Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
8/23/17 12:41 p.m.
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After nearly two decades of pumping out Priuses, Toyota created what they deemed the ultimate Prius: The Prius Prime. It's the highest trim level for the brand's hybrid and has already won multiple awards, including the 2017 World Green Car Award.

It's a plug-in hybrid with a combined drivetrain power rating of 121 horsepower. When the battery is fully charged, the car drives on electric power where it can get up to 133 MPGe with a range of about 25 miles. After the battery has been depleted to a certain point, the Prius Prime simply acts like any other hybrid.

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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
8/23/17 3:08 p.m.

I've actually seen quite a few of these in the wild. They still look... just as weird.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/23/17 5:32 p.m.

I like the Prime front end better than normal one. It seems kinda crazy you can get these for like..27k? I feel like the main problem with the Prime is that not enough people will realize it exists (in the sense of not being just another trim level) for it to really be a sales success.

Wall-e
Wall-e MegaDork
8/23/17 7:38 p.m.

it's not a pretty car but I like it. There's a definite 1980s concept car look to it. It needs a lower rear wheel arch or maybe skirts, charcoal colored paint, and a red interior.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/23/17 7:56 p.m.

SWMBO is seriously considering trading in her 10 Prius for the Prime.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
8/23/17 8:25 p.m.

I have a full amount of respect for what the Prius is, and what it can do, and its Toyota quality. But good lord, I thought the original one was ugly/weird. But with each succeeding generation/refresh, I look back at the previous one and say "wow, maybe that one wasn't that bad."

This new one looks even more stylistically dumb than the previous ones, IMO. Why can't they just make a Prius that looks like a Corolla iM or something (or how about an FT86 version??).

O/T....looking at Toyota's website....what the heck is the C-HR (name suspiciously reminiscent of Honda's similar-sized HR-V)? Looks like the love child of a VW Beetle front end, a Juke, and a dolphin. And has rear door windows that can better be described as "portholes".. But for some reason I kind of like it. Well, at least I think I do. Not really sure....

Jere
Jere Dork
8/23/17 9:39 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham wrote: ...When the battery is fully charged, the car drives on electric power where it can get up to 133 MPGe with a range of about 25 miles....

The figures for mpge are what get me (after how "new Civic" ugly they are). Its like saying pick up truck "x" can tow 20 tons but only 2 inches. Whats the point of max mpge if it's range doesn't make it even possible....?

Anyway getting used to the new to me base model 2013... It's very practical, better use of space than the crown Vic and paying $4 in gas instead of $35 a day for the same ~250 miles is a nice perk too.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
8/23/17 9:43 p.m.

If you're calling it anything prime, it had better transform into a fighting robot.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
8/24/17 7:18 a.m.
irish44j wrote: I have a full amount of respect for what the Prius is, and what it can do, and its Toyota quality. But good lord, I thought the original one was ugly/weird. But with each succeeding generation/refresh, I look back at the previous one and say "wow, maybe that one wasn't that bad." This new one looks even more stylistically dumb than the previous ones, IMO. Why can't they just make a Prius that looks like a Corolla iM or something (or how about an FT86 version??). O/T....looking at Toyota's website....what the heck is the C-HR (name suspiciously reminiscent of Honda's similar-sized HR-V)? Looks like the love child of a VW Beetle front end, a Juke, and a dolphin. And has rear door windows that can better be described as "portholes".. But for some reason I kind of like it. Well, at least I think I do. Not really sure....

I believe I have an explanation for this. The first-generation Prius was basically a Toyota Echo with a different drivetrain. No one bought them.

But the second generation Prius had a completely different body, and it looked different than every other car on the road. Suddenly people would notice that you are driving a hybrid. It appealed to the crowd of people who had to be seen saving the environment. And sales took off.

Successive generations of Priuses (Prii?) have continued the trend of looking different for the sake of looking different to appeal to those same people.

rslifkin
rslifkin SuperDork
8/24/17 7:25 a.m.

In reply to Jere:

The MPGe number is useful for someone with a 5 - 10 mile commute where they can do the whole round trip on electric power and let the car charge overnight at home. And then they're only burning gas for driving outside of their normal commute.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
8/24/17 7:27 a.m.

I like that they're weird. I really like that they have a sort of decent plug in range. What's the plug in procedure with these? My one complaint with the Volt is the big power brick needed to charge of 120v. Finding an outlet and plugging it in away from home means leaving a $500 charger just hanging out in the open.

camaroz1985
camaroz1985 Reader
8/24/17 7:52 a.m.

These kind of baffle me. It gets worse range than the original Volt (35 miles), which appeared 6 years ago. Still I'm sure Toyota will sell many more of these than GM did the Volt, due to actually marketing it.

My brother is a salesman at a Toyota dealership and was trying to talk me into one of these (based on his sales numbers he is a good salesman, just not to me haha). He didn't like me telling him that a 6 year old Chevy was a better car. He tried to use the mpge as an argument, but to me range is what matters, and that should be what matters to people buying cars in this segment. Ideally I would never use gas for daily duties, and you have a better chance of making that a reality with longer range. I will hang on to my Volt thank you.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/24/17 9:07 a.m.
My one complaint with the Volt is the big power brick needed to charge of 120v. Finding an outlet and plugging it in away from home means leaving a $500 charger just hanging out in the open.

I feel like that stuff should be built into the car. What's 5 more lbs on top of 3000.

He didn't like me telling him that a 6 year old Chevy was a better car.

I think marketing is the main difference. Chevy knew the Volt was a critically important PR effort that had to sell the WHOLE IDEA of driving a range-extended EV to its customer base. Toyota, on the other hand, is just making a PHEV version of a car everyone is already familiar with in the hopes that some people who can already discern the difference beween Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid will buy it. It's not make or break in any PR sense. So, they can afford to make a car that's just 'good' at a cheaper price point vs making 'Noone has ever seen this from us before! This breaks new ground! Please trust us!' like Chevy had to with the Volt.

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