Prius Prime Design To Trickle Down Into Standard Prius

SEP 9 2018 BY MARK KANE 52

Toyota is expected to facelift the Prius to improve its controversial look, which it thinks is leading to a sales downfall.

Toyota Prius hybrid (conventional)

The fourth-generation Toyota Prius hybrid reached sales level far lower than anticipated and it’s considered that the main reason is the controversial look.

Introduced later, the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is considered as more attractive and it’s now expected to become model for the standard hybrid. It’s an open question whether the Prime will get some changes in the upcoming upgrade in December or January too.

During the first eight months of this year, Prius family sales in U.S. went down by 17.3% to 61,547. The plug-in hybrid Prime took almost 30% at 18,310 (up 39.2%), enough to be the #2 plug-in model in the U.S. Prius saw decreasing sales in Japan too.

Here are the expected upgrades in the mid-model refresh:

  • exterior styling (main change)
  • latest safety upgrades (Safety Sense system)
  • some weight savings, which will result in slightly better fuel economy

“Spyder 7’s sources say the headlights will be redesigned to house three LED elements, similar to those of the Prius Prime. The front intakes and foglamp housings will also be bigger, making for a more aggressive fascia, while flares over the front and rear wheel arches will make the flanks look less slab-sided. Finally, the taillights will adopt LED sequential turn signals.”

Here are Toyota Prius Prime sales results in the U.S.:

Toyota Prius Prime sales in U.S. – August 2018

Toyota Prius Prime sales in U.S. – August 2018

So far, more than 84,000 Prius plug-ins were sold (two generations):

Toyota Prius Prime sales in U.S. – August 2018

Source: LeftLaneNews

Categories: Sales, Toyota

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52 Comments on "Prius Prime Design To Trickle Down Into Standard Prius"

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I really don’t understand Toyota’s design. It’s pointlessly complicated and too different from what people expect. To me it’s like they purposely add weirdness in their design, but why ? It doesn’t make their cars more attractive or exclusive. And it’s clearly not just dictated for better aerodynamic performances.

Did you look at the Mirai !? Seriously ? Moreover at this price !

The market is changing. Toyota recognizes the shift away from “car” appeal. Anything that doesn’t resemble a SUV or CUV must take on a more aggressive styling to survive.

It’s not rocket science. It’s the business of high-volume sales.

The remaining Prius owners are less likely to be impressed by sheet metal art. A Tesla owner won’t care.

I guess they finally figured out that the 14 to 17 year old male demographic doesn’t have much buying power after all.

That is how you know you are getting old 😉
You stop understanding tastes of all these youngsters and their weird anime fashions.

As a former Prius owner, I just think it has to do with more competition. The Prius never looked good, but it was the only 50mpg car on the lot for years. I hung onto mine for 9 years because I wanted my next car to be more efficient, but no one made one. I finally got a gen 2 volt and love it. The Prius is still a top choice in it’s segment – it’s just not the only choice in it’s segment. This goes for hybrids and plug in hybrids.

Wasn’t it reported that one of the top five cars traded in on a Model 3 was Prius? Could this have something to do with their slumping sales?

The gen 2 Volt is a really classy looking car and I’m not even a GM person!

I like the new Volt, test drove one not long ago, definitely on the short list for next car purchase.

The second gen. Prius has aged quite well I think. The third one is ok, but the current one is just too overboard. It is quite unfortunate as Toyota made quite a few improvements. The new Insight shows the public that hybrids do not have to be an eyesore.

Camry, Corolla, C-HR, RAV4, Avalon, Highlander hybrids are all basically invisible.

Why shouldn’t Prius standout?

I think the Prius Prime is the ugliest ev currently available and the entire Prius line this year may well be the least attractive car line I can ever recall. They should do an entire refresh as the current design is quite unattractive. I fine the current generation of the Asian cars to all have hard lines/anime look but the Prius seems to take the hard lines to an extreme. The back end of the Prius Prime is hard to look at.

I think the environmental crowd made the Prius into a very common car are going out and buying EV’s with most of that being Tesla Model 3’s.

Toyota should consider building a 100% electric Prius with 300 miles on it to compete.

I personally see Tesla or Nissan devouring at least a 100,000 in Prius sales from Toyota.

I guess if the CEO is unconvinced by the EV revolution, then he will look for other reasons for slower sales. But, a better looking Prius should help a bit. But, the PRIME needs a better battery, in a car designed to have a battery in the floor, not in the rear luggage area.

Yep, the looks was definitely a detractor but the battery making the hatch so unusable was the deal breaker. I would have replaced my 2010 Prius in a second if it had the same hatch usability.

Completely true. The regular Prius has a great flat load floor, the prime has a huge lump in the trunk. Why couldn’t they have put the battery under the back seat as some others are doing. The styling on almost all Toyotas is overwrought and not in a good way.

Same here. I would have even accepted the 4 seat configuration. But that battery placement was a deal breaker. And even that would seem to be easily remedied as there is substantial empty space under the battery pack.

In my opinion you are dead on! Nobody buys a prius because it is a looker. Efficiency is the point and when you can buy a car that is over double the efficiency for less than double the price, sale will shift dramatically.

“Toyota should consider building a 100% electric Prius with 300 miles on it to compete.”

Trouble is, that would be a massive embarrassment to the Mirai, since it woudl be superior in all respects, and thus a massive embarrassment to the CEO, who is still pushing H2 for all its worth. It would kill the Mirai and they’ve just announced a ramp up in production of that (despite there being no ramp up in demand).

It would also seem likely they simply dont have the battery supplies lined up, they’d need 2-3 year lead time even if all they needed to do was shove extra batteries into a Prius (but more likely a complete redesign or even a totally new car is needed) so nothing can be done near term, say next 24 months. Hence tinkering with headlight redesign becomes their near term strategy.

Totoya could well go down in corporate history as the company that snatched defeat from victory when it came to replacing ICE cars with electric.

California CARB hydrogen credits are so lopsided and massive, it’s the California tax payer who is still funding Toyota hydrogen hoax. Kill those credits, and hydrogen disappears. And as they’re going to use methane to make hydrogen fuel, there’s absolutely not an environmental benefit, it’s an environmental assault of green house gases.

The Japanese gov is big on hydrogen and credits for it too…

You seem to have overlooked the technology already implemented. Toyota delivered a highly efficient EV drive, complete with the industry’s top-efficiency electric heater. They have also embraced carbon-fiber and aero-glass. It’s a clear effort to get everything in place for the affordable mass-market.

Simple hybrids are so 2005. The world has moved on but not in the direction of fuel cells Toyota.

Prius Prime delivers EV drive up 135 km/h (84 mph). What is hybrid about that?

Too bad HUGE Toyota doesn’t have a product for you to be Over Apologetic about. Honda, at least, has hedged their Hydrogen bets.

Toyota themselves don’t even think the Prius is a big deal, seeing as their official policy is the MIRAI is much more important. For China, a benefit-of-the-doubt Maybe, but California looks to be crashing and burning as far as the Hydrogen Revolution is concerned.

I don’t see how the MIRAI, with all kinds of government funded largess, can still sell as lousy as this car does.

China gets a Corolla PHV and an EV model of C-HR.

So, your rant about lack of diversity doesn’t hold any water. Don’t focus on only what you see here. After all, our market is quite turbulent.

Doesn’t hold ANY water – not just a little bit Star Trek John? You’ve been watching too many reruns. I wouldn’t describe the lack of sales of the Mirai as ‘Turbulent’ – especially for such an ‘All Important Car’ – their words, not mine. As far as China electric sales go, most companies are doing just what they have to do, GM included, so don’t think I’m unfairly picking on your prize corporation.

I just see that Toyota has fumbled the ball by putting too many eggs in their Hydrogen Basket.

So much for your canned response of ‘Toyota only makes cars that people want’.

Maybe they should have concentrated on Kansas or Texas or some other place that supposedly wants H2 vehicles. They’ve definitely ‘laid an egg’ in California, even if they did get the CARB head to buy one, plenty of tax and ‘Zero Emission Credits’, freeway lane preference, provided free fuel for 3 years, (how supremely profitable is giving out free fuel for 100% of the driving needs for 36 months? Even Special Case Tesla doesn’t do that).

Using the “WHAT ABOUT ?” technique to attempt to divert attention is telling.

China gets a Corolla PHV and an EV model of C-HR. For that matter, Australia gets the Corolla PHV too.

These are clear attempts by Toyota to shift the paradigm, offering popular vehicles with a plug.

That experience there will provide value information about how to shift the SUV obsessed market here… something even GM hasn’t attempted yet. RAV4 hybrid with a plug…

Toyota has never had a consistent design language for the global brand. The American designs (the cowcatcher grill) has little to do with function and is horrible as a design aesthetic.

German design schools / talent have set the global standard to emulate and seek to maintain a sense of legacy while constantly moving the brand forward.

Hyundai and Kia have been well served by their current design team from an interior and exterior perspective.

So much so that the Chinese auto companies are no longer copying other designs and have now hired away some major EU auto design talent for their companies…

When someone uses “attractive” and “Prius” in the same sentence.

I test drove a ev Toyota last week,oh wait. Toyota still is betting on ice. Why Toyota why. Take out that ice and make it electric with a good range. Sold.

Prius Prime demonstrates how easily their hybrid design adapts to deliver EV drive.

Corolla PHV will be rolled out next year in China.

There’s no reason we couldn’t also see Camry hybrid, RAV4 hybrid, and C-HR hybrid also get the PHV upgrade.

“Prius Prime demonstrates how easily their hybrid design adapts to deliver EV drive.”

Not if they didn’t think of a suitable place for the battery. In the Prime it’s already eating up trunk space. Where put the even bigger battery of a full EV?

If I had a dollar for ever “would’ve” or “could’ve”, I’d be rich. For decades all car companies *could’ve* made EVs, but only a few did. Toyota will be one of the last laggards, scrambling to catch up to the rest.

As a former Prius owner (gen II & III), i think Toyota had to make the fourth edition fully electric to keep their position as a pioneer in this segment of cars.

An EV Toyota would need to be a separate dedicated design,

The regular Gen 4 Prius is still a fantastically good, practical, efficient car. The prime is seriously marred by the battery in the trunk. They are both very damaged by the overwrought and adolescent styling (an extreme case of wacko Japanese car styling).

I’d like to buy a Prime when my very cheap C-max energi lease ends but have to write it off because of the trunk lump (C-max has this too) and styling.

The current and coming Prius design tells me they need to do more drug testing at Toyota, why would you have round fender bulges in front and square fender bulges in the rear for starters, maybe one team designed the front and another did the rear and neither team spoke to each other….either way it is BUTT UGLY!

That angular design always reminds me of Cub Scouts drawing ideas for pine wood derby cars. lol

That’s like all the sharp edge angular designs GM did reminds of junior high school kids doodling cars on notebook paper.

I wish i would have known this in advance..
Just purchased another brand because i couldn’t stand the look of the current prius..
If i would have known, i woulda held out.

Be honest now, aren’t you much happier with the other brand?

Competition is what’s killing their sales not designs, Prius has never ever looked attractive just like most Toyotas. People are slowly moving away from hybrids to full EVs and Toyota already has experience in the field but they are instead pushing what they think is the future, hydrogen cars, and not what the customers want, full EVs.

I’m a Prius owner (Gen 2), and a Volt (Gen 1) owner.

The current generation Prius does need an exterior make-over. And they need to tweak the suspension as needed for the Prime to offer 5 seats. The battery lump in the cargo floor is probably here to stay for this generation Prime, as unfortunate as it is.

Next generation they need to design with battery in floor and offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full EV versions, but that will be a ways off.

RAV4-Prime should be Toyota’s next target to offer a plug. The RAV4 hybrid is a solid success, and the larger size/greater cargo area should enable integration of a decent sized traction battery while preserving good functionality.

The decline in Prius sales has a lot more to do with the move from sedans to SUVs, than with to move from hybrids to plugins. The new RAV hybrid will become toyota’s best selling hybrid in the US. The old RAV hybrid already is sometimes.

The “move to SUV’s” is really a drop across the board in car sales, not made up by SUV sales, but, sales going to Tesla.

That’s just not true. Toyota’s best selling vehicle is now the RAV4, for years it was the Camry. Honda’s best selling vehicle was the Civic, now’s the CR-V. Nissan’s best selling vehicle is the Rogue. One could also wonder if people are buying Teslas because they’re electric or if they just want to be seen “driving the future”.

It’s almost completely a move to SUVs. #1 Tesla target BMW’s US car sales were way down in August, but vehicle sales were up.

Toyota has been riding on its past success for many years. Toyota has a huge and loyal following, I would be willing to bet most (almost all?) Toyotas are sold to previous Toyota owners. Prius Prime, when directly compared to Volt , Honda and Hyundai/Kia equivalents comes up short (especially on range). But most loyal Toyota owners wouldn’t even look at the competition, if they want to buy the best Prius available, they would choose the Prime. Some of their following is slipping away and a style change won’t be enough to bring them back after they have experienced a better product.

I’m one of those who slipped away, when I decided to go EV Toyota had nothiing. I’d have loved to stay with them. And it’s clear they will have nothing for at least another 2 years probably much longer. By which time they will have given many customers chance to try a Hyundai, Kia, VW, Nissan, and likely even Honda. Much harder to acquire a new customer than get one to trade up, in the long term that’s a very expensive place to be. Yes they have the internal knowledge about what it takes to build a full EV but they don’t have the platform on which to launch one and worse, no plans unless it’s been kept very much under wraps. And it’s more difficult for them compared to other manufacturers to produce a full EV because of the chairman’s personal and very public commitment to Hydrogen. No serious attempt to get a full EV planned will be allowed and if they did make one why would you buy when they’ve said that H2 is the future and EV justa stopgap? By the time it becomes clear to the very top of the company this is an unstoppable trend… Read more »

Lost 5 years of what?

EV component production & support is already underway, as well as a reputation for reliability. The only difference later will be use of more modules in the battery-pack.

Claims of behind require substance to back them. Please provide detail of what you think is being missed.

The competition is traditional vehicles, not other plug-in vehicles. Pretty much only early-adopters cross-shop.

A large percentage of buyers only consider a single brand. So, it comes down to what they find while looking at a dealer’s lot.

Know your audience

This new design lacks one significant feature – all electric drive. Until they stop pretending that this hybrid lie is viable – no once cares.