Buyer's Guide

2021 Toyota Prius
Select a Different Model (10 Available): 20th Anniversary Edition Hatchback
Fuel Economy $ 54 / 50 mpg
Safety (IIHS) Good
Horsepower 121@5,200
Torque 105@3,600
See All Specs
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2021 Toyota Prius MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Available AWD
  • Exceptional efficiency
  • Great cargo capacity

Cons

  • Clumsy infotainment
  • It's real slow
  • Yikes … that styling

The Prius is Toyota's ubiquitous hybrid hatchback, famous for its fuel-sipping frugality. Toyota debuted the fourth-generation model for the 2016 model and gave it a major update for 2018 by adding the AWD-e option to the family. It competes against other dedicated hybrids including the Honda Insight, Hyundai Ioniq, and Kia Niro.

What's New

  • Prius 2020 Edition
  • More advanced Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 replaces Toyota Safety Sense
  • Android Auto is now standard on all but the Limited trim

What We Think

Throughout its tenure as a part of Toyota's lineup, the Prius has prioritized efficiency above all else. The 2021 model, largely unchanged from 2020, continues that tradition with exceptional fuel economy but plenty of compromises. One such sacrifice made at the altar of the MPG is the Prius' styling. Its shape clearly illustrates aerodynamic design but you're unlikely to hear anyone describe it as pretty.

The Prius is also an undeniably slow car, which is harder to swallow when a similarly efficient hybrid like the Honda Insight beats the Prius to 60 by over 2 seconds. In our comparison of the two Japanese hybrids, we lauded the Prius for its capacious cargo capacity and consequent usefulness as an Uber or Lyft vehicle. The segment-exclusive available AWD-e system makes a nice option for folks in snowy areas, too.

We do take issue with the Prius infotainment system, though. It's slow to respond and slow to boot up; we felt like we were constantly waiting to enter our next input. Even little adjustments like changing the radio station or adjusting the temperature or fan speed can be lengthy, frustrating affairs.

So the Prius is as frugal and practical as ever, but it's still a flawed vehicle. Some folks are willing to make huge sacrifices for fuel efficiency.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Prius' powertrain is unchanged for 2021, meaning a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder paired with one electric motor up front, plus an additional motor out back if you opt for the Prius AWD-e. System power sums to 121 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque. Based on our testing, both FWD and AWD Prius models accelerate to 60 in 9.8 seconds, though AWD models hold a slight advantage off the line.

As far as efficiency goes, every Prius is an accomplished fuel-sipper. The fuel economy all-star of the lineup, the Prius Eco, is rated at 58/53 mpg city/highway as a 2020 model (2021s haven't been rated as of this writing). Opt for the standard or AWD Prius and you'll return an estimated 54/50 mpg or 52/48 mpg, respectively.

Safety

Although the 2021 model has not yet been evaluated, the identically structured 2020 Prius puts in a great performance in IIHS safety testing. The hybrid hatch earns the highest possible ratings in five of six crashworthiness evaluations and a second-best Acceptable score in the front passenger side test.

The Prius also receives the highest available ratings for front crash prevention and child seat anchor ease of use, and an Acceptable score for its LED headlights. For its performance, the Prius is a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick. The 2020 Prius also earns a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.

One of the changes for 2021 is that the Prius upgrades from the first generation of the Toyota Safety Sense driver-assist suite to Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. TTS 2.0 is standard on all Prius cars and includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and road sign assist.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

There's plenty of room up front with 42.3 inches of legroom but things are a little tighter out back with only 33.4 inches. Cargo room is more impressive; with 24.6-27.4 cubic feet of volume behind the rear seat and 50.7 cubes with the seats folded down, the Prius out-hauls plenty of small crossovers.

Technology

Toyota's standard infotainment setup for the Prius includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Six-speaker audio comes standard as do three USB ports. Higher trims get an 11.6-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash.

Key Competitors:

  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Kia Niro
  • Honda Insight
  • Toyota Corolla Hybrid

 

 

2021 TOYOTA PRIUS SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl 1.8 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, Continuously Variable Automatic (P112)
Trim
20th Anniversary Edition Hatchback
Class
Passenger Car
Horsepower
121@5,200
Standard MPG
54/50
Body Style
Hatchback
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
24
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Miles
25,000
Roadside Assistance Months
36
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Toyota announces special APR Financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Toyota announces special APR Financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Toyota announces special APR Financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$1500 Toyota announces a Customer Cash offer on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$500 Toyota announces a College Graduate Rebate on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$500 Toyota announces a Military Rebate on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$1000 Toyota announces Bonus Cash on select models for eligible current owners. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$750 Toyota announces a Bonus Cash offer on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021
$1000 Toyota announces a Loyalty Bonus Cash offer to current TFS Prius or Highlander G/H lessees when leasing a new select model. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 07-06-2021