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2020 Toyota Prius Prime

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Prius Prime
Toyota Prius Prime OEM Exterior Photo
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Expert Rating
3 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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2020 LE 5dr Hatchback
most popular
Price:   -  From $27,900
2020 XLE 5dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $29,800
2020 Limited 5dr Hatchback Price:   -  From $33,800


The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime becomes a full five-seater for the first time, while still offering plug-in hybrid versatility and a larger battery pack than the standard Prius.

What's New for 2020

The big news is in the back, where a fifth seat gives the Prius Prime a huge dose of added practicality. Two rear USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, and black interior accents are also newly standard, while model names have been brought into line with other Toyota ranges.

Toyota Prius Prime

Choosing Your Toyota Prius Prime

The Prius Prime is powered by a combination of a 1.8-liter gas engine and an electric motor, jointly producing 121 horsepower and 105 pound feet of torque. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission supplies power to the front wheels.

Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 55 miles per gallon city, 53 mpg highway, and 54 combined, which is outstanding. Electric mode delivers an EPA-estimated 133 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe) combined.

The Prius Prime's lithium-ion battery pack supports a 25-mile electric-only range and contributes to an estimated overall range of 640 miles. According to Toyota, it can charge in less than 5.5 hours from a standard power outlet, or approximately two hours and 10 minutes at a 240-volt (Level 2) charging station.

Hybrids tend to major on technology, and the Prius Prime is no exception. It’s possible to control the infotainment system via Amazon Alexa, as well as manage smart-home devices by voice control. A 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and a customizable color information display is also standard, but the top two trims get an 11.6-inch touchscreen.

The Toyota Prius Prime is available in three trims, with no packages available:

Toyota Prius Prime


The Prius Prime LE costs $28,530 (all prices include the $930 destination fee). LED daytime running lights function automatically, while quad-LED projector headlights turn themselves off and the heated power outside mirrors fold away.

Safety features include smart stop technology, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning with steering assist. Radar underpins the adaptive cruise control and vehicle proximity notification systems.

Toyota Prius Prime


Retailing for $30,430, XLE models gain a smart charging cable lock, automatic on/off headlights, push button start, and remote keyless entry.

The infotainment system is upgraded to an 11.6-inch split-screen portrait touchscreen, additionally benefiting from integrated navigation and a 10-speaker audio system. The SofTex-clad front seats include eight-way power adjustment and power lumbar support for the driver, while Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging also comes as standard.

Toyota Prius Prime


There’s a substantial $4,000 price jump to the $34,430 Prius Prime Limited, though specification levels are significantly improved. The most noticeable upgrade is a color head-up display that presents teh driver with speed, navigation, battery, and safety information.

On the safety front, the Limited gains blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, park assist, LED fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Additional newly standard equipment also includes a JBL 10-speaker premium audio system, a heated steering wheel, and a cargo area cover.

CarsDirect Tip

Although the extra safety and comfort features on the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime Limited are very welcome, the XLE provides the best blend of equipment for the money. Its portrait touchscreen is a big improvement over the LE’s 7-inch unit, while also providing navigation, wireless charging, keyless entry, and push button start.

Get your price on a Toyota Prius Prime »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Fifth seat in place
  • Packed with tech
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Not fun to drive
  • No Android Auto
  • Limited cargo space
Expert Rating
3 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Light refresh. The Toyota Prius Prime is still a young buck, having debuted just five model years ago, but its cabin needed a refresh.

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime obliges by scrapping the dirt-attracting gloss-white trim, eliminating the ill-advised fixed rear center console and adding a fifth seat in its place, adding charging ports to the rear seats, and a few other useful upgrades.

While the interior got plenty of updates, the wild Prius Prime exterior remains the same. At least it's better looking than its other Prius sibling, even considering the standard Prius' recent refresh.

An interior the whole family can enjoy. The Prius Prime has always had a decent interior, but that bright white trim needed to go. And go it went, as Toyota replaced it with a sleeker, more premium-looking gloss-black trim. Not to mention, it doesn’t show dust and dirt quite as much as the gloss white.

Roominess and comfort are decent in the front seats, though the available SofTex leatherette upholstery feels more like upgraded vinyl than a leather alternative. Support is good enough on the backside, but some extra bolstering would be nice to counter the slipperiness of the material.

The big update inside is the addition of the rear center seat and the elimination of the silly fixed console. Despite the third seat, the Prius Prime still isn't a legit five-seat sedan, as stuffing three across will result in some shoulder checking for space. Still, it's nice to have the option in a pinch.

The tale of the tape shows the Prius Prime’s rear seats have just 33.4 inches of legroom, which is OK for young kids but torture for teens. Fortunately, Toyota spent time crafting the backside of the front seats to allow for more foot and knee room, making the limited legroom more bearable.

Though Toyota did a lot to improve and normalize the Prius Prime’s cabin, some buyers may still find it too wild. This is where more traditional plug-in models like the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid and Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid come to the rescue.

Toyota Prius Prime

Tech at (almost) every turn. The Toyota Prius Prime is a technical marvel. On the fun side, it has a standard 7-inch touchscreen and a large 11.6-inch tablet-style optional screen. The latter looks excellent about 85% of the time, but it's enormous and catches a lot of sunlight, so you will find yourself trying to shield from the sun about 15% of the time so you can see the map.

The Prius Prime also has standard Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa so you can run your favorite apps or shop for granola through the infotainment system. But it still lacks Android Auto.

What's odd is that with all the advanced tech that makes up the Prius Prime, it still has a traditional pedal-style parking brake. It’s not a big deal, but you may be as surprised as we were to not find an electronic parking brake in such an advanced car.

On the keep-you-safe side, the Toyota Prius is all business with a full array of standard features. These include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and full-speed adaptive cruise control. In Limited models, you also get front and rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring.

The Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid comes up short in safety, as it lacks all the standard safety bits the Prius Prime has, other than the obligatory rearview camera.

Living fuel-free has a price. The Prius Prime offers up to 25 miles of electric-only driving on a full charge, according to the EPA. Just tinkering around town, we never touched the gas in the tank, burying our fuel-economy meter at a comical 999.9 miles per gallon after about five days.

When we made a 50-mile roundtrip later in our test, we used the 1.8-liter engine on the tail end of one leg and the entire return trip. This dropped it to a slightly more realistic 250 mpg. At the end of the test, which included another day and a half of all-electric driving, we pushed the number back to 345 mpg.

This all comes at a cost, though. First, the cost of plugging in. No, it isn't significant – unless you live in high-utility-cost areas like California – but it's something the EPA uses to calculate the Prius Prime’s official 133 MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent) when running on electricity.

Another cost is fun. The Prius Prime, like the standard Prius, is no fun to drive. You get a small pop from the instant torque the electric motor delivers, but it quickly levels out into a snoozer of a 0-60 mph time. With so many electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids delivering more exciting acceleration, like the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 6.5-second sprint, the Prius lags way behind.

The final cost of going fuel-free in the Prius Prime is cargo space. The battery and other plug-in bits gobble up a lot of cargo room. This space is 7.6 cubic feet tighter than the standard Prius, leaving the Prius Prime with just 19.8 cubes to work with.

With the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid offering 23 cubic feet of cargo room in roughly the same footprint, buyers looking to maximize space may prefer this option.

Final thoughts. The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime is what the automaker designed it to be: a thrifty city car. It's slow, not a great looker, and lacks a few of the more common tech features in today’s cars. But with a 25-mile EV range and a smooth ride, it can give a city-dweller years of comfortable, fuel-free driving in the perfect conditions.

Buyers who want a little utility with their plug-in hybrid may want to look to the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid or Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Check prices for the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime»

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.8L I-4 / 95 HP / 105 ft.lbs.
CVTi-S 2-spd CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
Not Available
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.8L I-4 / 95 HP / 105 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
Not Available
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
11.4 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
Passenger Volume
91 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
182.9 "
Exterior Width
69.3 "
Exterior Height
57.9 "
Front Headroom
39.4 "
Rear Headroom
37.2 "
Front Legroom
43.2 "
Rear Legroom
33.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
54.2 "
Rear Shoulder Room
53.0 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,365 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
16.7 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
15.0 " Aluminum / 15.0 " Silver Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Toyota Safety Sense P (tss-p) Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Alert (lda) Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Pre-collision System With Pedestrian Detection (pcs W/pd) Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Vehicle Sway Warning Driver Attention
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Automatic High Beams (ahb) Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
24 Months / 25,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / Unlimited Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

Used 2020 Toyota Prius Prime for Sale

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