2021 Toyota Prius

MSRP range: $24,525 - $32,650
4.5 out of 5 stars(13)
MSRP $26,262
Edmunds suggests you pay $26,331

What Should I Pay
At a Glance:
  • 7 Colors
  • 7 Trims
Build and Pricetoyota.com

2021 Toyota Prius Review

  • Capable of returning 50-plus mpg
  • Quiet cabin, even with the gas engine engaged
  • Easy to see out of and maneuver around town
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Offset instrument panel is out of driver's direct line of sight
  • Acceleration can be sluggish
  • Jittery ride quality on rough pavement
  • Standard infotainment system looks and feels dated
  • Limited-production 2020 Edition
  • Android Auto smartphone compatibility
  • Minor enhancements to advanced driver safety aids
  • Part of the fourth Prius generation introduced for 2016

The Toyota Prius is easily the most well-known and influential hybrid sold. Over the years, the Prius has evolved and steadily gained fuel efficiency and capability. Toyota introduced the current generation for the 2016 model year and made a variety of updates for 2019. The 2021 Prius boasts up to an EPA-estimated 56 mpg in combined city/highway driving, which is excellent for a hybrid. You can even get it with all-wheel drive to help out with traction on icy or snowy roads.

To keep the Prius competitive, Toyota also fits the Prius with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and a suite of advanced safety features that's standard on all Prius trims. Some noteworthy competitors on sale today include the Honda Insight and the Kia Niro. Toyota also offers hybrid variants of its Camry, Corolla and RAV4. Their fuel economy isn't as high, but their more conventional styling and/or greater practicality make them viable alternatives as well.

What's it like to live with?

To learn more about the Toyota Prius of this generation, read about our experiences from living with a 2016 Toyota Prius. After its debut, we went out and bought one and racked up more than 30,000 miles. We cover everything from this hybrid's real-world fuel economy to seat comfort and cargo space. Please note that the 2021 Toyota Prius differs from our long-term 2016 model in that the newer model has updated styling and more standard features. It's the same generation, though, so most of our observations still apply.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert RatingThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Toyota Prius is synonymous with hybrid vehicles, and for good reason. It's comfortable, highly efficient and practical. Although "fun!" is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Prius, it's good where it matters.
You're not buying a Prius to get engaging performance. In Edmunds testing, our all-wheel-drive Prius test car covered 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds, which is among the slowest cars around, hybrid or not. (Perhaps somewhat paradoxically, the lighter, front-drive Prius was marginally slower.) The Prius is also pretty tepid when it comes to agility and handling precision.

We do like the Prius' easy-driving nature and its smooth transitions from electric motor drive to gasoline engine power. Another Prius advantage is its available all-wheel drive. It should be noted, though, that the rear wheels only intervene when the front wheels lose traction. So in most dry-weather scenarios, you'll never feel them working.
The front seats are softly padded. Most drivers will find them comfortable for the long haul, though taller drivers or those with long legs might find the seat bottoms to be a few inches too short. The cabin is generally quiet unless you floor the gas pedal, at which point the engine gets rather raucous.

Another downside is the Prius' ride quality over broken pavement and concrete expansion joints. The impacts from these types of bumps can make the car feel jittery. Since the car is so quiet, these bumps are perhaps more noticeable than they'd otherwise be.
The Prius is a fundamentally easy car to get into and drive. Aside from the shifter, all other controls will feel immediately comfortable to the majority of drivers. Most drivers should also be able to find a comfortable driving position thanks to the seat's wide range of adjustability.

But we wish there was more telescoping range in the steering wheel, and most of the instrument panel information is not in the driver's line of sight. The 11.6-inch screen on the top-tier Limited model has most of the car's climate control settings and buttons in on-screen submenus. From an ease-of-use standpoint, it seems like a step backward from the dedicated physical buttons on lower Prius trim levels.
As advanced as the Prius is from a powertrain standpoint, it can seem a little odd that it comes up a bit short in in-car tech. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but the standard infotainment system looks and feels dated. Even the big 11.6-inch screen on the top-tier Limited model seems like a gimmick since Toyota doesn't do much to take advantage of the larger space.

The Prius, however, comes standard with a full suite of advanced driving aids. Most of them work well, and the adaptive cruise control can bring the Prius to a complete stop.
Thanks to its cavernous hatchback cargo area and fold-down rear seatbacks, the Prius is quite useful for carrying luggage, groceries or whatever else you want to put back there. Up front, there's enough in-cabin storage for the daily odds and ends, and the cupholders securely hold beverages under the circumstances in which most Priuses are typically driven.
The Prius is known for its frugal use of gasoline. The EPA estimates a range of up to 56 mpg in combined city/highway driving for the Eco trim level or down to 49 mpg with all-wheel drive. In our own fuel economy testing of a couple of Prius test cars, we've been able to verify that the EPA's estimates are achievable in real-world driving.
The Prius' interior feels well built even if some cabin materials are a little too plasticky. It's still one of the best vehicles for fuel economy, and the AWD version delivers some extra assurance for drivers who live in snow country.

As for warranties, Toyota gives you its regular coverage, which includes a longer duration (eight years or 100,000 miles) for the hybrid components. You also get Toyota's two free years of scheduled maintenance.
The Prius isn't exciting to drive or filled with luxury features. Instead, the Prius is all about being easy-to-drive, practical and comfortable and, of course, saving on gas.

Which Prius does Edmunds recommend?

It's tempting to keep the Prius basic, maximizing both cost and fuel efficiency, but we'd splurge a little and get the midgrade XLE. We prefer the XLE's heated simulated-leather seats, the standard wireless phone charger, and auto-dimming interior mirror as well as the available option packages should you want a sunroof or head-up display.

Toyota Prius models

The 2021 Toyota Prius is a four-door hatchback hybrid that seats five passengers. The front-wheel-drive model is available in five trim levels: L, LE, XLE, Limited and the new 2020 Edition. The Prius AWD-e, which has all-wheel drive, is offered in the LE and XLE trims only. Significant features include:

L Eco
Fairly basic, but includes:

  • 121-horsepower hybrid powertrain with a four-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission
  • 15-inch wheels
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Keyless entry (driver's door only) and ignition
  • Automatic climate control
  • 7-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility

All Prius trims also come with:

  • Full-speed adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the Prius and the car in front down to a stop)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Automatic high beams
  • Road sign assist (displays relevant road signs such as speed limits)
  • Automatic emergency braking (warns if a front impact is imminent and applies the brakes if you don't respond in time)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while you're in reverse)

Adds a few features, with:

  • Rear window wiper
  • Parking sensors (alerts you to obstacles that may not be visible behind or in front of the vehicle when parking)
  • Automated parallel parking system (steers into a parking spot with no driver intervention)

Adds nice-to-have features such as:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Keyless entry (for both front doors and rear hatch)
  • Simulated leather seating surfaces (SofTex)
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Heated steering wheel and front seats
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat

2020 Edition
Adds unique styling details with:

  • 17-inch black-painted wheels
  • Black exterior and interior trim
  • Special floor mats

Tops the range with:

  • Head-up display
  • Navigation system
  • 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Upgraded audio system
Latest Toyota News from Edmunds
Watch Review
2022 Toyota Tundra First Look | Toyota's Full-Size Pickup Gets a Redesign | Price, Updates & More

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Toyota Prius.

Average user rating: 4.5 stars
13 total reviews
5 star reviews: 69%
4 star reviews: 23%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 8%

Trending topics in reviews

  • handling & steering
  • climate control
  • technology
  • sound system
  • road noise
  • cup holders
  • interior
  • maintenance & parts
  • appearance
  • fuel efficiency
  • dashboard
  • infotainment system
  • visibility
  • doors
  • warranty
  • wheels & tires
  • lights
  • steering wheel
  • comfort
  • seats
  • safety
  • acceleration
  • value

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Prius is still the king in my book.
Pete in Florida,
XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I bought my 2021 Prius XLE a little over a month ago. This is my 4th Prius I've owned. This one is definitely my favorite. Heated seats and heated steering wheel, all the safety stuff, Alexa and Android Auto, leather. The car feels more substantial than the other Priuses I've owned. Fuel mileage obviously is insane, 55 mpgs on the highway, and city driving is always over 60 mpgs. The handling seems better than the earlier versions. The car also seems to have more power when in using purely electric. No, this is not the PRIME version of the Prius. I mean when one is just driving in city traffic, there seems to be more power. The car drives more solidly, with not a single rattle or odd ball noise. The car is perfect.
5/5 stars, new to hybrids review
LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
There is a lot to learn for someone who has never driven a hybrid or a car with as much info on the instrument cluster as the 2021 Prius Hybrid LE with AWD. So far, the car is handling well and there is lots of interior space. I am entertained by the car's evaluation of my driving efficiency after I turn the power off. So far, I have been told that I accelerated too much, used the A/C efficiently, need to moderate my use of A/C, could drive at more consistent speeds.
5/5 stars, 1st hybrid, so far, love it
surly jason,
LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I've owned a ton of cars through the years; back in 2014, I got a Prius as a rental car and remember enjoying it very much. I finally got tired of putting gas in my tank and started doing some research on Prii -- they are made in Japan and have legendary reliability. Checking fuelly, it seems like the later models all get about 50 mpg. I test drove several Prii but finally settled on a gray LE model with black interior. I've owned it about 3 weeks and 1,200 miles and really like it: it's extremely quiet, smooth and pleasant to drive. I've had to put gas in it twice which is a welcome relief. It's not that I can't afford gas, I just hate stopping to put it in. I no longer feel compelled to gas up after taking a 200-mile trip because there's still about 350 - 400 miles of range left (which is what many cars have with a full tank -- like my previous CRV, for instance). I can't imagine going back to a conventional car that gets conventional mileage. There is definitely a place for larger vehicles -- like if you have a large family, you're a tradesman and carry a bunch of stuff around, or you tow things -- but I bet if lots of people were honest with themselves and what their needs are, and they tried a Prius, they'd be pleased. I am extremely happy with my purchase.
5/5 stars, excellent mature vehicle
james nicol,
LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
perfect for most driving applications excellent seating and hatchback versatility would prefer an old school cd player option made in japan prius le awd base bullet proof ---all you need is this and a 4runner for ever

2021 Toyota Prius videos

ELANA SCHERR: The epic battles of automotive history-- Corvette vs. 911, F-150 vs. Silverado, 3-Series vs. C-class, Camaro vs. Mustang. DAN EDMUNDS: And don't forget-- Honda Insight vs. Toyota Prius. [MUSIC PLAYING] ELANA SCHERR: These high mileage hybrids represent another iconic car pairing. DAN EDMUNDS: That's right. These are the longest-running names in the hybrid business because they're the ones that started it all. ELANA SCHERR: Today, we're going to figure out which of these two is right for you. DAN EDMUNDS: But before we get into that, remember to use Edmunds next time you're ready to buy a car, truck, or hybrid vehicle. And click Subscribe if you want to see more videos like this one. ELANA SCHERR: Also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. [MUSIC PLAYING] With EVs, plug-in hybrids, and standard hybrids on the market, it can get confusing knowing which car falls into which category. The Prius and the Insight we have here are standard hybrids-- no range anxiety or need for a home charger. These guys charge their own batteries. DAN EDMUNDS: And they can do that because they have electric motors paired with their gasoline engines. Those motors don't just move the car forward, they also generate electricity and slow the car each time you hit the brakes. And that's why hybrids get such great fuel economy. In fact, most deliver higher city mileage than highway mileage. So the Prius is actually a really nice place to sit if you're the driver. That didn't used to be the case-- at least for me. But this new generation that's been around the last couple of years, they lowered the seat, they made it height adjustable, and they improved the reach of the steering wheel. So it's a more normal driving position. I don't feel like I'm in a bus. Car's a little bit narrower than I might like, but certainly my headroom and leg room-- plenty of that. After that, the weirdness of the Prius starts to become apparent. For one, I've never been a fan of the centrally-mounted instruments. The other thing that always bugs me is this shifter here. It's so bad that they have to put a beeper in it in case you put it in reverse inadvertently. You couldn't tell otherwise. It's also got a park button and a park brake, which always gets people confused. But other than that, the climate control system is really easy to use. These are nice, big cup holders-- seat heaters are here. The stereo in this Prius doesn't have Apple CarPlay, but that's going to change in 2020. But you will lose the CD player, which is here now, and it won't be next year. Well, that's about it for the front. Elana, how are you doing in back? ELANA SCHERR: Actually, it's great back here. I mean, you're a tall dude, and I got plenty of space, lots of headroom, two USB ports, and cup holders. DAN EDMUNDS: Nice. Well, why don't you hop in the front and let's go for a drive? ELANA SCHERR: Do they have cup holders up there? DAN EDMUNDS: Oh yeah. ELANA SCHERR: I feel like the Prius is a really good example of a car where if you haven't been in one in a few years, your idea of what it's like to drive one is just totally wrong now. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, absolutely. A couple of years ago, they redesigned the car completely, made it look a little bit more like a Dart. And in the process of doing that, they really improved it in a lot of ways, actually. Driving position here where I am is much better. And then the ride is also more refined and smoother because they've replaced the old twist beam suspension with a multi-leg setup. And that just makes the ride that much more pleasant. It also improves the handling, the steering is good. The main dynamic problem I have with it is the way the brakes feel. ELANA SCHERR: They feel very soft. It's not that they don't stop the car-- they will stop the car fine. But they feel-- what's the opposite of confident? Insecure. They have insecure feeling brakes. DAN EDMUNDS: What's going on is this kind of a brake by wire system. So when you press the pedal, you're really telling the computer you want to slow down. And it's looking at how hard and how far you press the pedal and kind of determining how much stopping power to give you. And then it decides well, I'll use the magnetism of the electric motor or I'll use the friction brakes or maybe both together. And so as a result, you're not really pushing on a master cylinder like you are in every other car. Now, all electrified cars-- electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids-- they all have brakes like this. But for some reason, the Prius has just never gotten any better from what they landed with about 20 years ago when the car came out. And the biggest thing for me is when you back out of a parking space, because you're trying to just kind of lightly dab the brakes and they're a little too grabby at that point. And it just doesn't feel right. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, it would be hard to stage this car for a dragster. Speaking of dragsters, my feelings about the Prius are always like, oh my god, it's the slowest car you can buy. And that is not true anymore. DAN EDMUNDS: No. It's no problem when you want to merge onto a freeway or past somebody. I mean, it's not a speed demon, but it certainly has enough power to get out of its own way. ELANA SCHERR: Well, and then we took these cars all the way up in the mountains because we wanted to be surrounded by trees because we're eco conscious. We're saving gas. We're saving the environment. DAN EDMUNDS: And we like trees. ELANA SCHERR: And we like trees. And we had some serious hills to get up here, and the Prius seemed like it had no problem doing that. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. And in the past, a Prius might have made a lot of noise as the continuously variable transmission spun up the engine. But now they've got more sound insulation, and it's not nearly as noticeable as it has been in the past. On coarse roads like this one, you'll hear a little bit of road noise because these are low-rolling resistance tires and they're kind of skinny. And there's just only so much they can get a tire to do when they're trying to maximize them for fuel economy. ELANA SCHERR: Something that we're seeing in pretty much all new cars is all these different changeable modes, right? Because you're no longer stuck just with however the car was designed originally, because there's computers controlling everything. So when you're in a performance car, a lot of times they have modes like comfortable driving, semi-sporty driving, and then hardcore track driving. When you're in EVs and hybrid, it's almost the opposite. The different modes are not to be more power usually, they're sort of more efficient. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, exactly. In this car, you've got the normal mode, which is just fine. You can get the rated fuel economy. In fact, we've had 48 miles per gallon on the way here without really trying very hard. But there is an eco button, and it really just kind of helps by making the throttle a little deader-- in case you're a lead foot, maybe it helps you out-- ELANA SCHERR: Was that directed at me? DAN EDMUNDS: If you can't help yourself. ELANA SCHERR: Was that, like, very pointedly directed at me? DAN EDMUNDS: I didn't say-- ELANA SCHERR: You looked at me. DAN EDMUNDS: I said you in a kind of a more general sense. It wasn't you. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, it was me. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. Anyhow, that also turned down the air conditioner a little bit. And on the other end of it, there is a power mode which will use more fuel but will help make it a little bit more responsive. But really, this car is just fine in normal mode. You really don't get a lot for either of those other two modes. Now, there is another mode, an EV button is here. And if you're going slow enough, you can cruise along a little ways in electric mode. But it isn't really anything you can do for any distance. ELANA SCHERR: Is that mostly for light coming quietly into a neighborhood or tooling around a parking lot? Or is it kind of just a for show thing? DAN EDMUNDS: It's one of those things where it feels like something you can amaze your friends with, but it's not enough to actually go anywhere in that mode. And if you get on the throttle at all and ask the car to accelerate even a little bit, it pops out of that mode right away. ELANA SCHERR: This is a really pretty road, and it's also a very curvy road. DAN EDMUNDS: Yes. ELANA SCHERR: So you're behind the wheel right now, what do you feel? DAN EDMUNDS: The steering feels pretty good. It weights up in corners. The car follows the line I want it to go on. There's no surprises there. It doesn't feel like it's going to be affected by bumps that I might hit in the middle of the corners. And that's partially helped by the rear suspension, which is a lot more compliant than it has been in the past. It's just really easy to drive on this road and actually a little bit of fun. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, I was surprised because the design of the car, it looks kind of top heavy. But of course, it isn't. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. Well, one of the benefits of the lower seating position is you don't move as much when the car rolls in corners. And the car doesn't roll as much in corners because the center of gravity isn't as high. ELANA SCHERR: They put better tires on them now too, right? The very early ones had these kind of very hard, super low-friction tires. I felt like they didn't have a great grip. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, these are still low-rolling resistance tires, but the technology that goes into low rolling resistance tires has been improving for 20, 25 years. And so the tires that we have today can provide more grip. ELANA SCHERR: Dan, I think you and I have the same major complaint about the Prius. All right, say it on three-- ready-- one, two, three-- DAN EDMUNDS: The shifter. ELANA SCHERR: The center console-- oh. DAN EDMUNDS: What? No actually, I agree with you. ELANA SCHERR: I agree with you. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, they're both a little bit weird. I mean, the shifter in the Prius started out weird when they first introduced the car. It's so weird that they have to have a beeper inside the car when you're in reverse to let you know that you are in reverse because if you look at the lever, you won't be able to tell. Woo, corners. The center display is, well, it's in the center. And it's just not where I want to look. I want to look straight ahead at the road. Right here inside the steering wheel's where I expect the instruments to be. And they're just not there. ELANA SCHERR: Well, OK, to be totally fair, people like a little quirk in a car. DAN EDMUNDS: Well, that's true. ELANA SCHERR: I could get used to the information being in the center console. Even the Mercedes A-class and stuff is starting to have these big, long displays that go all the way across the dash. So obviously we as humans can get used to that. But they didn't do anything with the blank space behind the steering wheel. It's just this sad, blank piece of plastic. It just seems like such a design fail to me. DAN EDMUNDS: If I have to give it one positive point, it's because if your eyes don't focus as well as they used to, it's further away than it would be if it was right here. And that makes it easier to keep in focus. So I can just see it. ELANA SCHERR: That's a stretch. That's a stretch, Dan. DAN EDMUNDS: Is it? ELANA SCHERR: I think that's a stretch. DAN EDMUNDS: Talk to me in 10 years-- maybe 20. ELANA SCHERR: I will say, though, that the graphics that tell you how you're doing and what's recharging what and how full your battery is are a super fun game. And I understand why so many Prius drivers are doing weird braking things and driving slow in front of you, because they're recharging their batteries and they're watching it happen in real time. And it is kind of addictive. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the highest I've ever scored is 93 out of 100, and I don't know how to get to 100. ELANA SCHERR: I really enjoy getting into the Insight. First of all, it's a very friendly car. It makes a sweet humming sound when it's in the electric mode. And when you first get into the car when you have the key-- even before you turn it on-- it sort of plays you this little song like it's happy to see you. So I feel affectionate towards it. It doesn't hurt that it looks great too. I mean, I like it for its personality, but also it's got good looks. The materials are nice and they're interesting. Some of that is because we are in the touring tram, and so the power leather seats are something that you do pay for. But I think they're worth it. Everything is laid out nicely in the Insight. I know exactly how to work it even if I've never been in one before. It has a kind of funky push button shifter, but unlike some of the other cars with their very strange shifters, it's real obvious what you press to get what gear you need and also what gear you're in. I mean, it lights up. I do have one complaint about the shifter-- this is only going to be relevant to those of you who do this-- which is that the park button is really skinny, and I keep hitting my nail on it. And I'm kind of worried I'm going to break one. So Honda designers, hear me out. Think of the manicures. Another thing that's great about the interior is that it's all very adjustable. First of all, nice, big phone pad. You can fit a lot of different models in it. And the USB ports are right up next to where you're going to put the phone so you don't end up with a cord that's running all the way across your console. There's also a 12-volt outlet. Your different driving modes-- very clear, very obvious. There's cup holders in the console. It also slides back, and you can fit a giant Big Gulp. This armrest also slides back. So if like me you're short, you have your seat far forward, you can move the armrest far forward. And if you are Dan and you are tall, you can move the armrest back. And then you've got a console underneath. Very smart. Honda always does a good job with storage in the interior. Gauge clusters nice and clear, and you've got a nice infotainment screen. It's big, it's very clear, it has all these nice, physical buttons that run down it and a volume knob. And it works very well. But if you don't want to use it, you don't have to, because Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported. Because of the push button shifter, there's a lot of room up here in the front seat. But I don't know if Dan's going to say the same thing about the backseat. Dan? DAN EDMUNDS: Actually, it's pretty spacious back here. I've got plenty of leg room. It's nice and wide. My hair touches the roof just a little bit, but I'm 6 foot 2. So this is pretty decent. I could spend a lot of time back here. ELANA SCHERR: Unless you needed to charge a phone. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh right. There are no USB ports back here. This is the touring, right? ELANA SCHERR: Why don't you get in the front seat? You can charge up here. DAN EDMUNDS: OK. ELANA SCHERR: Dan, I'm hoping that this next drive gives us some insight into which one we like better. DAN EDMUNDS: I see what you did. ELANA SCHERR: I did that. DAN EDMUNDS: The Prius has certainly changed, but it's still following the same path it established when it was new. But the insight has really had a lot of twists and turns. It started out as a really weird little car that's still beloved by people who own them. And then it turned into something that tried to be a Prius. And now-- ELANA SCHERR: It looks like a regular civic. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah exactly, just with a more premium interior and a little bit less of a boy racer exterior. ELANA SCHERR: Hey, nothing against boy racers. DAN EDMUNDS: No. So how is this driving? I mean, it feels a little bit different than the Prius. ELANA SCHERR: I think the Prius feels a little bit more powerful. This engine seems to be working a little harder to make us move-- or at least it's making more noise about what it's doing. DAN EDMUNDS: It sounds like it's working harder, yeah. I don't know if it is. ELANA SCHERR: I mean, it isn't like it's not getting us up the hill. And if I'm not satisfied with it in the normal mode, I can put it in a sport mode and it does give me sort of a little more throttle response then so I don't have to floor it. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. This car feels like a real sedan. How does it drive? ELANA SCHERR: It drives like a real sedan. Actually, I think in some cases it drives better than what you'd expect from a real sedan, because it's kind of got that nice, low center of gravity. And you do feel that when you're going around corners because it doesn't feel tippy. I mean, the whole car is a little bit longer and wider than it used to be. And it's longer and wider than the Prius. DAN EDMUNDS: I mean, this looks and feels like a premium Civic not the kind of hybrid that the Insight used to be, which was a wannabe Prius. ELANA SCHERR: Well that's exactly what it is. It shares a lot of its underpinnings with the Civic. And it looks like a Civic. It's basically the Civic hybrid but with a fancy name. DAN EDMUNDS: What? I couldn't hear you about that engine there. ELANA SCHERR: Oh I know. How would you describe that sound? Sad cow? Haunted house? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah there's some of that. It sounds like it's complaining, but it's doing the job. I think it's just not as much sound insulation or something. You seem to be getting around these corners really easily. I see a smile on your face. ELANA SCHERR: It's actually pretty fun. This is a beautiful road. And to be able to take a car like this up here without worrying about the range or where I'm going to plug it in to charge it is kind of the whole point of getting a hybrid. DAN EDMUNDS: Exactly. Yeah, and it's interesting how these cars have such different approaches but they end up in the same place as far as fuel economy. They're both rated at about 52 MPG combined, which is outstanding. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah it's crazy. You think about how just 20 years ago a car that was getting that much would be full-on science fiction. DAN EDMUNDS: And really dinky. ELANA SCHERR: One of the things that I really like about driving the insight is the seats are so comfortable. DAN EDMUNDS: Right? ELANA SCHERR: Oh my god. We've been on a long drive for this shoot, and I have not wanted to get out of this car. DAN EDMUNDS: Power leather-- we are on the touring, so it has some of those bells and whistles. ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, I think you give up 2 or 3 MPG to get power seats and this fancy moonroof. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. The 52 MPG is the LX and the EX not the touring. ELANA SCHERR: But it's still very affordable, even in the touring trim. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh absolutely. I mean, yeah, you don't have to pay a lot of money to save money on gas. ELANA SCHERR: Which you used to. I mean, that is an incredible thing about the new hybrids. It used to be you were kind of doing it to make a point. You weren't really going to drive the car for as many years as you would need to make up how much more expensive it was than just getting a gasoline engine. But nowadays, they're really affordable. It's also not a forced look anymore. And that, I think, is what the Insight gives you over the Prius. You don't have to kind of join a community of hybrid people. You can just have a nice car that's a hybrid. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. The Prius is a little bit more like a tattoo in that regard. Everybody knows what you're in. ELANA SCHERR: So really when you're thinking about the two cars together, it isn't like a one is a better approach than the other, it's just that they're so different they really give you an option. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. Even though they're two different approaches, they're pretty much the same fuel economy. ELANA SCHERR: Which is interesting, because they don't drive the same. DAN EDMUNDS: Right. ELANA SCHERR: They're very different. So, Dan, which of these would you take home? DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, it's a close call. I like them both and there's things I don't like about them both-- the noise in the Insight and the brake pedal feel of the Prius, but those two things kind of cancel each other out. And in the end for me, it's the Insight, because it's the bigger, more mature car that I could see myself driving every day. ELANA SCHERR: I've got to go with you, Dan. I would also choose the Insight because I'm extremely shallow and I think it's prettier. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it is prettier. ELANA SCHERR: But seriously, in the end, it was so close. I did not expect it to be so close, but both cars were really pretty nice to drive and they would both be extremely useful as day lays. I think that the Prius might win out in terms of being more family friendly, because it's available with all-wheel drive and that hatchback. It just has a little bit more room for everybody. But the Insight looks so much better. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh yeah. Absolutely. And that reminds me in the past cars like this, you had to give up a lot to get high fuel economy. But that's not true anymore. Each of these is a great daily driver. You can't go wrong with either one. But in the end, the Insight is higher ranked on the Edmunds rankings. It's got the number one spot. ELANA SCHERR: So get out there, save some money on gas, and figure out what you're going to spend it on. [MUSIC PLAYING]

2019 Toyota Prius vs. 2019 Honda Insight -- Hybrid Comparison Battle

NOTE: This video is about the 2019 Toyota Prius, but since the 2021 Toyota Prius is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

When you think of long-standing car rivalries, you might not consider the 2019 Toyota Prius and the 2019 Honda Insight. You should. These two fuel-sipping cars were the vanguard of affordable hybrid technology in the late '90s. And today, they're still at it.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
58 City / 53 Hwy / 56 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.3 gal. capacity
5 seats
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 121 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque: N/A
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Length: 180.0 in. / Height: 57.9 in.
Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
Overall Width without Mirrors: 69.3 in.
Curb Weight: 3010 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 27.4 cu.ft.

Check a dealer's price
Bring back a dealer's quote, and we'll tell you if it's a good price!
Check your price quote
$ -
Build Your Prius
At a Glance:
  • 7 Colors
  • 7 Trims
Build and Pricetoyota.com
Vehicle shown with options using visual effects.


Our experts’ favorite Prius safety features:

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Detects cars or pedestrians and warns of potential collisions, then automatically applies the brakes if you don't react.
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
Alerts you if the car drifts out of its lane and can apply steering input to correct the course.
Intelligent Clearance Sonar
Alerts you to the presence of obstacles near the vehicle during low-speed maneuvers.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover10.7%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test

Toyota Prius vs. the competition

2021 Toyota Prius

2021 Toyota Prius

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Toyota Prius vs. Toyota Corolla Hybrid

The Corolla Hybrid is essentially a Corolla with the Prius powertrain. If you think it'd be hard to go wrong with this combination, you'd be right. If you're looking for a solid small hybrid and are turned off by the Prius' oddly styled interior, the Corolla Hybrid is a good choice. The only downside is the rather bare-bones nature of the single trim available.

Compare Toyota Prius & Toyota Corolla Hybrid features 

Toyota Prius vs. Honda Insight

As opposed to its more Prius-shaped predecessor, the current Honda Insight has a traditional sedan profile. Think of it as a hybridized Civic and you have the right idea. While the Prius is slightly more fuel-efficient, the Insight is the more refined vehicle and the hands-down winner in a side-by-side comparison.

Compare Toyota Prius & Honda Insight features 

Toyota Prius vs. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

If you're looking for a Prius alternative, you'd have to overlook quite a few good choices before you settle on the Hyundai Ioniq. Like the Prius, the Ioniq Hybrid is a hatchback and provides decent cargo room. But there are a lot more downsides to the Hyundai, such as jerky transmission shifts, grabby brakes and an unrefined ride quality.

Compare Toyota Prius & Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid features 

2021 Toyota Prius First Impressions

What is the Prius?

The Toyota Prius may not have been the first hybrid to go on sale in America, but it's easily the most well known and influential. Over the years, the Prius has evolved from an odd-looking sedan into an equally odd-looking hatchback, growing in both size and efficiency over the years. The current model was introduced in 2016 and benefited from a significant update in 2019, including available all-wheel drive.

Since its debut, just about every mainstream automaker sells or has sold a hybrid or electrified vehicle that draws some influence from the Prius. Some noteworthy competitors on sale today include the Honda Insight and the Kia Niro. Toyota also offers hybrid variants of just about every other vehicle in its lineup including the Camry, Corolla and RAV4.

We don't expect any major changes for 2021. The Prius is available as a standard hybrid and a plug-in hybrid that allows for a short amount of all-electric driving. Toyota started last year offering features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and a suite of safety tech on all Prius trims.

EdmundsEdmunds says

The Toyota Prius is far from the most exciting car on the road, but its combination of exceptional fuel economy, a roomy interior and a sizable cargo area has made it one of the most popular. It's not our favorite hybrid, but it's certainly worth a look if you're in the market. Check out our review of the 2020 Toyota Prius right here.


Is the Toyota Prius a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Prius both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.3 out of 10. You probably care about Toyota Prius fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Prius gets an EPA-estimated 49 mpg to 56 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that carrying capacity for the Prius ranges from 24.6 to 27.4 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Toyota Prius. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Toyota Prius?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Toyota Prius:

  • Limited-production 2020 Edition
  • Android Auto smartphone compatibility
  • Minor enhancements to advanced driver safety aids
  • Part of the fourth Prius generation introduced for 2016
Learn more

Is the Toyota Prius reliable?

To determine whether the Toyota Prius is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Prius. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Prius's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Toyota Prius a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Toyota Prius is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Prius and gave it a 7.3 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Prius is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Toyota Prius?

The least-expensive 2021 Toyota Prius is the 2021 Toyota Prius L Eco 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $24,525.

Other versions include:

  • LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $25,735
  • LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $27,135
  • 2020 Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $29,875
  • XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $28,575
  • XLE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $29,575
  • L Eco 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $24,525
  • Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $32,650
Learn more

What are the different models of Toyota Prius?

If you're interested in the Toyota Prius, the next question is, which Prius model is right for you? Prius variants include LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), 2020 Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). For a full list of Prius models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Toyota Prius

2021 Toyota Prius Overview

The 2021 Toyota Prius is offered in the following submodels: Prius Hatchback. Available styles include LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), 2020 Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), L Eco 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Toyota Prius models are available with a 1.8 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 121 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Toyota Prius comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The 2021 Toyota Prius comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Toyota Prius?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Toyota Prius and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Prius 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Prius.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Toyota Prius and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Prius featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Toyota Prius?

2021 Toyota Prius L Eco 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

2021 Toyota Prius LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

2021 Toyota Prius LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

2021 Toyota Prius XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

2021 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2021 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2021 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Prius Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Which 2021 Toyota Priuses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Toyota Prius for sale near. There are currently 3 new 2021 Priuses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $31,554 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Toyota Prius.

Can't find a new 2021 Toyota Priuss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $17,056.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Toyota Prius?

2021 Toyota Prius LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
52 compined MPG,
54 city MPG/50 highway MPG

2021 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
52 compined MPG,
54 city MPG/50 highway MPG

2021 Toyota Prius XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
52 compined MPG,
54 city MPG/50 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG52
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Drive Trainfront wheel drive
Displacement1.8 L
Passenger Volume120.5 cu.ft.
Wheelbase106.3 in.
Length180.0 in.
Height57.9 in.
Curb Weight3040 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Toyota Prius?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials