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2013 Toyota Prius Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Toyota Prius was new.


Interior: 7.2

Reviewers can’t come to a consensus on the 2013 Toyota Prius’ cabin materials. Some say the plastic materials look and feel cheap, while others think the materials are high-quality. One likes the interior ergonomics and another thinks the colors are attractive.

  • "Hard plastic dominates. Many of the interior panels give off the impression that this car was built to a price." -- Consumer Guide
  • "There are some downsides to this latest Prius, however. Most concern the interior, such as too many cheap-feeling plastics, an awkward driving position and the lack of an iPod adapter on most models." -- Edmunds (2011)
  • "Cabin ergonomics and the displays that monitor the activities of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system are top-notch." -- Automobile Magazine (2010)
  • "Automotive journalists often struggle to describe how one interior feels more upscale than another, or how one type of plastic can feel cheap and another won't - these things just are. With the Prius, Toyota made a number of good choices on both materials and eye-pleasing color combinations." -- Cars.com (2010)


Cloth seats are standard on the 2013 Toyota Prius, while heated front seats and SofTex eco-friendly faux leather-trimmed seats are available on higher trim levels. Reviewers agree that the Prius’ seats are comfortable and roomy, even in the back. One reviewer notes that the steering wheel doesn’t telescope far enough, which is a negative for tall drivers.

  • "Taller drivers will still have to contend with a steering wheel that's placed too far away, despite a telescoping column, as it doesn't extend nearly far enough." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "Legroom and foot space are ample. Headroom is good, too, though the very tall might wish for a bit more. The seat isn't wide enough to accommodate three adults for any length of time." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Even with the base model's fabric seats, there's plenty of cushioning on the bottom and plenty of support for the back." -- Cars.com (2010)
  • "The appropriately painted 'sandy beach metallic' Prius passed our rear-seat test with ease -- a 6-foot person can sit behind a 6-foot driver." -- MarketWatch (2010)

Interior Features

The 2013 Prius comes standard with auxiliary and USB audio jacks, Bluetooth, seven airbags, push-button start and Smart Key, which can unlock and start the car without a traditional key. The Prius can be equipped with safety features like a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane keep assist and Safety Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, a stolen vehicle locator, an emergency SOS button and roadside assistance. Other available features include a head-up display, a moonroof with solar panels that power the ventilation system, navigation, Entune touch-screen infotainment system with Bing search capability and Pandora Internet radio connectivity, a backup camera, satellite radio capability, HD Radio and an eight-speaker JBL audio system.

Most auto critics think the climate and audio controls are easy to use, but located a little far away from the driver, which makes them a stretch to reach. One reviewer thinks the available navigation system is confusing and hard to read. The digital gauges and displays get dinged for being distracting and difficult to see with sunglasses on.

See 2013 Toyota Prius specs »

  • "On the Prius II, audio and climate controls are logically arranged, if just out of easy reach for some drivers." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The digital instrument panel also features a floating layer that displays audio, temperature and trip computer information when the driver touches those controls on the steering wheel, minimizing eye movement. Some drivers might find the overall design a bit too busy-looking, however." -- Edmunds (2011)
  • "Digital gauges themselves, though, were nearly unreadable if you're wearing sunglasses, and still hard to read without them. No excuse for high-tech Prius being behind the curve." -- USA Today (2010)
  • "Nits include a navigation system that tried to guess (incorrectly) what you wanted before you completed typing it in. Also it flubbed finding our first hotel, thus giving us a fine tour of Florence, S.C., and did not easily dim for night driving." -- MarketWatch (2010)


The 2013 Prius has a large trunk for a hybrid car. At 21.6 cubic feet, the Prius’ trunk space rivals that of a compact SUV's. The Chevrolet Volt can hold 10.6 cubic feet of cargo and the Honda Insight can accommodate 15.9 cubic feet of cargo. Reviewers like the Prius’ large hatch opening, which helps when loading large or oddly shaped cargo items. They note that there are plenty of interior cubbies for storing personal odds and ends.

  • "Prius offers hatchback versatility with 60/40 split-folding rear seat backs, but be wary of the sloping glass roof panel when loading tall items. There's a large underfloor bin at the rear of the cargo area that can hold the roll-up cargo cover when it's removed. Cabin storage is plentiful, and includes a large bin under the raised center console, upper and lower gloveboxes, and a two-tiered console box." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In terms of versatility, though, the Prius is still a champ. The hatchback body style provides more cargo capacity than a typical midsize sedan, and the backseat offers plenty of space." -- Edmunds (2011)

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