Compared to the base Prius, the Prius Prime packs a larger battery that supports approximately 25 miles of electric-only range and, crucially, can be recharged by plugging into an electrical port. Replenishing the battery via a regular wall 120-volt socket takes about 5.5 hours, while a Level 2 (240-volt) charger shortens this time to a little more than two hours. Of course, you could also choose to never plug it in and simply refuel with gasoline, and it will operate simply as a more efficient Prius.
Accommodating the larger lithium-ion battery meant turning the Prius Prime it into a four-seater (the regular Prius seats five) and raising the loading height of its cargo area. To recoup some of the lost cargo space, the Prime is 6.5 inches longer than the base Prius; most of that extra length extends aft of the rear wheels. The bigger battery adds weight, too, a change that the suspension struggles to deal with at times.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is available in three trim levels: Plus, Premium and Advanced.
The Plus trim level isn’t quite bare-bones, but you know you’re in the base model. It has a 7-inch multimedia screen, cloth seats with manual adjustments, Bluetooth, a USB port and keyless entry for the driver only.
Stepping up one rung to the Premium trim level puts you into the Prius Prime’s sweet spot. It includes a power driver seat, an 11.6-inch central touchscreen and upgraded multimedia system, premium synthetic leather (SofTex) seats, automatic headlights, keyless entry on three doors, satellite radio and wireless smartphone charging.
The Advanced trim level adds a raft of technology features: premium audio, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming mirror, a head-up display, a smartphone app with a charge management system and remote climate control operation, rain-sensing wipers and a semi-automated parking function.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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