May 24, 2024

Bangkok 2023: Fifth-gen Toyota Prius makes ASEAN debut in Thailand – should this be sold in Malaysia?

Following its world premiere in November last year, the fifth-generation Toyota Prius has now made an appearance at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS). Now built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the all-new model has been making waves with its striking new design, which you can clearly see here.

Thailand is where the latest Prius is making its ASEAN debut, but the model hasn’t gone on sale in the country and it wasn’t announced if this will happen. As such, this unit in a Mustard paint finish was brought in purely for display purposes and to represent Toyota’s multi-technology approach to achieve carbon neutrality.

Featuring the signature liftback profile of the original Prius, the fifth-generation model’s glow-up also sees it receive a hammerhead shark-like fascia with C-shaped daytime running lights sitting just above the slender headlamps linked via a narrow air intake.

The more upright rear sports a hatch opening and wide-width taillights, with the latter blending in nearly with sculpted sections of the bodywork. You’ll also see find black cladding around the wheel arches that house 19-inch alloys.

As for the interior, the new Prius takes inspiration from its all-electric sibling, the bZ4X, by adopting the same steering wheel and placement of the digital instrument panel well ahead of the driver. There’s also a more modern dashboard design with simpler lines, while the centre console adopts a more conventional gear lever instead of the previous stub sticking out horizontally.

It isn’t known precisely what powertrain is fitted to this Prius, but it is definitely a hybrid given the ‘HEV’ badging. In Japan, there are two hybrid systems available, with the first featuring a M20A-FXS 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that serves up 152 PS (150 hp or 112 kW) and 188 Nm of torque.

This is augmented by a 1VM front electric motor rated at 113 PS (111 hp or 83 kW) and 206 Nm, which contributes to a total system output of 196 PS (193 hp or 144 kW). An E-Four all-wheel drive system is optional and adds a second electric motor labelled the 1WM with 41 PS (40 hp or 30 kW) and 84 Nm is added, increasing the system output to 199 PS (196 hp or 146 kW).

The second option uses a 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre NA four-cylinder making 98 PS (97 hp or 72 kW) and 142 Nm. The 1VM electric motor accompanying this has lesser outputs of 95 PS (94 hp or 70 kW) and 185 Nm for a total system output of 140 PS (138 hp or 103 kW). Both hybrid powertrains come with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT) and use the same lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 4.08 Ah.

After looking at the live photos of the all-new Prius, are you even more enamoured and hopeful for the model to be made available in Malaysia? In Japan, hybrid versions of the Prius are priced between 2.75 and 3.7 million yen (RM92,412 and RM124,336). What would be a fair price if it was sold here?

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Prius (Japan market)

Tags: 2023 Bangkok Motor Show

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