Featured 2021 Prius Now Available: What’s Changed?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusPeep, Sep 17, 2020.

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  1. PriusPeep

    PriusPeep Member

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    I see on the Toyota site that the 2021 Prius is now available.

    It’s always very frustrating that they don’t specify what changes and improvements have been included with new models.

    Sometimes details are available via a press release. I, however, could not find one.

    Does anyone know what’s new for Prius in 2021?

    And I suppose this is likely the last model year of Gen 4?

    2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid Electric Liftback | Find Your Element
     
  2. PriusPeep

    PriusPeep Member

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    I just realized that I should have posted this question on the Gen 4 forum.

    Sorry.
     
  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I suspect there will be a couple more years of Gen 4's 2019 version and then Prius will be discontinued... Most of their other vehicles have integrated Prius' hybrid technology so canceling the rapidly declining sales numbers of Prius is a great way to cut costs and eliminate dead weight. There's simply no reason to continue.... This vehicle was wildly successful and transformational to the industry but those days are clearly over.

    Screenshot from 2020-09-17 18-33-02.png
     
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  4. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    New Car Features (more info) includes a “Major Difference” page for each new model year, which reviews some of the key technical differences. Most of the changes are related to the introduction of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (PDF) technology, replacing the earlier Toyota Safety Sense-P. There are just a few others listed:
    • The radiator reserve tank has been changed [to add a water filler sub-assembly].
    • The design of 15 inch aluminum wheel and wheel cap has been changed.
    • The stop light switch has been changed.
    • The SRS side airbag for front seat has been changed.
    • An SRS side airbag for rear seat has been added.
    • The multiplex network master switch has been changed.
    • The system component [of the Vehicle Proximity Notification System] has been changed.
    • The vehicle approaching speaker controller has been added to CAN communication bus.
    There may have also been marketing changes in grades (trim levels) and option packages; the 2021 sales brochure doesn’t seem to have been published yet.
     
  5. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I can't see them continuing the gen 4 for two additional years. Toyota presumably began development of a gen 5 when they introduced gen 4, five years ago. Question what will they do with that development. Will there be a gen 5, or an SUV like replacement for the (poorly designed) C-HR? Who knows but why keep selling the current Prius beyond the 2021 model year?
     
  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I've seen automakers do this before... I remember when I ran a camper van conversion shop and the the last 1989 VW vanagon design hit the market, they kept selling the '89 version as the 1990 and 1991 version and as time went by we couldn't find 'em anymore and had to start over and design brand new stuff for the new Eurovan.

    I've seen other car makers do this as well... The basic concept being when you're about ready to discontinue a product line, there's no reason to improve each model year. You just keep making them until you use up all the parts you contracted for and then shut it down.

    And while I'm not certain Toyota is doing it this way, there's clearly no reason to invest anything more in Prius advancement when hardly anyone is buying them like they used to.
     
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The Prius has been on a 6 year generation cycle. So 2022 is the expected last year.
     
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  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I'd like to be a fly on the room at Toyota headquarters for the discussion about to proceed or not to proceed to #6 for that one.... The sales numbers don't look encouraging...
     
  9. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Active Member

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    Hopefully they've figured out that they need a BEV to compete. ~250 mile range with Toyota reliability is a sure win. I've come so close to ditching the Prime for a Bolt or Model 3 several times, but the horror stories give me pause. If Toyota sells a price-competitive BEV there's no question the floodgates will open.
     
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  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    They could just let it ride until they're ready for an EV, even if it gets stale.
     
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  11. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Active Member

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    Yeah. I just hate to see a company stagnate when they used to be a company went to the mat with a revolutionary design and executed it when nobody else in the market was willing or able. Toyota is now the laggard instead of the leader, still refusing to concede their mistake in underestimating the market for BEVs. They're doing awesome work improving the efficiency of the wagon wheel while Henry Ford's factory down the street is cranking out Model Ts.
     
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  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Fair enough.

    We didn't get enough of the innovations here in North America. One would surmise the Prime as the Prius leader but it's elsewhere in the world where you get LED Matrix headlights and a solar roof. At least we get the CFRP hatch and the 11.6" MFD (but the software is terrible)
     
  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    They have done so for other models. The 4runner comes to mind.
     
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  14. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    According to a Japanese magazine, Toyota is scheduled to release a sport tuned Prius plug-in in Japan next April. The same article lists planned Toyota releases in Japan to Spring 2022 with no mention of a next gen Prius.

    Screenshot 2020-09-18 092618.png
     
  15. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Toyota is already competing in China's ultra low priced BEV market... I suspect they're reluctant to expand that effort to the rest of the world until they can stabilize BEV supply line, design a vehicle that beats the competition, as well as drastically lowers cost of battery production. In the meantime, most people don't even know they're already making BEV cars in China that are competitive with other car makers in that market.
     
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    It's one reason I post threads about other EVs not available in the US - to show anyone who's browsing that there are more options elsewhere than we have here. We're no longer the leader in EV sales or marketing so we don't usually get first dibs.

    It may seem like (from the North American perspective) that EVs are developing or marketed as fast as we think they are. But they are indeed in two other continents.
     
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  17. shoreview

    shoreview New Member

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    I would hope that they don't just passively accept these sales trends and give up. I'm just to the point now where I'm ready to be considering something like a Prius, and there's simply nothing else on the US market with that level of dependability and economy and utility in the same vehicle. The Corolla hybrid doesn't get quite the fuel mileage and carries a lot less cargo; the Corolla hybrid wagon isn't even available in the US; the RAV4 hybrid is a bit too big and doesn't have the highway economy I'm looking for; and on-street parking combined with road trips means an EV is not, for now, a practical option for me. I suppose I'd have to go to a Hyundai or something.
     
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  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Even with the inevitable discontinuation of Prius, the used Prius community will be thriving here on PriusChat for years to come...

    From our perspective people who waste a ton of money buying brand new often get on here and ask really lame questions like what kind of floor mats they should buy, or how to clean a seat stain or deal with a scratch or ding. Those people aren't enthusiast DIY types who like to fix Prius for pennies on the dollar, they're just annoying.

    And as far as I'm concerned soon as the Prius line is discontinued we won't have the website being cluttered up with their yuck.
     
  19. Donkro

    Donkro New Member

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    KBB and Edmunds seem to have good reviews and will tell you what the changes are for a new model year, seems this thread has gotten off that question!
     
  20. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

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    With them expanding the hybrid drivetrain everywhere derived from the prius, IE: Corolla Hybrid, Lexus ct200h and probably a bunch of other cars, maybe the only thing left of the original prius will be its legacy drivetrain into toyota's more popular cars. I think moving the drivetrain to the corolla platform might be the final straw for the prius as we know it in America, unless we have another gas crisis.
     
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