The Toyota Prius Prime Makes Most EVs Obsolete

By automotive-mag.com 6 Min Read

Without a Toyota badge on the nose, you might trick your friends into thinking this sleek five-door is something more exotic. But it is, indeed, the latest Prius, one of the best-looking cars Toyota has ever produced.

A single arching line connects the front fascia and bumper, giving the Prius its svelte computer-mouse profile. Hook-like headlights adorn the front fascia and a slim light bar hugs the rear end. And if you spec the Prius with a black roof, its front windshield and rear window are angled so aggressively that they seem to form a single unbroken piece.

The shape helps the new Prius cut through the air with a drag coefficient of 0.27 cD. Technically the previous model was better—0.24 cD—but that’s still in the upper echelon of aerodynamic efficiency. Speaking of efficiency; the Prius Prime has a combined fuel economy rating of 127 mpge with up to 44 miles of range on battery power alone on the base SE model. The XSE and XSE Premium (like the car we tested) gets 39 miles of electric range. And you’ll be able to drive a total of 600 miles before having to fill up again.

Quick Specs 2024 Toyota Prius Prime
Engine 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder Hybrid
Output 220 Horsepower / 139 Pound-Feet
EV Range 44 Miles
Base Price $34,495
As-Tested Price $42,400

But that sleek styling requires some sacrifice. The windshield nearly reaches Camaro levels of rakish, the A-pillar impedes a huge chunk of sideward visibility, and steering wheel adjustability is weirdly limited. It was hard for me to get comfortable. And the cabin isn’t exactly quiet; there’s excessive wind and tire noise, especially in EV mode, and the engine whines when you get on the throttle more than halfway.

Powering the Prime is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a 13.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with two electric motors. The new pack is 55 percent larger than the 8.8-kWh battery in the outgoing Prime, and together with the engine, yields a combined output of 220 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. That’s nearly 100 hp more than the previous Prius Prime, and an additional 40 lb-ft.

Plugged it into a normal home outlet, it takes the Prius Prime 11 hours to refill its battery. With a Level 2, 240-volt outlet, the Prime recharges in four hours. Like many modern plug-in hybrids, the Prius does not support DC fast charging.

Pros: Beautiful Styling, Pretty Quick, Ample Electric Range

Like the sneakily speedy RAV4 Prime, the Prius has some giddyup with the immediate torque from the electric motors launching it to 60 miles per hour in 6.4 seconds—quicker and more excitedly than a GR86. That battery power stays ready at highway speeds, too, with jolts of torque for easy overtakes and quick passing. And if you’re driving exclusively in EV mode, you can do so up to 84 mph.

The steering feels light and quick but weights up nicely in Sport mode. The deliver stopping power predictably. And the suspension is tuned confidently for cornering; there’s barely any body roll, even with batteries and motors onboard. That said, the sporty-ish suspension was a bit stiff over broken pavement. But it never felt too harsh, either.

Ergonomics aside, the cabin and all of the interior materials are lovely. On this XSE Premium—the fanciest Prius Prime—SofTex faux leather covers most surfaces, from the dash and door panels to the seats. And it’s high-quality stuff; the seats are properly cushy. You also get standard heated and ventilated seats on this trim, and the bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen as opposed to the standard 8.0-inch screen.

2024 Toyota Prius Prime Review

Cons: Poor Ergonomics, Limited Visibility, Loud At Speed

If you could do without the bigger screen and some of the other premium features mentioned, the Prius Prime is priced well. The base SE model starts at $34,495 with destination, the mid-range XSE is $37,745, and the XSE Premium tested here starts at $40,765. Even with a few options—like the digital rearview mirror and the 360-overhead parking camera—this tester comes in at a still reasonable $42,400.

Even though Toyota has adopted electrification slower than most, the company is king of hybrids. The Prius rolls into a new generation with an unbelievably good design and a pleasant driving experience, paired with one of the best powertrains in the business. It’s hard to fathom why anyone would buy bZ4X—or most modern EVs—when the Prius Prime exists.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *