Sold out in 1 day, 2023 Toyota Prius has a 1 year waiting period in Japan and USA

Following its global debut in November 2022, the Toyota Prius has now gone on sale in its home market of Japan. As expected, prices have increased slightly. The previous fourth generation Prius used to start at 2.59 million Yen. This fifth generation model now starts at 2.75 million Yen, up 6 percent.

Global inflation and rising cost of raw materials are factors, but you don’t expect the latest Prius’ sexy styling to come at a cheap price do you?

To put it in context, 3.2 million Yen is the starting price of a Toyota Harrier. Not the Harrier that we know, but a basic, rental car specs Harrier with fabric seats. Yea, but still…..the point remains that the Prius is not a cheap car. Anyway, Malaysians never saw the Prius as a cheap car. The last third generation Prius was sold in Malaysia for between RM 139,900 to RM 145,000, before it was discontinud when tax exemptions for imported hybrids expired on 31-December 2013.

Toyota dealers in Japan have been collecting pre-orders for the fifth generation Prius since December 2022 and within one month, many dealers say the orders received were more than their entire year’s allocation.

So when the 2023 Toyota Prius went on sale yesterday and orders were keyed in, the Prius was sold out almost immediately. Buyers have been told that expect a 12 months waiting period for the 2.0-litre variant, and a minimum 6 months for the 1.8-litre variant.

On Toyota Japan’s website, there’s a page listing the estimated waiting period for various Toyota models. The section for Prius simply tell buyers to check with their local dealer, which in the context of a car that has just been launched one day earlier, is just a polite way of saying “We can no longer accept any more orders for the Prius, please visit our dealers to get recommendations on other available Toyota hybrid models.”

Some dealers are also proposing to buyers to sign up for a Prius under the Kinto car subscription option instead.

Yes, demand is very high but supply is also a lot less, due to the on-going supply chain disruptions, specifically the shortage of semiconductor chips.

Across the Pacific, the 2023 Toyota Prius has also gone on sale in USA and like Japan, there is a minimum 12 months waiting period.

US prices have also creeped up, more than in Japan. The previous Prius started at USD 25,075. It now starts at USD 27,450, an increase of 9.5 percent, but that’s because the 1.8-litre engine has been dropped for USA.

Since the Prius no longer need to cater to fleet taxi buyers – a role that is now taken over by many other regular Toyota hybrid models – base specs variants have been cut.

The new 2.0-litre Dynamic Force engine is the sole engine for the 2023 Toyota Prius in USA, at least until the plug-in hybrid variant is launched later this year.

As Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant is the world’s only source for the Prius, there is not much leeway to expedite deliveries to shorten the 12-month waiting period.

If the supply situation improves, production plans and dealer allocations will be revised accordingly, and orders might be reopened.

The fifth generation Prius is available with 3 different powertrain options – all with a new fifth generation hybrid system.

The entry 2ZR-FXE 1.8-litre is using the same engine as the previous Prius but as mentioned earlier, it now runs on a fifth generation hybrid systems, which is lighter, takes up less space, and is more energy efficient.

The improved hybrid now has a fuel consumption of just 3.0-litre/100 km. The previous Prius with a fourth generation hybrid system consumed 3.7-litre / 100 km, both under WLTP test cycle.

The M20A-FXS 2.0-liter Dynamic Force engine is new. It makes 196 PS and despite the higher performance, has a low fuel consumption of just 3.5-litre / 100 km, also under WLTP test cycle.

A plug-in hybrid will be introduced, details for that variant will be announced in March.

The Prius’ Toyota Safety Sense advance driving aids has been upgraded to include several firsts for a Toyota:

  • Rear vehicle proximity notification uses the blind spot monitor’s rear millimeter-wave radar to warn the driver of an approaching vehicle from the rear
  • Approaching vehicle proximity support uses a built-in rearward-facing dashcam to record vehicles that are coming too close, and offers the driver the option to contact the police or HELPNET emergency call service. Since the video is stored inside the car’s ‘blackbox’ instead of a memory card, data security is assured.
  • Secondary Collision Brake (rear impact mitigation when vehicle is stopped) stops the car from rolling further post-collision.

Also readOwner Review: My best car purchase, buying a used 2012 Toyota Prius 

Source: Sold out in 1 day, 2023 Toyota Prius has a 1 year waiting period in Japan and USA

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