction and regenerative braking which was present in its 2020 version as well. The regenerative braking system is great because it sets the engine into reverse by seizing the kinetic energy. 

What’s different from the Prius is its pedalling feel! The Toyota Prius has 10 inches of front brake size and 10.2 inches of rear brake size. Besides, the car has various safety features about its braking systems such as the Anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and brake assist. 

Model

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

Brake Front (in)

10

11

11.1

11

Brake Rear (in)

10.2

10.3

10.2

10.3

Curb Weight (lbs)

3010

2996

2987

3100 (Est.)

60-0 MPH (ft.)

117

124

131

134

Here’s something for Prius to feel pompous about! It has one of the best braking distances and even the arch rivals are not close enough.

Ride and Handling

The 2021 Toyota Prius has a slow acceleration, which makes it evident that it won’t be providing you with a sporty ride or an exciting one. Its rigid chassis helps you with cornering; however, the ride overall isn’t very satisfactory. However, that’s not something that Toyota ever focused on. What is focused on was to make Prius an excellent town car, which it is. It provides perfect stability and steering control to the driver on a city road. 

If you are a car enthusiast, then a drive in a Toyota Prius would not enthral you even a bit. It will, in fact, numb your senses. This is a car for the practical revheads out there. Want your within-the-city drive comfortable? Want to take your family out for dinner or something? Well, this is the car for you. It’s not meant for adventures! 

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Fuel Economy

As we’ve already realized, fuel economy is the peak point of Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback! The EPA records an estimated 58 mpg and 53 mpg fuel economy in the city and highway, respectively. While its city mileage is outstanding, its highway mileage lacks a bit. For those of who like to drive in the traffic or on the highway, it would come as a letdown. These estimates are recorded based on the year 2020. Currently, we can only expect that its 2021 version would provide a slightly better highway mpg.  

Models

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

MPG (City)

58

57

55

49

MPG (Highway)

53

59

49

51

MPG (Combined)

56

58

52

46

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

11.3

11.9

10.6

11.4

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

655.40/598.90/632

678/702/690

583/519/551

606.9/547.4/578

Toyota has always had its flag raised high when it comes to fuel economy. It’s known for its mpg. So, there’s no doubt that Prius leads here as well. In terms of range, Prius stands second with Ioniq grabbing the first place. 

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Interior

With a fair amount of features added to its interiors, the 2021 Toyota Prius hatchback turns many heads with what’s there on the inside. It’s gifted with smoked-out inserts and accents, standard 8-way power driver’s seat adjustability, and a fastidiously improved infotainment system. It comes with Android Auto, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and Apple CarPlay. 

Since it’s a hybrid hatchback, its body has gained some weight and style that gives you ample space as well as excellent cargo capacity. 

Talking of cargo, one can count on the Prius hatchback to fill up enough baggage as a basic SUV. Besides, both long and short passengers can have comfortable seating in the Toyota Prius. Toyota doesn’t only care for the passengers. It has provided a heated and power-adjustable seat for the driver which provides them with a perfect driving position.

Also, when you are sitting in a Toyota Prius, you won’t be bothered by the unwanted cabin noises or outside sounds. Its insulation bars them!

Models

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid (expected)

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.4/55/42.3

39.1/56.1/42.2

39.3/56.9/42.3

40.1/56/41.7

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

37.4/53/33.4

37.4/55/37.7

36.9/55/37.4

39.1/55.2/37.4

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

27.4

26.5

15.1

19.4

Toyota hasn’t given much attention to Prius hybrid’s interiors. Even in terms of space, it’s Kia Niro that leads. 

Main Interior Features

  • 8-way adjustable driver’s seat & 4-way adjustable passenger seat
  • Push Button Start
  • Power windows with auto up/down
  • Cruise Control
  • Front & Rear center armrests
  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seats

What about the infotainment system of the 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback?

The 2021 Toyota Prius hybrid has gained a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has a horde of impressive features like a CD player, AM/FM radio, USB connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The 2021 version has received Android Auto connectivity as well. 

The Limited trim of Toyota Prius gets a colossal, vertical 11.6-inch touchscreen system. It’s an infotainment system that not only boasts the existing features of the rest of the trims but also has color head-up display, sunroof, navigation feature, and a 10-speaker JBL surround system. The only limitation with this trim is that it doesn’t have Android Auto compatibility.

Here are some of the highlight features of the infotainment system:

  • 7-inch standard & an available 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen display
  • 6-speakers sound system & available premium JBL 10-speakers sound system
  • Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa
  • AM/FM HD Radio & SiriusXM
  • Bluetooth Streaming 
  • USB 2.0 media port & two rear USB 2.1A media ports
  • Advanced voice recognition 
  • Safety Connect
  • Wi-Fi Connect

How much cargo can the 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback carry?

The cargo capacity of the Toyota Prius hybrid is remarkably good. It offers a standard 27.4 cu.ft. cargo capacity. In comparison to all the hybrids that lack in cargo capacity, Prius stands upright with its perfectly adjusted equipment and battery.

The rear seats, after folding up, provide a maximum storage capacity of 62.7 cu. Ft., which is quite high for a hybrid hatchback. 

Models

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid (expected)

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

Standard Cargo Capacity (ft³)

27.4

26.5

15.1

19.4

Maximum Cargo Capacity (ft³)

62.7

NA

NA

54.5

Toyota is uncompromising when it comes to cargo capacity. It’s quite clear that the 2021 Toyota Prius would have the maximum cargo capacity in both standard and maximum categories as compared to its rivals. 

What are the other storage spaces inside?

There are some common storage spaces available inside such as cup holders (in both front and rear seats), door pockets, and glove boxes. 

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Exterior

Toyota has always been generous with providing its Prius visionary exteriors with an iconic automotive design. The brand-new Prius would grab hold of your attention with its blacked-out inserts and accents. Although it is not a hatchback that you’d call stunning, it evidently displays a unique and eye-catching design. 

With the exteriors, you get the smoked headlights, mirror components, and black 17-inch alloy wheels. Its Rear receives a rear spoiler which is perfectly colour-coordinated and has the bi-LED rear combination lamps. 

Models

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid (Expected)

2020 Hyundai Ioniq

2020 Honda Insight

2020 KIA Niro

Curb Weight (lbs)

3010

2996

2987

3100 (Est.)

Length (inches)

180

176

183.6

171.5

Width (inches)

69.3

71.7

71.6

71.1

Height (inches)

57.9

56.9

55.5

60.4

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.1

5.3

NA

6.3

Wheelbase (inches)

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

The exterior design of Prius is okayish, especially when compared to Kia Niro. Size-wise, Hyundai Insight leads the group.

Main Exterior Features

  • Bi-LED Projector Headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED taillights
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • 15-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels & available 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Safety

9.0/10

The NHTSA rates 2021 Toyota Prius FIVE STARS after conducting crash tests and FOUR STARS for its calculated rollover measurement and frontal impact. The IIHS has not provided any ratings as of yet. 

When it comes to safety, Toyota has added qualitative features to the car for providing complete security to the driver and the passengers. Prius comes with Toyota’s safety system, which is customarily called the next-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 2.0. All its trims come with some good safety features like bicyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure assist, and pre-collision pedestrian detection.

Here’s a list of some striking safety features of the car:

  • Star Safety System (incl. VSC,TRAC,ABS, EBD, BA & SST)
  • Pre-Collision System with Low-Light Pedestrian Detection
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Bicyclist Detection
  • Road Sign Assist
  • Backup Camera

 

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Competition

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid (Expected) vs 2020 Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai Ioniq is a big shot in comparison to the Toyota Prius hybrid, especially when we talk of fuel economy. If Prius is aimed to be an eco-friendly hybrid hatchback, Ioniq is the one that it has to compete with directly. Hyundai Ioniq provides better mpg on the highway as compared to Prius hybrid. 

Besides, the Hyundai Ioniq has a better acceleration but lacks a bit when it comes to the braking system and top speed. However, Hyundai makes it up with its multiple features, customer-oriented features, creature comforts, and grand interiors. 

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid (Expected) vs 2020 Honda Insight

Honda Insight has the fastest acceleration and better top speed, clearly beating the Toyota Prius Hybrid. But it lacks in terms of its braking capability. Also, Prius beats it with ease when it terms to the testing of fuel economy. 

Honda Insight doesn’t quite match up to the Toyota Prius when it comes to cargo space and boot space. However, both Japanese manufacturers have bundled up their cars with brilliant features, and they are a great deal to grab.

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid (Expected) vs 2020 KIA Niro

Despite being the latest entry in the hybrid hatchback competition, KIA Niro has the most powerful engine for a hybrid car. It also has the highest top speed and better acceleration than the Toyota Prius. In contrast to this, the Toyota Prius’ engine and performance look a bit disparaging.

The tables turn when we talk about braking capability, fuel economy, and cargo space. KIA Niro stands nowhere close when it comes to braking. It does a hatchet job with its braking capability. Besides, the fuel economy and cargo space are also better in Prius. 

2021 Toyota Prius hybrid Final Verdict

Overall the car appears as a cost-effective and trustworthy hybrid hatchback. But it has scope for improvement. It’s only a good deal for the city drivers. The ones who like riding themselves into thrilling adventures, the car doesn’t do anything but put them off. If your priority is design and style, you may want to reconsider your buying decision.

The conclusion we are drawing is based on the 2020 Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback. It’s hard to say what improvements the 2021 version will bring in, but we can surely give it the benefit of the doubt.