A thrifty value with some flaws. The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime has many positives going for it. Its fuel economy is solid, the price is right, and it has loads of standard features. However, it has some serious styling issues that could turn away many buyers.

Continue reading to find out if the Prius Prime’s good parts outweigh its bad.

Plenty of cargo room but limited rear headroom. The Prius Prime’s relatively small footprint is deceptive when it comes to cargo-hauling capabilities. This plug-in hybrid (PHEV) can haul up to 27.4 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats upright despite its smallish body. Fold those back seats, and the Prius Prime does its best crossover impersonation with up to 50.7 cubes of cargo room.

Toyota touts the Prius Prime as a five-passenger vehicle, but its rear seat is a little too narrow for any comfort when sitting three across. Also, the Prius Prime’s rear glass interferes with rear-seat headroom, making things feel a little tight at just 37.4 inches. This is common among other plug-in sedans, but the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid offers a more tall-person-friendly 39.1 inches.

Fuel efficient but lacking EV range. The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is perky off the line but quickly loses steam, though it is a rather thrifty powertrain at 54 miles per gallon combined. This easily beats the Niro PHEV (46 mpg) and Honda Clarity PHEV (42 mpg), and narrowly trumps the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (32 mpg).

Where the Prius Prime falls behind is its 25 miles of all-electric range. The closest to it is the Niro’s 26 miles of range, and the IONIQ is even higher at 29 miles. The Honda Clarity trounces it at 48 miles, though.

Plenty of value but loses points for style.At $29,245 (destination fees included), the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is a decent value. Plus, it comes standard with a seven-inch touchscreen, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, three USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity. On top of that, it includes standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights.

While a bargain is nice, the Prius Prime’s styling requires a particular taste. Its wedge-like shape could be sharp, but its wild rear styling, misguided contours, and excessive triangular themes make it tough on the eyes.

Buyers looking for a more toned-down PHEV can find this in the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro PHEV. If toned-down looks are your goal, you should skip the equally odd-styled Honda Clarity too.

Final thoughts. For buyers whose only concern is saving on fuel, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime strikes a nice balance. Yes, its 25 miles of all-electric range is on the low side, but its 54 mpg combined is high relative to its competition. Plus, you can feel secure driving the Prius Prime thanks to its range of high-tech safety gear.

Buyers seeking a longer all-electric driving range can find this in the Honda Clarity, which travels 48 miles on a charge. Buyers who want a more traditional design and a roomier rear seat may prefer the Niro PHEV.

Buyers who don’t need the all-electric range can save some cash by stepping down to the standard Prius, which starts from $25,650 (destination fees included), which is nearly $4,000 cheaper than the Prime. The standard Prius delivers up to 56 mpg combined and even has an optional all-wheel-drive system for enhanced traction on slippery roads – the Prime has no AWD option.

As for the pricing, there is one thing to keep in mind. The Prius Prime still qualifies for a $4,502 federal tax credit, bringing its net cost closer to the Prius’ base price. Also, often has a $1,500 customer cash rebate, and folks in Calfornia can get another $450 California Clean Fuel Reward (CCFR).

Check prices for the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime