2024 Toyota Prius Is Somehow A Sport Sedan Now

By March 14, 2024Toyota
2024 Toyota Prius

The 2024 Toyota Prius corrects the last car’s most important problem: its styling. Historically, the Prius was known for its impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, but it was never fun, exciting and, perhaps more importantly, attractive. The last-generation car was ugly as fuck. But with this one, Toyota seems to have given its frugal sedan a serious makeover, so much so, that it has somehow transformed into one of Toyota’s most accomplished sport sedans. But I do have questions.

2024 Toyota Prius Review: Straight Out Of Plastic Surgery

2024 Toyota PriusI don’t really know how to take in the 2024 Toyota Prius’ new styling, but it feels rather great to finally have one that doesn’t look like a soap bar that spent too much time in the microwave. Also, check out this color! Toyota calls it Maximum Yellow for, I’m assuming, maximum attention. It definitely worked at attracting eyeballs while I was driving it. The new Prius reminds me of a mid-life supermodel who just left plastic surgery screaming “check me out now, kids!”2024 Toyota PriusThe main reason the new Prius looks this good now is because its chief engineer, Satoki Oya, decided to change the entire styling direction for the car. Contrary to the old instructions that asked for a relentless pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency, which gave birth to those weird blobs, Oya, rather, gave the design team a lot more creative freedom.2024 Toyota PriusConsequently, this  gave birth to a different set of proportions. It also had a negative effect on aerodynamics. For instance, the car’s drag coefficient is now set at 0.27 versus 0.24. The new Prius is also 1.1 inches longer, 1.6-inches lower and 0.9 inch wider than the car it replaces. It still rides on the same platform as before, but it was given a much more aggressive stance, a sentence I never thought I’d once write in a Prius review. The car’s front track is a full 2.3 inches wider, while the rear grows two inches. Larger wheels (19-inch in the case of my tester) were installed nearer to the car’s corners for a meaner, more purposeful look.2024 Toyota PriusThe Prius still comes standard as a regular hybrid (as tested), or with plug-in technology in Prime form. The car I was driving was powered by a larger 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid unit (instead of the old 1.8L) that sees considerable gains in combined output. The Prius is now rated at 194 horsepower versus 121, resulting in a full 60% increase.2024 Toyota PriusHere in Canada, all versions come with all-wheel drive as standard equipment. There are only two trim levels to choose from; XLE and Limited, as pictured here. The starting MSRP varies between $40,531 and $46,671 respectively.

Why Is This So Much Fun To Drive?

2024 Toyota PriusOk so, no, the 2024 Toyota Prius isn’t as scalpel precise as a Volkswagen Golf GTI, nor does it pick itself up like a Subaru WRX. But it’s at least 50% more fun to drive than the last car. That feels totally weird, but also, great.Normally when I have a seriously fun sports car parked in my driveway for my job, I make it clear with my wife that I need at least one evening alone with it to push it to its limits on one of my favorite backroads. After a few days of seeing the new Prius parked in my driveway, I somehow got the urge to beat the shit out of it, so I ended up sneaking out of the house one evening when my girl and kid were sound asleep.The Prius’ driving dynamics are no longer the penalty box they once were. Instead, I was behind the wheel of a taught, well buttoned down and surprisingly responsive little sedan. Point its steering where you want the car to go, and it’ll respond at lightning speeds, at times almost feeling like a GR Corolla from the immediacy of its reactions. There’s serious enthusiast-friendly calibration here.Even the drivetrain turned out to being alright. Sport mode activates a more eager behavior from the continuously variable transmission (CVT), leading to a generally more energetic experience. Yes, there’s still the annoying elastic effect that’s expected from these kinds of transmissions, and although Toyota now masters hybrid technology, it’s impossible to mute out that droning engine sound when gunning the throttle. But this drivetrain still delivers thanks to a smooth and consistent combination of internal combustion and electric thrust. Every time I looked at the speedometer, I was shocked by how quickly the damn thing was going.But of course, one doesn’t buy a Prius to canyon carve it. Although pleasant, it’s not exactly where the car becomes the most efficient. Interestingly enough though, although I did spend a few days driving it like I stole it, the car still averaged a frankly impressive 6.5L/100 km. According to Natural Resources Canada, if you drive like an actual Prius, you’ll go down to an impressive 4.8L/100 km.There are, however, some pitfalls, and they mostly have to the with the car’s interior. Now, I want to make myself clear that this mostly has to do with my shape and height. Smaller drivers might not feel bothered by this, but I really didn’t like how the Prius’ windshield is so aggressively raked rearward.It kept feeling like the damn thing was going to hit me in the forehead, forcing me to adjust my seat in a laid back position. But once I did that, the steering wheel ended up annoyingly blocking the fighter-jet style instrument cluster (see image below).While I do admit that the Prius’ cabin presents itself as a well put together and generally ergonomically-friendly place to be – with a much improved infotainment system experience – it really misses the mark in terms of space optimization. This is weird, considering how much longer this new model is. Once that front seat had been adjusted for my frame, I could barely get my feet into the rear seating area. It’s just way too cramped back there, a problem the old, smaller car did not have.And it’s the same story for cargo space. Ok, fine, the Prius is still a hatchback, which makes it considerably more practical than most sedans of this caliber. But it’s also less practical than the car it replaces, which really doesn’t make sense. For reference, this new one will haul up to 674 liters of your gear, versus 776 liters in the old car.I’m happy Toyota found a way to finally seduce automotive enthusiasts with the 2024 Toyota Prius, I really am. But if it means taking a back seat to common sense like a spacious interior and cargo space, I’m not sure I enjoy this. It’s definitely a lot of fun to drive and much more interesting to look at, but for a car that was historically known for raising the bar in terms of engineering, technology and efficiency, this is not what I would call a revolutionary step forward. The new Prius may have gotten a boob job, but it lost a chunk of its charming personality in the process.

Clavey's Verdict

Review of the 2024 Toyota Prius by William Clavey
Compact Sedans

  • The new Prius is attractive!
  • The new Prius is fun to drive!
  • Still the fuel-sipper it always was.
  • A very bad use of interior space.
  • Somehow less cargo space than its predecessor.
  • Not more efficient than the old car.

7.5 / 10

Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.

Special thanks: Toyota Canada

Photography: Guillaume Fournier

Contact the author: [email protected]

William Clavey

About William Clavey

Automotive Journalist from Canada. Active collaborator at mainstream media outlets across Canada.

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