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2013 Toyota Prius Review

The Toyota Prius sits near the top of our rankings, thanks to its comfortable ride, roomy interior, great safety and reliability ratings, and low ownership costs.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Roomy interior and cargo space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Pokey acceleration
  • Cheap interior materials

Rankings & Awards

The 2013 Toyota Prius's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Compact Cars category. It was the winner of our 2013 Best Hatchback for Families award. Currently the Toyota Prius has a score of 8.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 50 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Toyota Prius Overview

Is the 2013 Toyota Prius a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Toyota Prius is an excellent choice in the compact car class. It’s a gas-sipping hybrid that offers a winning mix of ride comfort, interior space, reliability, and high fuel economy. Factor in its good safety ratings and it’s easy to see why we named it the 2013 Best Hatchback for Families. Notably, the 2013 Prius c, Prius v, and Prius Plug-in hybrids are reviewed separately. The Prius does have a few drawbacks though. If zippy acceleration or a luxe interior are a must – you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Used 2013 Toyota Prius Performance and Interior

The Toyota Prius has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which together produce 134 horsepower. This hybrid system delivers exceptional fuel economy: 49 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. However, it doesn’t exactly zip the car along with gusto. The Prius takes a leisurely 10 seconds to get from zero to 60 mph. Also, it can feel underpowered when climbing hills or passing slower vehicles. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard.

On the other hand, the Prius delivers a very comfortable ride. Its suspension soaks up rough pavement with ease, and despite some body lean around corners, the Toyota feels composed and secure on the road. Unlike many hybrids, its regenerative braking system works quite well. Once the driver lifts off the gas pedal, the electric motor begins to slow the car and uses this energy to recharge the battery pack.

Read more about Prius performance »

The Toyota Prius seats five and provides generous head- and legroom in both rows. The seats are soft and comfortable. That said, taller drivers may find the driving position awkward due to limited steering wheel adjustments. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. Lift up the Prius’ tailgate and you’ll find a roomy 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats upright. These 60/40-split seats can also fold flat for even more storage space. There are plenty of spaces to fit small items as well, including dual gloveboxes, a large center console, and a cubby under the dashboard.

All 2013 Prius models come equipped with a touch-screen infotainment system, CD player, Bluetooth, and a USB input. Available features include navigation, a head-up display, and satellite radio. The audio and climate control buttons are nicely arranged and easy to use. The touch-screen menus are user friendly as well. However, the Prius’ hard plastic surfaces leave the cabin looking and feeling cheap. Lots of road and wind noise tend to permeate the interior as well.

Read more about Prius interior »

Used 2013 Toyota Prius Prices

The price of a used 2013 Prius ranges from around $11,700 for the base model to around $14,300 for the Prius Five. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 50 Reviews Analyzed

This overview includes fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test scores, and much more. We've researched 50 Toyota Prius reviews to help you decide if the 2013 Prius is the right car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Toyota Prius?

The 2013 Prius has a perfect reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about reliability »

How Safe Is the Prius?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Prius a 2013 Top Safety Pick. The hatchback received Good ratings in all four areas tested. The Prius earned a perfect five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It received five stars for side impact safety and four stars for front and rollover crash safety.

A rearview camera comes standard on all except the Prius Two trim. Only the Prius Five is available with the Advanced Technology Package, which includes adaptive cruise control, Toyota’s Pre-Collision System (forward collision warning with brake assist), and lane keep assist.

See Prius safety scores »

Is the 2013 Prius the Best Model Year to Buy?

Toyota redesigned the Prius for the 2010 model year, and it received only minor updates until it was replaced by an all-new model for 2016. The 2012 Prius saw the majority of these updates, which include a standard touch-screen infotainment system. It’s the one to buy. You can pay more for a used 2013, 2014, or 2015 Prius, but you won’t find any extra features or equipment.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Prius »

Which Used Toyota Prius Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Prius hatchback has four trim levels. The base model Toyota Prius Two comes well equipped with a 6.1-inch touch screen, a CD player, Bluetooth, USB input, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, keyless entry, cruise control, and alloy wheels.

The Toyota Prius Three trim adds a navigation system, a rearview camera, satellite radio, and the Entune app suite (including Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Bing). The Toyota Prius Four trim adds JBL speakers, SofTex leatherette upholstery, and heated front seats. Lastly, the Toyota Prius Five trim adds LED headlights, and it’s available with a suite of active safety features.

You may want to consider a certified pre-owned Prius. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its CPO vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2013 Toyota Prius and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Prius or 2013 Honda Insight?

The Honda Insight is a hybrid that boasts a higher-quality interior than the Prius, and used models are typically much less expensive. All things considered, however, the Prius is the better pick. The Prius rates higher for reliability. It offers more seating and cargo space, a smoother ride, superior fuel economy, and better standard features. The Prius also offers driver assistance features that the Insight doesn’t, such as forward collision warning.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Prius or 2013 Chevrolet Volt?

The Chevy Volt has a few advantages over the Prius. This plug-in hybrid can drive up to 38 miles on battery power alone, which could save you money if you rarely drive long distances. The Volt also gets up to speed more confidently, and its cabin has nicer materials. While it’s better to drive, it isn’t the better buy. The Volt only seats four, and its rear seats are cramped. Its touch-sensitive controls aren’t very intuitive. It trails the Prius in reliability, and it also can’t match its gas mileage when driving in hybrid mode. The Volt yields just 37 mpg combined.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Prius or 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

Like the Volt, the Ford C-Max gets up to speed faster than the Prius, and its cabin looks much more upscale. Ultimately though, the Toyota is the better buy. The C-Max earns lower fuel economy estimates and a poor reliability rating. Also, its infotainment system is awkward to use, and its ride isn’t smooth.

Compare the Prius, Insight, and Volt »

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