Tag: prius prime

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Prius Prime to Come with a Solar Panel

June 25, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

By now most people have heard of the Prius Prime and its massive eco potential. The little Prius is capable of traveling at well over 50 MPG, and it can go quite a ways on a single charge using full electricity the entire time. Most people know that the Prius Prime is a pretty cool vehicle, but do any of you remember the solar panel option for the original Prius? The panel would only work to power the climate control at that time, and critics weren’t too impressed because it didn’t help boost the range of the vehicle or its efficiency much. Now the Prius Prime is coming with the same option, but the panel used is approximately three to five times more powerful.

Prius Prime Solar Panel

An Extended Range

The Prius Prime could be as much as 10 percent more efficient with the addition of that solar panel. That Kyocera panel up on top of the roof will send power straight back to the vehicle’s battery, allowing you to drive farther on a battery charge on a sunny day, and also allowing the vehicle to gain power while sitting out in the sunlight even when no charging station is around.

An Emergency Solution

Critics still say that the panel isn’t going to make much of a difference on overall driving performance and that it can’t be used to charge up the vehicle much. It could help a stranded Prius owner get their vehicle a short distance though, even if the tank does run out of fuel. Sure it would take some serious time for the battery to fill back up using pure sunlight, but it’s possible for the car to charge itself with the panel over time, and even a small charge could be enough to help the car travel a few miles. Experts say the panel will add approximately 2.2 miles of charge to the vehicle throughout the day. Sure it isn’t practical, but it’s a solution that could end up being useful when you least expect it.

Charge Your Phone with the Car Off

Most people out camping hesitate to charge their phone, tablet and other devices too often for fear that they will kill the vehicle’s battery. As long as there is plenty of sunlight while out with the Prius Prime, you won’t have to worry about that. The solar panel will provide all the power that you need to recharge your devices while the car is shut off. You can leave them plugged in all day and not worry about killing the battery in the process.

US Customers are Out of Luck for the Moment

Now that you know about the awesome solar panel option coming with the Prius Prime, it’s time to let you know that it isn’t coming to the US, at least not immediately. The reinforced glass that covers the panels doesn’t pass the safety tests here. Toyota is working on a solution to that issue, but it could take some time for the automaker to figure out a way around that problem.  Until then you’ll have to get a Prius Prime without the solar panel, though I’m sure some aftermarket solutions will be offered a short while after release.