Toyota Prius Prime Selected As 2017 Best Buy In The Hybrid/Electric Category

NOV 19 2016 BY MARK KANE 35

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime won the best buy in Electric/Hybrid Category from the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards.

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

The Japanese plug-in hybrid beat more than 300 models because of its great fuel economy, and 640 miles of combined range (including 25 miles all-electric), but most importantly priced from just $27,950.

A starting pricing that give the plug-in Prime an effective cost less than the base Prius model after the $4,500 federal credit is applied.

“Of more than 300 new-car models available for 2017, Kelley Blue Book’s expert editors narrowed the field to 12 major vehicle categories evaluating the finalists head-to-head to ultimately determine the winners. The awards are the culmination of a year-long evaluation of nearly every new vehicle available in America.

The 2017 Prius Prime is doing what no hybrid has ever done before delivering 640 miles of total full-charge/full-tank driving range, 25 miles of pure electric range and a 133 MPGe rating that’s the highest of any electric car currently available, making it the most efficient car in America. With a revolutionary design, advanced technology such as the 11.6-in. HD multimedia display and a well-documented history of reliability and low ownership costs, there is no question why the Toyota Prius Prime was chosen as the Electric/Hybrid Best Buy of 2017.”

Nathan Kokes, advanced technology vehicle manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. said:

“When we set out to build the 2017 Prius Prime, we wanted to deliver a car that would live up to the idea of the word ‘Prime,’ – a plug-in hybrid vehicle with no compromises. With the new Prius Prime, Toyota has delivered the most efficient car in America and we are thrilled to receive the Electric/Hybrid Best Buy Award from Kelley Blue Book,”

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst, Kelley Blue Book said:

“With 90 years of trust in providing the auto industry with data and decades of providing car shoppers with valuable information, Kelley Blue Book takes great pride in identifying the new vehicles that our experts believe to be the absolute best-value choices for new-car shoppers and the new 2017 Prius Prime indisputably takes first place with its innovation and efficiency for the Electric/Hybrid category,”.

For more information, visit the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards.

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35 Comments on "Toyota Prius Prime Selected As 2017 Best Buy In The Hybrid/Electric Category"

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Looks like they didn’t get the memo that the range is now 25 miles EPA.

They also didn’t get the memo that the Hyundai Ioniq BEV now has higher efficiency of 136 MPGe.

Was a lot of “flux” last week in the re-stating of estimates to actual EPA reported numbers, we imagine the video was shot before the changes…seems like they only caught the Prime’s mileage bump in the written PR (or at least Toyota did, and told KBB)

Now jUst make a Prime V!!!!


along with the prime c, prime Camry, pime RAV4, prime everything. Yes I’d like to see more range but that can come with evolution let’s get a plug on everything first.

I agree Chris.

At least targeting something like the Camry, which is popular, and boosting the current hybrid version to take a plug, seems like it should be a high priority.

I know Toyota is conservative and I LOVE the consistent quality aspect that meme drives in most of their car models/lines.

However, they should now (IMO) start doing something to show they’re serious about moving toward a BEV and more electrified cars starting in 2020. Something like a PHEV Camry version (with 5 real seats and decent cargo room) would help do that.

C-Max Energi. Came out in 2013, reasonably close to this in spec (MPG is significantly worse, but EV range is about 22miles real world), but Prius V-sized. Can be bought in amazing condition used for not very much money at all. I don’t understand why so many people like the Prius Prime, it’s not really competitive in 2016/17.

Yep the PP needs a bit more power.

C-Max Energi doesn’t have nearly the cargo space of the Prius V.

I thought about a C-Max Energi when shopping used this year, but I had a couple concerns, mostly about reliability. I don’t like the ‘engine sludge’ reports of people who don’t use the gas engine frequently enough.

People will buy the Prime because of: efficiency, low cost, and Toyota reliability.

These PP’s will be clogging up chargers everywhere, just to get a little juice. There is going to be a huge demand for a lot more Level 2 chargers. Toyota may become the PHEV leader in volume sales, when these catch on like the Chevy Volt among the Prius Faithful.

You do know it can run on petrol right…
The entire point of this vehicle is the EV range is for your daily commute from charging at home and the petrol range is for long drives, no sane person is going to stop every 25 miles to fast charge.

Good.. it will help get more infrastructure built.

“These PP’s will be clogging up chargers everywhere, just to get a little juice.”

My local grocery store has chargers. The usual shopping stop there will provide roughly 6 to 8 miles of electricity. A rate of 3.3kW for 20 to 25 minutes is plenty. We have a retail store here with chargers too. How much juice do you need?

At a coffeeshop or restaurant, being plugged in for a typical visit of 90 minutes would provide a substantial electricity replenish. The same would be the case for visits to a large shopping mall as well. What situation would cause a clog?

In other words, what situation is there that could be a problem? The gut reaction is to say more is better. But in actual practice, we’ll likely find that isn’t really the case.

William, with respect, nonsense. (This is the kind of “argument” I expect to see from the AGW deniers who hate to see any form of vehicle supporting EV miles.) When the car gets solidly over 50 mpg both on the highway and in the city, it’s not like it’s a financial disaster (or even a climate disaster) to drive it in hybrid mode. I am SERIOUSLY looking at buying one of these. For my typical daily driver needs, I expect to need to only burn, literally, around FIVE gallons of gasoline a year. (I use more for my lawn tools). (I have another car I used for all longer trips). Actually, the only reason I see potentially burning much more than that is if taking it out for a good, solid, hybrid ride and running about a gallon of gas through the engine is advisable for long term durability/reliability. I think data on that item will come out in time, with enough real world experience from short hop Prius Prime drivers. Aside from keeping only a couple/few gallons in the tank (with my planned driving needs) and using a fuel stabilizer, I just am concerned that there are too many… Read more »

Meanwhile, Ioniq hybrid comes with lifetime battery warranty. That’s far better than anything Toyota has to offer. If Prius came with lifetime battery warranty, I might still be driving the Prius instead of having to junk it.

I didn’t know Hyundai was offering lifetime battery warranty. Thanks for the info.

Does anyone know if either Toyota or Hyundai’s warranty protect against battery capacity loss like Nissan’s warranty does?

You better check terms of these excessive warranties and if they cover something useful or are mostly just marketing ploy like usual.

Batteries non-plugin hybrids typically cycle differently, are of different chemistry, and not really comparable to plugin ones. They usually don’t fail before a car becomes a clunker either.

I am not sure about other hybrids, but the Civic Hybrid had enough problems that there was a class action lawsuit.

I have attempted to compile a list of battery capacity loss warranties here:

Please provide links if you have any updates.

Is that a true lifetime warranty? Because I’ve heard companies say things like “the battery is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle” and when called on it, would then claim the lifetime was calculated to be 200,000 miles so anything above that is not covered.

I wonder if that beautiful shot was taken on a golf course around Palm Springs…

I disagree with those thinking it will be a raging sales success.

But who knows – after what happened this past election, beware of underestimating the lack of intelligence of the average car buyer.

So crowds of purple-haired rioters sporting nose rings touting “Love Trumps Hate” signs sitting in the middle of the expressway, keeping me from reaching my place of employment represent the educated, “intelligent” EV buyer, then? Is that what you’re saying?

Why do sheep who support establishment fleecing of Americans sound so self righteous? Thinking people realize that very many disillusioned Democrats voted for Trump as numbere suggest. People of the demographiuc that liberals traditionally go after didn’t vote.

This doesn’t indicate stupidity, but a common distrust of the money-grubbing, dishonest status quo.

“The 2017 Prius Prime is doing what no hybrid has ever done before delivering 640 miles of total full-charge/full-tank driving range, 25 miles of pure electric range…”

Well, it’s good that the Prius Prime gets excellent MPG in gasmobile mode. But aside from the rather small 25-mile electric range, all those miles are still powered by gasoline. Driving this car is certainly better than driving an average gasmobile. But if our goal is ending the burning of fossil fuel for everyday transportation — and for me, it is — then this is only a halfway measure.

90% of my everyday driving involves round trips of 25 miles or less, and that’s true for most people.

The fact that everyone occasionally or even regularly takes longer drives is irrelevant.

Pushmi-Pullyu, you’re absolutely right. This is a transitional vehicle, no doubt. What I like about it is that it is a transitional vehicle done very WELL, for a large potential audience.

Low cost (for the PHEV class), likely very high reliability (per Toyota and the Prius reputation), and enough EV miles and short enough charge times to let people who don’t drive a lot and care, to make the VAST majority of their city miles EV miles in their daily driver.

For people (like me) who want to let the BEV and its infrastructure develop before committing to a BEV, this seems like a tremendous choice.

Now I want to see Toyota get on the stick and get serious about their 2020 target date for a BEV to compete with the Bolt (as I want nothing to do with a Chevy or a Tesla until we see more about how their BEV offerings perform in the real world).

Not every one is a traveling salesman. 25 mile range will be plenty for many people.
If they can plug in at work then there is nothing more needed anyway.

But even if the drive 25 miles electrically, and then 5 miles on an efficient gas engine, that will drastically cut gasoline usage.

No way will BIG-OIL be fond of this car.

Now me, I drive much much more than this… Drove 53 1/2 miles totally electrically this morning, and then with 1 estimated mile left, I’m having lunch at a burger king with a level 2 charger across the street. My next destination 13 miles away (about the same amount of charge after I’m done getting lunch) will also have a plug in charger, so that, at the end of the day, I’ll have driven around 80 miles – totally electrically, and then recharge fully at home for tomorrow.

Note that the Prius Prime charges the battery so the 133mpge means a greater range than 640 miles if only driven locally by my estimates. My longest range on the prius four touring was 608 miles.

Both the Prius Prime and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid are in my short list to replace my current beater (probably in about 6 months-ish – hopefully looking for Ioniq PHEV around then too) – eagerly waiting for them to get to Chicago area showrooms.

I am skeptical of the Ionic PHEV. I think it may have more range, but it is going to have a very anemic drive motor. At least the Prius Prime will be able to handle almost all driving situations on battery.

I think this car will sell better and make a bigger difference to fuel consumption than people expect. 25 miles isn’t insignificant and the car isn’t exactly a gas guzzler once those 25 miles are done.

Overall I think it is a really positive addition to the market, I could imagine it taking many of the sales that would have gone to diesels or other hybrids. I also think it is the first step that will see plugs appear on every Toyota hybrid. By 2021 I could see every Toyota hybrid being a phev, a few “low range” Bev city cars coming in and the beginnings of a selection of fuel cell cars, buses and trucks being offered . I am still undecided on if I think Toyota s strategy is good idea or not but at least the have a plan and it looks like they are going to deliver it.

Yet the 4 seats will limit it’s appeal just like it limited Volt.

Toyota doesn’the want to put an 18kwh battery in anything right now.

Bolt EV shows the way to what will be required for a decent 200 mile BEV.

Pacifica Hybrid makes for an even more intriguing option for a family looking to drive clean and spend far less time buying smelly gas.

Prime and Volt don’the fill the formula of a battery below the seats family runner. Those two cars represent a commuter car that can augment the family hauler.

IMO the volt was and still is limited by GM. Specs, rrp and drive performance are not the only thing that sells a car. As I see it, the volt will remain a “halo” car for GM.

IMO Chrysler will limit the Pacifica production to just enough to get the right number of credits.

I can’t see the prime and bolt competing for the same customers and I also think GM will hold it back. I have nothing to base that last claim on but my gut tells me that the Bolt is all about trying to make tesla look overpriced for what it offers, particularly at the 60 kWh model end, and nothing to do with mass market EV’s that are practical for everyone.

I know it’s a bit early for predictions but I think that all of the top 5 cars on next years sales chart will either have a Panasonic or Nissan battery pack. Who takes the top spot I’m not sure but hopefully it will be a good clean fight.

and hopefully I am totally wrong about the bolt with GM coming out swinging and pushing the bolt like crazy.

No sale NOWHERE.

The real winner is the Chevy Volt with 53 miles of all electric range. Prius has lousy all-electric range.

Total mileage without stopping is a poor metric. Who has a bladder that will last for 640 miles?

Jim, I don’t know why so many Volt fans are so myopic.

The Volt is very good at two things for a current PHEV. Pure EV range and acceleration.

And, that’s about it.

And it’s quite bad at quite a few things. Things like reliability (per Consumer Reports Dec. 2016 issue, where the 2016 gen 2 Volt scored a 15 out of 100 on reliability (2nd worst in class), vs the 2016 Prius, best of class, with a 94 on the other end of the scale. And it’s far less efficient both in EV mode and PHEV mode.

I project a very different market segment for the Prius Prime than for the Volt. As long as we get more people driving pure EV miles, and the grid becomes cleaner over time, everyone wins.

A huge battery in a Phev just means once juice runs out you have to lug all that weight around. The Prime would never get mid 50s MPG with a heavier battery. Don’t know why so many people knock the Prius when there’s so many Impalas around. I have a 2011 Prius. 88K. NEVER in shop. 48MPG. You can’t ignore the savings of reliability like that. Its got 21 cu ft of cargo and 40 with the seats down. Again few come close. Toyota engineering is world class. Battery reliability will also far exceed competitiors. I also lease a Leaf. If I purchase it I can expect the battery to not support winter driving or regen by 150K miles. Capacity could be as low as 50 or 60%. Prius cars typically go 300K without battery replacement.