Toyota Prius Prime Quick Drive: Better, Not Perfect – Video

AUG 5 2016 BY JAY COLE 15

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.

Consumer reports reflects on its first impressions driving the Toyota Prius Prim

Consumer reports reflects on its first impressions driving the Toyota Prius Prim

(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 this 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!

Categories: Test Drives, Toyota

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15 Comments on "Toyota Prius Prime Quick Drive: Better, Not Perfect – Video"

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David Murray

It’s sad that they can’t do a better review than this.. I could do a review better than this and I don’t have all of their equipment, crews, money, and other resources.

Bill Howland

Well, For a CR review it was OK, I appreciated knowing the crappy optional huge touch screen is OPTIONAL, so that means there is no need to waste any money on it. Also, the 240 volt charger seems much larger if what CR claims is true – that the dead battery can fully recharge in 2 hours.

I’ve only seen a PIP plug in at a ChargePoint (where I can read the usage) once, and it was under 2.4 kw, so I’m assuming the old PIP was limited to 12 amps.

Thus, if charging can complete in the new PIP prime in only 2 hours, it just has to be bigger.

mustang_sallad

Pretty sure the old Prius only had a 2.2kW charger, while I think the new one is 3.6kW. The two hours might not be from 0-100%, or it may not use the full 8.8kWh.

ModernMarvelFan

CR has always been “nice” to Prius while being more critical to the Volt.

Maybe they should test them side by side in the winter.

During talking cars, CR complained that Prius (regular) got heat if they want with an engine in the winter but the Volt has an electric heat that aren’t enough. Well, dumbo, don’t you know that Volt got a Hold mode so you can get more heat and then shut it off when you don’t need it??!?!?!?

CR is still pro-gas at this point. They don’t understand at all commuting is what most American do to add miles.

Bacardi

CR’s highest rated car was the Tesla Model S which “broke” their rating system…I don’t see how they could be more EV friendly…

The Volt doesn’t require “manually” switching to hold mode to get more heat, if cold enough ERDTT kicks in…

sven

FWIW, in the CR article that accompanies the video, CR said “In our hands, we actually observed a 28-mile pure-electric range without trying.”

ModernMarvelFan

In the middle of Summer.

Somehow Toyota is smart enough to always release a Plugin Prius to CR for review in the summer. But Chevy always manage to do it in the winter.

Let this winter’s full review be more telling.

BTW, how does CR get one of the Prime if it isn’t fully released yet? Unless this is a Toyota supplied model which isn’t a “real world purchase” by CR.

georgeS

The Toyota Prius has taken more carbon off the streets than all the Tesla’s on the road. At 29K it should sell well and continue on with the Toyota environmental creed.

The power train is inferior to the Volt but the Prius has some decent room in it (albeit less than the regular prius).

We had a Volt on a 3 year lease and also a 2008 Prius which was my wife’s car. She didn’t like the Volt because of its poor interior room. I liked the Volt because it had a superior power train and did not care about the room.

I know Toyota always gets a bad rap in the comment section here but IMO it is still a great way to reduce carbon emissions at a cost effective price.

Bill Howland

You won’t get any beef from me…. The car is a fully thought out product (and with the double sized battery it is now actually useable) for the low cost, it is an excellent value. Prius’s sell like crazy around here, and its nice to see they finally put a decently sized charger in them (3600 watts supposedly per MustangSalad).

That means they will finish charging quickly after hogging all the public chargers, then I can plug my car in!

Richard C

I’m glad the large screen is optional. Has anyone seen a picture of what the alternative would look like?

James

CR’s statement that the Prime is a good halfway point between a plug in hybrid and a full BEV is not true in the least. The Volt, with 53 miles electric range, is a good alternative for people who want to nix range anxiety and also drive most of the time on electricity.

With a range of around 100 miles in moderate temperatures for the current crop of full BEVs, this literally makes the Volt a true halfway point to motoring full electric all the time. – Bad observation CR.

Now that I’ve said that – if I could get past the looks and the cheapo touchscreen, the Prime can be had with the black, fingerprint magnet plastic trim inside vs. the ceramic toilet shiny white, and it can make sense for those that drive longer distances on a regular basis.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

They did say half-way point, not 80-90% way point. The Volt pushes the average percentage of EV miles well above halfway.

The Prime will be a near-EREV, so it’ll be able to do a lot of trips in EV mode.
It’ll be efficient in each mode, have good blending capability for longer trips, and will have an efficient heat pump so most heating needs won’t be such a range killer.

Given the car’s efficiency, and given that 40% of cars in the USA are driven 20 miles per day or less on average*, and given that the USA has higher annual miles than other countries in the world, I’d say yes, it’ll be a good half-way point

* Side Note: there is a 2016 National Household Travel Survey, so next year we can all stop looking at 2009 data. :p

David Murray

I agree with ItsNotAboutTheMoney. The car is good enough that it can be a true EV for a huge number of people. I can use myself as an example. I drive about 10 miles per day and have charging at home and at work. So the prime would give me the true EV lifestyle for my daily commutes, year round. As it is, my 2017 Volt was bought 4 months ago and still has the dealer gas in the tank. I would imagine that would still be the case even if I drove 50 miles per day instead of 10.

The Prius Prime is like a half way point to an EV. and the Volt is like 90% of the way to an EV.

MDEV

CR is a joke. I wonder if they will suggest the removal of Tesla like infotainment from the Prius until is proven that people cannot be distracted.