Toyota calls its Prius Prime the company’s most advanced hybrid yet. It was named the Electric/Hybrid Best Buy of 2017 in Kelley Blue Book’s annual awards honoring best new-vehicle choices available in the U.S. market. With an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe and 54 combined mpg it’s the most efficient car in its class and the most efficient car in America. Its cutting-edge, lightweight materials, advanced technology, total range of 621 gas and electric miles and affordability (starting at $27,100 before incentives), make it one of the most desirable plug-ins on the market.
Optimized component placement, such as the battery pack, lower the car's center of gravity. Using a larger battery than the base Prius, Prime provides 25 pure-electric miles before the gas engine and electric motors take over. Replenishing the battery using a regular wall 120-volt socket takes around 5.5 hours. Level 2 (240-volt) charging time is a little more than 2 hours. Adding the larger battery meant turning Prime into a 4-seater and raising the height of the cargo area. Prime makes up this space by being 6.5 inches longer than the base Prius.
There are 3 Prime models: the Plus, Premium and Advanced, all of them 1.8L 4-cylander ECVT Hybrids. Edmunds reviewers say this about the trim levels: "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."
Aerodynamic features – an active front grille shutter that closes at high speeds, underbody covers, side body fins and a dual-wave rear glass design allow the car to efficiently slip through the air with far less drag. Prime’s 11.6 inch High Def multimedia display is Toyota’s most impressive screen yet, offering intuitive pinch, zoom, tap and swipe gestures identical to smart phone moves. The car’s innovative rear hatch utilizes strong, lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced polymer, which makes open and closing ultra-easy. 60/40 split fold-down rear seats maximize space, giving Prime the largest cargo capacity in its class. Heated front seats are standard; a heated steering wheel is optional.
An available color Head-Up Display (HUD) relies on aircraft-inspired technology to project info about your drive on the windshield in front of you – speed, energy consumption and turn-by-turn directions, plus more. Prime uses a Toyota-first dual motor drive system employing both motors to propel you, providing boosted acceleration and major fuel efficiency. Interior features include heated front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat backs, Qi wireless charging, and two reconfigurable 4.2-inch TFT displays. The car comes standard with an automatic climate control system that focuses airflow to areas where passengers are seated. Toyota’s latest Entune infotainment system is standard on Prime and comes with an 11.6-inch screen and exclusive apps to help you manage charging schedules and status, locate charging stations, compare your eco driving score with others on social media, and control the climate system from your smartphone. A 10-speaker JBL GreenEdge audio system is available as part of a package that includes navigation, and the Entune App suite allows you to access Slacker Radio, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Destination Search, movietickets.com, Yelp, and Facebook Places. The Entune App suite lets you keep track of real-time traffic, sports, fuel prices, and stocks.
Motor Trend on Prime's construction: "Like the standard Prius Hybrid, the Prius Prime features the extensive use of high-strength steel in its construction to keep the body lightweight and strong. Aluminum and carbon fiber also helped keep the car’s weight in check. The hood, for example, is made of aluminum, and the rear hatch is built out of carbon fiber. As a result, the Prius Prime is expected to have one of the lowest drag coefficients among sedans. To help it cheat the wind even better, the Prius Prime also comes with automatic grille shutters for better aerodynamics when the radiator doesn’t need cooling."
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.