2010 Toyota Prius Trim Levels Will Be Confusing

By David Thomas  on March 11, 2009


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.

Toyota Toyota Prius Hybrids/Alternative Fuels

Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David