UQM Technologies Introduces 145 kW System for Propulsion and Generator Applications
Group of Scientists and Economists Urge Inclusion of Indirect Land Use Change Effects for Biofuels and All Transportation Fuels in California LCFS

Toyota Prices the 2010 Prius for the US Starting at $21,000

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., announced manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) today for the all-new 2010 Prius midsize hybrid (earlier post), scheduled to go on sale beginning in late May at Toyota dealers nationwide. The third-generation Prius will be available in one grade with a starting MSRP of $21,000. The Prius will be offered with five levels of standard equipment combinations, ranging up to a top-end MSRP of $27,270.

The MSRPs for the Honda Insight, which Toyota considers a prime competitor for the new Prius, range from $19,800-$23,100.

Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division, sees the most popular model starting at an MSRP of $22,000 (the Prius II)—the same price as the current base model. A new base model (Prius I) with a lower level of standard equipment is scheduled to be available later this year. It is designed to appeal to the most cost-conscious businesses and consumers.

2010 Prius Levels
LevelStandard equipmentMSRP
Prius I To be released at a later date. $21,000
Prius II
  • 1.8L Atkinson cycle engine
  • P195/65 R15 all-season tires with alloy wheels & covers
  • Smart Key (driver’s door) and Push Button start
  • EV, Eco, and Power modes
  • Multi-Informational Display
  • AM/FM/MP3 CD player with six speakers and satellite radio capability and auxiliary audio jack
  • Cruise control
  • STAR Safety System and active front headrest
  • Seven airbags including driver knee airbag
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and HVAC
  • Controls with Touch Tracer Display
  • Six-way adjustable driver seat
  • Auto up/down on all windows
  • Color-keyed foldable power heated side mirrors
Prius III In addition to Prius II:
  • JBL AM/FM/MP3 six-disc CD changer with eight speakers
  • Integrated satellite radio capability
  • Hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth wireless technology
Prius IV In addition to Prius III:
  • Three-door Smart Key system
  • Leather-trimmed interior
  • Heated front seats with driver lumbar support
  • Driver and front passenger water repellant windows
  • Plasmacluster ionizer
Prius V In addition to Prius IV:
  • 17-inch alloy wheels and P215/45 R17 tires
  • LED headlamps with auto leveling and washers
  • Integrated foglamps

Optional equipment includes:

  • Navigation Package ($1,800, Prius III, IV, V)
  • Solar Roof Package ($3,600, Prius III, IV)
  • Advanced Technology Package ($4,500, Prius V)


Will S

No Plug-in option is apparent, unless it is part of the standard package, which is highly unlikely due to the price.

The Advanced Technology Package adopts some of the newest safety features such as Pre-Collision System (pre-tensions the seat belts and activates brake assist) Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist (recognizes lane markings and provides steering assist), and Intelligent Park Assist (semi-automates parking maneuvers).


This is incremental improvement with no plug-in option. The base electric motor isn't strong enough for highway speeds from what I hear.

Thank you Honda for pushing Toyota to create a new trim level that is $21K. I doubt there will be too many units available at that price, though. The differences between the $22K model and the $27K model are nominal, really.


The Prius II looks like the sweet spot.
I'd like to test drive one to compare it to my 2006 Prius.
I expect the next round of improvements will be to add a plug-in option. The electric motor and the battery pack will have to be "beefed" up a bit to make all electric driving acceptable.
I believe this is due in the 2010 model year, but am not sure

Account Deleted

It is great to see that it is possible to do a 50 mpg average gasoline car for only 21,000 USD. That is really something.


I'm sorry, but the 2010 Prius is a complete disappointment. What ever happened to 99mpg by 2010? Remember the plug-in version was originally due out in 08my, then got pushed to 10my, now what? Why would I buy a Prius when I can get a four door Insight for 3K less?


Joseph T - what were your expectations?

Toyota has been publishing their development strategy and timeline for the last year or so.

As for the answer to your question on Insight vs Prius, I suppose a test drive is needed. They handle very differently, so I hear, so personal preference would be the reason, as well as expected reliability, etc.


I really love my 2008 Prius but if I had a choice between the new Prius and a $2,500 Nano that got the same mileage I would pick the Tata.

In my opinion the Honda hybrid system is better than the Toyota but they are both like 286 micro-processors. Electrification is where it is at.


According to the buzz on this very board going back 4 years ago, the 2010 was supposed to be the game changer. Aaaaand it's just not, nice incremental upgrade and that's about it.

Looks like I'll be paying the extra 7k for a Volt.


Sweet spot my foot. Who in his right mind would buy one of these vehicles when the battery only lasts 5 years and costs over 7 large to replace?



Again : be reasonable! what do you expect hmm ? without Toyota and the incredible work they did we wouldn't have any hybrid on the market these day, zero. They push the all thing themselves after they were kicked out by GMs and Ford of US governmt subsidised program for developping Hybrids. The new 2010 Prius is a marvel of technology and quality 51 MPG without sacrificing confort space or performances and starting at 21 K$.

You can't expect a technological breakthrougth like plug-in hybrid to become mainstream before long (if ever)... Toyota don't put on the market technologies that don't work, if they delayed their plug-in products it is because they don't feel they are ready despite continuous efforts, it is just that it can't be fast. Progresses in battery technology have always been extremely slow, and it won't change and there is good reason for this.


A disappointment? Maybe to some.

You want plug-in? All electric range?

That would be nice to see. But to buy?

Keeping us “fans” and geeks happy is not the name of the game.

Maybe they have enough bragging rights and want to start making money selling these things.

50 mpg with a car that costs $21K ! That’s incredible.

You want Better MPG ? Why ? At 50 mpg your fuel bill probably ceases to be much pain.

I would love it if someone came out with a family car that got 70 – 100 mpg.

I would cheer – but not pay $70k for it.

First GM smashes the leased EV1s, then Toyota destroys the leased RAV4 EVs, then Toyota makes the gas hogs Tundra and Sequoia, then Honda discontinues the Insight, and now Toyota makes the “only moderately better” Prius. Good for them. It is a great car.

Where is all the praise for the long awaited ($3,600) solar roof?

Yes, these are disappointments to the "fans" (and that's what GCC is for) but don't pretend these are dumb business decisions.

Will S

JosephT wrote:

I'm sorry, but the 2010 Prius is a complete disappointment. What ever happened to 99mpg by 2010?

When the Big 3 finally come up with something as good as the 2010 Prius, then Toyota and Honda will have something even better. Ford is doing the best job so far; the Volt is interesting, but requires a tremendous government subsidy to even be affordable by the upper middle class.

Mannstein wrote;

Who in his right mind would buy one of these vehicles when the battery only lasts 5 years and costs over 7 large to replace?

Internet propaganda alert! Battery replacement on Prius' are over the 200k mile mark, where most cars are already in the junkyard.

Consumer Auto Guide

"According to Toyota, the life of the Prius battery pack is determined more by mileage than by time, and it has been tested to 180,000 miles. Supporting this are first- and second-generation Prius taxis in Canada that have reportedly traveled more than 200,000 miles without suffering any battery problems.
The only replacement batteries sold--at the retail price of $3000--have been for cars that were involved in accidents."

Is the Plasmacluster ionizer sort of like a flux capacitor? That would be pretty awesome.

I'm not sure i'd be into buying a hybrid as a status symbol so i can act smug about saving the environment. If I've learned anything about supply and demand it is that reducing consumption typically lowers price reducing the overall demand for alternative goods... only cars with electric drivetrains (Volt, Tesla Roadster, Tesla S, et al.) will be truly gamechanging. The Prius makes people feel better about themselves, but doesn't really do much in terms of reducing overall energy consumption... especially when you consider how energy intensive their construction is and how the NiMH battery technology is sh*t.


Will S-

Who throws their car into the junkyard after 5-7 years? Most people are playing off their original car loan after 5 years. Don't you think perhaps you are using a 'Garofalo' argument?


I may yet buy a used Prius.

Generations from now people will know what a Prius or Model T was.


Bryan said, "Who throws their car into the junkyard after 5-7 years? Most people are playing off their original car loan after 5 years."

In general, the average person is not driving 29,000 to 40,000 miles per year. In general, the average driver will take 13 years to cover 200,000 miles per vehicle. When speaking of generalities there will be outliers, but we don't care about the tiny percentage of outliers for a mass produced vehicle - that tiny percentage is best served with a different type of vehicle and would quickly go through any vehicle regardless of whether or not it has a battery pack.

Mean annual vehicle miles per year is less than 15,000



"Plasmacluster ionizer technology to help reduce airborne mold spores, microbes, fungi, odors, germs and bacteria inside the passenger cabin."

I hope I don't have to buy a new car for 3 more years. I would like to get just a little more battery. It is fun to tool around in all electric mode. would be nice to do some serious driving in this mode rather than the last half mile before driving home.

My oldsmobile van is approaching a light-second (186,282.394 miles). I haven't heard of any hybrid mini-van coming on the market anytime soon. It gets a suprising ~25pmg. I'd like to replace it with a hybrid if at all possible.


From what I've read the Plug In version of the Prius will be coming in the next year model (2011, introduced in 2010) and will only be available in extremely limited quantities (according to the what's been stated so far) - much fewer available than the Volt during the same time frame. But we'll see.

Its good to see Honda keeping Toyota from truly price leveraging what effectively was a huge sales advantage of their Prius. That said, the new Prius looks like a great refinement to the vehicle.

It appears Toyota is being dragged to the plug in market place - if the Volt was not coming, a Plug in Prius would not be on the schedule for 2011.


This is ridiculous. How hard can it be to put in an electric motor to drive the wheels and a generator to charge the batteries? For C sake, I could make one myself if I had the resources (many people have). It's orders of magnitude simpler than a parallel hybrid system, and therefore cheaper. What's holding me back? Why can't I bring one to market? How hard could it be? Well, when Texaco / Chevron control the patent for the NiMH battery you're using, quite hard.


It is just as easy to do this with un-patented lithium ion batteries, but those batteries are way more expensive than NiMH's. That's why it's taking so long.

Come on Toyota, tell us the real reason why the plugin hybrid has been stalled for so long.


I doubt this patent is holding anyone back.
People have been making NiMH batteries for over 20yrs. Toyota has made over 1 million Priuses, and plans to ramp production.

Here is an interesting account of the strategies employed in securing the necessary materials for a mass produced battery product.

GM didn't pursue Hybrids because they were short sighted and run by bean counters for too long (sorry accountants-do the financials, but don't run the company)

Kit P

“Who in his right mind would buy one of these vehicles when the battery only lasts 5 years and costs over 7 large to replace?”

That is why it is called the Pious, Mannstein.

To take a page out of the anti-nuke page book, if you just conserve; you will not have to build any new Pious. This is why my PU has 250k miles and uses less gasoline than a Pious. I could spend $21,000 to save $10/month.

The non-pious diver in need of a new POV would bu something like a Corilla for $5000 less. Of course that would require manually adjusting seat position.

Is the Plasmacluster ionizer technology an option the base a Corilla? I think I have one of those in my steam shower.

paul in hampden

Ignore the flamebait from Kit P and others. Total rubbish. The Prius pays back its manufacturing energy/environmental 'cost' within a year if you are replacing a car that gets less then 30mpg. That of course is not its economic cost, you will almost always do better holding on to an old car.

Toyota has again beat all the other manufacturers with incremental improvements that so far are unmatched by others. 51 mpg in the city on the NEW epa test? WOW, that is around 65mpg on the old test and the car is both bigger and faster.

Not bad for a car where they have cut the cost!


As someone who has had an insight since '01 and a '08 Prius I have to say the Toyota Hybrid system is an infinitely better technological design. The one gear torque-split transmission is untouched and extremely efficient and is an engineering marvel.(and I'm an engineer)

Honda's pros are better light-weight materials engineering and a better "fun driving experience" as well as a much better hybrid display for usability.

The 2-door (and looks like the 4-door also) Honda insight electric system is underpowered so has limited regen on steeper hills, doesn't regen at low speeds and of course doesn't do electric-only mode.

Bottom line the refined Prius is a bargain for what it is and is worth any 5-10k premium over the Honda - as an example I got 50mpg with 4 adults and stuff on a 1 week road trip in quiet luxury!

I know Honda has invested a ton in their hybrid system and would have to eat crow if they licensed Toyota's - but if they did I'm sure they could get 55mpg out of a Prius copy - they are the better mechanical engineers.

A final point for all those who rant on the Prius, All that regen energy saves tons of Gas ($20k not going to the middle east!), and Brake Pads! If you ever live at the bottom of a busy street you can appreciate the environmental and breathing benefits first-hand of regen braking and if everyone drove hybrids that really adds up.

Now where is my $25k Tesla??

I doubt this patent is holding anyone back.
Then can someone explain to me why Toyota cannot add a simple wall plug to charge the battery from your house? Sorry, I'm an engineer and there is not a single legitimate physical reason why the electricity produced by the engine is necessarily any different than something you could make from converting wall voltage. Could it be that Chevron won't let them? If they don't allow anyone to use these batteries then I'm sure they could be sued for manipulation of patent rights. But if they instead let Toyota use the patent a little bit, but only if all the energy ultimately comes from gasoline, well then it's more difficult to sue them.

Overall, I'd really like to see hybrid vehicles that weigh 500-800 pounds less. Maybe some aluminum, some carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic, lighter seats, slightly lower profiles, the works. That would allow lighter drive trains, smaller and cheaper batteries, and such.

I'm sure there's some financial optimum point where the savings from smaller batteries start receding, as they are offset by more expensive light-weight structural components. Still, intuitively I suspect that aggressive use of the most cost-effective lighter structures could deliver a cheaper, and more efficient vehicle.

The comments to this entry are closed.