New 2018
Toyota Prius Hatchback

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

This family-friendly 4-door hatchback is America’s best-selling hybrid. Now in its fourth generation, the 2018 Toyota Prius has a well-earned reputation for safety and reliability, plus it continues to deliver industry-leading fuel economy. The 2018 Prius offers radical futuristic styling, a refined interior with room for five and it has earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Seven trim levels are available, all powered by a 1.8-liter internal-combustion engine and a small electric motor, a potent combination that delivers 121 horsepower and over 50 mpg. Prices start around $24,000 and a fully loaded model can creep past $30,000. Built in Japan, the new Prius remains the gold standard in hybrid automobiles. It competes with the Chevy Volt, Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq and Ford C-Max Hybrid, as well as hybrid sedans like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for an affordable family-friendly hybrid with industry-leading fuel economy and the highest safety ratings, you’ll like the 2018 Toyota Prius. The 4-door hatchback also has a golden reputation for reliability as well as high resale value, plus it enjoys one of the lowest 5-year cost-to-own ratings in the industry.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although popular, the futuristic face of the 2018 Toyota Prius isn’t for everyone. More subdued design is offered by the Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq and Chevy Volt. Although more fuel efficient, the new Prius is also down on power compared to the Ford C-Max Hybrid, which also offers more rear-seat space.

What's New for 2018

Updates to the new Toyota Prius for 2018 are minimal. The massive 11.6-inch HD Multimedia Display, which is rivaled only by those in more expensive Teslas, now comes standard on the top-of-the line Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trim levels.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Smooth and precise, the 2018 Toyota Prius is comfortable, quiet and easy to drive. It’s also agile. It’s not a sports car by any stretch of the imagination, but it offers surprisingly sporty handling, which could not be said of previous versions of the popular hybrid. Body roll in the corners is kept to a minimum, and the steering, although not on par with the Mazda3 or Honda Civic, is light and fairly precise. The ride is agreeable, even on choppy urban boulevards, and it’s very happy on the highway, feeling more substantial than its predecessors, which lacked stability especially in windy conditions. There’s also a satisfying burst of power off the line, which makes the new Prius feel quicker than it is. Its zero-to-60-mph time of about 10 seconds isn’t going to thrill, but there’s more than enough power when you need it. And the fuel economy is exceptional, which is of course the point. Drive it like Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit and you’ll still average over 45 mpg.

Favorite Features

TOYOTA SAFETY SENSE P
Standard on every 2018 Prius is the brand’s Safety Sense P suite of driver assists. Along with radar-adaptive cruise control, which will keep a set distance from the car ahead, the system includes a pedestrian-detection feature, lane-departure warning and steering assist, which will make small steering corrections for you, automatic high-beam headlights and autonomous braking.

INTELLIGENT PARK ASSIST
Available on the top trim level, this high-tech system will practically parallel-park your 2018 Prius for you. Sensors mounted around the vehicle work with a sonar system to identify a potential space and then steer the hybrid into the spot as you work the brake pedal and the gear selection.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Inside, the 2018 Toyota Prius is a satisfying mix of technology, comfort and exacting build quality. With its gauges mounted in the center, between the driver and front passenger, the Toyota’s layout is a bit funky, but you’ll quickly acclimate to the design, which Toyota says reduces the time your eyes are focused off the road. You sit low in the Prius, which some drivers may not like. Interior materials, including new synthetic leather in higher trims, look and feel rich. A low center-console height gives the front compartment a more open feeling, and the rear compartment feels roomy. Lower trim levels get a 6.2-inch color screen for the infotainment, while the highest two trims get a massive 11.4-inch screen, which rivals the setup in Teslas.

Exterior

Priuses of the past were considered boring to look at. They weren’t unattractive, but they didn’t excite either. This time Toyota’s design team took a few chances and the exterior design of the 2018 Toyota Prius is anything but uninteresting. No, it probably isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but its futuristic lines and avant-garde lighting certainly stand out in a crowd. This Prius has presence. It’s larger too, longer, lower and wider than previous Priuses, and more aerodynamic. Its low hoodline doesn’t just cheat the wind to improve fuel economy, it also improves visibility for the driver, which helps in tight parking lots.

Notable Standard Equipment

The feature list for the basic Prius Two makes it clear that “basic” does not mean “stripper” for this car. Dual 4.2-inch customizable color information displays, 6.2-inch color touch screen, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD Entune audio, 2.0 USB port, Bluetooth streaming, Siri eyes-free, hands-free phone link, voice recognition, 3-mode driver pre-sets (EV, Eco, Power), cruise control, tilt/telescope steering column, cargo-area tonneau cover, rearview camera, stability control, traction control and eight airbags. Toyota’s Safety Sense P includes full-speed dynamic cruise control, capable of bringing the car to a complete stop. The system also includes a pedestrian-detection feature, lane-departure warning and steering assist, which will make small steering corrections for you, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Notable Optional Equipment

On the Prius Three and higher trims, the Advanced Technology package adds a power tilt/slide moonroof with a sliding sunshade, and the color head-up display. The Premium Convenience Package includes a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, Entune 10-speaker JBL audio, advanced voice recognition, as well as the standard Prius Two and Three features, and a good many others. Premium Convenience is limited to Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trims. This year a massive 11.6-inch HD Multimedia Display, which is rivaled only by those in more expensive Teslas, now comes standard on the top-of-the-line Prius Four and Prius Four Touring trim levels.

Under the Hood

Powering the 2018 Toyota Prius is Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, which has been adapted to a number of the company’s vehicles. It’s also been licensed to other carmakers. It consists of a 95-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, which runs on old-fashioned gasoline, an electric motor and an automatic transmission. Combined output is a respectable 121 horsepower, but it’s the powertrain’s smooth function and delivery that impress, and of course its industry-leading fuel economy. The Prius runs on regular-grade gasoline to keep operating costs low. This is a traditional hybrid; if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid, Toyota offers the Prius Prime, which is a similar but different model. All Priuses are front-wheel drive.

1.8-liter 4-cylinder
95 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
105 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
Permanent magnet AC electric motor
71 horsepower, 120 lb-ft of torque
Total system output: 121 horsepower
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 54/50 mpg, 58/53 mpg (Eco model)

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Toyota Prius is available in seven trim levels. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) range from about $24,500 for the basic Prius One to over $31,000 for the top Prius Four Touring. The Prius Two Eco manages a bump in miles per gallon over the other models and starts about $26,000. Prius Three and Prius Three Touring models add desirable equipment, but to get the massive and massively cool 11.4-inch infotainment screen you have to step up to the Prius Four, which costs just over $30,000. Prius pricing compares favorably with its major hybrid competitors, the Chevrolet Volt and Ford C-Max, but while Toyotas are some of the top cars in the resale market, the Prius won't fare as well as its stablemates as it ages. To make your best deal, be sure to check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price that shows what others in your area have paid for their 2018 Toyota Prius hybrid.

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