Tag: toyota prius prime

Comparing the Prius Prime with the Nissan Leaf

January 17, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , ,

Buyers trying to figure out which fuel-efficient vehicle to pick up have a few different options to consider. They will have quite a few small car options to consider, but when going for a hybrid or electric option there are a few budget options that stand out more than the rest. The two major players are the Toyota Prius Prime and the Nissan Leaf when considering value and overall fuel efficiency. Both are capable vehicles but they are very different machines that serve different purposes. Below is an overview of the differences between the two to help you figure out which is right for you.

2017 toyota prius prime

Long Distance Driving Winner

If you plan on traveling for long distances often, the Prius Prime is the obvious winner of the two. That’s mainly because the Nissan Leaf doesn’t have a gas engine at all. It can’t travel more than the 100 mile or so range that it offers. That means you will have to find a charging station and wait for the battery to charge up again before being able to continue on your trip if you want to go farther. The Prius Prime offers excellent efficiency, and can handle the long-distance trips that most people like to take in the US at one point or another.

Battery Power Champ

The Nissan Leaf is the clear winner if you want to rely on only battery power. It has a considerably farther range when on battery power alone. That means that you can probably take on your work commute every day with the leaf, while it might be a stretch with the Prius Prime if you want to use electric only power. The Prime has a range of about 25 miles, which is good for many people, but not enough for longer commutes.

Affordability

While the Nissan Leaf looks like a really strong contender when you look at its range and power, it also comes at a considerably higher cost than the Prius Prime. The car will set you back about 9,000 more than the Prius Prime. For shoppers looking for an affordable driving solution, it’s hard to justify the added cost of the Nissan Leaf without a strong need or desire to only use the battery for driving. Instead many drivers will opt for the more affordable Prius when comparing vehicles. It’s important to look at local pricing though, as well as tax credits before deciding on the vehicle that you want to buy.

Improved Acceleration

If you opt for one of the more powerful versions of the Prius Prime, it’s nearly a full second faster on acceleration from 0 to 60. That’s a pretty major difference and something worth considering if you merge onto highways often. The Prius Prime takes full advantage of that gasoline engine and uses it to boost highway merging speeds.

Both cars have a lot to offer but the option that’s right for you depends on what you are looking for. If you want the vehicle that’s going to offer the longest travel range on full-electric power, the Nissan Leaf is the clear winner. If you want something that’s going to travel more than 100 miles at a time, the Prius Prime is the winner. The Prime is also a lower cost vehicle and a bit faster at hitting highway speeds. The Leaf is a good solid option if you don’t need to travel more than 80 miles, and strong competitor if you don’t mind the increased cost.

The 2017 Prius Prime Might Be the Most Relaxing Hybrid Around

November 23, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

To some people there’s nothing better than the raspy roar of a powerful engine thrusting a car down the road at breakneck speeds. For others, power doesn’t matter so much, and the real winner is quiet. To all those people that just want a nice quiet and smooth ride it’s tough to find a better option than the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. This upper-class hybrid takes soundproofing, and reduced engine noise to a whole new level and it’s a truly relaxing experience to drive around in one.

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Driving without Engine Noise

It would be a mistake to say that the Prius Prime is always completely silent, because for much of it’s operation you’ll hear the slight hum of the 1.8 liter Atkins cycle engine chugging along in the background. There is the opportunity for almost complete silence though, and it’s available to you each time that you start driving the vehicle after a charge. Whether you’re trying to sneak away in the middle of the night, or you simply want to enjoy the savings that come with gas-free driving, there is a short-range full EV mode on this Prius, that makes it possible to drive around on battery power alone. It’s a cool feature, and while it’s activated you’ll find yourself wanting to check if the vehicle is even on as you sail down the road.

Excellent Soundproofing

Not only is the engine muffled nicely, but all exterior road noise is blocked out effectively as well. Even at highway speeds you’ll notice that the car is pretty quiet and you’ll be able to hear that song, that audiobook or have a quiet conversation with ease.

Comfort Materials

The seats are plush, the interior comes with soft-touch materials and there is plenty of sitting space for everyone within, especially the two people up front. The Prius Prime is designed for comfort, and if you value your comfort you’ll definitely enjoy riding around in this machine.

An Improved Hybrid

Not only is this one of the quietest vehicles that Toyota has ever developed, which is probably enough to sell it to many people. It’s also one of the best hybrids to date. This car is highly efficient, it has a battery that’s twice the size of its predecessor and it charges up in between 2 and 5 hours, depending on the cord that you use to do the job. Overall this little hybrid machine is a clear upgrade from the models that came before it, though the unique styling is something that might take some getting used to.

Whether you’re looking for a place to nap or you just want a way to save some cash while you block out the road noises around you, the 2017 Prius Prime is an excellent Toyota option and something that’s worth real consideration for anyone that wants a peaceful driving experience.

 

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 Impressive 2017 Prius Prime

September 12, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

The 2017 Prius Prime is just about ready for release, and it offers a lot of special surprised that you may not have been expecting. Hybrid fans will enjoy everything that the Prime has to offer, and it might just be enough to get buyers to switch over to hybrid technology, or to try out a plug-in vehicle for the first time.

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Careful Aerodynamics

A great deal of trouble went into making the 2017 Prius Prime as aerodynamic as possible, which is why the vehicle has a 0.24 coefficient of drag overall. That’s part of the reason the car is able to operate with such high levels of fuel efficiency.

Weight Loss Adjustments

Though the Prius Prime is 168 pounds heavier than the standard Prius, mostly because of the heavier 8.8 KWh battery, it still shows off some features that were put in place specifically to lower the vehicle’s overall weight. The car comes with a carbon-fiber hatch that’s more lightweight than the standard steel used on many vehicles.

Easily Stash the Charging Cords

The Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid, which means that it has some pretty large charging cords. In order to keep them out of the way when you aren’t using them, the car comes with built-in storage bins in the trunk to hold the cords. The bin is relatively small, and it offers just enough space to hold the cords out of your way. It’s much more intuitive than some of the other stash setups in vehicles like the Chevy Volt, that can be a bit cumbersome to make use of.

The car comes with the standard American charging port built in on the left side of the vehicle, hidden behind a small door, and there is another port built into the right side of the vehicle that’s the standard for Japan and Europe.

A Decent Electric Driving Range

The 2017 Prius Prime will offer a full-electric driving range of about 22 miles. That’s not enough to handle all your driving needs, but according to Toyota is will handle the round-trip needs of about half of the commuters throughout the United States. If you’re one of those people, you might be able to start driving to and from work without worrying about putting any fuel in your vehicle to do so.

If you don’t mind burning up some of the fuel held within the 11.3 gallon tank, you can travel up to 600 miles on a single tank of gas with the Prius Prime. That’s an industry-leading distance, and it will make taking long-distance trips more enjoyable.

Futuristic and Comfortable

The 2017 Prius Prime comes with a fully digital dashboard that shows all the important controls and computer figures for your viewing pleasure. It’s a pretty intuitive setup, that makes handling all your media needs simple and fast to do.

The inside of the Prius Prime is surprisingly attractive, and very comfortable for its riders. You’ll be impressed by the way that it looks, and you probably won’t want to climb out of the supple faux-leather seats once you’re in position.

Overall the 2017 Prius Prime is a nice improvement over the older model Priuses, and it’s definitely something to look forward to.

Toyota Plans a 5-Man Prius Prime

July 19, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

If you haven’t seen the Prius Prime for yourself yet, you might not know that the vehicle is only being released with four seats. That’s bad news for any of the families out there with a need to transport five people around town. Toyota made the decision in order to produce the best early design of the vehicle for everyone, but it’s not something that’s likely to stay that way for long.

toyota prius prime

Why the Prime Has 4 Seats

Engineers at Toyota had to make some tough decisions when coming up with the Prius Prime. They wanted it to be as efficient as possible, while also being as affordable as possible. In order to make that happen only four seats were put into the vehicle. A fifth was avoided in the middle of the rear because the charger is positioned in that area, and because the vehicle would need a more substantial frame in the back to compensate for the added person. These were issues that could be solved, but were difficult and bad for the efficiency of the vehicle. Instead the automaker went with four seats for the best possible launch, but a five-seat variation is planned for the future.

The Five Man Prius Prime

Toyoshima, the chief engineer for the Prius Prime states that one of the main things he is currently working on is a five-man Prius Prime. The vehicle will be reinforced for the fifth person to sit safely, and it will have that charger moved to a new location, and these changes will happen without hurting efficiency too much. It’s likely that this model is going to cost a bit more than the version with four riders, but any people will be willing to spend a bit more in order to get that additional seat, especially families with three children.

There’s no set deadline for the five-man variation of the Prius Prime, but it’s something that should be expected in the near future. If you weren’t planning on getting the Prime because it only seats four, just wait a little bit and you’ll be able to enjoy all the new features of the vehicle while bringing along four other passengers with you in just a bit. Until then the four-man variation of the vehicle is very capable, and if you don’t care about that additional seat you should consider taking a look. The car’s efficient and offers a decent electric driving range which is nice for those quick visits into town.

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.

The Prius Prime

March 25, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , ,

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.

2017 prius prime

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.

Highly Efficient

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.