Toyota Prius, Toyota’s flagship hybrid underwent a comprehensive revamp for the 2016 model year. As such, the model is still fresh and the 2018 Toyota Prius is set to carry over from the current model with minimal changes if any. The liftback version of the Prius will go on sale first while the “C” subcompact and the “V” wagon will hit dealerships later on. The Prius Prime which was added last year as a 2017 model car will also carry over largely unchanged; this review, however, concentrates on the regular Prius liftback model.
2018 Toyota Prius Exterior
The hybrid is underpinned by Toyota’s TNGA platform. In terms of size, the model will carry over unchanged. However, in terms of its exterior design, there are reports that the model will get slimmer headlights with LED lighting as a standard for all models. The taillights housings will be revised as well with the new design adopting a wraparound look. According to rumors, the hood will be made of aluminum; in addition, carbon-fiber and high-strength steel will be used in more quantities than on the current version to reduce the model’s curb weight.
Other features carried over unchanged including the model’s automatic grille shutters, 15-inch alloy wheels and LED DRLs among others.
The 2018 Toyota Prius has a good layout of the cabin. The cabin features quality materials, latest technology as well as a host of advanced security features. The feature that attracts me the most is the smart device app that enables the driver to control the climate in the cabin, locate battery charging stations (in case you opt for the plug-in ) as well as enable one to examine his/her billing routine among other functions.
Connectivity is also taken care of as the model features voice control, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity as well as Smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. In addition, there is the Siri Eyes Free for users with iPhones. Base models come with two, 4.2-inch display screens but top trims feature a 6.1-inch touch-screen in place of one of the smaller displays.
For safety, the Prius is hooked up with Toyota’s Safety Sense suite which features emergency braking, lane-keep assist, pre-collision mitigation, automated high-beams, pedestrian detection, intelligent auto parking assist and adaptive cruise control. I expect the automaker to add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert for the 2018 model.
Engine and performance
A new generation of the Prius is expected either in 2019 or early 2020; thus, this being a facelift, I don’t expect the model to come with any mechanical changes. As such, I believe the current 1.8 L, 4-cylinder gasoline engine will continue powering all Prius models with the exception of the Prius Prime, V and C variants. The engine combines with an electric motor to produce 121 hp. The hybrid mill will still likely be paired with a CVT system that sends power to the front wheels.
While the base “Two “trim is equipped with a nickel-metal hydride battery, other trim levels are equipped with a lighter lithium-ion battery. In terms of fuel economy, the Prius returns 52 mpg on combined drives. The Eco trim which comes without features such as power seats as well as a spare tire to reduce weight returns as much as 55 mpg on combined drives. If you want more from the Pius, you can opt for the plug-in variant of the model, dubbed “Prius Prime that offers 22 miles range on electric power alone.
Pricing and Release Date
According to credible sources, Toyota will commence production of the Prius in the last quarter of 2017 with sales expected to begin in the second quarter of 2018. Therefore, I don’t think the automaker is yet to put a price tag on the model considering it is still too early. Due to the stiff competition in this segment, I don’t expect the model’s price to increase much from that of the current model. The current Prius prices range from $25,550 for the base trim to $30,000 for the top trim.