Report: Toyota Shelves Plans for Entry-Level Prius I Model

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Remember back when Honda announced pricing for its Insight hybrid would start at under $20,000 and Toyota, in a bid to compete, said it would offer the Prius for just $21,000? Several months later, and the launch of the Prius II, III, IV and V and Toyota is now saying the Prius I isn’t likely to ever see production – not for average consumers anyway.

According to a report on AllAboutPrius, Toyota spokesman Greg Thome said a test of the market with the Prius I resulted in just 177 units sold – all of which were to fleets. As a result, Toyota has no immediate or future plans to offer the entry-level Prius I to consumers.

The move isn’t surprising as it turned out that Honda’s Insight, with its smaller passenger space and less efficient engine, wasn’t much of a competitor to the Prius after all.

Thome did say that the Prius I would have been an incredibly stripped-down version, without items like cruise control, the Touch Tracer Display, Smart Key, EV mode, a rear wiper, heated mirrors, a heat vent for the rear seat, foldable rear headrests or underbody spoilers. And considering the Prius II starts at $22,400, the extra $1,400 seems like a small price to pay.

[Source: AllAboutPrius]

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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