Toyota Prius Prime VS Tesla Model 3

This post will compare various aspects of a 2019 Toyota Prius Prime to a Tesla Model 3 in California. It assumes the buyer has a credit score of 870 and can get financing for 72 months (6 years) at 4.6%.

2019 Toyota Prius Plus Hatchback 4D
2019 Telsa Standard Range
Plus Sedan 4D


  • The total purchase price including interest for the Tesla is $16,875 more than for the Prius.
  • For insurance, the Tesla will cost about $50 to $100 more per month than the Prius.
  • The Tesla can only go 220 miles before needing to be recharged whereas the Prius can go 640 miles on one full battery and small 11.4-gallon tank of gas.
Prius (Plug-in Hybrid)Telsa (EV)
TrimPlus Hatchback 4DStandard Range
Plus Sedan 4D
KBB Private Party Value$32,153$45,416
Tax (11%)$3536$4995
Out-the-door Price$35,689$50,411
Down Payment$10,000$10,000
Financing Monthly Payment$408.97$643.34
Total Loan Interest$3,756$5,909
Total Cost with Interest$39,445$56,320
Monthly Insurance
(Full Coverage, $1K Deductible)
Mercury: $146
21st Century: $155
Mercury: $280
21st Century: $209
Must change oil, belt, and filterYesNo
Must check smogYes (after 8 years)No
Tire Size (larger tires cost more)15″18″
Driving Range (Gas + Electricity)640 miles0 miles
Driving Range (Electricity Only)25 miles220 miles
Cost to drive 25 miles$0.81 (electric only)$0.83
EPA Fuel Economy133 MPGe (electric + gas)
54 MPG (gas only)
131 MPGe (electric)

Update: Oct 8, 2023

Tax Credits

The EV tax credit situation has changed since this post was originally published.

VehicleOct 2022Oct 2023
Tesla Model 3No tax credit$7500
Tesla Model YNo tax credit$7500
Prius PrimeNo tax creditNo tax credit


EV prices have changed since this post was originally published.

VehicleOct 2022Oct 2023
Tesla Model 3$45,416 (cheapest)$39K – $51K
Tesla Model Y $65K – $68K$44K – $52,500
Prius Prime~$35,000$32,350 – $39,170

Here’s a cost comparison of the Prius Prime top trim to the Tesla Model Y Performance trim in Oct 2022 and 2023. The loan assumption is 6 years at 4.6%.

Prius PrimeTesla Model Y
Purchase Price$35,000$68,000
Tax (11%)$3,850$7,480
Extended Warranty$2,000$2,000
Down Payment$10,000$10,000
Financing Monthly Payment~$400~$920
Total Loan Cost~$4,000~$8,500
Total Cost with Interest~$45,000~$84,000

In Oct 2023, a Tesla Model Y Performance would have a total cost of approximately $39K more than the Prius Prime XLE. The loan assumption is 6 years at 6.5%.

Now, let’s compare the costs today in October 2023.

Prius PrimeTesla Model Y
Purchase Price$39,170$52,500
Tax (11%)$4,308$5,775
Down Payment$10,000$10,000
Financing Monthly Payment$490$714
Total Loan Cost$6,134$8,938
Tax Credit$0$7500
Total Cost with Interest Minux Tax Credit~$49,612~$59,713

So, after the $7500 tax credit, the Tesla Model Y would cost approximately $10K more than the Prius Prime XLE.