Toyota Prius Prime Overview Updated March 12, 2020

Toyota Prius Prime

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11 'Toyota Prius Prime' stories

February 2014 - November 2019


The Toyota Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid that has been on the market for a number of years. It was one of the first hybrid vehicles on the market back in 2010, but since this, all-electric vehicles have gone down in price and up in range. Unless you must have a Toyota, there are better options on the market.

Toyota Prius Prime Range

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime gets an EPA-estimated 55 city/53 highway/54 combined MPG estimates and 133 combined MPGe estimate when fully charged and with a full tank of gas.

Toyota Prius Prime Pricing

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime starts at $27,750 before any discounts or federal tax credits. Here at Electrek, we’ve worked hard to find the best prices at dealerships around the country.

Check out our leasing and purchase guides for the lowest prices we’ve found on the Toyota Prius Prime. Use this information with your local dealer as a guide on what best deal should be when shopping around

Toyota Prius Prime Review

In 2017, we reviewed the Prius Prime and came away less than impressed.

That’s the basic theme here. The Prius is a damn fine automobile with a noble heritage and the 2017 redesign is going to be popular even if it looks like you just rolled it over a few times. However, the patch job that Toyota did to make this Prime version an ‘EV’ isn’t worthy of your pocketbook. If you are looking for a similar plug-in petrol/EV hybrid, I’d check out the Chevy Volt, Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i3 w/REX or similar options.

The market has moved away from hybrids towards all-electric vehicles.

So we’ll leave the big issue there. Like I said earlier, the Prime is a big improvement over the Prius Plug-in in almost every way. I say ‘almost’ because the 5 seat Plug-in became a 4 seat Prime and I’m not in love with the exterior design. Hearing jokes like “watch out, the cops are going to pull you over for driving a totaled car” confirm I’m not alone (and the Prime design is a muted, longer version of the regular 2017 Prius). That said, the original Prius design was controversial and has now become iconic so there’s hope in Toyotaland that this will catch on.

Toyota Prius Prime Stories November 4, 2019

2020 Toyota Prius Prime
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The Toyota Prius Prime might offer only 25 miles of electric range. And its gas engine might come on randomly and too often making its EV status debateable. But there’s no denying that the Toyota plug-in hybrid outsells every other EV and PHEV in the US except for the Tesla Model 3 (Model 3 wins there, by a factor of 7). Now there’s evidence on PriusChat.com that Toyota isn’t offering nearly enough Prius Primes to meet demand. expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories February 27, 2017

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TL;DR – The 2017 Prius Prime doesn’t deserve coverage on Electrek. While a significant improvement over its predecessor the Prius Plug-in, the Prime’s internal combustion engine continues to turn on unpredictably and it cannot function as a complete car without gasoline.

Background:

I’ve been a Toyota Prius owner for almost 8 years. I loved my 2008 Prius so much that I decided to step up my game and get a 2012 Prius Plug-in. I regret that now because we had also looked at the Chevy Volt but the rear seat room vs. the Volt’s 4 seat option won out.

The local Toyota dealership sold me on the Plug-in version of the Prius getting 12 miles of range before the ICE motor kicked in. For me, that would have taken care of my commute and my wife could have gotten to work, charged up and gotten home without ever using a drop of gasoline. For long trips we’d use the gasoline and still get the great 50+mpg mileage of a Prius. Perfect! I don’t need the 2012 Volt’s 43 miles of range. Except one thing: The Prius Plug-in doesn’t go 12 miles on electricity or, in my case, often even get out of the driveway on electricity…

And I found out this week that Toyota’s new Prius Prime, while certainly an improvement in many areas over the Plug-in it replaces, still doesn’t function like the EV it pretends to be… expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories October 3, 2016

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While the Toyota Prius has had its fair amount of success, the dazzling Prius Prime will aim to be the customer’s top choice for a plug-in hybrid with its attractive $27,100 price tag (before incentives) and very impressive 124 MPGe.

expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories June 20, 2016

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When Toyota introduced the 2010 Prius years ago, the automaker offered an optional solar panel on the roof of the car. The idea to power your electric vehicle from direct sunlight is understandably appealing, but the system was actually only able to power the climate control inside the system and not the battery pack to power the vehicle.

While solar is great as a source of energy and something we follow diligently here, it requires a great deal of space to make it worthwhile for transportation applications.  Toyota has said that it didn’t connect the previous $2000 Prius Solar Panel option directly to the engine because it caused radio interference with the car’s stereo. In reality, not much power would have been gained. The previous panels were 50watts or about a 6th of a solid 3’x5′ solar panel.

Now the Japanese automaker is bringing back the feature in the new 2017 Prius Plug-In, now renamed the ‘Prius Prime’, and it will reportedly be able to charge your battery pack to contribute to the vehicle’s electric range. Looking at the size, I’d guess it is at least 3-5 times bigger/more powerful than the previous Kyocera solar panel but even then, will it have a meaningful impact on driving/range?  expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories March 24, 2016

One of the most eye-catching elements of Toyota’s new Prius Prime may not be its Tesla-inspired center touchscreen, but a slightly concave rear window that channels air over the spoiler and was unnoticed during our first look. expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories March 23, 2016

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Toyota debuted its next generation Prius plug-in hybrid, now called the ‘Prius Prime’ today at New York Auto Show. The vehicle is the second generation plug-in hybrid Prius and it’s built on the Japanese automaker’s fourth generation Prius platform unveiled last year.

The new version of Toyota’s flagship hybrid is expected to achieve 22 miles of range on a single charge and a 120+ MPGe rating. Those are company estimates and not verified by the EPA yet. expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories October 14, 2015

Prius_WindTunnel_BE5A4061D399929068301EAC6012A0F6ABA2B75DToyota revealed details on some of the new technologies it will introduce in its fourth generation Prius. Most notably, the Japan-based automaker will offer two choices of battery packs with higher energy density for the 2016 Prius: lithium-ion or nickel-metal hybrid. expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories October 1, 2015

I have to say, as an EV enthusiast, these new ads from Chevy leave an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. Yes, the Prius’s NiCad batteries are older technology –and frankly as a Prius Plug-in owner there are plenty of vectors for attack on its battery system – but the Prius STILL gets better mileage than the Volt once the battery is used up, and the Volt’s battery ain’t that big. If I were making the Volt ad and I felt the need to attach the Prius, I’d point out that it is almost impossible to drive electric only with it where the Volt only uses gas on long trips.

Chevrolet’s global chief marketing officer, Tim Mahoney, said those ads have been extremely effective in helping improve Chevrolet’s brand image. Mahoney said Chevrolet’s “shattering perceptions” ads have bumped consumers’ favorable opinion of the brand by 3 percent.

The Leaf ad traps the focus group between floors in dead elevators, leaving them stranded there to emphasize the frustration of being stuck, a major concern for drivers of battery powered cars such as the Leaf. The Prius attack ads points out the car’s engineering is yester-tech.

The Internet ads will be cut down and broadcast on TV, Mahoney said. Volt ads will stress three things: The car’s 53-mile all-electric range, its technology and a combined gasoline and electric driving range of more than 400 miles. Most drivers, Mahoney said, will go between 1,000 and 1,500 miles between tanks of gasoline.

“We’re going to go head-to-head with Leaf and Prius,” Mahoney said. “The ads allow Chevrolet to talk in one way and they allow Chevrolet’s personality to come through. We’re going to be taking more risks,” he said.

In the below commercial, Chevy compares the Leaf’s 80 miles (guess they didn’t hear about the 100+ mile version that will be available in many places before the 2016 Volt) to the Volt’s 400+ with gas. I get it – but why not play up the bits about being electric? expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories September 9, 2015

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Toyota launched its fourth-generation Prius last night in Las Vegas. Prius sales peaked in 2010 and this is the first major redesign since the glory days of the hybrid. The 2016 model stray from the iconic “Prius look” which is now very recognizable after selling over 3.5 million vehicles, but the exterior design still has an unconventional feel to it, especially because of the front-fenders which are very similar to the Mirai’s, Toyota fuel cells vehicle.

They also lowered the hood and the car is now a little bigger; 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower. expand full story

Toyota Prius Prime Stories August 31, 2015

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Two pictures of the 2016 Toyota Prius leaked this weekend on the Malaysia Prius Club forum. The pictures appear to have been shot inside the cargo hold of a plane.

Fortunately and for the first time, the cars have no apparent camouflage on them, giving us a very good look at Toyota’s next generation Prius. expand full story

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