The 2021 Prius Prime is the plug-in version of Toyota’s incredibly popular Prius hybrid. Its EPA ratings are stellar. It achieves a total range of 640 miles, with 25 of them pure-electric. Its MPGe combined for city/highway is 133, and it gets 54 MPG combined for city/highway. Claiming the highest MPGe rating of any vehicle with an internal combustion engine, the Toyota Prime is the most energy-efficient plug-in hybrid in operation on Earth!
Not only that, this is a car that’s inexpensive to own. The base model Prime is $28,220 – around $3,700 more than a standard base Prius. But Prime’s price comes way down with a $4,502 Federal Tax Credit. Additionally, the EPA says you’ll save $5,250 in fuel costs over 5 years by driving a Prius Prime.
Toyota is the recognized pioneer of hybrid electric technology and the global leader of hybrid sales.The automaker has sold more than 15M hybrids since the launch of the 1st Gen Prius in 1997. Toyota now sells 44 hybrid models worldwide. The automaker’s hybrid technology is estimated to have reduced CO2 emissions by more than 120M tons. Excellent at cutting CO2 emissions, Toyota’s hybrid technology allows drivers to cover 50% of their drives around the city in zero emission mode, offering one of the best transport methods available for improving urban center air quality.
It’s great to know that Prime’s tank only holds 11.4 gallons, but doesn’t need more than that to go 640 miles. Why? The most efficient electrified car on the planet generates power with a 1.8-Liter 4-cylinder aluminum DOHC engine that works with an electric motor, a battery pack and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to switch effortlessly between gas and electric propulsion. The car trades off acceleration time for fuel efficiency, taking 9.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60 MPH. Prime isn’t the only slow PHEV. The 2021 Kira Niro PHEV reaches 60 mph in 9 seconds. And the 2021 Toyota Prius takes 10.9 seconds to get there.
This PHEV has a decidedly futuristic wedge look that says: “I’m different from all the rest!” Its distinct Space Age styling includes pronounced airflow slits, angles and unusual fascia on its front and rear. Unique horizontal wave LED lights wrap around the trailing edge of the rear carbon-fiber reinforced-polymer hatch. Think aerodynamics and wind tunnel friendly: to increase the car’s range, Toyota engineers lowered its airflow resistance. They’ve given Prime a 0.24 drag coefficient – making it one of the “slipperiest” e-cars on the market.
The 2021 Toyota Prius Prime comes in three trims: LE (MSRP: $28,220), XLE (MSRP: $30,000), and Limited (MSRP: $34,000).
LE comes standard with: Fabric-trimmed heated front seats, Smart-flow climate control system with air pollen filtration, an Integrated backup camera, a Smart Key System on driver-side door with Push Button Start, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Three USB ports, a 4.2-in. color dual Multi-Information Display (MID), Audio Plus with 7-in. touchscreen and six speakers, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial subscription, Connected Services with Safety Connect.
XLE adds: SofTex-trimmed heated front seats, a Smart Key System on three doors with Push Button Start and remote illuminated entry, Predictive Efficient Drive, Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging, and a Premium Audio with 11.6-in. touchscreen and six speakers.
The Limited trim adds: Premium Audio JBL13 with 11.6-in. touchscreen and ten speakers, Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging, an Auto-dimming rearview mirror with a HomeLink universal transceiver, a Color Head-Up Display (HUD), Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) with Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA), and a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA),
Regarding how to drive this car, Toyota says: “Prime offers different driving modes so that the driver stays in control: EV (Electric Vehicle) Mode, EV Auto Mode and HV (Hybrid Vehicle) Mode. EV Auto Mode intelligently selects between EV and hybrid driving based on demand and driving conditions to help optimize your efficiency. HV Mode combines the gas engine and electrical power from the HV battery to most efficiently drive Prius Prime.”
Prius Prime comes in 7 cool colors: Midnight Black Metallic, Blue Magnetism, Supersonic red, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Titanium Glow, and Wind Chill Pearl.
The 2021 Prius Prime has a 5-star Overall NHTSA Safety Rating. The Car comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a bundle of active safety features including: a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Road Sign Assist (RSA).
Says Kelley Blue Book reviewer Matt Degan: “The 2021 Toyota Prius Prime is impressively comfortable. Smooth, hushed, and with an uncanny ability to absorb bumps, this Prius has near Lexus-like levels of serenity. This extends to the driver’s seat, whose softness adds to the pillow-esque ride. Steering is soft and effortless. Compared to rivals, the Prius Prime is more expensive than the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in, but less expensive than plug-in versions of the Kia Niro, Honda Clarity, and Subaru Crosstrek. One of the best things about the Prius Prime is its total range. With a full tank of gasoline and a full charge, it is estimated to be able to travel 640 miles. That means less time spent at the gas station and more time for stuff you’d rather be doing.”
REWRITTEN MAY, 2021
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