It’s Time for the Prius Prime
The new Prius Prime is in a class of its own. Toyota has considerably upped its game since the release of the first generation plug-in Prius, which only provided 11 miles of electric maneuvering before the other motor kicked in. This model sports better electric driving range and the best miles-per-gallon equivalent of any plug-in hybrid. In fact, the newer model’s nomenclature says it all — Prime. In this case, the baby in the Prius family is a powerhouse. Check out some of the best features of this beast.
The Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with a large battery and powerful motors that enable it to function longer than its predecessors in EV Mode. By plugging it in at home, a public charging station, or at work, you can have a gas-free transit 22 miles at a time. Otherwise, you get great fuel economy — 52 miles to the gallon — in hybrid mode. Utilizing the EV Mode effectively, the car is estimated to provide the equivalent of 120 miles per gallon (MPGe); this figure is an approximation of how the Prime’s fuel economy compares to a regular gasoline-powered automobile.
Whereas a standard battery for a regular vehicle will need to be replaced every so often, the battery in the newest Prius should last the life of the car. A public charging station can fully charge the battery in approximately 2.5 hours, while most home outlets will take about 5.5 hours.
The series parallel hybrid system that runs the Prius uses electric motors and a gas engine. A fully charged battery empowers the Prius to run on its electric motors until the battery runs out. Then it runs like an older Prius, using the gas engine and the electric motors together. Be aware that the Prius Prime should always have gasoline in its tank, even in EV Mode.
Keeping the Prius Prime charged helps the environment, especially if your electric company uses 100-percent pollution-free energy such as wind or solar. Plugging the vehicle in can even be cost effective depending on your electricity rate. Maintaining a charged battery also helps if saving gas is your number-one priority.
Look forward to a smoother start with the Prime’s electric motor. Toyota’s first dual-motor drive system equips this automobile and enhances acceleration regardless of speed. EV Mode even packs a faster pick-up time than Hybrid Mode. Expect a zero-to-60 time of about 10 seconds.
Navigation comes standard and is displayed on an impressive 11.6-inch vertical screen. Apps include a charging station finder. An available head-up display ensures you can always see all parts of the screen without taking your eyes off the road.
Weight and Seating
This lightweight super machine runs a mere 77 pounds heavier than its similarly equipped older sibling. Even though the battery is heavier in the Prime, a carbon-fiber hatch and rear seats that hold two passengers instead of three even out the mass of the two vehicles.
If you’re itching for a sporty, fuel-efficient vehicle, the Prius Prime hits dealerships sometime before the end of the year.