Tag: 2017 toyota prius

The Differences Between the Prius and Prius Prime

April 21, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

Prius on the left Prius Prime on the right
Prius – Prius Prime pictured

Storage Space

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.

Fuel Efficiency

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.

Sporty Handling

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.

Toyota Relies on AI To Find New Battery Technology

April 7, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

Toyota is on a quest to come up with the most effective materials for storing energy. It needs these materials for its electric vehicles, otherwise it could take decades to come up with new products for its batteries. Unlike many companies that go through massive rounds of trials and tests to come up with new materials relying heavily on scientists, Toyota is making use of artificial intelligence and computer simulations to speed up the process. Toyota isn’t going to do all that on its own though, it will involve several universities as well as British materials company llika to come up with the necessary resources to find new materials effectively.

2017 toyota prius

Making a Major Investment

Toyota believes strongly that new materials can unlock a lot of paths that the automaker wants to go down. That’s exactly why the company is investing $35 million into the team and the research that it’se conducting All that hard work could pay off nicely over time and give Toyota the technology that it needs to produce something particularly exciting.

The Next Step

In order to maximize the material options available as soon as possible, the team working with Toyota (made up of Toyota Research Institute, MIT, the University of Michigan, Stanford University as well as llika) will put together its data sources and collaborate in efforts of machine learning, artificial intelligence and computer modeling to come up with answers. Not only is the team looking for new materials to use for more effective energy storage for batteries, but it’s also looking for a new catalyst other than platinum for the Toyota hydrogen vehicles. This would make vehicles like the Mirai notably more affordable overall, and it will solve the issue of a platinum shortage that will be difficult to overcome when trying to mass-produce the Mirai.

While these efforts are still in their early stages, Toyota is hoping to use this partnership to forge new technologies over time, but it’s not expected to be a magic bullet that is going to solve all the automaker’s problems either. Computer simulation can’t solve every issue, but it can help bring together existing technologies in new ways to make exciting enhancements that the average person would have overlooked.

The 2017 Prius Receives Canada’s Green Car of the Year Award

March 30, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

It’s no secret to anyone that the Toyota Prius is one of the most capable hybrid vehicles on the road today. It’s affordable, it’s stylish, it offers enough power and industry-leading fuel economy. That’s why it shouldn’t come completely as a surprise that the 2017 Prius managed to receive Canada’s Green Car of the Year award. It’s a prestigious title that’s worth celebrating, and it’s not something that’s given out to many vehicles. The title is just another reason why it makes sense to own a Prius.

2017 toyota prius

What Toyota had to Say

This is what Toyota had to say about receiving the award, and it was clearly an honor for the company.

“Toyota is committed to maintaining its leadership position in designing, engineering and building environmentally-advanced vehicles that meet the many demands of today’s drivers – which is why the 2017 Prius sets new standards for efficiency and emissions even as it provides owners with more style and driving fun,” said Cyril Dimitris , Vice-President, Toyota Canada Inc. “We’re delighted that members of AJAC agree, and thank them for this important award.”

Exceptional Efficiency Fueled by Technology

The 2017 Toyota Prius is one of the most efficient hybrid vehicles to date, thanks in large part to it’s highly technical powertrain setup. It’s fitted with an efficient 1.8L four-cylinder engine on the Atkinson Cycle. The car’s equipped with a high-power electric motor, new and improved batteries and an advanced powertrain management computer that effectively doles out the power and mixes electric and gas power to make the hybrid magic happen. When everything comes together properly, the car can achieve a combined MPG rating of just over 52 MPG, an exceptional figure that’s unrivaled by other hybrids today.

Comfort and Safety

It’s the exceptional fuel efficiency of the modern-day Prius that won it the Green Award, but that’s not all that the car has to offer either. It provides enough power to avoid feeling sluggish in all driving conditions. The car comes equipped with the advanced Toyota Safety Sense P system of avoidance safety features as standard. It has a set of driving modes to give you more control over how it handles, and comes with a slew of infotainment and tech features like nav, keyless entry, push button start, full color gauges and much more.

It’s hard not to love the 2017 Prius, and it’s even improved dramatically in the looks department since the older models. It looks sportier, sleeker and more stylish than ever before.

News and World Reports Names Toyota Prius Best Hybrid Value

February 2, 2017 lacarguy High MPG Vehicles, Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota, Toyota of Hollywood, Toyota Santa Monica, Uncategorized Tags: , , , , ,

When most people think of a hybrid vehicle the first one that comes to mind is the Toyota Prius. That’s because it’s the biggest success story when it comes to hybrids. It was one of the first hybrids released and the first real success story in the segment. While there are plenty of other hybrid options out on the market today, the 2017 Toyota Prius remains the best value for the money when purchasing a hybrid vehicle according to News and World Report’s comparison. That means that if you are looking for a hybrid to lower your environmental impact, to cut your gas costs or just to avoid using as much fuel as you once did, the Toyota Prius is likely one of your very best options.

2017 toyota prius

How Winners are Chosen

News and World Report gives out awards to vehicles in 20 different categories and there is a strict comparison technique that the company relies on to select the winners of the contest. To decide which vehicles are the best value, the company looks at the initial price of the vehicle, as well as the total cost of ownership over a five-year stretch. With these two figures it is a simple matter deciding which vehicle is the best value of the bunch.

Affordable and Efficient

The Toyota Prius is known for its efficiency and there are models that average around 55 MPG in city driving conditions today. That’s an impressive figure, and that’s not all the automobile has going for it. Compared to other hybrids on the market, the Toyota Prius is surprisingly affordable. At between $25,000 and $30,000 the Prius is easy for most people to purchase and something that the average homeowner would have no trouble buying.

Spacious and Well-Appointed

The Prius isn’t known for being a luxury vehicle, but that doesn’t stop it from being well-equipped, spacious and nice-looking within. Inside the vehicle you’ll find all the standard features that you expect from a modern vehicle, plus a bunch of active safety features that will help keep you safe while out on the road. The vehicle also comes with plenty of interior space for five people to sit comfortably. There’s ample trunk space in the back, allowing you to pack clothes for a trip or head to the grocery store and do some shopping.

Decent Handling

Sure, the Prius isn’t a sports car, but that doesn’t matter. The Toyota Prius has over 120 HP thanks to the two electric motors and the small gasoline engine. The two electric motors rev up and get the vehicle off to a smooth start from a standstill quickly and effectively. The vehicle isn’t going to win any races, but it doesn’t feel sluggish and handles pretty nicely.

Overall the Toyota Prius is a solid vehicle with a lot to offer in the value department. If you want an efficient car that isn’t going to use much gasoline, the Toyota Prius is still the king of the hybrids and pretty hard to pass up.

The 2017 Toyota Prius is as Fun as it is Efficient

December 20, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

The Toyota Prius is recognized as an efficient vehicle, but efficiency isn’t the same thing as fun, fast or enjoyable. For that reason, for years only the most practical have picked up the Prius, but is all that about to change? According to recent reviewers, the 2017 Toyota Prius is quite a bit different than its predecessors. Not only is it highly efficient and practical, but it’s also a blast to drive around, or at least that’s becoming the common consensus. This car isn’t a high-performance sports vehicle by any means, but it’s not the sluggish econobox that it once was either. It’s a good blend of the two, and it’s something that’s growing on a lot of reviewers.

2017-toyota-prius

The Numbers

You probably already know, but I’m going to go over a few of the most important numbers for the 2017 Prius before talking about how it drives. It comes with a four-cylinder 1.8 liter engine and two motors to create a total of 121 HP to drive the vehicle forward effectively. All the power produced by the system is held in a 3.6 amp Li-ion battery pack, that offers acceleration at lower speeds when it’s most efficient. The car is rated at 54 MPG in the city, 50 on the highway and a blended MPG of 52 MPG, which is of course impressive. Okay, now the numbers are out of the way and we can get to how it drives.

The Driving Experience

I’m not going to dwell on the actual features of the vehicle for long, because most people already know that it’s efficient, or that it relies on a hybrid power setup to go from standing still to moving around. That’s not the story I’m interested in telling. Instead I’ll focus on how this little beauty handles, because that’s the exciting part.

The Prius relies on its electric motors to whir it into motion. These motors are highly efficient at low speeds and dramatically increase fuel efficiency by handling early acceleration, but they also offer plenty of torque. You’ll be amazed at how fast this little car takes off, and it does so nice and smoothly.

Sure it loses steam as you get into the higher range, but it’s not sluggish by any means. The Prius is a smooth rider that provides an almost tranquil driving experience as you glide along down the road. It blends regenerative braking with hydraulic disc brakes to create smooth stopping power that’s highly effective. The 2017 Prius is also remarkably light on its feet, this is largely because it’s a very lightweight vehicle at around 3,000 lbs.

The car offers exceptional viewing and decent maneuvering power thanks to well-positioned mirrors that give a nice full view of what’s behind you. This car is more than capable of dicing through rush hour traffic and you won’t have a second thought about speeding past some of the slower drivers that get in your way.

Sure the Prius isn’t the fastest car out on the road, but it’s far from the slowest either. It’s capable, comfortable and pretty fun to drive around, and it’s a worthy option for anyone that likes fuel efficiency and straightforward driving.

 

 

 

Driving Impressions from the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

October 4, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

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.

2017-prius-prime-3

 

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.

Whisper Quiet

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.

Rear Visibility

The unique rear glass doesn’t hinder rearward visibility, however, the bar that separates the glass portions takes some getting used to.

2017-prius-prime-9

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.

Fuel Economy

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.

2017-prius-prime-26

Industry Leading Safety Features Come Standard on the Yaris and Prius

August 8, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

It’s tempting to pick up a new vehicle because it has more exciting features like an advanced multimedia system or satellite radio. Those features are cool and exciting, but they aren’t actually what’s most important, safety is. That’s why Toyota is adding a whole host of safety features into both the Yaris and the Prius vehicles for the 2017 model year. Most of these features aren’t going to get you up out of your seat cheering, though adaptive cruise is very nice, but they will help you feel more secure in the vehicle as you motor around the road, no matter if you have a family to protect or not.

2016 toyota yaris

The 2017 Prius

Of the two vehicles, the Toyota Prius gets more safety features for customers to enjoy. When you pick up the 2017 Prius it’s going to come with the Toyota Safety Sense P package as standard. That set of features includes adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision warning, automatic high beams, a pedestrian detection system and lane departure alerts.

Adaptive cruise lets you leave the vehicle in cruise even when you come up on a motorist travelling slower than you, the vehicle picks up the vehicle’s presence and simply slows the car down to avoid a collision and speeds back up when the obstacle is out of the way.

The same system that governs adaptive cruise also powers the pre-collision system by putting out an alert of any object in front of the vehicle, including pedestrians. The automatic high beams flip on at night when no vehicles are out in front, and off when the vehicle detects oncoming traffic. Lane departure keeps an eye on lane markers and lets you know if you begin to drift out of your current lane.

All these features offer a lot of safety and reassurance for drivers that they’ll know before something bad happens. The total cost increase for all this tech is around $515 for the low-end models and as little as $45 for the high end Prius vehicles. That’s a whole lot of tech for little price if you ask us.

The 2017 Yaris

While the Yaris doesn’t get as many new safety technologies, it gets most of the important ones. The new vehicle comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense C. The system comes with pre-collision, auto high beams and lane departure. Sure it’s lacking the adaptive cruise control, which is so nice for long-distance trips, but drivers still enjoy all the actual safety perks that help keep collisions from occurring.

Whether you decide to pick up a Prius or a Yaris, there’s a whole lot of additional safety in either of the vehicles for you to enjoy.

Toyota is Relying on an Advanced Soundproofing in the Latest Prius

February 29, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Toyota and especially Lexus vehicles put a very high level of importance on sound proofing and providing that refined experience when driving around. That’s why the company is constantly working to find better sound proofing materials to do the job. During that search for improved technologies the automaker came across V-Wave soundproofing, a material developed jointly by Teijin Limited and Hayashi Telempu. It’s a next-gen material that’s twice as capable of insulating vehicles from sound than traditional materials. It’s what Toyota is using on the latest Prius model. 

vwave sound proofing
V-Wave Sound Proofing Material

What is V-Wave?

V-Wave is a special nonwoven fabric that’s made up of fibers that are all facing a vertical direction. It’s made from a careful process that creates a highly moldable product that can be added into most areas of a vehicle effectively. The result is a versatile sound-proofing solution that car manufacturers can call on to produce efficient and functional vehicles more effectively.

Why is it the Ideal Solution?

V-Wave is a useful sound-proofing solution because it offers the same level of sound-proofing capability at half the weight of conventional material. That means that the material can be doubled up for better sound-proofing without affecting weight or bulk, or total vehicle weight can be decreased to boost fuel efficiency with this technology. Either way you have a winning solution that should be implemented into most vehicles.

Similar Product Could Work in Homes

V-Wave is a cutting-edge sound-proofing technology that will likely find its way into most of the Toyota and Lexus lineup over time, but it’s not the only futuristic technology that Teijin Limited is developing. There’s another product known as V-Lap that could function as a highly efficient home insulator the company is developing. This could make its way into homes in Japan and around the rest of the world with time. It started as a cushion material and then was found to be an excellent insulator for heat and sound. That’s why V-Wave was developed around the V-Lap technology.