2017 Prius Prime: The Perfect Combination of Gas and Electric Power

Published: Friday, June 9, 2017 | 9:22 PM

2017toyotapriusprime475The 2017 Prius Prime replaces the Prius Plug-in. It comes equipped with a larger battery for a longer electric-only range (about 25 miles) and a longer body to accommodate the larger battery. It’s plenty stingy on gas, I know, during my driving experience I drove a daily commute of about 100 miles and never had to gas it up (I didn’t charge at all during my loan). I was really impressed.

There are three trim levels available for the Prius Prime: Plus, Premium and Advanced. This review will focus on the Advanced trim level.

The Advanced trim level features technology galore including 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.

2017toyotapriusprimintThe Advanced model also includes a power driver seat, an 11.6-inch central touchscreen and upgraded multimedia system, premium synthetic leather seats, automatic headlights, keyless entry on three doors, satellite radio and wireless smartphone charging.

Sporting a 1.8-liter, four cylinder gas engine paired with two motor/generator units, the Prius Prime achieves 121 horses. The estimated mileage for the electric-only mode is about 25 miles, of course that depends on what electronics you run and the terrain you drive. When the electric motor is depleted the gas engine takes over for a hybid-drive mode. To fully charge the battery from a regular 120-volt socket takes about 5.5 hours, move up to a 240-volt socket and the charging is done in 2 hours. Estimated mileage in hybrid mode is 54 mpg. In combination with a fully-charged battery the gas mileage climbs to an estimated 133 mpg.

The interior of the Prius Prime will seat four passengers comfortably, there is no longer any middle rear seat to make room for the larger battery. Materials are soft to the touch and look high quality. The 11.6-inch touchscreen makes controlling climate and nav a breeze.

While the Prius Prime won’t have you yelling ye-haw while accelerating, it will get to where you want to go cheaper. There is some road noise in the cabin, but engine noise is muted.

Looking to move to an electric car but don’t want to suffer from range-anxiety? Give the 2017 Prius Prime a test drive, you may find the it’s the perfect combination of gas and electric power.