Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in HybridMore battery, more range, more questions.
It's the -- the green car activists have been screaming for instance Toyota first invented this car. Now it's here in production -- Let's plug -- -- the 2012 Prius plug it and check the tech. -- -- -- -- wealth production Prius plug it into a prototype a few months ago but this is the real deal. Available now only in the West Coast and north east date. Why do you get up plug in Prius people ask this question all the time here is the difference it's got a bigger back. -- both by driving -- regular Prius and also by unplugging it and when you mean that's different than a standard -- the reason you go to all this trouble to put this bigger battery -- is to get more electric -- a standard -- can go a mile -- -- battery only at low speeds. This car can go -- -- sixteen miles on battery only add up to 62 miles per hour. It behaves like an electric car if you just use it around town in fact you might never put us in this car. If you have like. Ten mile commute each way that doesn't go beyond sixty miles -- Look at the plug in hybrid doesn't have anything different in the cabin than a standard Prius -- got this head unit which I call -- -- light it's the smaller screen at this point history only as pandora and being from the -- -- app suite. Later in 2012 they'll be adding things like movie tickets dot com and open table if you upgrade this -- what's called the advanced model you get the better head unit we've seen before which is more Lexus like that already has all the -- plus a bunch of other features coming in that package apparently -- -- your various energy monitors that animals are also found on the Prius but you're gonna -- numbers if you're never gonna -- on a standard Prius. At one at the bottom middle consumption. Averaged over more than 300 miles 61 miles per gallon that's what a bigger batteries gonna get you. And like the current third gen Prius you can also look at all kinds of historical averages and you can. Enter the average consumption of your other car so this guy will always remind you what you're sending -- driving. Verses the one a rise and all these Prius plug ins are nicely equipped they don't make a stripped one which is part of what prices a little stapled to -- -- -- minute -- sources are gonna include AMF them. HD radios satellite radio should you choose to activate it. And of course you got an optical drive up here -- Bluetooth streaming and of course Bluetooth hands -- for telephony. A standard -- -- battery takes three hours to charge from dead flat. Or an hour and a -- you -- -- level two charger Toyota sells -- a level two charger with their partner -- on about a -- and installed your house. And of course when you drive your also trickle charging the battery that. You need to plug in once in -- people. The foot of the -- you're getting into a very different world the law is not that different from the standard Prius the battery is and the numbers that come out -- that are also different so for example. The battery -- standard Prius has nickel metal high drive one point three kilowatt hours. This guy has a more advanced lithium ion battery kind of a giant version of what's in your phone or laptop. But four point four kilowatt hours more than three times the capacity and a different charging and discharge behavior higher performance. A companies -- this one point eight -- lean burn gas engine like a standard Prius you get 95. MPG equivalent while driving in electric mode that means an equivalent amount of energy has gallons of gas turns into 95 MPG -- -- tortured EPA calculation or if you're running in hybrid -- like a regular -- you get the same fifty MPG average. 134 horsepower by the way toward the errors the bottom line this -- -- -- the slower than the standard Prius have been around eleven seconds vs -- ten. For the standard Prius. Partly due to a heavier battery 120 -- more pounds of weight on this guy. But this really matters do we get inside see how it rides and drives and see what kind of consumption figures show up on that dash. The. Now driving a Prius plug in your despair you -- the engine's not kicking -- that's the main difference between this and a standard Prius. The ride quality seems about the same. I thought it was harsher when -- first was driving the car today don't think -- not noticeably so anyway. But you're CNET EV mode like -- on the eyebrow dash on all the time instead of for half a mile or quarter mile ago. And you can get into the throttle and it doesn't dig into the gas -- -- days -- like a set up to 62 miles per hour. This button right here -- we'll let you become a standard hybrid by pressing it. CF HB or EV -- that of course there's eco mode empowerment which operate the same as they do on other hybrids including the Prius. Balanced by the fact that I've got a bigger battery and more electricity available this is not a more performance oriented Prius it could be but the -- not used that way they ring -- arrange out of it they can't. Not all the torque out of it they can like -- Tesla Roadster. Some people ask me all the time what's the payoff time on this car we already know that a hybrid takes a certain number of years to earn back -- hybrid premium what about this one. It's an even harder calculation. Because if you're driving -- is that which you almost never use gas. That's one entire calculation if you run this car down a lot and kick and a hybrid mode adds a completely different calculation. A -- -- -- Prius plug in 32000 bags and compare that to the least expensive standard Prius and 24000. Pretty big difference. But the price on the most comparably equipped Prius is more like 260 that narrows it a little over 6000 dollars difference for the plug in model. On top of that they'll add 7100 dollars to go CNET style on this -- probably what they call the -- That gives -- the head up display adaptive crews hard drive nav JPL audio system all kinds of improvements including LED headlights. It makes a big difference in terms of technology in the price seems fair if you're interested. Otherwise get one that space. Drive that relatively short distances and you may not even -- at a gas station is and if you here.