What Is B On Prius?

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If you’re a proud owner of a Toyota Prius or considering one as your next eco-friendly vehicle, you might have noticed a gear selection labeled “B” on the gear shifter. While “D” (Drive) is the standard driving mode for most situations, “B” mode offers unique advantages when it comes to controlling your Prius and maximizing energy efficiency. In this blog, we’ll explore what “B” mode in a Prius is, how it works, and when to use it to get the most out of your hybrid car.

What Is B On Prius?

“B” mode, short for “Engine Braking” mode, is a driving feature in Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles designed to enhance control and energy regeneration. When you engage “B” mode, your Prius utilizes regenerative braking to slow down the car when lifting off the accelerator pedal. This feature can help you save energy and improve your driving experience.

How Does “B” Mode Work?

“B” mode works by changing how the hybrid system manages regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electrical energy to recharge the battery. Here’s how it functions:

  1. Regenerative Braking: When you release the accelerator pedal in “B” mode, the electric motor switches to generator mode. It uses the rotation of the wheels to generate electricity, which is then sent to the hybrid battery for storage.
  2. Engine Assistance: The engine may provide additional resistance to the wheels in “B” mode, contributing to the deceleration of the vehicle. This can help control the speed and improve handling, especially when driving downhill.
  3. Energy Efficiency: “B” mode can help improve energy efficiency by reducing the need to use the conventional friction brakes, which generates heat and consumes more energy.

When To Use “B” Mode?

  1. Descending Steep Hills: “B” mode is particularly useful when driving down steep hills. It helps control the speed of your Prius and minimizes the need for excessive use of the brake pedal, reducing wear and tear on the braking system.
  2. City Driving: In stop-and-go city traffic, “B” mode can be used to harness energy during braking and deceleration, thereby maximizing energy regeneration and improving overall fuel efficiency.
  3. Slippery Road Conditions: On slippery or icy roads, “B” mode can provide better control when slowing down, reducing the risk of skidding.
  4. Extending Battery Range: If you’re aiming to extend the electric-only driving range of your Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHV), “B” mode can be an effective way to regenerate energy and conserve battery power.

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When Not To Use “B” Mode?

  1. Highway Driving: “B” mode is generally not necessary for highway driving or when maintaining a consistent speed. “D” mode is more suitable for such scenarios.
  2. Full Stops: When coming to a full stop at a traffic light or stop sign, it’s better to switch back to “D” mode to avoid unnecessary regenerative braking.
  3. Maximum Acceleration: For quick acceleration, “D” mode is more appropriate as it allows the Prius to use its full power without the resistance of regenerative braking.


“B” mode in a Toyota Prius is a valuable feature for maximizing energy efficiency and improving control in various driving conditions. Understanding when and how to use it can help you get the most out of your hybrid vehicle while contributing to a greener and more sustainable driving experience. Whether you’re navigating city streets or descending steep hills, “B” mode can be a helpful tool in your quest for efficient and eco-friendly driving.


What Does The B In Prius Mean?

The “B” is for engine braking. It’s somewhat like putting the car in low gear with a conventional transmission. A Prius normally uses regenerative braking to supplement the friction brakes, but after a long downhill run, the battery becomes fully charged and regenerative braking stops working.

What Does B Mean On Toyota Hybrid?

The shift lever offers four positions: R (Reverse), N (neutral), B (engine braking) and D (drive). For normal driving, D (drive) is absolutely fine, but should you need it, position B has the effect of engine-braking handy when descending a steep hill, for example.

What Is B On A Gear Shift?

The transmission will change to a lower gear when you put the car in “B,” allowing you to utilize the engine to slow it down rather than simply the brakes. This can be helpful if you’re descending a steep hill and want to maintain the control of your car.

Should I Drive My Prius In B Mode?

When Should You Use Prius Shifter B Mode? If you’re on a long, steep graded downhill slope, you’ll want to use the engine feature to help your regenerative braking from being overloaded. For example, when descending a road that goes over a mountain or steep hill.

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