2020 Toyota Prius vs 2021 Lexus ES

2020 Toyota Prius
2020 Toyota Prius
$24,325MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Lexus ES
2021 Lexus ES
$40,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Toyota Prius
$24,325MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus ES
$40,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Toyota Prius is 7.5 out of 10, while the 2021 Lexus ES scores 7.3 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Toyota Prius is the recommended choice, offering a better balance of efficiency, practicality, and safety features.

Overview

MSRP

$24,325

MSRP

$40,000

Average price

$23,111

Average price

$32,873

Listings

91

Listings

735
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.5 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great ride quality
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Unintuitive technology
  • Fairly pedestrian performance

2020 Toyota Prius Reviews Summary

Ever heard of an eponym? It’s a brand or product that is so popular that it’s come to define its respective market. Think of Kleenex for tissues or Band-Aid for medical bandages. For hybrids, the Toyota Prius has ascended to near-eponym status. It was one of the first—and remains one of the most popular—hybrids ever made.

As automakers across the industry are rolling out more hybrid models, the Prius continues to be the standard-bearer of this genre. This is largely due to the fact that the Prius is a dedicated hybrid, rather than a hybrid variant of an existing model.

Throughout the industry, different companies are taking different approaches to alt-fuel vehicles, including full-electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains. The Prius endures as the leader in hybrid power due to a focus on fuel efficiency that doesn’t compromise on style, drivability, and versatility. So how does the Prius hold its ground as more players enter the fray? Read on to find out.

2021 Lexus ES Reviews Summary

When you think of a Lexus ES, you think of a cushy, comfortable, and reliable car that your parents or grandparents might like. The roomy and quiet cabin, the relaxed driving demeanor, and the relatively affordable price all hearken back to the original Lexus mission. And these stereotypes about the car are accurate. But in F Sport trim, with the 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 2021 Lexus ES 350 shows a different side of its presumed personality.
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

1.8L 121 hp I4 Hybrid

Engine

3.5L 302 hp V6

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

Horsepower

302 hp @ 6600 rpm

EV Battery Capacity

0.7 kWh

EV Battery Capacity

MPG City

58

MPG City

22

MPG Highway

53

MPG Highway

32
2020 Toyota Prius
2020 Toyota Prius
$24,325MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus ES
2021 Lexus ES
$40,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Toyota Prius
$24,325MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus ES
$40,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Toyota Prius is 7.5 out of 10, while the 2021 Lexus ES scores 7.3 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Toyota Prius is the recommended choice, offering a better balance of efficiency, practicality, and safety features.

Overview
MSRP
$24,325
$40,000
Average price
$23,111
$32,873
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.9
4.8
Expert reviews

7.5 out of 10

Read full review

7.3 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great ride quality
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Unintuitive technology
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
Summary

Ever heard of an eponym? It’s a brand or product that is so popular that it’s come to define its respective market. Think of Kleenex for tissues or Band-Aid for medical bandages. For hybrids, the Toyota Prius has ascended to near-eponym status. It was one of the first—and remains one of the most popular—hybrids ever made.

As automakers across the industry are rolling out more hybrid models, the Prius continues to be the standard-bearer of this genre. This is largely due to the fact that the Prius is a dedicated hybrid, rather than a hybrid variant of an existing model.

Throughout the industry, different companies are taking different approaches to alt-fuel vehicles, including full-electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains. The Prius endures as the leader in hybrid power due to a focus on fuel efficiency that doesn’t compromise on style, drivability, and versatility. So how does the Prius hold its ground as more players enter the fray? Read on to find out.

When you think of a Lexus ES, you think of a cushy, comfortable, and reliable car that your parents or grandparents might like. The roomy and quiet cabin, the relaxed driving demeanor, and the relatively affordable price all hearken back to the original Lexus mission. And these stereotypes about the car are accurate. But in F Sport trim, with the 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 2021 Lexus ES 350 shows a different side of its presumed personality.
Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
1.8L 121 hp I4 Hybrid
3.5L 302 hp V6
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
302 hp @ 6600 rpm
EV Battery Capacity
0.7 kWh
MPG City
58
22
MPG Highway
53
32
Look and feel
2020 Toyota Prius
7/10
2021 Lexus ES
8/10
The 2020 Toyota Prius retained its iconic jellybean-like shape, optimized for aerodynamics. Over the years, Toyota made subtle changes to its styling cues, aiming to give it a more sedan-like appearance while maintaining its hatchback functionality. The Prius's futuristic design remained contemporary, with a cabin defined by its central instrumentation and gauges, a hallmark since its inception. The Prius offered four trim levels: L Eco, LE, XLE, and Limited, each adding more features and luxury as you moved up the range. In contrast, the 2021 Lexus ES expanded its lineup to include the new ES 250 series, featuring a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and standard AWD. The ES 350, with a 3.5-liter V6 and FWD, remained available. The ES 300h hybrid version also offered improved fuel economy. The ES lineup included Standard, F Sport, Luxury, and Ultra Luxury trims. The F Sport trim added sporty design elements and performance features, while the Black Line Special Edition introduced unique styling and limited production. The ES's design, especially in F Sport trim, was striking, with a dramatic grille and sleek lines.
Performance
2020 Toyota Prius
5/10
2021 Lexus ES
8/10
The 2020 Toyota Prius featured a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, producing a combined 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. It came with FWD, but an AWD variant, the Prius AWD-e, was also available. The AWD-e used a second electric motor for the rear wheels, operating up to 43 mph. The Prius offered smooth acceleration, with seamless transitions between electric and conventional power. It had three drive modes: EV, Eco, and Power, each catering to different driving needs. The unique shifter design and Engine Braking mode added to its distinctive driving experience. The Prius handled well, with a low center of gravity providing sharper handling than expected for a hybrid. The 2021 Lexus ES 350, on the other hand, boasted a 3.5-liter V6 engine generating 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It offered Normal, Eco, and Sport driving modes, with Sport+ and Custom modes available in the F Sport trim. The ES 350 accelerated to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, with an EPA rating of 25 mpg combined. During testing, it averaged 22.9 mpg. The ES 350 F Sport felt quicker than its official acceleration time, though it could benefit from a torque-vectoring AWD system. The ES 350 F Sport impressed with its firm ride, flat cornering stance, and overall athleticism, making it a sporty sedan rather than an outright sports sedan.
Form and function
2020 Toyota Prius
7/10
2021 Lexus ES
8/10
The 2020 Toyota Prius made excellent use of its compact platform, offering deep door pockets, a large tray area between the front seats, and helpful sub-trays around the center console. The front seats provided ample headroom and legroom, with good driver visibility. The rear seats were also spacious, though taller passengers needed to watch their heads. The Prius offered 50.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, and between 24.6 and 27.4 cubic feet with the seats up, depending on the model. Its hatchback design made loading and unloading easy. The 2021 Lexus ES featured sport-bolstered front seats with 10-way power adjustment, heating, and ventilation in the F Sport trim. The NuLuxe synthetic leather provided excellent comfort. Rear-seat passengers enjoyed good foot and legroom, with supportive cushions and a comfortable seating angle. The ES offered rear air conditioning vents and an available power rear window sunshade. Outward visibility was excellent, and storage was plentiful, though oddly configured. The trunk measured 13.9 cubic feet, with a hands-free power trunk available.
Technology
2020 Toyota Prius
8/10
2021 Lexus ES
4/10
The 2020 Toyota Prius came standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, featuring a sensible menu layout, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, a WiFi hotspot, and three USB ports. The Limited trim upgraded to an 11.6-inch screen with a customizable layout, though it lacked Android Auto. The Prius also offered satellite radio, HD Radio, a HUD, and a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system. The top-center instrument panel, a defining feature of the Prius, included hybrid drivetrain status and other critical readouts. The 2021 Lexus ES faced criticism for its touchpad interface, which required significant attention to operate. However, it had separate climate and stereo controls, dynamic voice command technology, and an optional 12.3-inch widescreen display. The ES included Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, and connected services. The 12.3-inch display added dynamic navigation and Destination Assist. The ES came with a 10-speaker premium sound system, with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson system available.
Safety
2020 Toyota Prius
9/10
2021 Lexus ES
7/10
The 2020 Toyota Prius came equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, including automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Optional features included blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, and active park assist. The Prius earned a five-star rating from the NHTSA and a "Top Safety Pick" from the IIHS, though it fell short of the highest rating due to "average" scores in some tests. The 2021 Lexus ES included Lexus Safety System 2.0, with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, lane-centering assistance, adaptive cruise control, road-sign recognition, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert were standard on all but the base trim. The ES earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS and a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA.
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