The "news cycle" surrounding the upcoming Toyota Prius Prime has certainly been ramping up of late, as we inch ever-closer to the end of the year when the 22 mile, plug-in hybrid arrives in markets around the world.

(Of note: Japan's early Fall release just got officially moved back to being released with everyone else)

In anticipation of the launch, Toyota is releasing limited early test drives to the media, and Consumers Report got in line to take its first quick drive/test spin in the next generation Prius plug-in. Longer, in-depth reviews should be forthcoming shortly.

The takeaway, improved...but not perfect.

"Addressing the faults of the underwhelming Prius Plug-In, the Prius Prime has considerably more battery-only range. However, it makes some practical sacrifices compared to the normal Prius hybrid."

How could <em>this</em> not be improved on?

How could this not be improved on?

The 2017 Prius Prime features double the range of the original version, and the ability to stay in electric mode at speed.

CR's biggest pet peeve, the large (and optional) 11 inch touch screen...which, as anyone who has ever driven a Toyota knows, lags competitors offerings by an astounding amount.

We should also note that Toyota is just now starting to release pricing on the Prime/Plug-in, beginning with the Netherlands this week.

And while you can't compare one regions MSRP directly to another, we can tell you that the pricing is aggressive compared to its hybrid self; meaning that the new plug-in Toyota should start around $29,900 in the US, and also from around €29,000 in many European countries.

The Prime is also eligible for a federal credit of $4,168 in the US thanks to its larger 8.8 kWh battery.If that anticipated pricing holds, the Prius Prime, just playing off its standard cousin, will likely sell a lot of copies.

Also, check out CR's written report on the Prius Prime here for further insight.

Toyota Prius Prime Gallery

Hat tip to offib!