Tag: 2017 toyota prius prime
If you’re like many people shopping around for a hybrid car, you have to decide whether the Prius Prime or the standard Prius is the right vehicle for you. Both options offer some benefits and have some downsides. Ultimately, the one that’s best for you depends on what your priorities are and what you want out of a vehicle. That’s why we’re going to break down the differences between the two vehicles so you can make the decision for yourself.
If you value storage space and you frequently fill up the trunk of your vehicle currently, you probably won’t want to go for the Prius Prime, that is unless you can use the back seat of the vehicle for your storage needs. That’s because the Prius Prime has little trunk space. Toyota shoved all the batteries necessary for the extended full-electric driving range into the trunk of the vehicle, so it’s very shallow.
If you value fuel efficiency above all else, the Prius Prime is likely the vehicle for you. It comes equipped with battery packs that allow you to get up to 25 miles on a single charge before you start burning up gas at all. That means that you can charge up your car, head out on the trip and kick in the full-electric driving power whenever you hit a city portion of your trip. You can get over 100 MPG when using the full-electric mode to drive, and you’ll likely get over 70 or 80 MPG combined by the end of your trip if you aren’t travelling too far away. That’s a pretty big increase over the 50 to 60 MPG that you could expect from the standard Prius.
Neither Prius is known for very sporty handling, but the Prius Prime is even worse when it comes to driving mechanics. That’s because the batteries add around 300 pounds to the back of the vehicle and give it a heavy weighted feeling. This is especially obvious when going around corners and you’ll have a somewhat uninspired driving experience when taking the Prius Prime out for a spin. If driving mechanics are most important to you, the Prime is likely not the option for you, and the standard Prius is going to offer a slightly more satisfying experience overall.
Streamlined Media System
If you want a nice streamlined tech setup, the Prius is ahead of the Prius Prime. That’s because the new system used in the Prime is a bit overcomplicated and it can be difficult to learn to use. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get the hang of things, it just means you’ll have to spend some extra time mastering the features than you would have to if you were learning on the standard Prius. If you don’t mind taking the time, the media system works well, you’ll just be a bit more overwhelmed when starting out.
Tech and Features
If tech and features are important to you, the standard Prius Prime comes packed with quite a bit more than the standard Prius. You’ll enjoy a powerful adaptive cruise setup that works all the way down to start and stop traffic. The car also comes with parallel parking assist making it a bit easier to get into those tight spaces will parking in the city.
Overall both vehicles have a lot to offer. The Prius Prime offers more efficiency and more tech. The standard Prius offers more storage space, slightly better performance and a simpler tech experience. Both are highly efficient, but it’s up to you which one is the right fit for your needs.
In Japan the Prius Prime can now come with a solar roof that helps recharge the batteries every second the car is out in direct sunlight. That means while you’re driving down the road, sitting in a parking lot, or just waiting in traffic, the car is charging up and extending its electric range. This is an enhancement that makes the Prius Prime slightly more efficient and can help boost the overall electric range so that you don’t have to rely on fuel quite as much.
The Cool Solar Roof
This solar roof is produced by Panasonic, and it’s approximately three times more efficient than the older solar roof that came on some Prius vehicles. That probably sounds like a very nice improvement, and it is, but overall the roof isn’t going to give anywhere near the power to fully rely on just the solar roof to get around. It’s curved to match up with the look of the car, it’s designed to manage heat nicely and to stand up to everyday use attached to the top of the vehicle. It’s a pretty cool tech marvel in itself, and something that will hopefully begin showing up in more hybrid vehicles over time.
Will it Make a Difference?
This upgraded roof solar setup will make a slight difference on the total overall range that you get from the Prius, but overall the panel will likely only add about 3.7 miles to the total electric range of the car. That might not sound like much, but it’s added range every time that you go out driving, and the more the car sits in the sunlight, the more the battery will charge up. If nothing else, the solar panel will help keep the battery from dying while the vehicle sits, or for powering up accessories without draining down the battery unnecessarily.
Bringing it to the U.S.
At the moment, Panasonic isn’t able to bring its solar roof to the United States and use it on the Prius Prime. That’s because the panel isn’t yet capable of passing U.S. rollover tests. That’s an issue that the company is currently working on, but there is no timeline concerning when it could potentially offer that feature to customers.
The Prius Prime was released to give Toyota drivers the ability to drive without using any gasoline at all. The vehicle has a decent all-electric driving range and can make around-town commuting more affordable for drivers that take the time to charge up the Prius while at home. Unfortunately too many people are driving without charging the vehicle, or at least that’s what Toyota is finding. In order to increase the amount of home charging that’s going on, Toyota is teaming up with local electric companies throughout Japan in order to offer an incentive to Prius Prime owners. This incentive encourages them to drive around on electricity alone, and should improve air quality over time.
Toyota teemed up with five different local utility companies in Japan to offer special points to drivers that utilize electric-only power much of the time that they are driving around in the Prius Prime. These drivers will earn special points that they can cash in to help pay their power bill, or to buy special products with. It’s an exciting incentive program for the drivers that qualify for it, and should help give drivers a reason to try and avoid gasoline as much as possible.
Safe Driving Credits
The electric credits is not the only time that Toyota teamed up with outside companies to incentivize certain activities for its owners. The automaker also offered coffee credits for safe drivers a while back. Texting while driving is pretty dangerous, most of us realize that now, but the realization isn’t enough to keep all drivers from doing so anyways. That’s why Toyota teamed up with some companies over in Japan to encourage drivers to stop texting while behind the wheel. The system relies on an app that must be running while traveling down the road. Drivers can track their mileage without texting and will earn credit toward free coffee as they drive. It’s a simple system, but one that ended up helping drivers travel more than 1.6 million miles text-free.
These measures that Toyota is taking are great steps toward safer driving practices. They show that the automaker is responsible and they display a real concern for healthy driving practices.
The Toyota Prius Prime is just about to come online and for sale at Toyota Hollywood and Toyota Santa Monica. We had the opportunity to get behind the wheel recently in a preview drive, and we think the Prius Prime is going to be a big winner! Overall it looks to be the most capable Prius to date, and it’s actually pretty enjoyable to drive around as well. Here’s an overview of the Prime and what you can expect if you get behind the wheel of one of these technological marvels.
It Looks Much Different
The Prius Prime is designed to look unique and to stand out. Toyota doesn’t want other vehicles to look like the Prius, and that’s exactly what they’ve achieved with the Prime. The front end of the vehicle is pretty aggressive with an hourglass shaped grill, and glinting headlamps that are made of four LED lights that swoop down toward the grill in an almost scowling expression. It’s got a stacked rear end with multiple sharp angular shapes and taillights that almost hang to the sides of the rear end. The car doesn’t look like anything else on the road today, and for anyone that wants to stand out, that’s a good thing.
A great deal of emphasis has been put on a nice quiet ride in the Prius Prime, and that means a great deal of soundproofing. There is soundproofing on the windshield of the vehicle, the floor as well as all the other windows throughout the cabin. The end result is an almost eerily quiet interior that is emphasized even more in EV mode when no engine hum is audible.
Efficient Heating and Cooling
The Prime can be cooled remotely with the press of a button on the fob, or a click tap on a smartphone using the included app. It also comes equipped with an electric heat pump, something that most other vehicles don’t have. That’s to allow it to produce heat even when the combustion engine isn’t in use while traveling down the road. It’s particularly effective at warming up the interior, and gets things nice and toasty quick.
The unique rear glass doesn’t hinder rearward visibility, however, the bar that separates the glass portions takes some getting used to.
Solid Driving Mechanics
In electric mode, the Prius Prime has good acceleration up to around 50 miles an hour. It’s the instant torque of the electric motor that works so well in stop and go driving. Unlike the previous Prius Plugin, there is more substantial pure electric range with the new Prius Prime. We were able to achieve the rated 25 miles of pure electric range easily, while driving it in a fairly aggressive manner. If you’ve had a chance to drive the new Prius then you will know that the current generation, which includes the Prius Prime, has vastly improved in driving dynamics. If you want to take the Prius Prime up into the canyons you can, while it won’t be a powerhouse up there, it IS actually fun to drive.
It’s excellent as you’d expect. On top of the 25-mile pure electric range (124 MPGe) it has a 640-mile highway range and EPA fuel economy numbers of 55 City, 53 Highway and 54 Combined.
More To Come
We will have more to say about the Prius Prime, including the all new 11.6 inch touch screen display, so make sure you keep an eye on this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Even though Toyota showcased several different vehicles at the 2016 NY Auto Show, the Prius Prime was without a doubt their showstopper. It entered through a cluster of white balloons and drove into a sea of eager journalists waiting to get the inside scoop on the all-new plug-in hybrid from Toyota.
An Edgier Look
The standard Prius isn’t known for being an edgy vehicle, but to up the rugged factor of the Prius Prime, Toyota tried to give it sharper edges and less of an aerodynamic profile. It’s a bit wider, has rougher edges up front, and still manages to move through the air efficiently enough to offer better performance than most other plug-in hybrids on the market.
Toyota estimates that the Prius Prime will get 120 or greater MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) when driving around on electric power. That makes it the most efficient of all the plug-in hybrid vehicles offered today, something that should excite some buyers, though most are happy with the significant savings that come from riding around on electric power to begin with.
Decent Range for in Town Commuting
Drivers that want to go out for groceries or take care of other in-town tasks will likely be able to do most of them on electric power alone when driving the Prius Prime. That’s because it’s estimated to get 22 miles of range on a full charge. The car can even travel along highways while on full electric power and can hit speeds up to 84 MPH while running on batteries alone. According to Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president, about 50 percent of American workers can use the vehicles battery power alone to get to work and back, and when workers can charge their vehicles while at the office that figure jumps up to around 80 percent of the current workforce.
In order to achieve this range the Prius Prime is equipped with an 8.8 kilowatt battery pack that makes use of both the electric motor and the generator system to create drive force when relying on the battery pack, that’s how the vehicle is able to travel at higher than highway speeds while running on battery power alone.
Quick Charging Times
Charging the Prius Prime to full takes just 5.5 hours on a standard 120V line, and that time is cut in half on a 240V line, allowing drivers to take several electric trips during the day if desired.
Drivers looking to travel to and from work on a daily basis without burning through gasoline might enjoy what the Prius Prime has to offer, and when they do decide to take a longer trip the car can meet that need as well, making it a very versatile option that should fit nicely into many driver’s lives.