2017 Toyota Prius Prime Test Drive Review

3 months ago by John Neff 86

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Adding a plug and a cord makes this the best version of the Prius you can buy.

– Cleveland, Ohio

The plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius Prime has often been panned because its all-electric drive range is less than half that of the Chevrolet Volt. While the newly named Prime has upped its EV range from ~11 miles in the former Prius Plug-In to a much more livable 25, the current Volt gives you 53 miles. It’s true, the Volt has the Prime beat by an electric mile in this regard. But that’s not the whole story. The Prime has a lot to offer, especially compared to the traditional Prius, which is the gold standard among traditional hybrids.

Think of the Prime as a souped up Prius rather than a range-extended electric car like the Volt, and you won’t be disappointed. It’s affordable, easily attainable ultra-efficient motoring at its finest. Customers have noticed, too, as Toyota can’t build Primes fast enough to keep dealers stocked.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Pros

Easy MPGs. It’s just as easy to achieve crazy-good fuel economy while driving the Prime as in non-plug-in Prius. Just plug it in each night so you have 25 miles of EPA rated electric range the next day (I experienced about 20 miles per charge). The feds estimate you’ll get 133 MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent, which is second in the U.S. market only to the Hyundai Ioniq Electric. In my week with the Prime, I achieved around 80 mpg with two full recharges of the battery pack and plenty of miles driven with it empty (it’s rated at 54 mpg combined with the battery pack depleted). While there are three driving modes that let you control your fuel saving strategy – EV Auto, EV, and HV Auto – I recommend the car’s default auto mode; leave the optimum efficiency calculations to the car’s computer.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Feels normal to drive. While this hardly sounds like a praiseworthy accomplishment, the Prius had earned a reputation over many years for its strange driving characteristics, which were highlighted by the lightest, most disconnected steering feel imaginable and a cushy suspension. Toyota has finally addressed this with the latest Prius, and the handling upgrade applies equally to the Prime. It drives much more like a regular compact car, with more weight in its steering and a firmer suspension, though the brakes still feel artificial and uneven in their application (see below). The Prime is no sports sedan, nor should it be, but this new experience behind the wheel should now appeal to a much larger range of people than before.

Low price and cool features. Check this out: the base model Prius Prime costs less than the standard Prius after a federal tax rebate is taken into account: $23,495 to $24,370. Make sure you lease one, though, if you want that rebate immediately, otherwise you’ll have to wait until next April. It’s also over $3,000 less than the Chevrolet Volt, though that three grand costs you 50-percent fewer miles of all-electric driving range. The Prius Prime also offers some cool features you can’t get on the standard Prius, like a giant, Tesla-like infotainment screen; a dual-wave rear window; and a hatch that weighs less thanks to carbon fiber-reinforced polymer construction.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Cons

Less seating and cargo. In the Prime, the rear bench seat is split by a console with cupholders, making it strictly a four-seater, and the cargo area’s floor is raised to accommodate the larger battery pack. Compare that to the standard Prius, which has a rear bench seat that fits three people across and a larger, more accommodating cargo area underneath its hatch. The Prime is still more practical than the Volt, though, with nearly twice as much cargo space.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Low electric range. The Prius Prime can travel 25 miles on electric power alone, while the Chevy Volt can go 53 miles per charge. That’s a damning stat, even if the Volt costs a little more after the government’s tax credit for plug-in hybrid vehicles is taken into account. With those 28 extra miles, people can drive electric significantly more often in their daily lives, going weeks and sometimes months without burning fuel. That’s much less likely in the Prime, which makes it more like a traditional hybrid with a big battery than a range-extended electric vehicle.

Weird looks. The Prius has never been traditionally styled, and this latest generation looks more far out than any Priuses before it. The Prime version goes even further, with unique front and rear fascias that sport new lighting elements with their own distinct signatures. Sure, all those crazy lines are highly functional for aerodynamics, but does it have to look like an alien bug from Starship Troopers?

Touchy brakes. After all these years, Toyota still hasn’t mastered making regenerative brakes on the Prius feel like traditional friction brakes. Apply what feels like appropriate braking force and the car will give you either 25 percent more or less than what you’re expecting. The result is a lot of hurking and jerking at low speeds.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Competitors

Chevrolet Volt
Ford C-Max Energi
Ford Fusion Energi
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
Hyundai Sonata PHEV
Kia Optima PHEV

Photos by John Neff

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86 responses to "2017 Toyota Prius Prime Test Drive Review"

  1. Alan says:

    My outlander PHEV has the same Electric range as this !

    Roll on Leaf 2.0

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I hear ya.

      I agree with the article that this is the best version of a Prius you can buy. But if you want something even better – a lot better – buy a Volt.

      Volt has way more electric range, resulting in much less gas usage, while also having phenomenal acceleration and torque, handling, etc.

      In the end though, any vehicle sale with a plug is good.

      1. Alan says:

        That’s true,

        And if every Prime owner does the same as me and converts to pure BEV after driving PHEV then even better !

      2. georgeS says:

        “I agree with the article that this is the best version of a Prius you can buy.”

        -Clarkson

        OK I’ve got to weigh in on this. We still have our 2008 Prius, I had a Volt for 3 years and now I have a 2012 Model S I bought used for 50K.

        Note we still have the 08 Prius. It’s been a super reliable car and cranks out 50 MPG day in and day out.

        If I was to buy another Prius which one would I get??

        The regular Prius without a plug.

        Sounds odd but that my 2 cents. No sense trying to make the car a whole lot more than it is and I don’t like the fact there is less room inside Prime.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Hi George, that’s a fair point that the Prime has less space than a normal Prius.

          In the general sense though, I think the majority of Prius people drive their vehicles for efficiency, and they are likely to be willing to take a Prime for that added efficiency with the plug.

          That said, a Volt still seems better for many reasons, though even a Volt has a bit less luggage space than a typical Prius, so if that’s the constraint we’d have to agree.

          Of course, at that point I’d probably mumble something about the Bolt EV. It’s volume is cavernous, and its gas usage is zero. 🙂

          1. SJC says:

            Prime sales are doing well, people must like them.

      3. john1701a says:

        Not true. The “less gas” claim is misleading, at best.

        I have driven over 2,000 miles between fillups with my Prime.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          “Not true. The ‘less gas’ claim is misleading, at best.”

          No, it most certainly is not. We’re not talking about single data points here, we’re talking about data-driven statistics about how mass-market Americans use their vehicles.

          It’s easy to understand that more electric range equates to more gas-free driving. By your argument we could say that a person doesn’t need any electric vehicle to drive gas-free, and cites a person that can bicycle to and from work as an example. Silly, right?

          I’m looking at statistics as a whole that says 75% of Americans drive 40 miles or less a day. That tells me that over 75% of Americans can use zero gas for all those trips with the 53-mile Volt, but not for the Prime.

          Yes, for some, the Prime will provide gas free miles for all their driving too, but that point seems obvious, since it has an all-electric range.

          The point that is not as obvious, and that you’re seemingly trying to ignore, is that a 53-mile plug-in hybrid will offset more gas than a 25 mile plug-in hybrid. This becomes even more true when the Volt will use no gas regardless of acceleration or speed, whereas the Prime requires use of its engine for higher accelerations and speeds.

          1. john1701a says:

            The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.

            Oversimplification to just EV capacity means overlooking a variety of other contributing factors… like purchase price, which has a major influence on market penetration.

            1. Scramjett says:

              I don’t think Clarkson is making the “one size fits all” argument. More like pointing out that a plug-in with a higher AER that covers the use case of most Americans would yield the least fuel use. And he would be right.

              Costs are a factor, but given that, for years, pundits were arguing that hybrids like the Prius didn’t make economic sense (and they were right), yet people kept buying them, proves cost is by no means the only factor.

              I owned a ’07 Prius for 9 years before trading it in for the Volt, but after leasing a Leaf for 3 years, I did some number crunching and concluded that I saved more gas in the 3 years with the Leaf than I did with the Prius over its entire lifetime. Since we went to being a one car family, I couldn’t just have one EV and one hybrid so I had to get the best of both, and that was the Volt – a car that did nearly as well as the Leaf in AER, but go near enough to Prius like efficiency on our road trips.

        2. Scramjett says:

          Call me when you’ve hit 7000 miles between fill ups, which is what I’ve accomplished with my Volt thank you very much.

          1. john1701a says:

            Switching to an EV would be the better choice at that point. No sense carrying around an engine for so little use.

            1. Scramjett says:

              Tell me how I can make it to LA with an EV that is less than $50k and has easily accessible QC’s, then I’ll get one. Until then, I’m keeping my Volt.

    2. Gasper Gartner says:

      Problem with Outlander (and also Prius Prime) is that you will be using gas engine a LOT. Prius just leaves Outlander in the dust at that part.

      1. Alan says:

        Well, after 28 months of use, I am averaging 73+ mpg including Electric (105 mpg equivalent in EV only mode) so no complaints here !

        It has a level boot floor and a cavernous loading area when the rear seats are folded down.

        A truly brilliant car !

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          This is the point that mainstream America struggles to get. If a vehicle can do 90% of your driving on electricity, then the gas mileage after that can be pretty crappy and you’ll still get better overall efficiency for those driving patterns.

          I don’t know of a good way to educate people on this. It’s hard to explain in the time of the typical attention span of a consumer. 😉

          1. georgeS says:

            especially an American consumer

          2. john1701a says:

            Toyota already addressed this issue.

            199.9 MPG is the maximum displayed on the screen due to diminishing returns. There simply is not much value showing the tiny quantities of gas used beyond 200 MPG.

            So, what the driver continues to see… even when the engine runs… is 199.9 MPG for a number of miles following EV depletion.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              My point isn’t so much the displays, the Volt does something similar where they limit to 250 MPG.

              My point is more about how you convince a mass-market consumer who knows nothing about EVs, to not ask “What’s the MPG after the electric runs out” or if they do ask, trying to make sure they understand what that number really means as a function of their own driving.

              When someone has the vehicle, those average MPG numbers make it pretty obvious, but the problem I’m more concerned with are the consumers that are on the fence, and don’t understand the questions they’re asking or the answers they’re getting.

          3. WadeTyhon says:

            Yeah, for some people with short commutes, the Prime will be the most efficient vehicle and they should seriously consider it. That isn’t the case for everyone though.

            For my wife’s gen 1 Volt, She sees about 42 miles every charge and commutes over 30 miles every day.

            In a Prime she would use gas every single day. But she hasn’t used a drop since we got the Bolt in June.

            Right now, we use the Bolt for longer drives and will use the volt gas engine only for the once or twice a year trip away from city centers.

    3. mx says:

      If you can afford to buy a PRIME Premier and Advanced, you can afford to Lease the BMW i3 REX, and get a Real Electric Car plus hybrid capability.

      And a much better ride, acceleration and efficiency, because you’ll be off gas for much longer, and you don’t have to plug it in every rainy day.

      Also, a BMW i3 lease will give Toyota time to put out a REAL EV.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Or you get a Volt that has very similar ride quality to an i3, with a full sized engine once the battery runs out, rather than BMW’s undersized engine that suffers on hills and when passing.

        I really hope BMW will remedy this on a future generation of their i3.

        1. mx says:

          You can “code” the REX generator to start at 75% battery state of charge, and you never get to the low power point of 3%.

          That hasn’t been an issue with the 2016’s and beyond.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            mx: 2 questions:

            1). What is the difference between the new and older I3 rex’s?

            2). How big is the resistance heater in the rex? What I’m asking is does the heater on high Sap 10 hp out of the 35 hp motorcycle engine, and what is it like driving under such conditions with the battery dead and the heater on high?

  2. Derek says:

    Volt is better in nearly every way, except driver visibility.

    1. ziv says:

      I was thinking that 54 combined mpg in CS mode is nice, but given the 53 mile AER, just how often will most people be driving a Gen II Volt in CS mode?
      Not much.
      I like my Gen I Volt but the Gen II’s are pretty impressive.
      My dream car would be a Gen II Volt with a Bolt drivetrain, but stretch the Volt’s cabin a bit to get 2 more inches of back seat legroom.
      And being able to charge at a 75 kW rate would be a nice bit of future proofing…

    2. BenG says:

      Reliability, price and I’m guessing the user interface are all advantages for the Prime. The first two are really important factors for a lot of buyers.

      On the user interface, my 2007 Prius is vastly better than my 2012 Volt, so I assume Toyota still does a good job on that.

      1. CCIE says:

        Reliability is debatable. CR did a hit piece on the Gen-2 Volt’s reliability based on the few 2016 units sold. Hopefully they’re correct themselves on it soon.

        As for price, the Volt normally sells with dealer discounts and it qualifies for a larger tax credit. So, they should both cost about the same.

        The Gen1 Volt had a lot of capacitive buttons. Most people don’t like it (I do). But, the Gen2 Volt has a more traditional interface. Haven’t heard anyone complain about it.

        The PP is obviously better than a standard Prius, unless you need seating space. But, it’s Toyota’s second weak attempt at creating a PHEV. The small battery and very slow acceleration are disappointing. As the article says, it’s a souped-up Prius, not an EREV like the Volt is.

        1. BenG says:

          The Volt has been lagging on reliability as reported by the Consumer Reports survey results in both 2015 (2/5 – worse than average) and 2016 (1/5 – much worse than average).

          It’s true we don’t know how reliable the Prime will be, but the regular Prius never scored less than 5/5 – much better than average, while the Volt never scored better than 3/5 – average.

          I think it’s fair to expect better sinificantly reliability from the Prime, but as the first year from this model there may well be some hiccups, so I don’t expect 5/5 from it.

          I agree the slow acceleration is disappointing to me personally: I wish they’d at least made it a 9-10 second 0-60 car like some of the earlier Prius models but plenty of people are happy with a slow car like the Corolla or Prime it seems.

          The lack of a 5th seat is a problem, as well as the reduced cargo space. It’s far from perfect.

          I’d personally not buy either a Prime or a 2cnd Gen Volt at this time. Used first gen Volt is good at the moment. Maybe a used Bolt or something else in the future. My wife might be a candidate for a used Prime in the future, she loves her Prius.

          1. ffbj says:

            Close to my view, even up to the used Bolt idea.

          2. CCIE says:

            I don’t know how the 2015 Gen1 Volt can be ranked that poorly on reliability. I read gm-volt.com forums regularly and haven’t seen any indication that 2015 is any less reliable than the rest of the Gen1 years.

            It’s pretty rare to meet a Gen1 Volt owner who doesn’t think it’s one of the best cars they’ve ever owned. The devotion levels seem to be on par with Prius owners.

            The whole thing makes me think less of CR’s ratings system.

            1. BenG says:

              I’ve owned my 2012 Volt for a year, and my 2007 Prius for about 5 years. The only issue I’ve had with the Prius in that time was the lead acid 12 volt battery died. I’ve done routine maintenance as well, of course.

              On the Volt I have an issue with the charger door sticking shut, a minor inconvenience since it will open if I fiddle with it, but also the stock charging cord/appliance died on me. I was able to repair after investing a lot of time researching, and then buying $100 worth of tools and supplies.

              So, nothing big, but the rate of problems on the Volt has been higher than the Prius despite it being a newer car. On the other hand since I drive mostly electric, I still haven’t had to change the oil or do other engine maintenance on the Volt, which is very cool.

              Unless you think CR is fudging the numbers I don’t know why you’d hold the Volt’s survey performance against them. It could hypothetically be that the 2015 Volt was just as reliable as the 2013, but that the competition it’s judged against is constantly improving, so maybe that was enough for it to slip from ‘average’ to ‘below average’. Or maybe there were some minor tweaks that proved problematic, or changes on the production line, etc …

              1. CCIE says:

                I don’t think CR is fudging the numbers. I’d just like to see the sample sizes they’re using. 2016 Volts were released in limited numbers and in limited states. So, I find it very hard to believe that they have data on enough 2016 Volts to say anything definitive about it.

    3. William says:

      Roomy 5th Seat for Uber/ Lyft / Maven…etc?
      Ride share needs rear seat space for passengers. Volt could use a little more space.

      1. BenG says:

        Also applies to the Prime, which actually has more of a chance of getting a 5th seat. From what I understand they removed the 5th seat because the car was near the design limits if fully loaded with 4 passengers … shouldn’t be so hard to beef up the suspension some to support another 200 lbs and add the seat back in.

    4. Gasper Gartner says:

      Problem with the Volt is availability it may be a better car, but it’s not available in Europe and many other markets. The price diference may be only $3k after tax credit, but many other countries have fix goverment grants on PHEVs, so the diference would be much more in those markets (if you could buy it).

      1. Hangtime10 says:

        Gasper Gartner – the Volt is available in some European markets as Opels’ Ampera.

        1. Gasper Gartner says:

          Not anymore, I should know I’m from Europe 😉

    5. Bacardi says:

      If “every” translates to three items I’m with ya, AER Range, near useless 0-30 performance and better “Civic-like” styling…

      The Prime is drastically cheaper and comes with standard with ACC and other safety features including automatic emergency braking which can lower your insurance premiums in some locations…MPGs, available options (can get sunroof, power seats and even “homelink!”

  3. CCIE says:

    This quote says it all:

    “Think of the Prime as a souped up Prius rather than a range-extended electric car like the Volt, and you won’t be disappointed. “

    1. bro1999 says:

      That’s sorta like saying your overcooked beef sirloin is fine….as long as you ignore the people eating filet mignon to the left and right of you.

    2. Prsnep says:

      That quote is also very much one’s subjective opinion and easily countered.

    3. john1701a says:

      Volt isn’t an extended-range vehicle… http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/phevtech.shtml

      Series plug-in hybrids, also called Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs). Only the electric motor turns the wheels. The gasoline engine only generates electricity. Series plug-ins can run solely on electricity until the battery runs down. The gasoline engine then generates electricity to power the electric motor. For short trips, these vehicles might use no gasoline at all.

      Parallel or Blended Plug-in Hybrids. Both the engine and electric motor are connected to the wheels and propel the vehicle under most driving conditions. Electric-only operation usually occurs only at low speeds.

      1. CCIE says:

        GM invented the term EREV, so they get to define it. To me it means any vehicle where the electric motors are the primary means of propulsion and the ICE is secondary.

        The only true series-hybrid I know of was the failed Fisker Karma.

        1. john1701a says:

          BMW i3 is a true EREV.

          Volt is a plug-in hybrid. Like Prime, you get true EV until depletion, then blending afterward.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            No, Volt is a series hybrid after the battery runs out, at city speeds or under heavy loads. Sometimes, it is more efficient to use their patented transmission to directly couple the motor-generator to the wheels for added efficiency, like continuous high speed cruising on a highway with low power loads. It is analogous to an “overdrive” gear.

            And when someone starts to argue against it being a series electric, just because it does this sometimes and only when it’s more efficient, well then you have to take a step back and ask what exactly their point is.

            “Hey, that’s not a series hybrid, they didn’t choose to be less efficient at higher speeds so it’s all a scam!” Hmmm…

            Saying it is not a series hybrid because it sometimes bypases that mode, is like saying a hybrid is only a normal combustion vehicle because sometimes it doesn’t use the electric assist. That kind of logic truly makes one’s eyes roll.

          2. CCIE says:

            You’re right on the i3. I always forget about it.

            There are cars that primarily rely on ICE, with a small secondary electric motor (PHEV – Prius Prime).

            There are cars that primarily rely on electric motors with a small secondary ICE (EREV – Volt).

            1. john1701a says:

              Misrepresentation of Prime is unacceptable.

              It doesn’t have a small electric motor. Full EV driving is available for the entire plug-supplied capacity, without ever using the engine.

              Calling that secondary is just plain wrong.

              1. CCIE says:

                I’m not misrepresenting anything. Two minutes of research will show you that the Volt’s electric motors are more powerful than its ICE. And, the exact opposite is true for the PP.

                The PP is an ICE vehicle with a small electric motor to allow limited EV functionality. That’s probably why it’s acceleration is so bad.

                The Volt and i3 are EVs with small ICE to extend range.

                1. john1701a says:

                  Two minutes of research will show that you are avoiding detail to conceal the difference between want & need.

                  1. CCIE says:

                    Which details? Please expand. Here are some comparison specs for you:

                    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2017-chevrolet-volt-premier-vs-2017-toyota-prius-prime-advanced-comparison-test-final-scoring-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-4

                    We need air, food, and water. We don’t need cars. So, everything having to do with a car is a want.

                    I want to drive in an EV with a backup gas generator. You appear to want to drive a Hybrid with some limited EV ability.

                    I want to drive a vehicle with >40 miles electric range. You want to drive one with <30 miles electric range.

                    I want to drive in a vehicle with 10 sec 0-60.

                    To each his own, I guess.

  4. David Murray says:

    While it’s true that the Volt has a lot more EV range, if you compare the Prime to other plug-in hybrids you’ll find that it actually beats most of them on range. The Volt is essentially at the top of its game, unless you count the BMW i3 Rex.

    1. BenG says:

      Yep, if you dismiss the i3 REx for it’s lack of 4 full doors and it’s tiny gas tank, then the Volt stands alone far above everything else that plugs in and has a range extender.

      Then you have the Prime, way back but still way ahead of most of its plug-in competitors, most of which cannot run normal highway speeds without the gas engine coming on.

      At least the Prime can more or less run in EV-only mode for 20 miles or so. That is a big upgrade over almost everything else out there on the market.

      1. john1701a says:

        Low 30’s for me in the summer months with my Prime.

        1. BenG says:

          Nice, thanks for the info.

        2. CCIE says:

          How’s the range at 20 degrees F? I can’t imagine it’s very good since the car doesn’t have a liquid TMS.

          1. john1701a says:

            Range doesn’t take much off a hit from the cold due to the battery-warmer. So for short trips, pre-condition and heats work fine.

            Colder conditions, you take advantage of the industries most efficient heat-pump.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      And so far, similar to the Volt, Toyota is producing the Prime in numbers large enough to put most other PHEVs to shame.

      Would I buy one? No. Am I excited it is doing pretty well? Absolutely! I would recommend it to people with a short commute who does a lot of long distance traveling.

      1. john1701a says:

        Worldwide rollout all within the same year, while introducing the dual-wave glass and the carbon-fiber for the hatch, is quite an undertaking.

        They’ll push into the economy-of-scale production-cost benefit much sooner as a result, even if we don’t see as many on the road here as quickly.

        It’s a global market now.

  5. DJ says:

    I always find it kind of ironic that InsideEVs writers “cringe” any time they see another manufacturer make any sort of claim involving Tesla when they can’t even seem to avoid doing it themselves. Why does it have to have a “giant, Tesla-like infotainment screen” and not just a big screen?

    Many of us (non-BEV purists) knew the Prime would do well and it’s great to see that it is!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      “The Prius Prime also offers some cool features you can’t get on the standard Prius, like a giant, Tesla-like infotainment screen; a dual-wave rear window…”

      …you read a lot into a single/positive reference, lol.

      1. George Burman says:

        The giant display on the two higher end versions of the Prime is its worst feature. I hate it! Trying to touch exactly the right spot while the car is in motion (which I only do as the passenger)is like trying to poke a fish underwater with a limp noodle! And, why does it take four separate actions just to tune to a different radio station?

        The manuals that come with the vehicle are a joke. Just trying to reset the clock requires being referred to two different sections of the manual. In the manual entitled Navigation System, the description of the navigation system doesn’t begin until page 199!

        OK, I have vented about my pet peeves, and need to say that my wife and I love the performance of the Prime. And the mileage issue is simple: if your daily driving is around 25 miles, or less, you will get phenomenal mileage and go weeks or months without a fillip. If it is more, you will have to buy gas more often.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Hey George,

          I actually agree with you. I drove one for a short bit (nothing like yourself owning one I am sure), but the screen annoyed me on more than one occasion.

          Truthfully, this is traditionally, the Achilles heel of Toyota anyway when they try to over-reach a bit on the tech, so it was terribly surprising…I went in kinda knowing it was going to disappoint. Not sure if that makes it better or worse, lol.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Prime looks like it is similar to the Leaf in terms of battery temperature control and charging. Prime battery is air cooled and you can use the full capacity – two things that make it hard on the battery. Another reason why Volt is better. I would expect to see battery degradation with the Prime, just like the Leaf.

    1. john1701a says:

      No, you can’t use full capacity. There is longevity buffer.

      A full recharge, including conversion losses, is 6.3 kWh.

      1. BenG says:

        And it’s air-cooled, but the air is drawn from the passenger compartment, and so is/can be air conditioned, which will make a big difference at times.

    2. Prsnep says:

      Where do you get your information? It seems a bit… made up.

    3. CCIE says:

      Oh man, they really didn’t put a liquid TMS in it? I don’t know what some of these companies are thinking.

      I was wondering why Toyota’s chairman said there were longevity issues with BEVs. If his company’s only experience is with non-TMS battery packs then they would see a lot of issues.

      1. BenG says:

        Toyota did well building the Prius’s hybrid traction battery to last the life of the car. I expect they’ve done a good job of engineering the Prime’s battery as well.

        The Prime isn’t liquid cooled, but with a relatively small battery for a plug-in and air cooling drawn from the passenger compartment, and standard settings running the AC to cool that air when charging in warm conditions, I think it’ll be fine.

        1. CCIE says:

          I guess we’ll see in a few years if it acts like GM/Tesla batteries, or like Nissan batteries.

          Without a real TMS cold weather performance must be pretty bad. I’d be interested to see some reviews of the range below freezing temps.

          1. Gasper Gartner says:

            There is an electric heater that heats up the battery in the cold

  7. CCIE says:

    Here is the chairman of Toyota saying EVs aren’t ready for primetime. If they’re not careful they’re doing to lose the environmental darling status that the original Prius bought them.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/05/toyota-chairman-uchiyamada-electric-vehicles-will-come-but-no-rapid-shift.html

    1. Bacardi says:

      Well…”Uchiyamada said another two or three more technological breakthroughs are needed before vehicles can be fully powered by batteries. Nevertheless, he admitted that some form of electrification is inevitable and that Toyota is already working on developing better batteries to power its cars.”

      They did bring the Prime to market at an extremely attractive price…

      1. anon says:

        Did he mean vehicles priced like a Yaris or premium vehicles? To be fair, the cost of just the Bolt’s battery is [very] roughly in line with the MSRP of a Toyota Yaris. So it may well be a fair amount of time until we see EVs penetrate the low end of the market.

    2. john1701a says:

      WIDESPREAD isn’t realistic yet. Battery cost alone makes that c point quite clear. Infrastructure improvements and refinements to design can happen in the meantime.

      It’s the difference between really adopter and mainstream buyers.

    3. ffbj says:

      Sorry, I posted the same thing below. I hadn’t finished reading through the entire thread, but yeah that was a pretty bone-headed commentary on evs. Like his speech from 5 years ago. Lame.

  8. Fabian says:

    Just can’t get used to that awful steering wheel and that center speedo display..

  9. ffbj says:

    Toyota explains: we need two or three more advances in battery tech before evs are viable. (Oh Brother).
    https://finance.yahoo.com/video/toyota-chairman-skeptical-rapid-shift-050100401.html

  10. ClarksonCote says:

    This is interesting, apparently Chevy has a comparison tool for their cars against other competitors. Including the Volt vs. the Prime…

    https://www.cnychevy.com/chevy-vs-competition/compare/303/2017-Chevrolet-Volt-vs-2017-Toyota-PriusPrime

    1. john1701a says:

      Whoa! Talking about cherry picking. Notice how the standard Prime safety features weren’t included…

      – Dynamic Radar Cruise
      – Pre-Collision Braking
      – Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
      – Automatic High-Beams

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Ok, so the Prime beat the Volt in 4 spots and the Volt beat the Prime in what, 25 I think?

  11. JM says:

    I think it really depends on your needs, I love my 2017 prime get almost 34 miles on electric for me it was the best choice

  12. Pw says:

    I get 35 miles on electric, have to wait and see if winter affects that. Have also achieved 75mpg in pure hybridge mode with no charge. Love the big screen. Smooth ride very comfortable. Would go all electric but don’t want to be limited on long trips.

  13. john1701a says:

    Notice how the efficiency ratings are all missing too…

    – MPG
    – MPGe
    – kWh/mi

  14. CCIE says:

    Just read the PP doesn’t even have Apple Carplay or Android Auto. Toyota really likes dragging there feet.

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