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2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advance

1.Eight-liter inline-four, DOHC, with plug-in hybrid electrical motor (121 mixed horsepower)

Repeatedly-variable transmission, front-wheel drive

55 metropolis / 53 freeway / 54 mixed (EPA Ranking, MPG)

133 (EPA Ranking, MPGe)

64.2 (As Examined, MPG)

Base Worth: $33,985 (U.S.)

As Examined: $35,112 (U.S.)

Costs embody $885 freight cost.

Prefer it or not, bias is all the time going to be a priority at any time when consuming any form of media. Efforts may be made to current honest and balanced reporting on any challenge, however the issue is, fairly merely, that information organizations are made up of people that maintain their very own opinions. One of the best ways the reader/listener/viewer can navigate the bias is to know what these biases are, and account for them.

Let me be clear – I’m biased in opposition to the Prius. Almost twenty years of unfavourable reinforcement in regards to the Prius and Prius drivers have hardened a dislike of the little wedge that guarantees nothing however gradual driving within the left lane. Minimal efficiency and a concentrate on gasoline economic system above almost all else is international to these of us who really take pleasure in driving.

Thus, I dreaded the arrival of this 2017 Toyota Prius Prime to my driveway, worrying that I’d go to sleep from sheer boredom throughout my commute. After I noticed the white paint utilized to the automobile’s sharply-angled flanks, I used to be additional involved in regards to the appliance-like nature of this plug-in individuals hauler.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime profile

It’s definitely not formed like a Maytag washer. Toyota’s acquainted lengthy, low hatchback form has been iterated via the generations, however that is nonetheless clearly a Prius. From the traces of the windowsills and aspect moldings that parallel themselves gently upward from entrance to rear, to the sharply cut-off tail, Toyota might simply credit score Bernoulli and Kamm as co-designers of the Prius.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime rear quarter

I gained’t faux to know the finer factors of aerodynamic idea, however I consider the deep valley discovered within the rear window glass should make a big affect on drag. In any other case, that funky contour is solely kind main operate – there appears to be no good technique to wipe that quite-close-to-horizontal glass floor clear whereas driving. It was an annoyance with morning dew and gentle rains, and I can’t think about the annoyance when the snows come.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime rear

Inside, Toyota stays true to kind with the Prius Prime dashboard, combining the principle gauges in a large, central-mounted show, with one other 11.6-inch touchscreen dealing with principally each audio and HVAC operate.

The massive display is flanked by quantity and temperature buttons that give no tactile suggestions when pressed – I’d relatively have knobs for features so incessantly accessed whereas driving – however the display itself is remarkably vibrant and clear. Attributable to its dimension, a number of features can share the display without delay. A map may be proven all whereas monitoring the cost standing and efficiency of the plug-in hybrid system.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime dash

The vinyl seating floor – Toyota calls it “Softex” in a transparent homage to the MB-Tex discovered for ages in Mercedes-Benz automobiles – within reason comfy, however is certainly not a convincing leather-based substitute. Whereas usually I’d contemplate that an issue, within the case of the Prius that could be a characteristic relatively than a bug. Contemplate important proportion of hybrid consumers are more likely to be eco-conscious. I’ve to think about materials that too carefully emulates an animal product is likely to be show very fascinating to these consumers.


Driving the Prius Prime reveals a number of important variations even from a standard hybrid. For the reason that plug-in hybrid system provides the automobile a bigger battery (which does have an effect on trunk area – Toyota quotes 19.Eight cubic ft within the cargo maintain, versus 24.6 cubes in a normal Prius), one can spend way more time driving in full EV mode – even as much as and exceeding typical freeway speeds.

After a full in a single day cost, the Prius Prime indicated 27.7 miles of EV vary. My typical commute is correct round eight miles, so there have been a number of days the place I didn’t use a drop of gasoline. Yeah, I burned some further pure gasoline and coal once I plugged into the wall of my storage, however that’s one other story.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime front seats

I don’t love the situation of the charging port – the place most electrical automobiles I’ve skilled have a port on a entrance fender, the Prius Prime has the plug on the suitable rear quarter panel, symmetrically reverse the gasoline filler. Since I park in my driveway, I wanted to again the Prius up near the home to plug in. It’s probably not a problem for many consumers, however it’s one thing to contemplate.

After per week of commuting and kid-hauling, this Prius Prime averaged 64.2 mpg. That quantity is past gorgeous, particularly contemplating that our present fleet struggles to succeed in 20 mpg on a very good day. I discovered myself idly spreadsheeting a break-even level of gasoline price versus miles pushed versus buy value for my spouse’s subsequent automobile.

Sure, I’m the geek who performs with Excel when bored.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime interior

Relating to driving manners, the braking continues to be typical of a hybrid. There’s a transition between regenerative braking and conventional friction braking that may be a bit indecisive – it could possibly really feel jerky when steadily slowing to a cease. As I spent extra time with the Prius Prime, it wasn’t as noticeable. It takes getting used to.

The low rolling-resistance tires do undertaking a very good little bit of tire noise into the cabin, however it’s principally canceled by the minimal noise from the electrical drivetrain. Even when the petrol engine kicks in, the sound is nicely muted. Driving manners are fairly good for a small automobile, and I discovered that longish freeway drives have been relaxed – aided by the lane departure warning, steering help, and radar cruise management discovered on this Superior trim bundle. It’s not autonomous, however the Prius Prime does a pleasant job taking among the drudgery of a protracted drive away from the motive force.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime cargo

I discussed Prius drivers earlier, and I have to apologize for the generalization. I do have pals that personal numerous prior generations of this iconic hybrid, and as I are inclined to steer most conversations round to automobiles finally, discussions veered towards this Prius.

A number of of those pals informed me the one method they discovered driving the Prius bearable was to maintain the automobile in “sport” mode, which sharpens throttle response on the expense of gasoline economic system. In driving non-Prime variations up to now, I agree that the automobile does really feel much less torpid when pushed in “sport” mode.

Within the Prius Prime, such sport-mode shenanigans are now not vital. The electrical motor is backed by the bigger battery, so the moment electrical torque appears to be extra attentive to the suitable foot. The one time I wanted for extra energy was throughout an interstate drive when the battery was depleted and I wanted to speed up briskly to move. The gasoline engine is taxed in these conditions.

Like I discussed above, I actually needed to hate this Toyota Prius Prime. It represents all that driving fans despise. However damned if it doesn’t work so nicely for what it’s – an equipment for getting individuals locations effectively. It affords almost all the benefits of a pure electrical automobile with the power to cross the nation utilizing  conventional gas-centric infrastructure, relatively than planning stops round chargers. If it meant I might drive a gas-guzzling sports activities automobile on the weekends, I’d fortunately drive the Prius Prime the remainder of the week.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime front

[Images: © 2017 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars]

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