New Toyota Prius Plug-In Info Reportedly Leaks Out: Fall Arrival, 30 Miles Range (in Japan)

MAR 21 2016 BY MARK KANE 70

2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

According to a Japanese site, we are getting a first look at the new plug-in hybrid Prius a couple days early (the car should debut this week in New York on Wednesday) which is of course based on the new Prius hybrid.

The previous generation of Prius plug-in had a 4.4 kWh battery, good for 11 miles EPA range (17.7 km EPA).  Unfortunately, the model ended production last June, which has left Toyota without a mainstream plug-in model to sell.

The new Prius PHV is reported to have twice longer range – up to 50 km JC08 (31 miles).

If accurate, in real world terms, we’d expect about a 20-21 miles (32 km) EPA rating (as the older model was rated at 26.4 km in Japan), which is basically in line with previous report from late 2015.

2017 Toyota Prius PHV via

2017 Toyota Prius PHV (via

Some other reported specs on the Prius:

  • Total length/width/height 4550 × 1770 × 1490 (mm)
  • Wheelbase 2700mm
  • Weight 1350kg
  • Engine:  2ZR-FXZ
  • A straight-four DOHC engine + motor
  • Maximum output of 77.2kW (105ps) / 5200 RPM
  • Maximum torque 147Nm (14.5kg.m) / 4000 RPM
  • Motor max output of 66.2kW (90ps)
  • Transmission electric CVT
  • fuel consumption 70km / L (JC08)

In Japan, the new Prius PHV could enter market in October, which is ahead of (oft-delayed, but recently revised) schedule of a late 2016/early 2017 arrival. We hope that the U.S. debut and sale will also be well under way before the end of the year.  We expect Toyota to fill us in on such details on Wednesday during the official release.

The new, larger battery will make the car heavier than regular Prius at 1,350 kg (2,976 lbs) compared to 1,280 kg (2,822 lbs) – some 150+ lbs.


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70 Comments on "New Toyota Prius Plug-In Info Reportedly Leaks Out: Fall Arrival, 30 Miles Range (in Japan)"

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Meh but with mirai styling, double meh.

Hulk Hogan wants his mustache back.


Yeah, what the heck were they thinking? The Mirai designed got panned . . . so double down on it! Well, I guess the design was locked in long ago.

So disappointing

20 US miles???
That’s 10 in winter.
This is clearly NOT ENOUGH.

Toyota I expected more, at least 30 miles.
Anyone know what kind of battery they’re using?
Like a 4 YEAR OLD battery? possibly?
Can it be updated, that’s the question.

How fast can the car accelerate in electric mode from 0-30 and from 0-60?

I think Toyota is on wrong path!

I’m sure they will be sharing the 88 hp electric motor from the standard new Prius so, not so good.

Style? I would say much better than Prius IV Hyrid

I feel like they’re trying to make the Mirai look less weird by integrating those styling cues into other vehicles.

And instead, it’s just making the other vehicles look weird too.

Seriously, even the new Corrola has hints of Mirai ugliness in it!

Lame, but will bring a few more people into the plug in fold. Such an ugly design this time around. Yuck. What happened to Toyota?

Toyota also does not include Android Auto, or Apple Car in-dash nav/comm compatibility for any of its vehicles … unlike ~100 other vehicle models now in the market.

ie: Toyota no longer a technology leader.

looks like the plug-in version might outsell the conventional hybrid based on looks alone!

GM has certainly leapfrogged Toyota with the Volt. However, I still suspect this vehicle will be successful and probably add an additional 2,000 to 4,000 plug-in sales per month once it is fully stocked in the USA. Mostly just from Toyota’s large brand loyalty and the awareness surrounding the Prius. So that is still good news for the plug-in market.

Also keep in mind the Prius will probably qualify for a larger tax credit since it will have a larger battery than before. I think the Energi cars get close to $4,000 so the Prius should too.

I suspect most informed buyers will still opt for other brands of PHEV or EV but Toyota has the ability to actually sell those to walk-in customers who are just looking for a Prius.

I will be very upset if this lame looking car with terrible specs sells better than the Chevy Volt.

Yes, depending on the pricing when it gets to the States, the new PIP will do very nicely in Western NY. It seems the old, quite expensive PIP isthe number 2 vehicle here already – with little advertising, and plenty of turned-up noses from the intelligensia here. A substantially better product (TWICE the EV range) is certainly an improvement, and the Toyota Brand gives EVs Creds – even though it is obvious Toyota could release a far more compelling model. I went to my Cadillac Dealer today to have the ELR checked out for leaks, in view of what I went through recently with my out-of-warranty volt. I stopped by the showroom, and they had a $499 lease 2016 ELR – I give them credit for at least having it in the showroom. The windshield is plastered with “85 MPG !!!”, and “Only $499/mo”. I asked the sales manager if there was any interest in the car. He said: “No. None at all. And $499 is a compelling lease price for a premium Cadillac.” He also said they’ll be getting Ct6’s next month, but the dealership will not order any plug in hybrid vehicles until gas is $5/gallon. He told… Read more »

You want Coal charging?
Not sure if you’re joking or doing subtle message we should all get, but I don’t have any clue.

Its a minority view here, but in my town we enjoyed our coal power derived electricity, at least that is the majority view here.

Of course most others in my town dislike the fact the coal plants closed not for any particular fondness of coal, but in the $15 million extra property taxes they’ll have to pay, since the local gov’t and school system will not ‘tighten their belt’, they’ll just raise taxes on us homeowners to get the missing $15 million.

China has built in the past, and plans to build in the future, so many coal plants that whether you believe in the in vogue polemic or not (I personally do not), it simply won’t make any difference whether we do or do not use coal in the States.

Hydro power is pretty cool though.

Bill: Back when Nissan introduced the LEAF and Chevy debuted the Volt, our local dealers had those 2 cars prominently displayed out front. The dealerships are side by side on a major thorofare. The Volt was out there on the embankment, very, very clearly being shown off and about 100 yards away was a shiny new red LEAF. Well, fast forward to today and the Chevy dealer had a few 2015’s on display out front but nowhere nearly as ostensibly as previously, and the LEAFs(they tend to carry a lot of the base Model S with QC package and not much else)are parked along the side. People are buying(or were)them but things have slowed down a lot.

Sounds like that dealership is marketing plug-ins wrong if they are just looking at gas prices. Seems ironic too, at a Cadillac dealership, where ride-comfort and driving characteristics are ingrained into the brand.

I must give credit where it is due. 1 out of 3 dealers here don’t even bother to CARRY the ELR. THis dealer had 2014’s and 2016’s.

It will also have an optional solar roof.

I like the lines on this one (I guess towards the back of the car) than the regular 2016 prius hybrid…but since this only gets 20 miles projected EV range AND canNOT get the green CA carpool stickers this one is dead in the water. The only reason people paid the extra money (beside people with an <11 mile commute) was for the carpool access in CA!

Thank you! that’s exactly how I saw it!

How does he properly chew his food with that teeth set? Maybe he just swallows his food whole like a snake?

…I guess the color is nice…

I guess they will barely match the Ford Energi models…


But I am sure Toyota loyalist will hand over the money like the Prius zombies that they are…

On the bright side, I suspect it will not sacrifice any cargo area to achieve that Ford Energi like range. So they’ll actually have one up on Ford if they pull off 21 miles (or more) and still have all cargo area.


The Gen 4 design has clearly allowed for more battery in the plug-in. Gen 4 moved the hybrid battery under the rear seat and lowered the rear floor. My guess is that the Gen 4 plug-in will put the battery flat in the back and raise the floor a bit.

Toyota is sticking to two things in its approach:
– unmanaged battery
– avoid significant compromise on utility

So 20 miles was to be expected given those constraints.

Now we have the range, we need to know about the other important things: electric capability, efficiency, price.

Looks like they got beat by a minivan… (pacifica phev)


The Pacifica PHEV not only has significantly more range, it also has huge capability for passengers and/or cargo. The new structure is supposed to provide a very quiet interior.

It should be the ultimate road trip EV.


Probably in 0-60mph times too… LOL

Much, much much better. Although I thought I was looking at a Corolla upfront.

I always grave for me exciting and daring designs – but the 2016 Prius just mocks the whole idea!

How is this car not completely irrelevant and obsolete yet?? Why would anyone buy this car over a Volt?

I suspect this car will be cheaper than a Volt, but probably not by more than $2,000 to $3,000. It will probably also seat 5 people better. And will probably get better fuel economy when running on gasoline. But you could ask the same question as to why anyone would buy any other EV over the Volt. Obviously people do.

Sadly it will sell better than the Volt. I know of many people here in California that will buy only Hondas and Toyota (and their luxury variants).

I also think that it will be some years before the Prius brand recognition alone wins out over cars like the Volt because sadly the majority of the population still have absolutely no clue what the Volt is and how it works.

Our first Volt was a 13′ and we recently got our 17′ here in GA. Over 3 years later and I still get the same misinformed questions from baffled passerbys.

I feel like I’ve perfected a quick and simple explanation to give to people but even then sometimes when I’m done half of the people’s eyes just glaze over and you can tell they just still don’t get it or don’t want to.

But with the Prius they know what a regular Prius is so the PIP is just a Prius with a plug that gets better gas mileage. Might as well buy that one because the window sticker says it gets better gas mileage than that Volt over there.

The design team must be sleeping with the CEO.

Or maybe they’re bedding down with space alien lizards. I find it hard to believe that any humans would find Toyota’s latest styling appealing.

If it were originally designed for operation on a low-gravity alien planet then that would also explain the pathetic electric range on Earth.

I bought a 2007 Prius new (obviously not plug-in) and have driven it since. Because of my conservative driving I have consistently gotten about 50mpg in the summer and 44-45mpg in the winter (Utah). I am so disappointed that Toyota has lagged so far behind other plug-in vehicles. With new solar panels, I am now waiting on a 2017 Volt in my area. Toyota you have let me and likely, thousands like me down!

You should be happy because you will love your Volt. It is a double step up from the Prius in driving dynamics. A little less room inside but for daily driving I actually look forward to driving it.

Definitely take a test drive as soon as your dealer gets some in. You will be sold.

That is so ugly, it’s like Toyota is daring someone to buy and drive it.

The Hyundai hybrid/plug-in looks so much better.

plug in version looks better but thats not saying much…

They’ve almost caught up to the 1st gen Volt so that’s something I guess.

I’d like to see stronger competition for the Volt, but still it’s great to be alive in a time when GM can out-engineer the Japanese.

With hardly more than half of the range of a gen 1 Volt (my 2014 has 38 mile EPA), they are not even close to “catching up.” 0-60 mph is also a lot slower than gen1 or 2 Volts, and even worse than that the Prius must start the ICE to provide it’s mediocre WOT acceleration.

I applaud Toyota for meaningful improvements to the Prius, which is the iconic world leading hybrid car. However it is Not Even Close to the Chevrolet Volt in performance.


Toyota simply cannot allow themselves to make a really compelling PHEV because that would be too close to a compelling EV.

They have made it very clear that they believe EVs are not the path forward but fuel cells are so making a compelling PHEV would make them contradict themselves and draw customers away from their sinking ship…the Mirai.

Yes, the 2017 Volt makes even this version of the Prius seem like a last decade design and engineering exercise.

An exercise in futility in terms of offering actual “state of the art” performance.

IMHO, Toyota engineers went into catatonic state right after they did the 2004, Gen II Prius, and these later iterations could have been done by their elementary school children.

WTF? Is Toyota actually gonna let the Mirai set the style for cars which don’t have to have enormous air scoops in the front?

I’m one who generally prefers function over appearance, but this car’s style really sucks, needlessly so.

And as far as the Japanese-rated 30 miles range, which probably means 20-22 miles EPA range… well, I suppose that’s better than the first-gen Prius Plug-in’s embarrassingly tiny 11-12 mile range. But…

“Twice nothing is still nothing.” — Cyrano Jones, Classic Star Trek: “The Trouble with Tribbles”

My wife and I fall into that category as well, but I would be embarrassed to drive this, even if it is marginally better looking than the regular hybrid. My wife, who generally is more of a mainstream thinker than I, thinks it is ugly and wouldn’t go anywhere near this or the regular hybrid either!

We compromised (a little bit) by trading our 2007 Prius for a 2017 Volt but we both love that Volt so much that we have no regrets!

Like it or not, Prius PHEV still does not have real competitors. All other PHEVs are bigger/more luxury/more powerful and always pricier.

Using new Panasonic 3600mah 18650 batteries one could get 21kWh of energy out of 150lbs. I am guessing this car has 5kWh… Why do heavy shit?

They use different battery chemistry which can take higher charging rate and longer life cycles.
Tesla battery pack has energy density 156Wh/kg with cell 260Wh/kg. 150lbs Panasonic battery pack will have 10,6kWh

My Priusmaniac nickname gets really embarrassing with Toyota doing weird things. I kept it in honor of the first Prius, that brought in an electric motor under the hood where all other cars kept an ice only, but these new Prius versions are ugly and have way too little ev range. Toyota is on a worrisome bad track.

Time for a new name? 🙂

20 miles isn’t bad, it’s not as much as a volt but at least Toyota is likely to make more than 30k a year.

What I really want to see is not a volt competitor but a mainstream car with a plug, sold globally in massive numbers if you have to shrink the battery, inverter and motor to do it fine, just make a lot of them. If the pip is the best selling plugin in the US for 2017 then maybe we’ll finally see some life injected back into the market!

Don’t write this one off yet. It will probably be the cheapest plug-in hybrid in many markets. (including Europe). It has the potential to convert many lower income buyers to the electric movement.

I honestly think Hyundai and/or Kia has a better shot at that than Toyota.

Too late.
Speaks for France, but if Toyota can stay in the 21-60g CO2/km, they will only get 1000€ bonus.
And this bonus will be further reduced this year. In near future only pure EVs will get the 6300€ bonus.
As I remember the prius III plugin was about 4-5k€ more. Even with Europe gas price, you can make a LOT of miles with 3-4k€.
This car has no future here.

This appears to be an uncredited repackaging of the Prius PHEV aspect of an original report from June, 2015 on

The translated version is here:

Thanks Jeff. So, really, there’s still nothing definitive.

The pictured Prius Plug-in actually looks better than the hybrid version…..even with the obvious design cues taken from the hideous Mirai.

Though saying the new PiP looks better than the regular ’16 Prius is like saying regular crap looks better than diarrhea.

The Prius lemmings will no doubt go out and buy this thing even though the new Volt blows it out of the water.

This is going to make a really great used car with 40-80k miles on the clock. But new? eh who cares. Toyota will probably load the car up with higher trim levels and hold the price higher than it could be.

Whoa, that 1,350kg/3,000lb weight is pretty good. The Gen 3 Prius curb weight started at 3,042lb.

For comparison, the CMax and Fusion Energi curb weights were close to 4,000lb.

I expect an excellent electric efficiency rating.

Also, given the light weight, the Prius plug-in could have electric acceleration tolerable enough to keep the engine off.

I guess it depends what your definition of tolerable is. If it makes use of the 88 hp electric motor found in the regular new Prius then it would be pretty painful.

Tolerable to a Prius driver would be “like a Prius”.

Toyota has weird tastes in styling. What’s with the “black hole” unpainted front bumpers on so many models? For a second opinion on this, I asked my wife what she thought of this look on a Corolla coming toward us one afternoon. She said “it looks like the bumper was partially knocked off in an accident!” Ha Ha. Now if Toyota will just offer such cars in matte “Primer” grey paint, then the whole car will look like it came straight from the pull-apart (aka junkyard).

If these dimensions are true ( 4550 × 1770 × 1490 ) in mm, then Plugin Prius should be a much bigger vehicle. Longer, wider and taller.

Certainly PIP will be bigger than Volt-2. 20 mile range is good as long as its priced accordingly.

Can someone please specify whether this will be a 4 door sedan or 5 door hatch.