Toyota Hints Fifth Seat In The Prius Prime To Arrive In The Future

JUL 13 2016 BY MARK KANE 43

Inside The 2017 Prius Prime

Inside The 2017 Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota hasn’t forgot about that fifth seat in the upcoming Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, which was recently put through a first drive reveiw.

The Japanese manufacturer simply sacrificed fifth seat because it would require reinforcing the structure – adding more weight and thus less efficiency (Toyota loves its MPG ratings) and would also see the company need to move its 3.3 kW on-board charger to a new location (currently mounted in the rear between the seats).

Well, that’s apparently all that is still possible to overcome, however Toyota says it was initially focused on the efficiency and meeting deadlines for the plug-in (a problem that plagued the ‘regular’ hybrid since it headed towards its latest 4th generation refresh).

For 2016 Chevrolet introduces this "fix" to at least technically include a 5th seat in the next generation Volt

For 2016 Chevrolet introduces this “fix” to at least technically include a 5th seat in the next generation Volt

It turns out that a fifth seat is in the future – maybe during the mid-cycle refresh.

“Toshiyama, the chief engineer for the new Prius and the Prius Prime, told AutoblogGreen during our pre-production test drive that he’s looking forward to figuring out how to expand the rear seating area in the Prime. It’s one of the things he’s working on, alongside early, early work on the next-gen Prius, which isn’t due for a few more years.”

It’s shame that the two heavy-weight plug-in hybrids – the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime are both having issues making their cars true five seaters, but hopefully Toyota can move at least to the quasi-fix found in the latest Chevy Volt.

source: Autoblog

Categories: Toyota

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43 Comments on "Toyota Hints Fifth Seat In The Prius Prime To Arrive In The Future"

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skip the 5th seat and give it a larger battery.



Agreed. Even if it is as an option!

I bet given the option of a cramped 5th seat (that would rarely, if ever get used) or a slightly larger battery, the vast majority of people would choose the larger battery.

Or just buy a Volt and get a bigger battery… and more acceleration… and the 5th seat…

That the Prius even exists at this point with the Volt as good as it is defies logic..

So, the structure is not strong enough to support an extra seat? Doesn’t make too much sense without a proper explanation. The Volt has its T shaped battery in the center, that I understand but the Prime?

I would guess it’s not so much the seat itself, but rather something like anchors for seat belts. They would presumably need to be strong enough to keep a 300 lb person restrained in a 60 mph head-on collision.

I get it’s not the seat but there is a structure strong enough to the left and to the right of the center, how much extra weight would they need to add?

This makes as much sense as when they were dissing electric vehicles and speaking highly of hydrogen fuel cells…

I hope they go with a bigger platform and also add another 10kWh of battery.

I really, really, really hope the Prime version of the hybrids goes the way of the standard hybrids. You can get almost every Toyota made with the hybrid system…hopefully soon, you’ll be able to get almost every Toyota made with the Prime Hybrid system…

I’d take a Rav4 with 20 miles of range Right Now!

You can easily get one with over 100 miles range… used.

2012-2014 Toyota RAV4 EV.

About $25,000.

Well, I suspect the problem is really the size of the cars. When you have to cram two drivetrains into a small car, there is going to be issues of space. The fact that the Volt does it with such minimal sacrifice is like a miracle. However, if they would just make some larger PHEVs I think they’d have far fewer problems getting the batteries and charger to fit. And, of course, the market would react positively to some larger PHEVs.

They’re seriously milking the hell out of the HSD…

No middle seat is a deal breaker, all parents know to put their infant in the middle seat as it’s the safest spot for them. I refuse to believe that you cannot provide this on a PHEV, it’s just going to take some engineering and design changes which cost money that car manufacturers don’t necessarily want to put out right away. I know that batteries take up space but c’mon lets get even creative, that’s what we’re paying you to do!

I always thought it was dumb that on the Model X Tesla did not put LATCH attachment points for a child seat in the second-row middle seat.

Excellent ***ANTI-marketing*** strategy. So everyone will wait for the 5 seater version… like the bigger batteries in the Leaf, i3 etc.
If they really would like to sell them, they would have let the Pruis with 5 seats in the first place.
ICE car cartel self-protection… while the climate temperature rise and rise …

I think the best solution is for everyone to continue to drive in ICE cars (and consume gas all the time, on every trip) until the perfect BEV arrives.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Do you want to know why I call out professional industry shills for what they are, and why they are attacking my person instead of debating the issues?
An eye opening hour and a half well spent.

Then maybe I hope some passive readers will take action and shout their anger with their keyboards.

“Do you want to know why I call out professional industry shills for what they are”

The problem is that you are calling out anyone who disagree with you or your comments as “industry shills”…

That is my personal problem with you.

Are you sure you aren’t paid Tesla shills or official approved Tesla fan club members? (who are required to speak positively about Tesla in order for Tesla to endorse them).

What’s this “attacking my person” stuff?

You frequently insist that PHEVs are a waste of time and that every existing BEV under $70000 is terrible. So what, exactly, are you suggesting the environmentally conscious reader should buy today?

Well What do we see? MMF and spiderdan disagree 😉

Spider, every single time I comment about the INDUSTRY laziness, you try to turn my comments upside down and make believe I am angry about the citizens BUYERS. I have ZERO recriminations about the buyers, for the simple reason that the traditional car makers still have ZERO real good BEV offer, and more, I congratulate all the early adopters and the people making sacrifices to push the adoption of electrified cars of any kind.

MMF, you removed “Toyota fanboy” from your bashing? I just LOVE Tesla, because they are the ONLY company genuinely racing to get better BEVs on the market. Aren’t you yourself a GM “interested” fanboy?

“I just LOVE Tesla, because they are the ONLY company genuinely racing to get better BEVs on the market. Aren’t you yourself a GM “interested” fanboy?”

YOu are still a Toyota Fan boy since you claimed that you would have bought a Toyota BEV with 300 miles of EV range for under $30K today in a heart beat if there is one. But you would NEVER say the same thing for any GM BEVs even if they have the similar spec.

I love more than GM PEVs. I do love the Volt but aren’t nearly as big a fan on the Spark EV. I also love BMW i3 REx, upcoming Chrysler Pacific PHEV. Volvo XC90 PHEV, Tesla Model S. I would like the Outlander PHEV if it is ever offered.

I love them because they are the best in each of their classes and they are practical vehicles that people will buy.

I am not brand specific “fan boy” like you.

I love all the people who buy PEVs trying to save gas and appreciate any PEVs even as lame as those Prius Plugins.

That is the big difference between you and I.

I think the Ford Econoline passenger van would have been more popular with families of 5 or more if that were the case. If each kid needs to be in the middle you would need 3 or more rear rows. In reality, the rigidity you describe tends to dwindle once more siblings are born. While a 4 seater will deter some families, many have multiple cars anyway and this may still fit in the mix.

That said, I hope they keep working to improve seating like you say. Also, I hope they bring a phev Sienna someday!

Official explanation for no 5th seat is lame. Toyota determined potential Prime buyers wouldn’t care about a 5th seat, then the deluge of negative feedback came in bashing no 5th seat, so now they are blaming “production deadlines” for the lack of 5th seat instead of admitting they were wrong, “whoops, sorry, thought you guys didn’t care about a 5th seat!”

So with 99.8% of PlugIn Prius never being plugged in, I wonder if they will get to at least 98% never plugged in For the Prime…

Give me a break.

**** a 5th seat. And 4 seats, and 3 seats

I only need 2 seats and a little cargo space.

More EV range

The Volt 5th seat doesn’t fit many rear-facing car seats, so it’s pretty worthless. Not like an adult is going to sit there.

Which brand of rear facing seat it doesn’t fit?

My Britax fits just fine.

Have you tried it or you just made that comment based on your guess?

Doesn’t fit my daughter’s Klek. I went to the Chevy dealership and said I wanted to test it. The back of the base was on top of the cup holder.

“The back of the base was on top of the cup holder.”

And why is that a problem?

Isn’t the cup holders even a firmer base than cushioned seat?

I am too familiar with your brand. But in general I only buy Graco or Britax which are the some of the most popular brands in the US and neither has problems.

Does it grow, slowly, in the middle of the other two seats?

Volt sold well over 70K units with only 4 seats.

Prius Prime will sell just fine with only 4 seats.

Ford Fusion Energi has five seats and now comes with 22 ev miles as well, so that’s something the Prime is not up to.
The Volt has only 4.5 seats but comes with 50 ev miles, so the Prime is not up to that neither.
I don’t see the Prime selling well unless it gets five seats and closes the ev range gap with the Volt.

“The Volt has only 4.5 seats but comes with 50 ev miles, so the Prime is not up to that neither.
I don’t see the Prime selling well unless it gets five seats and closes the ev range gap with the Volt.”

It is 53 miles on the Volt.

But Prime beats both Volt and Fusion Energi in mpg in gas mode which “some buyers” do care.

Not to mention the Toyota brand.

Toyota is talking about yesterday things like about the future? Lol their plug in range is so yesterday and no Toyota BEVs on sale is even more horrible fact. Toyota is joke.

And yet it will have more range than Ford’s PHEVs, and Ford is the #2 seller (or #3, I can’t remember).

Sales and AER range rarely correlates…

People buy cars for different reason. Price/discount also matters as well as brand reputation and personal bias and use case.

So, I am just glad that we now have more choices despite that Prius Prime’s shortcomings.

One thing that I think most people can agree to is that fact that Prius Prime is now definitely a preferred choice over regular non-plugin Prius. That is a step in the right direction, although a small one.

Even if people can just get 50% EV/Gas ratio, it would reduce their own transportation footprint by 50% which is huge since transportation sector contributes to about 20% of the CO2 emission globally.

Nope Ford just increase the ev range of the fusion energi to 22 miles as well.

Not to quibble over a mile, but GCR got that wrong…mile 22 is blended.

Official: Refreshed Fusion Energi Now Gets 21 Miles AER, 610 Miles Total Range

The “all electric range” is officially 21 miles.

Here is the window sticker:

And if you don’t believe us, then here is Ford’s official press release where they drop the “21” a few times, (=

“The 2017 Ford Fusion Energi has an EPA-estimated rating of 43 city/41 hwy/42 combined MPG, a 14 gallon tank and 21 miles all-electric range. Range calculation based on Actual mileage and range will vary.”

Easy mistake to make though, (=

Ok, so 1 mile difference. 21 versus 22.
That’s not much left though.
When we see the 22 versus 53 of the Volt that lone mile delta doesn’t compair to those 31.

No, definitely not a big difference (unless one is hung up on a race between a couple cars very close).

I only mentioned it because we’ve seen that link offered a couple times…and the perfectionist in me for numbers cringes a bit, (+