The Prius Prime, all new for 2017, is a plug-in version of Toyota’s iconic Prius with a larger battery that enables an EPA-rated 25 miles of electric-only driving, a slew of standard active safety technology, and a high-tech cabin. Its single powertrain is efficient but otherwise utterly joyless, and the Prius can’t manage even half of the electric driving range of a Chevrolet Volt. Toyota earns points for significantly improving driving dynamics across the Prius lineup compared with the previous generation, but the Prime still checks fewer boxes than the Volt, which remains our plug-in of choice.
What’s New for 2017?
The new Prius Prime is based heavily on the latest-generation Prius, which was introduced in 2016. As with its hybrid sibling, it sits on Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform and has an improved powertrain, redesigned exterior, and updated interior compared with the previous Prius plug-in. It is visually distinguished from the standard Prius by its restyled front and rear ends.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
Every Prius Prime has the same powertrain, so you’re free to choose based on features that come with each of the three trim levels. We’d choose the mid-level Premium trim, which adds several comfort items compared with the base Plus but stays below $30,000. Standard features in the Premium model include:
• 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system
• Qi wireless charging pad
• Leatherette-trimmed front seats
The total comes to $29,685. Drivers who are seduced by active safety technology may prefer the $33,985 Advanced trim, which adds blind-spot monitoring and self-parking features to our preferred model.