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2022 Toyota Prius: Choosing the Right Trim


The Toyota Prius is the car that started the hybrid sedan craze, and 25 years later, it’s still going strong. Of course, today the Prius faces numerous rivals, including competition from within its own family courtesy of the less-expensive Corolla Hybrid. The Prius also faces pressure from newer plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

However, for those who don’t have a parking space with access to an outlet and simply want an innovative, safe, and fuel-efficient mode of transport, the 2022 Toyota Prius makes a fine choice.

Toyota offers the Prius in several trims, and with an unusual option no other hybrid compact offers: all-wheel drive. Pricing runs from just under $25,000 up to about $35,000 for a loaded Limited.

Regardless of trim, every Prius uses the same 1.8-liter gas engine and electric motor combination, producing a combined 121 horsepower.

2022 Toyota Prius L Eco (Starting at $24,525)

The most affordable Prius is the L Eco. Costing about $1,000 more than the Corolla Hybrid, the Prius L brings a more futuristic look and interior, and a more versatile hatchback design.

Proving its commitment to safety, Toyota includes a complete set of passive and active safety systems, including front and side-impact airbags, rear airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, a tire pressure monitor, and electronic traction and stability controls.

On the driver-assist front, the Prius L comes standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-correcting capability, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Being the entry-level Prius, the L comes with simple features like 15-inch wheel covers on alloy wheels, auto-off bi-LED headlights, heated power outside mirrors, and LED taillights. Active grille shutters close to help improve aerodynamics at high speeds.

Inside the Prius L’s cabin, you’ll find all the expected features, including power windows and door locks, a 6-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, plus a tilt/telescopic steering wheel with controls for Bluetooth, cruise control, and audio.

Also on board are an electronic climate control system with pollen filter, a 4.2-inch color multi-information display, a digital instrument cluster, and Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start. The Smart Key proximity key fob allows the driver’s door to be unlocked simply by touching a button on the handle. Other nice touches include extendable sun visors with lighted vanity mirrors, front and rear cupholders, and a 12-volt outlet.

Despite its base model status, the Prius L’s infotainment system is fairly advanced. Collectively it includes a 7-inch color touchscreen and a 6-speaker audio system with smartphone connectivity for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. SiriusXM is also part of the system, as is the ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot (both require a subscription). A rear backup camera comes standard, as do two USB charge ports and one media port.

The Prius comes standard with Toyota Care, which includes all scheduled factory maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles. Roadside assistance covers three years and unlimited mileage, a helpful ally if the damage done to a tire is beyond the ability of the Prius’s standard tire repair kit.

There are no factory option packages for the L, but several dealer-installed options include different wheels, interior protection products, and a first-aid kit.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2022 Toyota Prius L sells for $25,520. If putting no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing comes to $459.

2022 Toyota Prius L-Eco includes:

  • Lane-keeping assist – using cameras, this system sees the painted lane markers to help keep the vehicle in its intended lane.
  • Automatic emergency braking  — detects a potential collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and alerts the driver. If no action is taken, the system can slow or stop the Prius before an accident can occur.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – allows full access to the apps, music, navigation, messages, and contacts in your smartphone, controlling them through the infotainment system’s 7-inch touchscreen.
  • Smart Key keyless entry – with the key fob in pocket, the Prius recognizes its owner and allows the driver’s door to unlock, and the vehicle to be started, all with the press of a button.

2022 Toyota Prius LE ($25,735)

The LE trim brings more features and options, including available all-wheel drive.

Building off the L’s equipment list, the LE’s driver’s seat remains manual, but the front seats get extended pockets for added storage. The rear cargo area gets a cover for keeping valuables away from prying eyes, and the rear wiper gets upgraded with an intermittent feature.

Added to the LE’s driver-assist roster is a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.  The LE also gains two helpful systems: Toyota’s Intelligent Parking Assist measures potential parking spaces and electronically controls the steering wheel, helping guide the Prius when parallel parking or backing into a tight space. And Intelligent Clearance Sonar uses multiple sonar sensors around the car to monitor for potential hazards. When backing up, the system can even apply the brakes if a collision is detected.

All-wheel drive adds another $1,400 to the LE’s price and includes front fog lights, LED accent lights, and two-tone wheel covers.

While the LE offers a few more features over the L, at this price point rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq provide more features, such as a power driver’s seat and heated front seats, something to think about when comparison shopping.

The L’s tire repair kit is replaced by a compact spare, except in the case of the all-wheel-drive model that reverts to the kit.

With destination charge, the 2022 Toyota Prius LE sells for $26,730. With no money down, a 60-month loan at 3% financing yields a monthly payment of $480, just $21 more each month than the L Eco.

2022 Toyota Prius LE includes:

  • Blind-spot monitor – alerts the driver to vehicles in the Prius’ blind spot, a most helpful feature, particularly when changing lanes on a freeway or in heavy traffic.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert – when backing up, this system monitors for traffic about to cross behind the vehicle and alerts the driver.
  • Intermittent rear wiper – automatically activates on a timed interval, clearing the back window without the need to run constantly.
  • Available all-wheel drive – provides added traction in the snow or when rounding tight curves.

2022 Toyota Prius XLE ($28,745)

The XLE is the trim we would pick if shopping for a new Prius. It has more standard features, plus two option packages that most people will want on a nearly $30,000 car.

Like the LE, the XLE offers the option of all-wheel drive, a perk not offered on hybrids like the Hyundai Ioniq or Honda Insight.

Above the LE’s features, the XLE adds auto-on/off headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and rain-sensing wipers.

The LE’s cloth seats are replaced by a simulated leather Toyota calls SoftTex. This material s easier to keep clean but may get a tad warm on hot summer days. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are standard, and the driver gains an 8-way power-adjustable seat with power lumbar support.

The XLE’s Smart Key adds push-button operation for the remaining three doors and remote illuminated entry.

There are more interior embellishments, such as soft-touch surfaces on the doors and chrome accents. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and a wireless charge pad round out the upgrades.

Options for the XLE include the Premium Convenience Package that adds a power sunroof and 15-inch titanium-finished alloy wheels.

The Advanced Technology Package brings a color head-up display, navigation, and adaptive auto-leveling front headlights.

New for 2022 is a special Nightshade Edition. Building off the XLE platform, the Nightshade Edition adds black exterior accents, black alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler. Paint colors are limited to black, white, and silver.

Oddly, the XLE all-wheel-drive model loses some essential upgrades, such as the 8-way power driver’s seat, the 17-inch wheels, and the optional Premium Convenience Package.

With destination, the 2022 Toyota Prius XLE costs $29,740. If putting no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% comes to $534.

2022 Toyota Prius XLE includes:

  • 8-way power driver’s seat – allows for a more comfortable seating position and includes lower back power-adjustable lumbar support.
  • Heated front seats – help quickly warm occupants when the temperature gets chilly. It’s also a nice feature for people who like to be warm while cool air flows through the vents or open sunroof.
  • Heated steering wheel – a particularly nice feature to have, especially when you’ve forgotten your gloves.
  • Available navigation – GPS-based navigation doesn’t rely on cell phone towers, so it will work even in remote locations.

2022 Toyota Prius Limited ($32,820)

The top-line Limited adds a few more luxury features to the Prius, but unlike the LE and XLE, it doesn’t offer the option of all-wheel drive.

The Limited includes the XLE’s Advanced Technology Package contents and then tosses in a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system and larger 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen.

The only options are a power sunroof and unique alloy wheels included in the Premium Convenience Package.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2022 Toyota Prius Limited costs $33,815. With no money down on a 60-month loan at 3% financing, the Limited’s monthly payment comes to $608.

2022 Toyota Prius Limited includes:

  • Adaptive front lighting – moves the headlights in the direction of the steering wheel, allowing the driver to see what’s ahead when going into corners.
  • Head-up display – projects essential information such as speed and navigation direction directly onto the windshield.
  • JBL audio – with 10 speakers driven by a powered amplifier, this sound system wakes up even the most mundane music.
  • 11.9-inch touchscreen – provides a larger screen to view apps and navigation maps.

FAQ

What is the best 2022 Toyota Prius trim?

The Prius XLE is our choice.  It’s loaded with standard features but priced below $30,000, and it has optional all-wheel drive. Heated front seats are standard, as is simulated leather upholstery.

How many mpg does the 2022 Toyota Prius get?

The standard 2022 Toyota Prius returns EPA fuel economy of 54 mpg city/50 mpg highway/52 mpg combined. With AWD it drops just slightly, to 51 mpg city/47 mpg highway/49 mpg combined. The most fuel-efficient non-plug-in Prius model is the Eco, which is rated by the EPA at 58 mpg city/53 mpg highway/56 mpg combined.

Which has more range, a 2022 Toyota Prius Eco or the PHEV Prius Prime?

It’s close, but the Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid, has a range of 640 miles, whereas the Toyota Prius Eco can go 633 miles on a tank.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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