The Toyota Prius has been around for two decades now, and Toyota reckons the new Prime is the best one yet. The Prime features greater battery capacity and an improved hybrid system, allowing it to travel up to 25 miles on electricity alone. Efficiency is the highest in the industry: an EPA-estimated 133 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) in electric mode. In hybrid mode, the Prime achieves an EPA-estimated 55 city/53 highway/54 combined mpg.
As a plug-in, the Prime can be recharged from a standard household socket in 5.5 hours. From a larger 240-volt outlet, this time drops to 2.2 hours. Its 25 mile EV range is more than enough for 80 percent of driving, and with speeds up to 84 mph, it can actually be normal driving, freeway merging and passing included. Range anxiety is eliminated: when the batteries run dry, the car switches to hybrid mode.
What's New for 2017
The Prius Prime is a new model for 2017 and replaces the Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
Choosing Your Toyota Prius Prime
The new four-passenger Prime is more that just a pretty eco face. Comfort and convenience are front and center in this vehicle, with supportive heated front seats and an ultra-quiet automatic climate control system. Practicality is also a key selling point, with generous storage capacity in the rear seat console and a standard split-folding rear seat.
In colder climates, a battery warmer operates at the end of a charging cycle to keep the battery temperature above 32 degrees, ensuring peak performance and range.
A hybrid system adds considerable cost to any vehicle, but the Prime's plug-in feature helps offset that. Most daily trips can be done in full EV mode, and recharging can be done either at home or at work. It’s entirely possible that the Prime may only use its engine on weekends and road trips. As an added bonus, there's none of the range anxiety that comes with a fully electric vehicle.