Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2018 Toyota Prius Prime OVERVIEW
A plug-in version of Toyota’s flagship hybrid, the 2018 Toyota Prius Prime starts at $27,995 (including the $895 destination charge). Built on the same platform as its standard hybrid sibling, the Prius Prime is available in three trim levels, includes a tablet-sized infotainment screen, and an EPA-estimated 25 miles of all-electric driving. The lack-luster driving performance withstanding, the Prius Prime is catching up on its chief rival, the Chevrolet Volt, and should be carefully considered for those looking to join the plug-in hybrid revolution.
What's New for 2018
The Prius Prime debuted in 2017 and Toyota has made no significant changes for 2018.
Choosing Your Toyota Prius Prime
The primary difference between the standard Prius and the Prime is former's plug-in capability. Consumers can connect the Prius Prime to a 120-volt wall outlet or a 240-volt Level 2 EV charger, soak up juice for a few hours, and then cover 25 miles on electrical power alone.
Each Prime is powered by the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produces 95 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. The 53-kilowatt electric motor is added to deliver a combined output of 121 horsepower. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission which supplies power to the front wheels.
While in hybrid mode, the Prius Prime returns an EPA-estimated 55 miles per gallon city and 53 mpg highway, for a combined 54 mpg. With a fully charged battery, the Prius Prime is rated at 133 miles per gallon equivalent and can cover up to 640 miles on gasoline and electrical power.
Consumers looking to purchase a 2018 Toyota Prius Prime have three trims to select, the Plus, Premium, and Advanced. There are no available option packages. The Prius Prime does qualify for a $7,500 federal income-tax credit, although that is not included in this pricing.
Plug-in hybrids offer the best of both worlds for consumers, providing the EV range for the daily commute and some errands, but with none of the range anxiety inherent in full EVs. In the Prius Prime's case, it lacks the range of a Chevrolet Volt, but rings up at a more accessible price point, particularly in Premium guise. The standard active safety gear, though, makes any Prius Prime a smart buy.
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