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2017 Toyota Prius Prime: Meaner style, greener miles

The new plug-in Prime adds 25 miles of electric range and up to 133 mpge to the Prius' already solid green car formula, but is it enough?

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Antuan Goodwin
2017 Toyota Prius Prime
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Toyota adds plug-in capability and increased electric capacity to its signature Prius hybrid with the 2017 Prius Prime.

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The larger battery pack grants the Prime up to 25 miles of pure electric range per charge.

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A full charge takes about 2 hours at a Level 2 station. You can also charge by plugging into a wall outlet, but the time to fill increases significantly.

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In its EV mode, the EPA reckons the Prime is good for about 133 mpge.

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Beyond the initial 25 miles, the gasoline electric hybrid mode extends the range at a rate of 54 mpg.

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Besides the larger battery and charging hardware, the Prime uses an identical 121-horsepower hybrid power train.

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However, there are a few livability compromises that may make you think twice about the Prime.

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For starters, the Prime's battery pack adds about 300 pounds to the hybrid package, which you can feel when accelerating or cornering.

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The battery pack also intrudes into the rear cargo space, costing the Prime a significant amount of trunk for your junk.

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Compared with the standard Prius, the Prime is almost a bargain -- especially if you qualify for all of the tax credits and incentives.

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However, the biggest threat to the Prime is the Chevrolet Volt. With 53 miles of EV range per charge and a much better cabin experience, the Chevy boasts more eco-potential and should be easier to live with as a daily driver.

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