The Toyota Prius is making a comeback in the UK after being ousted by SUVs
Last year, Toyota said it would not bring the fifth-generation Prius PHEV to the UK because it couldn’t compete with SUVs. Now she is said to have changed her tune
30 October 2023 at 16:01
When Toyota unveiled the fifth-generation Prius, reaction to the car’s impressive performance and the concept’s looks was surprisingly strong. UK consumers were undoubtedly disappointed to learn that they would not be able to purchase the hybrid car. However, there is now hope.
The Prius will go on sale in the UK after being dropped from the lineup last year. Although the car is currently sold in mainland Europe, Toyota cited the UK’s preference for SUVs and crossovers as a rationale for not introducing it in 2023.
Now, though, strong demand for hybrids has prompted the automaker to introduce the new Prius in the UK, Autocar reports. Although the exact reason behind this change has not yet been revealed, it will undoubtedly be welcome for consumers who want something that is fuel efficient and with a sleek design.
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Read: 2023 Toyota Prius coming to Europe only as a 220 hp PHEV
The new Prius is offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model globally. However, in Europe, only the plug-in hybrid powertrain is available. It combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a front-mounted electric motor that produces 220 PS (164 kW / 223 hp). Meanwhile, the 13.6 kWh battery can take the car up to 53 miles (85 km) on the electric motor alone, according to local testing standards.
This powertrain makes the fifth-generation Prius a significant improvement over the fourth-generation model, and the theme of significant improvements continues inside. Toyota said it focused on giving the new model better materials and technology to make it a better place for owners to sit.
This is all well and good, but it also makes the new Prius more expensive. With a starting price of €45,290 ($48,055 / £39,536 at current exchange rates) in Germany, it’s not cheap for a car of this size. Regardless, Toyota must believe there’s enough interest in hybrids to boost sales.
There is good data to support this. A report from S&P Global published last week showed that hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) accounted for 10% of global auto sales in two of the past three months, suggesting there is a strong appetite for electric vehicles.