Take Your Pick: The Difference Between Prius Models

If you are looking for the Prius, you should know the difference between Prius models because each one brings something to the table.

Toyota Prius has always been a trendsetter. It pushes the limit again and again in terms of look, styling, and a few other features while the rest of the market follows later.

It has become so much popular that the name ‘Prius’ has become synonymous with ‘hybrid cars’ just like Kleenex or Vaseline.

The Difference Between Prius Models: A Head-To-Head Comparison

The car has set the standards for hybrid automobiles. Toyota was also quick to capitalize on its popularity by launching four variants – Prius, Prius C, Prius V, and Prius Prime. 

What are the differences between Prius models? Read on to learn the features that make them unique to each other.

The Overview

You need to get to know about all the versions to take the full advantage of these Prius model comparisons.

With a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, the standard Prius is a midsize model – standing comfortably between a compact car and a hatchback. It features an edgy styling exuding a futuristic aesthetic.

types of priuses
With a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, the standard Prius is a midsize model. (Photo: Autoplus)

The C model is the smallest Prius of all the versions featuring the appearance of a traditional hatchback. With a small powertrain, it draws its power from a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid engine.

The Prius V is the largest Prius in the lot, imitating the look of a wagon. The engine is similar to the Prius standard but returns a slightly lower fuel efficiency due to its larger build.

The Prime is the premium model of this line. Its higher fuel efficiency keeps it ahead of all other versions. Also, it is the only Prius that can run exclusively in all-electric mode (EV mode).

Check out the comparison between the standard model and other versions to determine the difference between Prius models.

Prius Vs Prius C

‘C’ stands for ‘compact’. If you live in the city or have to manage with a tight parking space, the Prius C is the ideal car.

Compared to the standard version, the C has a more cheerful look but it has to compromise with the interior fit and finish to keep the price and size down.

The main difference between Prius and Prius C lies in the engine power and fuel economy. The standard model yields 121 horsepower and produces 54/50 mileage in the city/highway. 

Whereas, the C version’s mileage is 53/46 in the city/highway. Its 1.5-liter engine can produce 99 horsepower.

difference of prius models
The C version’s mileage is 53/46 in the city/highway. (Photo: Hot Cars)

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The cargo space is 17.1 cubic feet, the lowest of all the models. However, the space is still decent considering that the Prime (the premium model) has almost 2 cubic feet more space.

The interior features and controls of the Prius C are thoughtfully designed and positioned. But, it will get a minus point due to the unimpressive acceleration.

Prius Vs Prius V

The letter ‘V’ in this car denotes ‘versatility’. It shares the same drivetrain as the standard version but with some tweaks. You will get 43/39 mpg city/highway mileage with a maximum 134 horsepower.

It has a ‘Pitch and Bounce’ feature that can sense the fluctuations on the road. It has tall rear doors, taller roofline, and other standard features available across all the models.

prius comparison model
The letter ‘V’ in this car denotes ‘versatility. (Photo: Ahora Motor)

However, the Prius V excels all other versions in terms of cargo capacity. You will get 40 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are pushed forward.

It will extend to a whopping 67.3 cubic feet – almost similar to some SUVs – when you drop the entire rear row.

The big boy looks traditional, a source of comfort for those who are at unease with the edgy, aggressive looking Prius standard.

Prius Vs Prius Prime

This comparison is the last segment in the difference between Prius models. The Prime is the high-class type of Prius in the line.

Based on the older Prius plug-in version, it is more expensive and updated because of adding a few bells and whistles.

The Prime is actually the most expensive of all the variations. It costs a few thousand dollars more than the regular make. It looks almost similar to the standard one except for some features in the front side like the lined headlight clusters.

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The interior features of the Prime are also better than other versions. It has a head-up display, center touch screen, and many other unique additions. 

The 19.8 cubic feet cargo space is smaller than the regular Prius model (which offers 21.6 cubic feet) but it is still decent for a hybrid car. Overall, the Prime focuses on quality instead of quantity.

prius vs prius prime
The Prius Prime is actually the most expensive of all the variations. (Photo: major-auto)

FAQs on The Difference Between Prius Models

  1. What does Prius mean?

Prius is Latin for ‘previous’ or ‘before’. 

Its name can be understood as a reference to the fact that there had never been a mass-produced hybrid automobile before the Prius’ Japan premiere in 1997.

  1. Is the Toyota Prius still among the greatest hybrid cars in the market?

Overall, it can be the finest hybrid vehicle on the line. 

Only the Hyundai Ioniq Blue, with 59 mpg, outperformed it in a rating of the hybrid cars with the best gas mileage. 

The newest Prius will be the first Toyota car to achieve “Beyond Zero” emissions, as Toyota strives for maximum efficiency with the lowest possible emissions.

  1. Which Prius is the quickest?

Toyota Prius Prime

It has 26 more horsepower than the basic 2023 Prius and 99 more horsepower than the outgoing Prius Prime, making it the most powerful Prius ever. 

This is also the fastest Prius ever made. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and covers the quarter mile in 15.0 seconds at 95.4 mph.

  1. What is the most serious issue with the Prius?

According to RepairPal research, the most common Toyota Prius problem reported by genuine owners is a central multi-function display malfunction. 

The central multi-function display stops operating, which is frequently caused by a badly soldered internal connection on the display circuit board.

  1. Are Prius vehicles low-maintenance?

If you buy a Toyota Prius Prime, you should budget $4,098 for maintenance and repairs throughout the first decade of ownership. 

In addition, the car has a low 11.22% likelihood of having a significant repair, which is 10.28% lower than comparable vehicles.

  1. What is the distinction between Prius generations 2 and 3?

The engine, gearbox, and inverter arrangement are the first noteworthy differences between these two models. 

Everything changed dramatically between the 2009 and 2010 model years. Because of these powertrain upgrades, we now have a 1.8L 98 horsepower engine instead of a 1.5L 76 horsepower engine.

  1. How long will the battery in a Prius hybrid last?

A Toyota Prius’ battery life is 8-10 years, or around 150,000 miles. In terms of battery life, the Prius is one of the most dependable vehicles on the road. 

The hybrid battery is intended to keep its charge throughout the life of the vehicle and should last as long as the vehicle itself.

  1. Is the Prius the most dependable vehicle?

The Toyota Prius has a dependability score of 45, ranking it 10th out of 24 midsize automobiles on repairpal.com. 

The Prius received an above-average score and rating. A Toyota Prius’s yearly repair cost is $408. This average is among the best, resulting in low ownership expenses.

Check out this video from ChrisFix to know how to repair the hybrid battery in a generation 3 Prius 2010-2015!

The Final Words

Considering the difference between Prius models, it seems that each model has their own selling points. 

The regular make seems to be a balanced version. It sits in the middle in terms of cost and functions. However, you should still choose the car depending on your needs and personal preferences.