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2013 Toyota Prius

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2013 Toyota Prius Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

The world's first and most successful mass-produced hybrid car, the 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid is now a family of vehicles, a sub-brand consisting of the original hatchback Prius, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid built on the same body, the Prius V with its wagon-like extended roofline, and the smaller Prius C hatchback. All Prius models use versions of the same basic powertrain technology, a marriage of gasoline engine and electric motor Toyota calls "Hybrid Synergy Drive." Both power sources can drive the vehicle, and they normally do so in a fluid dance where either can take the lead or both can work together. With varying degrees of pure-electric range plus the gas engine and regenerative braking charging a battery pack, the overall result is exceptional energy efficiency.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the best fuel economy in the hybrid field, the 2013 Toyota Prius is still king, with a 51/48 mpg rating for the standard car, 51/49 for the Plug-In, 53/46 for the Prius C and 44/40 for the Prius V.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't mind sacrificing a few mpg, and you'd like something more conventional, or more sporty, the Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan and Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe are certainly worth a look.

What's New for 2013

There are no styling, specification or equipment changes to the Prius for 2013, though a new trim package is added, the Persona Series Special Edition.

Driving the Prius
Driving Impressions

Due to the seamless transition between electric motor and gasoline engine, driving the 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid is a surprisingly drama-free event. The driver has a choice of performance options...

... via the EV, Eco and Power buttons. In EV mode, the Prius functions solely on electric power, though speed and range are quite limited. The Power mode delivers the full potential of the gasoline engine boosted by the electric motor. The Eco mode selects throttle response for best efficiency, and will even shut down the air conditioning when at idle. The Plug-In Hybrid version operates almost exactly the same, though its electric-only range is lots longer, a rated 11 miles. Driving conservatively and taking full advantage of the regenerative braking can yield fuel consumption that tops the EPA ratings.

SOLAR ROOF PACKAGE
Thanks to the solar cells mounted on top, the Solar Roof Package nets you a power moonroof that self-ventilates to help keep the car comfortable. Also, the air conditioning can be remotely started to pre-cool the cabin.

POWER BUTTON
Although the 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid is a lean, green, gas-saving machine, everyone can use a little more urge now and then. Putting the car into Power mode changes the Hybrid Synergy Drive program to get where you're going a bit faster.

2013 Toyota Prius Details
Interior

The 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback features an interior as modern and different as its exterior. The contoured dash looks particularly handsome with its 2-tone panels, although on base models the gray-colored plastic and fabric look a little dull. The Prius' steering wheel incorporates a wheel-like control that operates the Touch Tracer Display controlling a number of fuel-usage and hybrid-operation displays on the Prius' LCD information screen. Plant-derived (and recyclable) plastic resins are used for the seat cushions and lower door panels.

Exterior

There's no mistaking a Toyota Prius hybrid. The 5-door hatchback's familiar shape is not exactly head-turning, but it's clearly efficient and slippery. Even the car's wheel covers are aerodynamic. The roof's apex is pushed rearward, creating a slightly sporty appearance while simultaneously maximizing rear-seat headroom. Most models ride on 15-inch wheels, but the Prius Five has 17-inchers. Plug-in Prius models feature a port on the right side where the charging cable goes, while the left side has a traditional gas cap. Plug-in models also have a distinct grille, wheels, door handles and lights.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A 2013 Toyota Prius Two hybrid includes a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with air-conditioning controls and Touch Tracer Display, height-adjustable driver's seat, auto up/down on all windows, pushbutton start, two 12-volt power outlets, a 6.1-inch touch-screen audio display and Bluetooth. Trim levels Three through Five bring upgraded audio systems with Entune telematics, navigation, heated and power-adjustable driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels and energy-saving LED headlights and fog lights. The Plug-in Hybrid version comes as a base model with up-level features such as navigation, and as an Advanced version with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and a head-up display.

Optional Equipment

Several advanced safety systems are available for the top-of-the-line Prius Five, including Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, head-up display, the Pre-Collision System, Lane Keep Assist, and Intelligent Parking Assist. All are offered in the Advanced Technology Package, which includes the Navigation Package. The optional power moonroof has solar-powered ventilation and remote-start air conditioning to help keep the vehicle cool. The dealer-installed Plus Performance accessory package adds a sport-tuned suspension with stiffer springs, ground effects, 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels, lower-profile tires, and a rear anti-roll bar.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Toyota Prius hybrid is powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine mated mechanically and electronically to a 60-kilowatt electric motor, all working with a continuously variable transmission and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total hybrid system horsepower is 134. The Plug-in Hybrid model uses a higher-capacity lithium-ion battery that can be charged from any outlet for up to 11 miles of pure-electric operation. The Prius' EPA city/highway fuel economy rating is 51/48.Learn to manage the system, utilizing regenerative braking and the low-speed full EV mode whenever possible, and you can push actual mileage even higher. The Plug-in Hybrid has a rating of 51/49 for standard hybrid operation, and 95 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) by the EPA's plug-in-hybrid formula.

1.8-liter inline-4 Atkinson Cycle
98 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
105 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
60-kilowatt Permanent Magnetic Synchronous Electric Motor
80 horsepower
153 ft-lb of torque
Net output: 134 horsepower
EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy: 51/48 mpg (hybrid); 51/49 mpg, 95 MPGe (Plug-in Hybrid)

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2013 Toyota Prius Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 399 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

A bag of rattles

By on Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good exterior styling, good gas mileage"

Cons: "cheap plastic everywhere, rattle and wind noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This was my first Toyota purchase and will be my last. First of all the dealer screwed me on the deal. I bought this certified pre owned a year ago and now I'm $10,000 upside down on the car. There were added on alarms and 3 service contracts, extended warranties, etc. The car rattles, squeaks, creaks mostly because of too much cheap plastic everywhere...door panels, center console,etc the doors "boing" like a tin can when you close them, there are numerous wind leaks on the door seals so the car howls when you drive it down the highway. The interior surfaces are cheap and harsh. The polyester covering on the arm rests give you instant rug burn on your elbows. If you lean into the center console at all it creaks, then in snaps open... speaking of snaps... no dampers on the upper glove compartment so it slams to the open position. Seats are uncomfortable for any long distance driving. The care is a NIGHTMARE on wet and slippery roads. I drove it over the Rockies in a rain storm with the front end skidding and jerking left to right and the "traction" warning light blinking constantly at 40mph, and this is with brand new tires on it. The shift from gasoline to electric power is very noticeable under these conditions. The car is horrendously under powered for anything other than flat, suburban driving - worthless at high altitudes and any kind of mountain driving. The only plusses I'll give is an average of 41 MPG over 20,000miles in mixed driving, the exterior styling, and the useful cargo space... unfortunately they've screwed up the rear storage (added a lip, no more flat load from tailgate, narrower space between wheel wells, severely reduced rear headroom in back seat and other downgrades) in the 2016 model, although the interior materials look improved."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Better outside than inside

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, good power, roomy interior"

Cons: "cheap plastic interior, rattles, creaks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Positives I really like the overall styling of the car, LOVE the solar roof, love the gas mileage, better than expected power, flexible interior for hauling odd items. Negatives The overall construction of the car is SO CHEAP. When you close a door it goes "boing" instead of "thunk". Air leaks around the driver door seals already. SO at 30,000 The interior is full of plastic that rattles and "creaks" esp console and doors. There's a rattle in the back seat on bumpy roads that the dealer refuses to fix. In the past 15 years I've owned two Hondas and two SAABs, none of them rattled even after 300k - huge step down from both Honda and SAAB in fit and finish) the upper glove box, slams open with no dampers, the synthetic cloth upholstery becomes abrasive over time, especially on the arm rests which turn to sandpaper.. I have "rug burn" on both my elbows from it. Door detents are not strong enough - bruised my my 84 year old mothers legs when the doors slammed shut on her in the wind. I've had all of them replaced, but this seems to be a weak spot in Toyotas in general. Interior storage is poorly laid out for small items, no cup holders in rear doors. The displays are outdated in terms of driver information. In my last Honda, it showed which door or hatch was open, rather than a generic "some door is open light". There is no indication of how long until the next service until it is already due. The "low fuel" indicator is just the last segment of the fuel gage blinking and comes on at 21 miles to empty. First of all it should be orange or red, and come on at 50 miles to empty. In many parts of the country, you might be a lot farther than 20 miles from a gas station."

14 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Prius, great vehicle with some bad engineering

By on Sunday, April 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great economy"

Cons: "bad engineering for display in the sun or a bright"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"This is my second Prius and 6th Toyota product so I like the Manufacturer. Our Prius has the leather package with the built in GPS. I was excited about that feature but this is where the engineer team fell asleep. On our first trip I set up the address and volume while in the garage and of we went. Very quickly we discovered we could not see the display nor hear it. I would have turned up the speaker but I could see where turn it up. The screen is at an angle that all the sun or light makes everything disappear. I have the screen as bright as it will go and that does not help. Dealer had no answer either. You also cannot see the radio controls unless it is dark or a cloudy day. Very bad design for a premium option. Also my wife keeps shutting off the entire display because her knee is right at the button. Other than that it is a great car but I will not get another if that is not fixed."

9 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Well designed but overly noisy

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fuel economy, large cargo space"

Cons: "Road noise, weak power steering"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The Prius is very well designed. The instrument controls are within easy reach (especially the climate controls), there is abundant cargo space, it has excellent fuel economy (50 mpg average) and the dashboard display is informative. A minor complaint is the power steering is too weak. The major problem with the Prius (model year 2013) is road noise. While wind noise is low, and engine noise is tolerable, road noise is high and detracts from the overall value of the Prius."

17 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Once you go Prius you never go BACK!

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent MPG, current price, nice handling"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

White delight

"So I decided to trade in my 2013 Prius c for a 2016 Tundra (I know one extreme to the other) the truck was awesome and here in Texas people move out the way and show you respect on the road unlike the Prius c where people literally merged in my lane forcing me into the grass at times..no JOKE! However the Tundra had horrible gas millage and I know I can't compare it to the Prius but seriously not even close to decent it was like driving a UHAUL! So I lucked out when Toyota decided to redesign the Prius and all the old models when on sale, got myself a 2015! two version and I can't be happier! so many nice extras (keyless entry, DRL) along with the excellent MPG! Seriously if you want to save money at the pump and have a very nice car this is it. ps. yes you will be the punch line of jokes but being broke isn't!"

12 people out of 14 found this review helpful

White delight

Best car for economy and comfort

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfort, Reliability, Economy, low maintenance"

Cons: "Navigation system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have driven this car for two years on long trips and daily commutes and I find it to be one of the best I've ever owned (3 Lexus, 5 MB, 1 BMW). I am a big guy and it has more room than a friends Caddy. With the back seats down you can haul a lot of freight. Took most of my kids college items in it. Gas mileage is between 46-52 depending on conditions. The only thing I don't like is the Navigation system. Screen to small and hard to work. Very easy to DIY on maintenance like Oil change, filters. Many youtube videos to show you the way. I would recommend this car to anyone who wants a everyday car that can fit almost all roles. PS your friends will make you the punch line of many jokes, but the jokes on them!"

19 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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