Green Vehicles

2024 Best Hybrid: Toyota Prius

Once viewed as a novelty, hybrids are now mainstream models available in a variety of different body styles and price points, making it easier than ever for Canadians to drive more efficiently. Our jury has voted the redesigned Toyota Prius as the Best Hybrid in the 2024 AutoTrader Awards.

To win an award, a vehicle has to garner the most votes among our jury of more than 20 automotive experts from across Canada. That means it has outperformed its rivals across a number of important factors, including its performance, features, comfort, practicality, fuel efficiency, and value. That last one isn’t based simply on what the vehicle costs, but what it gives you for the money, and that’s an important consideration.

The Prius gets high praise in all of those crucial areas, including in value, even though it wasn’t the highest- or lowest-priced among the finalists. In our final round of voting, the Prius took the trophy over the Ford F-150 Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, and two of its stablemates, the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The 2024 Prius starts at $39,010, including a non-negotiable delivery fee of $1,860.

The 2024 Toyota Prius is equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque on its own. When it’s working alongside its electric hybrid motor, that increases to a net 196 horsepower. All-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, providing extra all-weather confidence while barely affecting efficiency. The gas engine and motor drive the front wheels, while a second electric motor powers up the rear ones to provide fuel-free power when extra traction is needed. As with all the hybrid finalists, the Prius self-charges its battery using regenerative braking and the gas engine. Its Prius Prime plug-in hybrid sibling does have a cord, and it also won awards this year.

The Prius was overhauled for 2023, and it carries over almost unchanged into 2024 – and is eligible for our awards because our jury looks at every vehicle that’s available for Canadians to buy. The makeover included a larger and more powerful engine that improved its performance, as AutoTrader expert Jeff Wilson noted in his review, where he piloted both the old and new one and said, “The net result is a claimed zero-to-100-km/h time of 7.2 seconds, shaving off at least three seconds compared to last year’s model. An opportunity to drive both back-to-back confirms that the new car is significantly sprightlier, especially from a standstill.”

He added, “While the bump in power is appreciated, the new Prius is much more engaging in its suspension tune. The ride is firm and with its wider stance and lower centre of gravity, the Prius remains surprisingly composed when hustled around corners and has even become fun to drive briskly. The steering is quicker and more precise, if not much more communicative, than last year’s car. And yet, while stiffer than before, the suspension still soaks up bumps in a way that’s usually reserved for premium European cars.”

It was never a good-looking car from its introduction – it was the world’s first modern mass-market hybrid in 1997, and arrived in Canada in 2000 – but all that has changed with its new styling. In my own review, I noted, “It still looks like nothing else on the road, only now that’s a compliment.”

The Prius’s driving performance, newfound style, comfortable interior, fuel efficiency of 4.8 L/100 km in combined driving, its long list of standard safety and convenience features, and its “bang for the buck” all impressed our expert judges. All of the finalists had a lot going for them, but the Toyota Prius goes above and beyond, earning our jury’s votes to make it the Best Hybrid in the 2024 AutoTrader Awards.