Currently reading: Exclusive: New Toyota Prius will go on sale in UK
Hybrid front-runner was originally removed from the market due to demand for SUVs

The new Toyota Prius will go on sale in the UK, Autocar can reveal, having earlier been removed from the market due to higher demand for SUV models. 

Toyota originally cited an “evolving UK product strategy and changing market conditions” as the rationale for not offering the new, fifth-generation Prius in the UK when it was revealed last year. 

It said at the time: “The new model represents a very different proposition to its predecessor, alongside a clear shift in UK consumer demand towards more SUV-style vehicles.”

It added that Prius sales in the UK paled in comparison with its other hybrids, such as the C-HR crossover and Corolla hatchback.

However, the Prius hybrid hatchback will now be offered in the UK, Autocar understands, with an official announcement to follow. The business case for the model is likely to have been bolstered by strong sales of parallel- and plug-in hybrids, both of which had grown in year-on-year market share in the UK by the end of September.

2023 Toyota Prius rear tracking

The new Prius is based on the latest version of the TNGA platform, which underpinned the previous-generation model, with substantial modifications to improve stiffness, refinement and stability. 

Globally, it is available with two powertrains: a front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre parallel hybrid with 191bhp, and a four-wheel-drive 221bhp plug-in hybrid. The latter can cover 0-62mph in 6.7sec, which makes the current Prius the quickest to date.

The PHEV also receives a 13.6kWh lithium ion battery that is officially capable of providing 53 miles of driving under electric power alone.

A solar panel on the roof is said to add enough energy for up to around 777 miles of electric driving annually, but it is not yet confirmed whether this functionality will be available in the UK. 

Inside, the Prius has been reinvented with a focus on material quality and driver comfort. A 7.0in digital driver display is fitted as standard, positioned to minimise distraction while on the move, and paired with a new-generation central infotainment screen based on that from the latest  Corolla and Toyota RAV4

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2023 Toyota Prius dashboard

On the decision to dramatically reinvent its hybrid flagship, Toyota said: "While the Prius has played a leading role in driving hybrid use, the current spread of HEVs through a wide range of models means it has reached a turning point.

"The development team decided to start from scratch and look at what the Prius needs to remain popular for the next 25 years. Based on a desire to renew the Prius itself and communicate the appeal of hybrid cars to an even wider audience, the Hybrid Reborn concept was created."

Since launch in 1997, Toyota has sold around 5.05 million examples of the Prius worldwide, which, it says, equates to a CO2 saving of more than 82 million tonnes. A variation of the hybrid system it pioneered is now available in all core Toyota models on sale in the UK.

In Germany, prices range between €45,290 and €52,690 (£39,500 and £46,000), positioning the Prius well above the parallel-hybrid Corolla (from £30,225 in the UK).

Additional reporting by Felix Page

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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james14040 31 October 2023

great article guys

TStag 31 October 2023

It's the first desirable Prius. However it's too expensive to compete with the Tesla model 3 and MG 4. The former being better and the latter being better value for money

manicm 31 October 2023

This is a sports car, but with average performance - it sits too low to the ground for me to consider it as a family car to cart the kid around.I love it, but now it's truly a very niche vehicle, or for those who just do the shop run and not much more, and want to look cool doing so. In that respect it's better than a 911. Actually no, it's worse than a 911 - you can spec the German with nose-lift.