$17,969 - $23,031

2018 Toyota Prius Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Toyota Prius was new.


Performance: 7.3

The 2018 Toyota Prius offers drivers excellent fuel economy and easy drivability. Around town, it offers respectable low-end pep and takes corners surprisingly well. On the highway, however, the Prius can feel strained when passing and merging. No matter how far the Prius’ 11.3-gallon gas tank takes you, the ride remains unruffled and quiet, making it easy to rack up the miles.

  • "There's also a satisfying burst of power off the line, which makes the new Prius feel quicker than it is. Its zero-to-60-mph time of about 10 seconds isn't going to thrill, but there's more than enough power when you need it. And the fuel economy is exceptional, which is of course the point." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The new Prius responds quicker, feels more composed and had less lean. The improvement is definite." -- Cars.com (2016)
  • "The new Prius still may not be an outright performance car in a dynamic sense, but it's no longer the one-dimensional econobox that enthusiasts love to hate." -- Motor Trend (2016)

Acceleration and Power

A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a continuously variable automatic transmission make up the Prius’ hybrid powertrain. With 121 horsepower, the Prius has enough power to keep up with the daily drive. Its electric motor gives it plenty of torque to get things moving quickly from a stop. However, you’ll need a fair amount of planning to pass other cars and merge onto the highway.

The major draw to the Prius is its fuel economy. It gets an outstanding 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. In the Two Eco trim, weight reductions help the Prius achieve 58/53 mpg city/highway.

  • “Combined output is a respectable 121 horsepower, but it's the powertrain's smooth function and delivery that impress, and of course its industry-leading fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2018 Prius sacrifices speed for mileage, so its sluggish acceleration is part of the package. With its excellent noise suppression and initial surge of electric acceleration, the Prius doesn't feel particularly slow around town. It mainly suffers during higher speed situations such as getting on a freeway or attempting to pass slower traffic." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "When I drove like a normal human being — without hypermiling or constantly flooring it — the Prius picked up speed with the pace of traffic easily and remained quiet while going down the road. At city speeds, the Prius seamlessly switched between its internal combustion engine and electric motor, even keeping pace for long stretches of 45 mph or so driving under nothing but electrons. The new Prius is also pretty good on the freeway." -- Motor Trend (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Prius is certainly not the nimblest compact car. Still, unlike previous Prius generations, it has good steering feel and feels somewhat eager around turns. The ride is quiet and comfortable, making it easy to drive around town and on longer treks.

  • "Smooth and precise, the 2018 Toyota Prius is comfortable, quiet and easy to drive. It's also agile. It's not a sports car by any stretch of the imagination, but it offers surprisingly sporty handling, which could not be said of previous versions of the popular hybrid." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "[The ride quality] feels more substantial on the road, so you get less noise, fewer jolts over bumps and a solid feel through the steering wheel." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Cornering and tight, quick transitions are now possible without big body roll, and fun-to-drive becomes part of the equation." -- Autotrader (2016)

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