Car review: Turn on a Prius Prime and reduce costs!

Image Credit: Troy Stains

When I reviewed the newest for 2016 Toyota Prius, I have been impressed enough with the redesigned model enough to call it “the top all-around conventionally fueled vehicle ever offered for sale in the U.S.”

Well, Toyota’s raised the bar when using the 2017 Prius Prime with the addition of a large battery and a plug. And, this plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will continue to impress me in the techniques the 2016 model did.

This new model can be quite distinctive from the earlier generation’s plug-in which was only purchased in certain markets. That model’s paltry 9-13 mile EV range, high price and gutless performance were enough of a detriment that sales never amounted to much.

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The good folks at Toyota knew i was eager to drive the Prius Prime and were kind enough to offer me truly the only example currently east on the Mississippi. Main points better still, it wasn’t the top line, loaded car generally included with press fleets, but instead basics model which are likely to favor. Other than this courtesy, I received no compensation.

The specifications

The Prius soldiers on because world’s greatest hybrid with its class-leading fuel economy. Where the Prius Prime differs may be the inclusion of an 8.8 kWh lithium ion power supply that provides this Prius that has a plug a predicted 25 miles of all-electric range.

What does which means that? This implies how the Prius Prime is with a rating of 133 MPGe in EV mode. Once the EV battery is expended, the motor car can be a Prius hybrid and supplies EPA estimated fuel economy of 55 City/ 53 Highway and 54 Combined. That means an EPA estimated selection of 640 miles if your 25-mile EV range is combined with the whole 11.3-gallon vehicle’s gas tank.

What’s better while in the Prime?

There exist several methods this plug-in feature makes an already great car better.

The indisputable fact that 25 miles in the average American’s 35-mile commute can be performed without burning an individual drop of gasoline is usually a significant money-saver in spite of low gasoline prices.

Next, the car battery is sufficiently little it may be easily charged overnight working with a standard 110-volt outlet meaning there really isn’t the need for installing a 240-volt charging station at your house. A built in timer allows the car to have benefit for postponing charging until minute rates are lower (i.e. after midnight). In case your 240-volt charging station can be obtained, a sub two hour recharge time makes keeping the car battery topped off a reasonably simple affair. If you have longer commutes and charging available at work, it’s simple to have as much as 50 miles of EV mileage each and every day.

Probably misused most crucial feature could be that the Prius Prime is entitled to a $4,500 federal tax credit. With the Prius Prime Plus starting worth of $27,100, subtracting that tax credit brings the base price to $22,600. Some states offer tax credits also making your car a lot more of a bargain. The typical Prius Two that doesn’t have got a plug or any real EV range to talk of starts at $24,685. So, for upwards of $2,000 fewer dollars (before any state credits, if available), you can aquire a Prius which has innovative plug-in hybrid technology, saves gasoline, saves money and pollutes less.

What’s much less good when the garden variety Prius?

That depends on the method that you takes place car. The Prius Prime has four bucket seats a result of the requirement of battery space. So, if you would like seating for five, the Prime probably won’t do. Also, as a consequence of weight with the EV battery, mileage while in hybrid mode is down several miles per gallon on the standard Prius.

Another area the spot that the Prime suffers for the standard Prius is in carrying capacity. Again, as a result of bigger battery, the surface within the cargo area is several inches on top of the normal Prius. If you locate space to get confined while using the standard Prius, you’ll feel even more of a pinch with the Prime. But that doesn’t mean that there’s few people like going space inside the Prime. The seats fold right down to make a fairly large cargo area so carrying a motorbike or a weight shopping binge at Costco continues to a chance.

Middle ground – What doesn’t really matter

Another area when the Prime is different from the off the shelf Prius is styling. In the event the Prius was redesigned, it debuted very controversial styling. People are inclined to adore it or hate it. The same holds true for your Prime. Though the two front and rear styling are clearly different from the regular Prius, it’s still likely a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. That said, Prius buyers often care a little more about efficiency than styling so looks fall somewhere below secondary to price and efficiency.


The Prius Prime emerges in three model grades. The $27,100 Prius Prime Plus that we tested, the Prius Prime Premium at $28,800 and also the Prius Prime Advanced at $33,100. All models within the Prime qualify for the $4,500 federal tax credit.

The competition

There are several other cars on the market today that could be considered competition. The Chevrolet Volt comes up. Although Volt handily beats the Prius Prime’s 25 miles of EV range with an EPA estimated 53 miles, the 42 MPG estimate as soon as the EV battery is expended is really a lot lower than that surrounding the Prius. The Volt incorporates a starting price of $33,220 and, as a consequence of size of its battery, is qualified to apply for a $7,500 tax credit. Driving habits and distances are answer to deciding which car works more effectively for individual drivers.

Other plug-in hybrids to contemplate are the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi from Ford. Though these models offer around 20 miles of EV range, their fuel mileage after EV mode is very respectable. Using some markets, Hyundai provides Sonata as a PHEV and Kia delivers a PHEV version of the Optima. This is a market that’s expanding rapidly and new models are visiting for the marketplace frequently.


The Prius is fantastic choice including a plug-in option helps it be a much better car. Combine utilizing an available tax credit that drops the camp valuation on the Prius Prime below that relate to the off the shelf Prius hybrid and you just end up with a super high mileage PHEV that offers to offer the lowest entry price while in the PHEV market. Those qualities, by anyone’s standards, is the Prius Prime value consideration.

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