The redesigned 2023 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime plug-in hybrid have received the highest Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
To qualify for the award, vehicles must earn top “Good” scores in the IIHS’ driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overall front, and original moderate overlap front crash tests. The IIHS recently updated the moderate overlap front test, but the updated version wasn’t required for the Top Safety Pick+ award for 2023.
In addition, headlights rated “Acceptable” or “Good” must be standard on all trim levels (the headlights fitted to all Prius and Prime trims got the lower “Acceptable” rating) and a front-crash prevention system with the top “Superior” or second-tier “Advanced” rating in daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian collision-avoidance testing.
For 2023, the “+” signifies that vehicles also received a “Good” rating in the updated side crash test. Vehicles can receive an “Acceptable” rating and still get the base Top Safety Pick award without the “+.” The IIHS also requires “Advanced or “Superior” ratings in the nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front-crash prevention test for the highest award.
The 2023 Prius, in addition its much racier styling, is far more fun to drive than any previous Prius. And its high-mpg plug-in hybrid Prime version essentially reboots the formula that worked for Volt and had been missing from the market.
The Corolla Cross was also among the Toyota models to receive a 2023 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, and the safety ratings apply to the hybrid version as well. Unlike the Prius and the Corolla Hybrid sedan, the Corolla Cross Hybrid has an upright SUV shape, yet it still tops 40 mpg.
While the list of top EV, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid safety performers was sparse just a few years ago, it now includes the Rivian R1T, Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4, and Subaru Solterra, as well as the Lexus NX 450h and Volvo XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrids, among others.
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