2017 Toyota Prius Prime Preview, Specs and Price
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is a decent electric’s for 20 to 25 miles, and then a very efficient Prius after that, and it’s aggressively priced to boot.
2017 Toyota Prius Prime Preview, Specs and Price – The brand new plug-in version of the fourth-generation Toyota Prius hybrid launched a year after that car, and it got a brand new name too. The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime succeeds the prior and discontinued Prius Plug-In Hybrid model, sold from 2012 through 2015, but it’s a much-improved and quite different vehicle. The Prius Prime exists in three trim levels: Plus is the base, the mid-level Premium will likely be the volume seller, and Advanced could be the high-end, all-bells-and-whistles model.
2017 Toyota Prius Prime
We’ve rated the Prius Prime at 5.8 out of 10, with high scores on our green scale and for features, but lower scores for design and performance. It’s almost important to notice that it has only four seats, unlike the regular Prius, with the center of the trunk seat occupied with a hard plastic cupholder. We haven’t yet rated it for safety, though we expect it to accomplish well based on the high ratings directed at the regular Prius and its generous complement of standard electronic safety systems, with several more optional as well.
The standard 2016 Prius hybrid had the remarkable distinction of styling so bizarre that its predecessor looked staid in comparison. The brand new plug-in Prime retains the basic shape and wheelbase of the 2016 Prius, but heavily revised front and rear styling that moderates the style in ways that, to many eyes, look better. The front end is a little more conventional, though Toyota says it’s “more aggressive,” with four small rectangular projector headlamps on either side. At the trunk, a subtly twin-domed rear liftgate window sits above rear lights that follow its curved shape across the horizontal, eliminating the outboard vertical lights of the regular Prius.
The greatest surprise of the production 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Specs may not need been its EPA-rated electric selection of 25 miles, though that’s higher compared to the 22 miles Toyota related to it earlier this year. Nor was it the 54 miles per gallon combined when operating as a traditional hybrid once its battery range is depleted.
Instead, the statistic that stood out was its energy efficiency, rated at an extraordinary 124 MPGe. That equal the very best version of the BMW i3, using its advanced carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic structure, a considerably pricier car. And it shows so how parsimonious the Prime is by using both gasoline and electrons. (MPGe, or Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, is just a way of measuring how far a car can travel electrically for a passing fancy number of energy as is found in 1 gallon of gasoline.)
As in the the regular Prius, a high-efficiency 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a set of electric motors powers the Prius Prime. Their combined output is rated at 121 horsepower, Toyota says, making it not even close to a speed demon. But one key decision distinguishes the Prime from the standard Prius: its engineers have defaulted the car into electric-only mode unless the battery is going of charge (beyond that needed to operate as a traditional hybrid, which it does after the battery is depleted).
That makes the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Price an electric car over its first 20 or 25 miles, not the blended gasoline-and-electric vehicle its predecessor was. And it separates the Prime from other plug-in hybrids except the Chevy Volt, which also runs in electric mode only until its battery capacity is depleted. Every other mass-priced plug-in hybrid competitors—including two from Ford, one from Hyundai, and soon one from Kia—turn on their engines whenever the driver demands maximum power. Prius Prime drivers must take a specific action when they don’t want electric-only operation, the reverse of these other cars.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime isn’t as strong in electric mode since the more powerful Volt, but it could keep up with most traffic when driven to the limits of its electric power. Our test cars delivered at least 25 electric miles on various test loops, though admittedly there clearly was little highway travel and the elements was temperate. Driven gently at lower speeds, the Prime could well offer ranges potentially as high as 30 miles.
The Chevy Volt still leads that measure, with a rated 53 miles from the battery twice as large, but it’s a far cry from the anemic 2012-2015 Prius Plug-In Hybrid’s 11-mile electric range. That car’s 60-kilowatt (80-horsepower) electric motor was so weak, and its tendency to kick on the engine so strong, that it felt to hapless drivers attempting to stay in electric mode that even a deep breath could trigger the engine.
The Prius Prime essentially becomes a heavier version of its hybrid sibling once the engine does finally start after the 20 to 30 miles of battery-only travel. Under most circumstances, its engine and electric motors combine seamlessly. Still, when maximum power is necessary, the engine spins as much as high speeds and moans noticeably from in advance beneath the hood. Otherwise, the Prime shares the improved roadholding, handling, and comfortable ride of the standard Prius.
Comfort and quality
Inside, the Prime feels safe for four people, yet it is missing even the 5th “seating position” that lets the Chevy Volt accommodate a lithe, uncomplaining teen with a padded battery hump abbreviated trips. Toyota’s engineers say cautious eliminate that fifth seat was in the interests of maximizing range and efficiency.
A back corner seats will accommodate two adults, though the strain bay is shallower in contrast to the conventional Prius because of the power supply and various electronic gear underneath it. Interior materials are the variety of hard plastics and soft-touch surfaces, though they just don’t convey a very premium impression. Still, build quality to the early cars that we drove was impeccable, and there is that legendary Toyota reliability to element in as well.
Nearly the beds base version from the Prius Prime share the 11-inch vertical touchscreen display that differentiates it from a consistent Prius. It’s similar in design towards Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, underscoring its maker’s two solutions to zero-emission vehicles—although it’s clear that Toyota will sell significantly more Primes than Mirais over the subsequent five years.
No safety ratings have yet been released for that Prius Prime, although last year’s conventional Prius hybrid received the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation with the IIHS because of its crash performance, with the top rating of Good on every test. You’ll find it received a comprehensive five-star rating with the NHTSA. A rearview camera is standard.
Toyota is including an all-inclusive suite of electronic active-safety features in every single Prius Prime. Those include forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beams. Also, Toyota adds blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic attentive to the Prime Advanced, the highest of three trim levels.
Of several trim levels available, the beds base Prius Plus includes cloth-covered heated front seats, steering-wheel audio controls, heated mirrors, plus a built-in navigation system as standard.
The mid-level Premium trim might be the most popular version, and Toyota has carefully specced versus eachother to incorporate a suite of features that will appeal towards core market. The Premium trim gets an uplifting 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen display to use center display, similar to the huge screen in Teslas but closer in general towards Volvo Sensus system to use newest luxury cars. The Premium version also comes with a 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat which includes power lumbar adjustment, plus a Qi wireless charging pad, among other features.
Near the top of the heap, the Prime Advanced trim adds one head-up display for speed, vehicle information, and navigation instructions, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, LED fog lights, plus a mobile-phone app that enables remote activation of climate control and give various operating data and services.
Sales from the Prius Prime began in late 2016. Unlike its predecessor, the Toyota Prius Prime will likely be purchased in all 50 states. All prime versions are eligble for a federal income-tax credit of $4,500. In California, they meet the criteria for both a $1,500 purchase rebate and also the coveted single-occupant having access to carpool lanes on freeways.