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 III adds
Prius IV adds
Prius V adds
There are three option packages, which cannot be included on every trim level:
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.