2023 Toyota Prius: Classic hybrid, 52+ mpg, big winner 

“Eco-Chic” is how describes the 2023 Toyota Prius, and I think it fits. 

It’s a slick / sleek / nice-looking car. Nothing looks practical from the outside. It’s no longer a nerd car with for electron counters who wear medical tape on their army-issued spectacles. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

Even Car and Driver now calls the 2023 Prius “sexy”.  You’ve come a long way, baby, as the original cartoon Josie and the Pussycats sang.

 And by Toyota’s estimates, you can get a combined 57 miles per gallon if you don’t go too crazy on the motorways. 

Plus, it drives smoothly, handles well, accelerates well (196 horsepower, up from 121) and does all the car ‘things’ that a regular-ole gas-guzzler is supposed to do stupendously. 

But know this upfront:  For Bears, the 2023 Toyota Prius is effectively a two-seater, unless you put your petite parents or in-laws in back.  Because of the new stylish swooping roofline, it effectively has limited rear passenger room, which already had been cramped in previous generations. 

Still, monthly estimates for petrol costs are about $86 US.  That’s less than half the cost of fuel for the average midsize car. And we are all pinching our pennies these days, even the rich folk (so I hear). 

I remember when I tested the first-generation Toyota Prius back in the early part of this century.  I was driving it up the Colorado Rocky Mountains, up a 7% grade climb, and I swear, the engine sounded like it was stuck in second gear.  The engine whined like it was struggling horribly; the experience was traumatizing.  I had to call my friend and fellow automotive (and thoroughly Rocky Mountain) journalist Andy Stonehouse to reassure me that I wasn’t breaking the car.

Everything about the Toyota Prius has come a long, long way since then.  The first successful hybrid to come to market, the Toyota Prius has kept buyers impressed with its mileage and eco-friendly standards – and its continued ability to be a reliable yet effective car on the road.

Completely redesigned for 2023, this year’s Prius is even quicker once the light turns green than the 2022. You won’t notice any drag in acceleration, and you won’t get the feeling of ‘stall’ as you are waiting at a light or slowing to a halt, as in years past.  

Driving around town (as is the main purpose of the Prius IMHO) was easy breezy George and Wheezy.  It’s gotten bigger over the years (much bigger), but it’s still easy to park, especially in all those LGBTQIA++ places in town where parking, even for all your unanswered questions, is tight when available. 

Worth noting: the steering wheel’s design effectively blocks your view of the instrument cluster in front of you, making your direct view of your fuel levels and speed difficult. Also – your rear view is a bit cramped.  

Still, if you are all about the Benjamins (and what Bear isn’t?), urban Bears should check out the 2023 Toyota Prius when looking to buy new.

Bears and Benjamins.  Hmm.  That’s the Way I Like It – and it’s even Bear Disco with K.C. and the Sunshine Band. 

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