Though Toyota has offered a plug-in model since 2012, the first-generation Prius Prime arrived in 2017. Toyota based the Prime on the standard Prius, but it carried a unique look with its exclusive headlights, taillights, and interior styling. The Prius Prime has remained mostly unchanged since its debut, but an update in 2020 brought in a new seating configuration, standard smartphone integration, and a few other features tweaks. We expect the 2021 Prius Prime to be a carryover model.
As a carryover model, we expect the 2021 Toyota Prius Prime to roll in with the same basic styling it’s had since its 2017 debut. This will include its slitlike headlights, wing-shaped taillights, a swoopy roofline, and more. The only change we’re anticipating is the Wind Chill Pearl paint option replacing Blizzard Pearl.
Inside, the current Prius Prime replaced the fixed rear center console with a far more useful center seat. It also gained standard smartphone integration and two rear USB ports. Other than these updates, the interior has remained the same since its 2017 debut. We expect its interior design to remain unchanged in 2021.
Under its hood, all has remained the same since its debut, and we expect this to continue into 2021. If this is the case, the 2021 Prius Prime will include a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor that combine for 121 horsepower and a 25-mile all-electric driving range. Unlike its hybrid sibling, the Prius Prime has no all-wheel-drive option.
The current Toyota Prius Prime is an IIHS Top Safety Pick thanks to “Good” crash safety ratings in all tests except the “Acceptable”-rated passenger-side small-overlap test. Also helping it achieve this TSP status are its “Acceptable” headlights and “Superior”-rated standard automatic emergency braking system. We expect the 2021 Toyota Prius Prime to continue with the same safety ratings and features, but it’ll likely lose its Top Safety Pick status due to new IIHS criteria, which requires a “Good”-rated passenger-side small-overlap test.
Pictured: 2020 Toyota Prius Prime