2010 Toyota Prius Trim Levels Will Be Confusing


As I sat in my cubicle poring over data about the 2010 Toyota Prius for an upcoming review, I got to the meaty part of the research where I look into the trim levels that people will be able to buy when the car finally goes on sale in a few months. There was one problem: There were no trim levels listed, just equipment groups with a string of numbers, not names.

Not to worry, Toyota’s diligent PR department told me. There are trim level names to help consumers decide which Prius is right for them, they’re just not the same as the previous generation’s Standard, Base and Touring designations. Nor do they follow the naming conventions of other Toyotas, with trims like LE, SE and XLE. Nope. They use Roman numerals.

The four equipment packages will be labeled Prius II, Prius III, Prius IV and Prius V. And yes, Prius II is the base trim level. Why it’s not called Prius I, we have no idea. Perhaps someone in Toyota's marketing department believes sequels are always better than the originals? "Star Trek II," "Superman II," "The Godfather II," Prius II.

There will be no badging on the exterior of the car to differentiate the packages.

What separates a Prius II from a Prius V? We break it down below.

Prius II

  • Electronic stability control
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and climate controls, plus Touch Tracer system
  • Hybrid informational display
  • Auto up/down power windows on all four windows
  • Push-button start
  • Cruise control

Prius III adds

  • Eight-speaker stereo w/CD changer, XM Satellite Radio, eight speakers
  • Bluetooth

Prius IV  adds

  • Advanced smart key system
  • Leather seats with heated front seats
  • Illuminated entry
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Prius V adds

  • 17-inch wheels
  • LED auto-leveling headlights w/washers and fog lamps

There are three option packages, which cannot be included on every trim level:

  • Navigation Package with backup camera (available on Prius III, IV, V)
  • Solar Roof Package includes Navigation Package and adds solar ventilation system and remote A/C system (available on Prius III and IV)
  • Advance Technology Package includes Navigation Package and adds pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, Lane-Keeping Assist and Intelligent Park Assist (available on Prius V)

While we’d guess these options would fit most people’s needs, we’re completely puzzled as to why you can’t get the Solar Roof Package on the top trim level or teamed with some of the other advanced technologies.



No free flow options?


I wonder what the availability is going to be for some of these packages. I am definitely in the market for a Prius and have decided to wait for the new model. Just hope they don't cut corners and release a buggy product :-)


so what is the standard push button start, is that like BMW's where u have 2 insert the key 1st? Because smart key is optional & I am assuming that is a "key free" push button start??


>Nor do they follow the naming conventions of other Toyota’s,

Misusing punctuation makes your text harder to read and comprehend.




Optioning Toyota products is worse than trying to score front-row Springsteen tickets through Ticketmaster.

Not only is it confusing and buggy-javascript heavy, the company website foists boring, useless items on the buyer, failing to inform that living a zip code or two away might reveal exactly what you want, read about, or saw in an ad.

This applies to colors as well....try to find a red or blue high-demand Toyota or Lexus in Albuquerque/Santa Fe.... I had to drive 300 miles to get one... at a lot full of them. White or tan with refrigerated bluetooth radar parking massage is all you can find around here.

Thanks for the pickup GN. fixed.


Maybe the Prius I is reserved for the totally stripped down model in the future model years after they see the Insight?

Interesting idea. Especially since the current "Standard" came after the other models.

Smartkey is standard as far as driver door and keyless ignition. The optional version works with all four doors

Toyota's not offering the Solar Moonroof on the Level V because the combined weight would kick the car into a higher weight class, apparently. See here:


I love the Toyota's we've owned over the years but the option issue is one thing Honda, especially Acura, has all over them. Toyota is almost as bad as GM used to be with their crazy options list. I like the Acura way of making most equipment standard with the exception of 3 maybe 4 things.

Not sure what kind of weight category there is that would make a difference. The thing weighs just over 3000 lbs and is classified as a midsize sedan. A Camry weighs 3263. I can't imagine on-board tech would weigh so much. the solar roof on the other hand...

Josh L

You can't get the solar package with the technology because it adds too much weight to the vehicle...

Was at a Prius event and asked...


A solar panel the size of the roof is going to add what, like 40 lbs. to the weight of the car. And that adds too much weight to the car? Tell us the real reason Toyota.


I don't see anything confusing at all... it's just like the previous iterations of Prius option mapping. In other words, Option IV "ADDS" ABC... Option V "ADDS" XYZ to the ABC Option IV has. Just sayin'.

So just relax people and be a little patient.


Never mind what I said... *walks out the door*


Mistery of Prius I Solved:

TOKYO (MarketWatch) — Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.TO) plans to release a cheaper version of its Prius hybrid car later this year in a bid to compete with Honda Motor Co.’s (7267.TO) more reasonably priced Insight hybrid, the Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday. The paper said that the new Prius will be priced around Y2.05 million, whereas Toyota’s cheapest model of the fuel-efficient vehicle now sells for between Y2.3 million and Y3.4 million.
Source: thetruthaboutcars.com


I went to Toyota's Japanese website and cannot find any claim for that.

Original sheth

the added weight claim makes no sense. More than likely there is some conflict between the tech in the top model and the solar roof. Could be a space issue or something. What penalty would be involved if the Prius weighed a few more pounds? Anyone care to explain?

Mounting photovoltaics on cars is not an optimal use of the technology in any case, but the solar roof to be offered on Toyota's 2010 Prius is downright mad. It won't provide a single watt of mobility. See Toyota's Underwhelming Solar Prius: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/energy/23179/.


Thanks for this helpful post! I really appreciated it as I am starting to investigate the Prius line-up.


What happen to standard back up cam?

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App