Toyota Australia is slowly increasing number of all-hybrid nameplates, but the one that started it all is still not under consideration for a return.

    The Toyota Prius pioneered the brand’s hybrid tech from back in the late 1990s in Japan, and first launched in Australia back in 2001, but the brand’s local vice president for sales and marketing Sean Hanley told media that the new-generation model is “no consideration for Australia”.

    “It just doesn’t really fit in to our product portfolio going forward,” Mr Hanley said at the launch of the all-hybrid new-generation C-HR crossover.

    “There are no hidden reasons, it’s a great looking car, it’s had great commentary overseas, but right now we have C-HR and a whole bunch of other cars – it’s just a matter of what we believe will sell in volume in the Australian market.”

    Toyota revealed the fifth-generation Prius last year, and unlike models before it the new sedan takes a more athletic and sleeker design compared to its more eccentric predecessors. It also takes styling and design cues from the all-electric Toyota bZ4X, and many of these have also filtered down to the Euro-focused second-gen C-HR.

    It offers both hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrain options and is already on sale in various overseas markets like Japan, Europe, the UK and North America.

    After starting its Australian hybrid journey with the Prius in 2001, Toyota Australia has reported over 402,300 hybrid sales Down Under alone. Further, 75 per cent of that total figure has been delivered in just the last five years.

    Mr Hanley told media that Toyota’s hybrid sales mix across its lineup in 2023 was an impressive 33.5 per cent – keep in mind the diesel-only HiLux and LandCruiser range are amongst its top sellers – while so far in 2024 that mix is tracking even higher at 40.7 per cent as of the end of February.

    The second-generation Toyota C-HR somewhat continues the Prius legacy, launching as a hybrid-only nameplate and is one of the more distinctively-styled nameplates in the brand’s portfolio.

    Pricing has risen significantly, with the entry-level GXL 2WD now $42,990 before on-road costs or $11,000 than the previous entry point. Keep in mind the old base model wasn’t a hybrid, and the new car is now sourced from Turkey.

    The 1.8-litre hybrid drivetrain in the GXL and Koba, shared with the Corolla, produces 103kW, up 15 per cent on the 90kW you get in the outgoing model. Meanwhile, the GR Sport gets 145kW of power from its new 2.0-litre hybrid system and adds a second e-motor on the rear axle facilitating the brand’s E-Four electrified all-wheel drive.

    In Europe, there’s also a ‘Plug-in Hybrid 220’ variant gets a beefier 120kW front electric motor and 13.6kWh li-ion battery pack, quoting system power output of 164kW and WLTP electric range of 64 kilometres (claimed). It’s the same drivetrain offered in the related Prius.

    MORE: 2024 Toyota C-HR price and specs
    MORE: Everything Toyota C-HR
    MORE: Everything Toyota Prius

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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