Forbes Wonders…Will New Toyota Prius Prime Draw Potential Tesla Model 3 Buyers?


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

“Cheaper and more fuel efficient than the old one, Toyota’s new Prius plug-in hybrid is providing would-be buyers of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in and all-electric Tesla Model 3 with a credible alternative.”

That’s the opening statement from a recent Forbes article that goes on to discuss how improved the new 2017 Prius Prime is over the old prius plug-in hybrid; and while we agree that the new version is a whole lot better, we’re not so sure that it’ll steal Model 3 buyers aways from Tesla as the article implies – thats a fairly large product leap.

Forbes reached out to David Whiston, an analyst with Morningstar, for comment. Whiston stated:

“Nationwide selling may combat Tesla, which has momentum with over $15 billion of Model 3 orders. Toyota may want to snag some of those customers who are not willing to wait until their Model 3 order is filled in either late 2017 or even 2018.”

Yes, Toyota may want to steal those customers, but that doesn’t mean that Toyota will be able to.

As for the Prius prime being competition for the Chevrolet Volt, yeah that’s a sure bet; especially considering many of today’s Volt owners are made up of former Prius drivers disenfranchised with the previous versions of traditonal hybrid.

Priced from $27,950 (compared to the Volt’s base price of $34,095), the Prius Prime is a relative bargain, provided just 25 miles of all-electric travel and 54 MPG thereafter in extended range motoring, suits your driving style.

Source: Forbes

Categories: Tesla, Toyota

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96 Comments on "Forbes Wonders…Will New Toyota Prius Prime Draw Potential Tesla Model 3 Buyers?"

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Reasons 1-99: FUGLY
Reason 100: STILL FUGLY

+1 …lol

LOL, hey it’s better than the Mirai! But not by much!?

…but I think if you ignore its looks. LOL I’m just kidding, it’s too ugly for that.

Good luck with fully autonomous cars Toyota, you have a potential market among the blind.

Past Prius were not exactly lookers, and yet sold well.

With numbers like that, seems more designed to compete with Ford’s hybrids. Volt offers twice the range and three times the looks.

Agree that these will most likely hurt Fords Plug in sales…
Maybe inspire Ford to lower the price or upgrade the range??

LOL! they just upgraded it to…. a whopping 21. i wouldnt expect an increase for a couple more years.

Correction, Volt doesn’t have the range over prius because you can only go so far and you’re done until you recharge.
Besides, sit in a Volt and you’ll be wishing it was a Prius!

“Correction, Volt doesn’t have the range over prius because you can only go so far and you’re done until you recharge.”

Stupid argument…

Prius and Volt both have gasoline engine for a reason.

This is the kind of ignorance and misinformation that explains why Trump are popular and Volt aren’t selling better.

I can’t believe people can still make comments about the Volt and still not know it’s a plug-in hybrid.

The Volt is still the king of plug-in hybrids.

You shouldn’t be offering any “correction” on this one.

You are confusing the Volt and the Bolt EV. The Volt is a Plug in Hybrid like the Prius Prime.

The Volt has 53 miles of electric range and then can drive well over 350 miles on gasoline.

The Prime can only drive about 22 miles on electricity. Then it switches to gas.

I’m glad you like your Prius, but the Volt is a vastly superior car in Electric range.

???? bruh, The Prius Prime is rated at 133MPGe +52MPG all together can go 600+ mile range until empty.that’s like 200 miles more than than what the Volt cab go.

Prius Prime electric+gas range is 640 miles.
Volt electric+gas range is 420 miles.

A five minute gas stop refills either one. Prius Prime is better for those with steel bladders (or astronaut diapers) who drive ten hours non-stop.

Forbes = Clueless

Forbes wonders… with tofu draw potential steak buyers?

Forbes is the same one that always talk that if they raise the minimum wage by $0.50 cents to a dollar it will crash the economy.

that is possible, but you dont know until you try …. oh wait, we already did. July 2007 then again in July 2008 and again in July 2009. everything crashed in September 2008.


good one. 😀

Sublime said:

“Forbes wonders… with tofu draw potential steak buyers?”

Well, that analogy is simply… sublime! 😀

Seriously, I think that may be the most perfect analogy I’ve ever read. Take a well-deserved bow, Sublime. 🙂

I agree. It looks like a Saturn meets the Jetsons. I would get the Bolt over the Prius. Waiting for the Bolt to hit the non-compliance states.

It fell from the FUGLY tree, then hit every single branch of the FUGLY tree on the way down, THEN another FUGLY tree fell on it.

I tried looking at a Gen 4 Prius (and Prime) objectively, but you just can’t ignore the FUGLY.

Thanks for making me laugh today! That’s awesome



We get it. You find it ugly.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I don’t think Prius owners brag about how awesome their car looks. They are bragging about mpg.

I adore my Prius!!! Every beautiful part of it! 2016 body style is the best! Love it!

And you were dumb enough to say that Volt can’t go beyond its EV range…

Stop spreading your ignorance..

Bragging about the Prius’ MPG is almost worse than bragging about its looks. Both are terrible compared to alternatives. Sure, people still THINK it has better MPG because they look at the sticker and believe they are constantly getting 54 MPG.

I drove a Volt for three years and it tracks EXACTLY the lifecycle MPG it got. I landed at 126 MPG. Until someone with a PiP can show they’ve done that, they should just shut up about their gas guzzler.

Oh, and it’s totally ugly. I wouldn’t even have been seen driving in that thing during college.

> Bragging about the Prius’ MPG is almost worse than bragging about its looks.

Yeah right. What a joke. Compare numbers sold and the length of time the Prius has been on the marketing making a difference.

Tim said:

“I drove a Volt for three years and it tracks EXACTLY the lifecycle MPG it got. I landed at 126 MPG.”

I don’t know which is worse: Not understanding that the Volt is a fully functional PHEV, and thus can easily be driven well past its electric range; or reporting the fake MPG rating the Volt displays as if it’s real MPG.

Both show a fundamental lack of understanding about the significant differences between gasmobiles, PHEVs, and BEVs.

What’s wrong with the number the Volt displays?

Miles traveled / gallons burned (up to 250).

It’s pretty darn good.

Obviously EV miles use energy from the wall, but that’s so painfully obvious it shouldn’t need to be stated.

Acceleration like gold, scarce and hard to find.

While the Prime looks much better than the standard prius… but that ain’t saying much. But mostly anyone who is pining for a Tesla is probably set on all Electric.

I don’t think this is happening. The Bolt or i3… or an updated Focus or Leaf maybe? But not the Prius Prime.

I got rid of a Prius in favor of a Tesla. I doubt very few would go the other way.


Forbes is pro oil…they want Tesla to fail…

Forbes has a number of contributing writers, who’ve RAILED VW. Better than it recently was, IMHO.

Prius Prime could well be the best-selling plug-in in 2017 on it’s price, efficiency, utility and projected reliability. Too bad they hamstrung sales by making it a 4 seater.

But I doubt many Model 3 customers will switch. Rather it will attract Prius customers as the most technologically advanced and cheapest Prius. They might well sell 50,000+ next year.

Too bad if that happens. Once a person buys a plug-in hybrid, they quickly wish it had a longer AER. The Volt II has 2X the rage and there are Volt II drivers wishing they’d up that AER to near 100. I agree, too, with others here, that this is one FUGLY car. It will sell, because it’s a Prius and Toyota ha a long history with this car—people trust that it will be solid car But THAT is its selling point, and I cannot picture ANYONE choosing it over a M3 if both are available.

I hope the Prime does huge numbers, because every person who buys one will get hooked by the EV experience and will then become advocates for bigger batteries and more range. 😀

Yes, they’ll want the additional AER, but only if it comes from the brand they’re absolutely in love with.

Really, how much more would ordinary rational person would pay for more electric range?

This Prius Prime sacrifices 5th seat, 7 cu. feet of luggage space and 4 mpg less over Prius Eco for its electric range. It is already big minus for rational customer, that requires hefty subsidies and incentives to make sense. Anything more, and it would sell mostly to enthusiast niche only.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Really, how much more would ordinary rational person would pay for more electric range?”

Well, as a Tesla fanboy I dunno that I’d call Tesla Model S buyers “ordinary” 😉 , but the answer is: They’d pay quite a bit.

If I recall the figures correctly, the original Model S85 outsold the S60 at a 7-to-1 ratio, and the S40 was cancelled immediately because it got only about 2% of all the orders.

Tesla customers overwhelmingly choose to pay quite a bit more for more electric range!

Yes, certain Tesla customers choose to pay a bit and a fortune for extra electric range, as it is critical for them.
It isn’t critical for Toyota customers – they have gas backup with them in any case, no need to switch to other car for long trip. Now as Toyota delivers some 10 million cars, it is obviously aiming for Toyota customers, not for under 0.1 million Tesla customer niche. Add even more battery to Prius Prime, and you will get something even heavier, cargo and rear seat space compromised even more, even more expensive, and who is going to buy it? Volt customers? But there is tiny amount of them, and they are already good with Volt. Maybe it makes more sense for Toyota to have less all electric range and wider market.

I would like to see a Sport version of the plug-in Prius that bumped performance up to something like 8 sec 0-60. I think there would be a market for that. Still wouldn’t really compete with the Model 3 though.

I have not visited Forbes since they blocked ad blockers. I’m sure there is a workaround but I really don’t care that much….

You have to “whitelist” them with your ad blocker.

But yeah, don’t bother. Forbes isn’t great as a news source.

How much does Toyota spend on advertising at Forbes and how much does Tesla spend there?

I’m sure their is a correlation between that and Forbe’s EVs coverage.

“Priced from $27,950 (compared to the Volt’s base price of $34,095), the Prius Prime is a relative bargain.”
This neglects to mention that the Volt receives an extra $3000 federal tax credit over the Prime due to larger battery size. Also, most Prime customers will opt for the Premium trim to get the larger screen, which starts at $29,665.

Many plug-in buyers are commuters/freeway warriors. ACC is a tremendous tool for these folks. To get that feature in a Volt requires the premium trim level plus packages: $36,000. Prime will have DRCC included in base model: $23,000. Prices after tax incentives. HUGE difference. Bolt won’t offer it at all.

ACC? DRCC? Sorry, you lost me.

ACC = Adaptive Cruise Control

DRCC = (Toyota’s) Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

But yeah, it would be nice if more commentors defined their acronyms. I didn’t know what ACC was the first time I encountered that on InsideEVs.

Has anyone met someone else that said the new Prius is actually good looking? I mean besides the lemmings on Priuschat?

If you are looking to meet such person in Tesla fanboy echo chamber, you are looking in wrong place 😉

To burn gasoline or to not burn gasoline…that is the question.

Whether tis’ nobler in the mind to take up arms against a sea of ice’s…and thereby end them.

The Volt is much faster, better looking, and twice the EV range. The price difference is not significant enough to lure me away.

The Tesla Model 3 will widen this gap of performance even more. I could see people bailing on the Model-3 to get a Volt. But I can’t see them getting a Prius.

I see most of the Prius Prime customers being the existing base of Prius customers.

Although I am not even considering a Volt (too small), I agree with you, it looks much better and it has a better range.
Forbes has “reasons” to push this way…

However, for me there are other reasons not to consider a GM car , if I do have a choice

David, I am a 2010 Prius driver and I told my wife the new Prius is too ugly, worse than even the Pontiac Aztek was.

I wouldn’t buy the new Prius for any amount of money.


Oh my god, I fell on the floor laughing. Seriously? With all the options out there, they would pick that horribly-designed Prius instead of waiting for a Model 3 or getting an i3, a Leaf, a Focus electric, a Kia Soul electric, a Bolt, a Volt. Even an iMiev.

Sorry.. Got to admit it here. I’d MUCH rather have a Prius Prime than the i-Miev. I’m kind of on the fence as to whether or not I’d rather have a C-Max Energi or Fusion Energi over the Prius Prime.

If I were in the market for a new car, the Prime would be on my list while the Ford products would not, because of reliability concerns, and neither would the Gen 2 Volt or the Bolt for the same reason.

But I only buy used cars, so that’s just a hypothetical. I’m very happy with my Gen 1 Volt, and my wife is happy with her Gen 2 Prius. Both should last years, so who knows what cars I will be looking at next. 😕

Hmm, may have to retract that comment about the Ford reliability. Looks like they rate average which is high enough for me to consider. Not sure why I thought they were below average.

“Forbes Wonders…Will New Toyota Prius Prime Draw Potential Tesla Model 3 Buyers?”

my answer, as a M3 reservation holder is simple : NO.

Honestly I am not even considering the option, even if I won’t end uyp getting the M3 I will be buying a cheaper EV , definitely not a hybrid.

After reading the quote from the Forbes article: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ROTFL!! LMAO!!

What an idiotic statement, Forbes.

Whether Prius, Volt, Bolt, or any other Leaf, the items holding me back from purchasing anything but a Tesla are as follows:

1) Full autonomous driving future proof (major point)
2) Supercharger network (minor point)


The logic that Toyata forgets about is that if someone is going to buy a 200 mile range EV they most likely don’t want to use a oil powered car again.

Such as the reason why I’m going to seek out and go though the extreme effort to find a electric car is to get out of using a gas station.

Meh, I dunno about them stealing a bunch of M3s…

What I want to know is when does the Prius Prime V get released, ideally with 30-40 miles of AER 🙂 (real world)

Right after the Toyota Mirai V…

I’m pretty sure we’ll see it before that 🙂

Personally I think that would really hurt the Bolt. The V holds a family of 3 or 4, a dog or two and some luggage surprisingly well. 40 miles of AER or something would fit most peoples daily needs and then you’ve got the engine for longer trips.

I would agree with Toyota though doing it on the regular Prius first. Many more people will buy something like that then the wagon.

That’s hilarious. Forbes clearly does not like Tesla but this is worse than a sofa analyst.
What’s next – pot noodles bankrupting Michelin star restaurants?

Forbes just wanted to get “Tesla” in the title for click-bait 😀

You nailed it!

While I have an M3 deposit, am looking forward to test driving the Bolt, and happy to consider upcoming 2017/18 EVs, I have zero interest in any vehicle that uses gasoline.

The answer to that question is no.

People who want a model 3 will unlikely go for a plug-in hybrid and the Prius Prime is one of the most uninsteresting plug-in hybrids out there. If anything, the Volt is likely far more of a competition than the Prime.

Few “eco-freindly” cars suck worse than Prius (all models). That and their pathetic refusal to come out with an all-Electric drive model is why their sales are plummeting.

I agree, Forbes folks are either ignorant or just trying to incite a laugh.

But, what an insult – like comparing the quality of fast foods with a 4-star restaurant. Or, the speed and performance of a 4-door Camry with that of a Model S P100D.

Not close.

Last month Prius sales were down 46%. The Prius Prime is roughly equal to a 2013 Ford C-max energi. The Bolt may steal sale or maybe even the Volt but no way would I have buy or lease a Prius Prime.

“Forbes Wonders…Will New Toyota Prius Prime Draw Potential Tesla Model 3 Buyers?”

Sure it will, but only a small number, since the cars are very different. Maybe those that can barrely afford a model 3 will switch to a Toyota Prime. I would say between 0.1 and 5 % of model 3 buyers seems reasonable. 0.1% is like 400 people. That seems reasonable. 😀

“Will New Toyota Prius Prime Draw Potential Tesla Model 3 Buyers?” Well let’s give it a pencil and paper and see.

This article is Sofa King dumb. Model 3 buyers are Model 3 buyers for the simple fact that they want a car that DOES NOT USE GASOLINE. I am not sure how Toyota thinks their car is an alternative. But Toyota is on a batshit-crazy bent these last few years anyway, pushing their hydrogenous cars.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

People don’t realize: Prius sells 100K yearly for the past 10 years–solid sales for an ugly duckling.

Tesla is eye-candy and the M3 brings it to a near affordable status item– hence the high reservation demand for now.

Prius is a solid car and brand and beauty is completely subjective which many have elected to say okay to over the years.

Stealing from M3 in significant numbers is a mighty stretch

> “Stealing from M3 in significant numbers is a mighty stretch”

A claim that no one made, either in this article or the Forbes article.

David Whiston, an analyst with Morningstar:
“Toyota may want to snag some of those customers who are not willing to wait until their Model 3 order is filled in either late 2017 or even 2018.”


HAHAHAHAHAHA! Funniest thing I’ve read all year!

Trade 200+ miles of EV range with Supercharging capability for a POS Hybrid with a EV Range of a pathetic 20 something miles! Good one Forbes (and Toyota)! You guys really are clueless!

I would pick a 2011 Mitsubishi iMiev over a PiP any day, but I’d take any pure electric vehicle over the iMiev too!

If we were talking 5 years lead time on the Model 3 – maybe. 18 months, no chance Toyota! Go back to the drawing board, axe everything from the design that involved Hydrogen or Gasoline, and bring a pure electric to the non-CARB states in some sort of volume in the year 2013 or earlier and I may consider buying a Toyota. Oh, you can’t do that? Then I’m not buying any more Toyotas. EVER!

“I put down $1,000 for a M3 reservation”, this is a statement, a wish and I think something people are not wanting to have to say, “I took back my reservation and bought a ” before the M3 comes out and they get a chance to evaluate it. Doing that says “I’m a me too, and just got on the band waggon to look cool”, or “I don’t really think about what I do, and this was a mistake”, or “I really couldn’t afford it, so why did I put the deposit down in the first place”. Plenty of people would have reserved their M3 for these reasons, and plenty of other reasons, but one reason they would have done it is because they really think Tesla is way ahead of anything else and they want to see what comes next, they really want to get off gas, but ultimately because they think this car is going to be seriously fast (0-60) and easy cool to be seen in. There’s a lot of ego riding in the M3 reservations, having to say I dropped mine for a Prius would be the worst thing these people would have to say. Maybe… Read more »

No way that Prime is going to take any sales from Tesla Model 3. That is just laughable.

Elon said that “Tesla don’t make slow cars”. That alone shows the difference in buyer profile. Tesla is an electric performance/luxury brand. Prime is sort of last generation eco image want to be…

Now, as far as Volt goes, I can see some sales impact (not significant IMHO). Most people with knowledge, preferring more EV range and performance wouldn’t trade Volt for Prime.

I see the biggest group of Prime buyers are existing PIP or Prius owners who are loyal to Toyota or Prius brand and/or too dumb to know that there are other better choices out there. And this is NOT a bad thing. Because they will at least drive something electric since they wouldn’t have driven EVs from other brands otherwise.

What a pointless question. You could ask exactly the same question about literally any other car or light truck on the market, and get the same answer.

Why not ask “Will Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Draw Potential Tesla Model 3 Buyers?”

Yes, some few will wind up buying a Prius Prime instead, just like some few will wind up buying a Rolls-Royce. But the overwhelming majority of those looking for a “sexy” high-performance BEV with 200+ miles of EV range are not likely to be satisfied by a subpar-performance dorkmobile that has only ~25 miles of electric range.

The Consumer Reports reliability report just published rate Prius V at the top of the Hybrid/Electric cars category at 94. The Volt is next to last with 15. Dead last is the Tesla X.

When I buy a new car I demand reliability. A car constantly being repaired is not wonderful, regardless of its mileage or gee whiz technology.

Someone eat Toyota must have paid Forbes for this article. Model 3 to Prius is a whole year unnatural leap. Sure, Toyota wants it to be made, but it’s not going to happen. It’s like ordering a steak and then having the server suggest the fish filet sandwich from McDonald’s.


If it ain’t a Toyota/Lexus, it’s a money pit machine. ???. Nothing will beat Toyota’s Benchmark Realiblity!

The car isn’t seating five that is already the end for me, but above that it is way to short in ev range, it should have 100 miles ev range by now. Additionally they should replace that crank and shaft engine by a direct free piston generator. But all that is old tech now, we need better ev not improved fossils. I look for better ev with faster charging more battery range and that is what the Model 3 will deliver. The Prius Prime is just not interesting.