Toyota launched the new generation of its Prius hybrid last year, coming out with the Prius Liftback model. Now, the company adds a plug-in version called the Prius Prime.
While the Prius Prime retains the Prius Liftback's efficient gasoline-electric hybrid drive system, it adds more battery capacity and a charging port, letting it drive as an electric vehicle for up to 25 miles.
Once its electric range is depleted, the Prius Prime automatically switches to hybrid mode, making use of its gasoline engine. Owners can recharge it from a 110-volt wall outlet or from a dedicated electric vehicle charging station.
The front end shows some different styling than the Prius Liftback, such as an acrylic black nose plate.
Quad LED headlights are another distinction for the Prius Prime.
The Prius Prime has a total output of 121 horsepower, all put to the front wheels.
The Prius Prime boasts a coefficient of drag, an aerodynamic calculation, of .25, very impressive for a four-door vehicle.
The hybrid system is comprised of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a electric motors powered by an 8.8 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. Toyota says it takes five and a half hours to recharge the battery pack from a standard 110-volt wall outlet.
The Prius Prime drives comfortably and shows reasonably responsive handling, similar to many passenger cars.
To help save weight, Toyota eliminates the middle seating position in the rear, limiting the Prius Prime to four passengers.
The left-rear fender holds a standard fuel filler, while the right-rear fender has this electric vehicle charging port.
Toyota offers the Prius Prime in three trim levels: base, Premium and Advanced.
The rear cargo floor of the Prius Prime is lifted slightly compared to the standard Prius, losing a little cargo space.
Toyota's designers refer to the rear of the Prius Prime as a "dual wave design."
The rear hatch is made of carbon fiber, shaving 8 pounds of weight compared to a steel hatch.