2024 Toyota Prius: The new Uber express to cost from £37,315 | CAR Magazine

New Prius arrives in the UK this summer with plug-in hybrid power

Published: 20 February 2024 Updated: 21 February 2024

► New fifth-gen Toyota Prius will soon arrive in UK
► U-turn on original decision to not sell it in Britain
► Orders open in March 2024 ahead of July deliveries 

The new Toyota Prius will soon be available to buy in the UK, with prices for the sleek new hybrid starting from £37,315. 

As you may recall, Toyota performed quite the U-turn after originally saying that it wouldn’t bring its new fifth-generation Prius to the UK due to falling demand for this type of vehicle, which was once the default choice for minicab drivers up and down the country. 

But that decision has changed, and soon the Prius will be back on sale in the UK – and we’re genuinely excited about it.  

What’s the new 2024 Toyota Prius cost and when can I get one?

At launch the new Prius will come in two trim levels, and the sole option of a 220bhp 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid setup. The more traditional self-charging variant is yet to be given the green light for the UK. 

Prices kick off at £37,315 for the Design trim, with a pretty comprehensive list of equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry. 

2024 Toyota Prius hybrid overhead

Above this is the £39,995 Excel trim, bringing big 19-inch alloy wheels, an electric boot and electric, heated and ventilated seats. You also get a digital rear-view mirror. It certainly seems more Uber Lux than Uber X.

Orders for the new Toyota Prius open on 4 March 2024, with first deliveries expected from July this year.

Why was Toyota axing the Prius in the UK?

Toyota must have some plans for the Prius, as the recent sales were not exactly barnstorming. The company registered just 563 Prius hybrids in Britain in 2022 and they were mostly sold to minicab operators, not more lucrative retail customers. Compare that number to the 18,000 Toyota C-HR hybrid crossovers sold in 2021 and you begin to understand the challenge Toyota faces.

At the time of the axing, a spokesman told CAR: ‘With our evolving UK product strategy and changing market conditions, we have taken the decision not to introduce the new-generation Prius in the UK as the new model represents a very different proposition to its predecessor – alongside a clear shift in UK consumer demand towards more SUV-style vehicles.

New Toyota Prius, rear

So what changed? Toyota UK has never given any official reason, but recent slowing EV sales and an increased demand for hybrid vehicles will have no doubt played a part in the U-turn. As will the strong reception this stylish and high-tech new Prius has received ever since its first reveal at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. 

The new 2023 Toyota Prius: the lowdown

The Prius is arguably one of Toyota’s most iconic models, but it’s now embattled by hybrid and PHEV rivals from all sides. So the new Mk5 Prius has had the kitchen sink thrown at it – from Toyota’s latest electrified powertrain and design cues from the bZ4x electric crossover to make its design less alienating.

It’s part of Toyota’s new design era, kicked off by a range of concept cars and the bZ4x EV, the company’s first EV. The wedge shape of the Prius remains intact, it’s 50mm taller with a 50mm longer wheelbase, and it’s 22mm wider than the last generation.

Inside, it’s full of design details and equipment shared with the bZ4x, too, including the small steering wheel and high-mounted driver display that’s meant to be viewed above the wheel, not through it (a little like Peugeot’s i-Cockpit design). A large central touchscreen features, too. 

Is the new Prius still an efficient fuel-miser?

The plug-in powertrain in the new Prius PHEV is one major reason to get excited by its imminent arrival – not something you can historically say about a Prius. The new model has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an e-motor making a combined 220bhp – punchy by Toyota’s usual standards.

This means a 0-62mph time of just 6.7 seconds. There’s also a new, bigger 13.6kWh battery pack which, Toyota promises, means an electric range of up to 53 miles, and exceptionally low CO2 emissions of 12g/km. 

Will we get the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition?

Unlikely, but it would be cool, right? Although given that Toyota now offers a GR Sport version of its Hilux pickup truck, it is possible that there will be a sportier version of its hybrid hatch.

Prius in Le Mans exhibition

Revealed at Le Mans 2023 to celebrate the race’s 100th running, the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition is essentially a tuned-up version of the Uber favourite and also highlighted Toyota’s commitment to hybrid tech.

So what’s different?

The new Prius is already a striking car, but this model goes one further thanks to a raft of motorsport-derived parts; you’ll find everything from side skirts to a large rear wing and diffuser if you scan the pics.  

The Prius’s track has been widened, and it now runs on 235/50 R18-inch tyres with aerodynamic wheels. Toyota has also added additional driving lights – because Le Mans.

It’s like a GR Yaris meets the sleek monocab silhouette of the world’s most famous hybrid…

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes