Toyota Prius Prime First U.S. Drive Reviews Are In – Videos

OCT 3 2016 BY MARK KANE 54

Toyota brought a small fleet of its upcoming Prius Prime plug-in hybrid to the US for media test drives this month, and now we are flooded with reviews after the company’s black-out embargo has lifted.

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

A selection of various test drives are itemized below for viewing, but we really appreciate Alex on Autos’ thorough take on the new plug-in Prius (featured video above).

Starting at $27,950 (or $23,450 after the federal tax credit has been applied) the Prius Prime is well positioned inside the Prius family (as the most inexpensive/value leader) and is worth considering among other PHEVs, especially considering the all-electric range is rated at 25 miles of real-world/EPA driving.

First tests shows about a 11 second 0-60 mph acceleration time, and despite a slightly higher weight, the new Prius Prime handling is improved compared to previous generation, while netting a 54 MPG combined efficiency rating when now relying on electric propulsion.

An interesting feature is of course is the 11-inch LCD – the largest ever in Toyota (check second video below).

“The Prime is more than just the new Prius-Plug-In, it is also the most efficient Prius ever built. With 25 miles of electric range, 54 MPG on gasoline and the largest LCD infotainment system Toyota has ever used, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime really is the pinnacle of Toyota’s hybrid engineering.

The new Prius Prime uses the largest infotainment and navigation system Toyota has ever made. The all-new system uses an enormous 11-inch LCD that supports multi-finger gestures and integrates the Prius’ climate controls.”

Toyota Prius Prime quick spec:

  • up to 25 miles (40 km) all-electric EPA range (31 miles / 50 km NEDC) via a 8.8 kWh (7 kWh usable) battery (up to 84 mph / 135 km/h in EV mode)
  • 124 MPGe fuel economy rating (EV mode) or 54 MPG regular hybrid mode
  • Full recharge in 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet. Charging takes less than half the time with a 240V source (3.3 kW in U.S.). (In Japan, the Prime is also available with CHAdeMO)
Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

Here is more Toyota Prius Prime reviews from various channels:

2017 Toyota Prius Prime – Redline: Review

Looking to sway buyers who may be in the market for a Tesla or Volt, Toyota is offering its best Prius yet with the introduction of the plug-in Prius Prime model. A unique exterior look, fancy 11.6 LCD display, and the promise of 640 miles of range with 25 of those miles on electricity alone, this pinnacle of the Prius line-up may just be the hybrid vehicle you’re looking for.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime First Drive Review: A True 25 Mile Range?

On this episode of The Fast Lane Car we take a look at the all new 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. We go in-depth with the new hybrid, and test if its claimed 25 miles of pure EV range is accurate.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime First Look

A year ago we were out in California to drive the all new Toyota Prius. Now we are back in California to drive the first riff on the Prius, and that is the Plug-In version they are calling the Prime. The last generation of Plug-In Prius only had a 7 mile range in the real world, how much better is the Prius Prime? That’s what we find out on this episode of Rumblestrip.NET and Ten Minute Test Drive.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Can it’s hybrid heritage defeat the Chevy Volt?

Toyota Prius Prime Full Walk-around Demonstration
A complete walkthrough with Toyota’s product education team as we find out more about the 25 mile EV, 54 MPG Prius Prime.

Prius Prime 11.6″ Entune Tablet Screen Demo
An in-depth demonstration of the large 11.6″ tablet-like center screen on the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in.

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54 Comments on "Toyota Prius Prime First U.S. Drive Reviews Are In – Videos"

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How did it happen that the Toyota Mirai has, apparently, come to be the new body style which other new cars are following?

I think this is the ugliest styling trend ever in cars. Period.

Yeah, it is er… unusual, to put it kindly.?


You are just hopelessly out of date and have the same styling preference as grandma. Prius/Mirai style is not made to win awards, but in general, this style of broken lines, “raised” hood is in fashion for years.

US folks in general prefer pseudo classic style not just in automotive but everywhere. It looks like weird time trip to the past for somebody coming from Japan or Europe. Just face it, styling preferences are different around the world. You will get used to the new fashion next decade maybe, when it will be out of date elsewhere :/

I wonder if Poo-Poo still wears bell bottom jeans. 😉

Allies of pushme-Pullyu

Sven how old are you, 8?
Calling Pushme-Pullyu for Poo-poo is extremely disrespectful and uncivilized. I didn’t think you would sink that low. Grow up.

And that’s not the first time he’s used that infantile insult, either.

I thought it was kind of a cute, endearing nickname. Kind of how one of my former co-workers nicknamed her son “boo-boo” after he was born 9 months after his sister.

Sven is consistently one of the most infantile posters around here, when it comes to name-calling. I think he contributes less and less meaningfully to our conversation with each passing day.

(Perfect example: I don’t see how calling another poster a name and joking about his appearance is either on topic, or contributing anything to the conversation around the Prius Prime.)

Perhaps we should give him a more relevant moniker.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“You are just hopelessly out of date and have the same styling preference as grandma.”

Perhaps so. I confess to still being fond of cars with fins. Really big fins! Yes, I want a car that wants to be a spaceship. And what’s wrong with that? 😀

Well, that would be “the same styling preference as Grandpa”, not Grandma. I’ve never heard women express a fondness for big fins on cars.

A transformer toy, Toyota’s Optimus Prime.
Ugly is Ugly.

Yeah, I think it is pretty ugly too.

That whole wedge car design ugh . . with that ridiculously busy nose.

Now I remember where I saw that wedge design . . . the Triumph TR7.

11 seconds! OUCH!

Just like every Prius, that can become a safety issue in certain situations like during merging on highway onramps.

Not too long ago (the 90’s) 11 second 0-60 was average yet people somehow managed to merge every day.

And with the million+ Prius sold starting from Gen 1, they are still doing.

Not sure why 0 to 60 is such a big deal getting on a freeway that’s at a speed limit of 55MPH.
There are many more cars with slow 0 to 60 that still merge on perfectly and safely fine.

It’s usually those who try and squeeze into those half car slots merging in that complain.

Most of the freeways in my city are 65 mph with people driving at least 70 mph. And not a lot of gaps for merging with heavy traffic.

Yeah, it’s merging onto the freeway when there is heavy traffic which is the issue. Sure, it’s possible with a car that takes 10-11 seconds from 0-60; it’s just easier with a car that has more get-up-and-go.

The same issue exists with passing on a two-lane highway. Especially in hilly country, as it is here in eastern Kansas, where the distance you have to pass another car is usually rather limited.

And right now, it may still take at least 60 seconds for loaded 18 wheeler to do 0-60, depending on engine and load. Yet they all merge ramps just fine.

Regular cars tend to get out of the way of 18 wheelers.

What is the 0-60 in EV mode I wonder? I’m assuming that 11 seconds is with gas assist.

15s according to Alex.


This is one of the reasons why PHEVs should have larger battery packs. It’s not merely the lack of range; it’s the lack of available power, charging speed, and other limitations created by impractically small battery packs.

Currently, the Volt is the only PHEV that’s capable of performing equally well in either gas-powered mode or EV-only mode. I look forward to the day when that’s the norm in PHEVs, rather than the exception!

It’s really not a safety issue. There are plenty of vehicles out there with 0-60 times in the double digits. Toyota Yaris, Toyota Prius, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Mitsubishi Mirage…

When I had my i-MiEV, I had little problem merging into Texas traffic on the freeway, despite a 0-60 time of around 12 seconds.

Your brain, steering wheel and and brake pedal are far more important than the gas pedal. 11 seconds was fast not too long ago. We’re still alive. Merging works fine in my 98 K1500, 78 caprice classic, etc. All slower vehicles.

I have little interest in PHEVs. Too complicated. My ICE is in my other car.

We have an EV and the other car is an EREV. Between 2 people almost all our miles are EV.

11 sec for 0-60 perpetuates the myth that EV or green cars are awful slow slugs. For those who feel they need to punish themselves for pollution, this will be a hit. Otherwise, Volt is so much better PH.

Some should do a drag strip video of Prime vs Volt (and SparkEV, too). At almost 4 seconds slower, it will be amusing. Where’s Warren when you need him.

Do we know if that 11 seconds includes EV mode or only with the gas assist?

In EV mode, it is even slower… 15 seconds.

The Prius Prime has to compete with the Chevy Volt that gets more than twice the electric miles. Toyota is late to this party.

And apparently twice as quick to 60 mph in EV mode.

That’s a bigger concern to me than the range.
At $6k less (or $3k+tax difference less) than the Volt I wouldn’t expect as much range. To compensate it should be more efficient in both EV and hybrids modes. But an EV 0-60 the same as the Energis, which weigh 450lb more, is disappointing.

It’s late and half-assed. Toyota must do better. 200 mile all electric for $35k would help.

With regards to the infotainment screen, I think that the graphic of the white Prius, mountains, and sky at the top of the screen is a complete waste of screen space. I’d also prefer to have the home and menu buttons on the driver’s side of the screen. However, I do like the user interface.

I think they should have had real knobs/buttons for the HVAC controls & volume.

I also don’t understand why they put the plug port in the worst possible location, rear passenger side.

Unfortunately dropping the 5th seat disqualifies the Prius Prime from most if not all TNC rideshare companies which means the Prius Prime is off my list. The stepped up load floor in the back does not help either.

IMO the styling sucks.

Looks like a slobbering bulldog with its face stuck in a mail slot.

Which might be fine, I guess, if you like bulldogs.

I’m basically turning into a ‘Chevy Guy’ , but I have to admit this offering from Toyota is more than compelling…..

And since NYState is for the first time offering $2000 per new EV (not sure what the rules are yet but I bet Toyota designed this car to squeak by) – means that they will sell A LOT of them. And that over 50 mpg on the ICE is just amazing.

I have a feeling there will be no more available public chargers anymore for me, since these vehicles will all snap them up.

C’mon. Your ELR is way better than this.

Indeed. I’m gobsmacked that someone who drives a Cadillac ELR, and loves it, would praise the Prius Prime. Voltec is sooooo much better than this!

Doesn’t matter if Volt is superior in EV range, performance and overall styling.

Toyota will sell a boat load of it.

Hopefully, its new owners will more than likely to plug it in than the previous generation of PIP.

Well, as they say: “Half a loaf is better than none.” But with a battery pack so small the car has only 25 miles of range, the Prius Prime is more like 2/5 of a loaf.

Yup, Toyota certainly didn’t aim high on this one.

It could at least get the battery up to 16kWh to take full advantage of the federal incentives. But that might be too much weight which requires a different chassis or impacts MPG and cargo space that Toyota isn’t willing to compromise on.

But 2/5 loaf is better than no bread. Beggers can’t be choosers in this case.

I would have been more supportive of it if Toyota does this 25 miles thing as in a Highlander PHEV or even Camry PHEV.

But knowing Toyota fan base, it will sell well and give Volt a run for its money.

2/5 of a loaf might be the answer of half the USA population that are obese.:)

Slow, ugly, Toyota. Toyota has completely lost it.

Well, it’s faster than a Volkswagen Vanagon filled with hippies, so there’s that.

So, poor visibility, poor rear seat space, poor cargo space, poor braking distance, long, ugly, but it’s reasonably priced and doesn’t use a lot of fuel.

I’ll pass, thanks.

Just so we are clear, you just described all hybrids!

How many times did Alex have to say “lipstick”? If you want to market this car to men he’s gotta stop talking like that. I drive a 2011 Prius and I’m always trying to convince other guys that it’s a great car. I do not say that it looks like lipstick or the glove compartment is great at holding lipstick

You.. asked for It!
You Got it..

Mirr.. uhhh.. Toyota!

(I personally think they made it slow on purpose, it is what past Prius owners expect, and they’ve no interest in quickness)

as for the styling (and the defense), yep, some fine looking cars were clearly improved by the last major improvement: “MY headlights are Bigger that Your headlights..” and this latest exercise has bestowed bullhead gills upon 50% of the concept cars. It is Nice to work for Toyota and get the recognition that they deserve.
Looks are definitely subjective, and 34 inch wheels and 12 inch side windows are coming soon to a show near you (oops, I’m late as usual, go go gadg.. errrmm, Mitsu).

The core differentiating technology of Toyota Prius is Regenerative braking and Prius has been a great success for this reason on comparing with the other car makers.