The 2022 Toyota Prius hasn’t changed much from last year’s version. Toyota dropped the “2020 Edition” trim name from last year and renamed it “Nightshade.” There are otherwise no significant changes to the car. It’s capable of getting more than 50 mpg, has great visibility from all angles, and is a mostly-convenient hatchback in design. There are, however, a few downsides as well.
The current generation of the Prius was introduced back in 2016 and is beginning to show its age. Infotainment is behind the times, acceleration and ride quality are sub-par for today’s compact market, and the weird offset instrument panel isn’t as cool-quirky as it might have been back in the day. The Prius’ MPG returns are still excellent, but other (better) hybrids are getting close to its equal for that–including models found the next stall over at the Toyota dealership.
While it’s expected that the Prius will see an update very soon, that hasn’t happened yet. The current generation, including the 2022 Prius, are long in the tooth and it’s beginning to show. Interior roominess is good, especially in the front seat. That bucks the trend for other Toyota sedan/hatchback models we’ve tried recently, which seem to be shrinking in the headroom department. The split-view window out the back of the Prius used to be a fun quirk but has become a point of heavy sighs now, especially since the washer/wiper for the upper window is an option and not standard.
The 2022 Toyota Prius still retains its spot as the go-to hybrid option for high-MPG-wanting buyers, though, and is still unrivalled there. But some are getting close. The Toyota Corolla Hybrid, for example, becomes a very close second to the Prius when perusing the Toyota parking lot. Considering the nicer interior experience and better ride quality of the Corolla, we’d pick that one instead unless headroom for someone over six feet is an issue.
To its favor, though, the 2022 Prius is very convenient. Getting over 50 mpg requires almost no effort from the driver, the interior is spacious for the car’s size, and it can comfortably seat four and haul a lot of their stuff with ease thanks to the hatchback design. We say four because, even though the Prius seats five, it’s a compact and no compact on the planet seats 5 people comfortably.
Having driven most of the trim options for the Prius, we’d recommend the XLE or the Limited models for most buyers. The XLE is the middle-road with some good accoutrements like rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a wireless charging pad. The semi-automated parallel parking system and rear window wiper are also nice things to have. The Limited model is the top-most trim level and adds a host of amenities to include the bigger 11.6-inch touchscreen and JBL audio system.
For those only looking for top-end MPG returns, the L Eco is where it’s at, but it dumps almost all of the niceties in the name of efficiency. But if you just want a pure econobox, that’s where it’s at. We’d recommend avoiding the AWD-e model as it doesn’t improve inclement weather driving and lowers MPG for little return. Every Prius, including the base model, comes with advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, emergency braking, etc.
The 2022 Toyota Prius is what it is. It’s the go-to high-efficiency model most people think of when they think “hybrid.” For getting from A to B without a lot of fuss or fuel, the Prius is a great choice. It’s not, however, a comfortable daily driver or family hauler when compared to nearly every other option on the road. The good news is that if you’re willing to sacrifice a couple of MPG points, you can get another Toyota that is better at those things. And if you’re willing to spend a little more, you can get a battery-electric option (though not from Toyota) instead.
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