2020 Toyota Prius Prime Road Test and Review

In situation you simply began shopping and haven’t stored an eye on the Toyota Prius, the Prime isn’t an Amazon . com product however a special plug-in form of the Prius hybrid. Its bigger lithium-ion battery enables it to operate on electricity alone in EV way of the very first 25 miles. Next, the Prime works similar to the regular-issue Prius, mixing the creation of a little gas engine and motor unit to stretch 11.3 gallons of standard unleaded to provide a genuine-world driving selection of 640 miles. Compare that to similarly priced EVs that at the best can travel approximately 200 miles before getting to pit for electrons. There’s one caveat, however. You have to plug the Prime in to the grid and fill up battery to obtain the 25 electric-only miles.

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime will come in three trim levels. Such as the $955 destination charge, these contain the $28,705 base LE, $30,605 midlevel XLE, and $34,605 range-topping Limited. The Prius Prime can also be qualified for any federal tax credit as high as $4,500.


The large draw for that Prime is its Environmental protection agency-believed 133 MPGe fuel-economy rating, that takes into account the 25 miles of-electric driving with each and every tankful of gas. So theoretically, a Prius Prime driver is definitely an infrequent customer to gasoline stations if one’s regimen typically includes short (under 25-mile) hops adopted by convenient home-recharging sessions. Having a regular household 120-volt outlet, recharging will require about 5.5 hrs, or having a 240-volt outlet like the one for the home’s clothing dryer or stove, topping from the 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery can be achieved in only over two hrs.

The good thing about the Prime or any plug-in hybrid may be the freedom from range anxiety. After running on electrons for that first 25 miles on the full charge, the Prime’s 121-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine and motor-generator instantly start working to help keep the hybrid battery billed. The Prime’s Environmental protection agency believed gas mileage is 55 mpg city/53 mpg highway/54 mpg combined. I managed an indicated 52 mpg more than a week of mostly around-town driving.

In the forefront Dash

Now into its 4th model year, the 2020 Prius Prime’s interior still looks advanced having a sweeping wraparound dashboard that blends seamlessly in to the front doorways. A driver-customizable color screen inside a center-mounted visor-like binnacle atop the dash houses the hybrid system power meter, fuel-economy meter, EV/hybrid mode indicator, drive mode indicator, speedometer, fuel gauge, exterior temperature readout, clock, and a variety of vehicle status, telltales, and warning lamps. Below that, also centered within the dash, may be the infotainment screen between shortcut buttons for many frequently utilized climate-control and sound system functions along with the pushbutton start/stop button. New piano-black trim for 2020 replaces gloss white-colored for interior pieces around the controls and dash.

The relatively cushy front buckets are by hand operated and cloth-covered in LE models and heated, power-operated, lumbar-adjustable, and fake-leather-trimmed in XLE and Limited trims. All trims share a faux leather tilt/telescoping controls in addition to power mirrors, door locks, and auto up/lower home windows. A console-mounted Qi-compatible wireless device charger is standard within the XLE and Limited.

Joystick Shifter

Unlike the traditional forefront-aft “PRNDL” automatic shifters employed for decades, or even the push-button shifters utilized in planet and a few gas-powered ones, the Prius Prime includes a joystick shifter. It sprouts from the lower area of the dash with Reverse, Neutral, and Drive ranges selectable in the left side from the gate along with a “B” setting that increases battery regeneration during deceleration it’s available once first selecting Neutral. A passionate Park button left from the joystick along with a feet-operated parking brake keep your vehicle from moving away. The joystick shifter requires a couple of moments to get accustomed to, but operates seamlessly once mastered.

Right from the joystick would be the drive mode selector buttons, including someone to cycle between hybrid and EV modes and the other for EV automatic mode.

Giant Screen

Tesla can always function as the 800-pound gorilla using its gigantic 17-inch infotainment screen within the Model S, and definitely more large screens are in route using their company carmakers. However the Prius Prime’s 11.6-inch portrait-format vertical touchscreen (with the exception of the bottom Prime LE, making use a 7-inch unit) for audio, navigation, heating and cooling, and application management really sets the conventional for popularly priced hybrids. The Prime’s HD display dominates the majority of the available dash space in the heart of the vehicle.

Standard infotainment features around the LE include Apple CarPlay (although not Android Auto) mobile phone mirroring, in-vehicle Wi-Fi by Verizon, along with a six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with SiriusXM, Siri Eyes Free, Amazon . com Alexa compatibility, along with a phone-based Scout Gps navigation navigation application. The XLE and Limited models bring the big touchscreen with embedded navigation, plus HD radio with traffic and weather. The Limited also will get a ten-speaker JBL premium sound system, plus a

Sun Advisory

New for 2020 are slide-out extensions for that sun visors.

When pivoted to the leading side home windows, the visor extensions might help cover a lot of glass area, blocking blinding sun glare — and even perhaps reducing sunburned ears and necks on lengthy journeys in sunny climes.

New Three-Across Rear Seating

After 3 years of configuring the Prius Prime like a four-seater with a set of adult-sized bucket seats along with a fixed center console, the 2020 model now seats five passengers with similar three-across rear bench because the regular Prius. Feet room is around the short side for that middle rear passenger because of the front center console.

The trunk seatbacks are split 60/40 and fold nearly flat to improve cargo capacity. The brand new rear seat maintains the console, but it’s a part of a fold-lower center armrest with storage and 2 cup holders. Also new for that 2020 Prius Prime is a set of 2.1-amp USB ports for powering the trunk passenger’s cellular devices. LATCH lower anchors for child safety seats are incorporated for that back seat.


When the bigger battery within the Prius Prime has one downside, it’s reduced cargo space. When compared to standard Prius Liftback, the Prime offers around 5 to 7 cubic ft less room back there. The Prime’s 8.8-kWh battery has nearly two times as numerous li-ion cells under its elevated cargo floor because the hybrid battery within the base Prius.

Still, with 19.8 cubic ft of capacity available through its large hatch opening, the Prime offers just as much space for storage within the wayback as numerous small crossover SUVs. Also observe that the Prime’s big battery takes space that could be accustomed to have a chubby tummy, so there’s only a tire repair package back there.

Prime Safety Tech

All Prius Prime trim levels come standard using the Star Safety System and Toyota Safety Sense Plus. Among the incorporated technologies are a pre-collision warning with pedestrian recognition and automatic emergency braking, full-speed dynamic cruise control, a lane-departure alert with light steering assist, a backup camera, and automatic high beams.

A 3-year complimentary subscription to Safety Connect is standard. Onpar gps navigation include roadside assistance and emergency assistance, utilized utilizing a button within the rearview mirror, additionally to some stolen vehicle locator and automatic collision notification. The Limited model adds standard sonar parking assist additionally to blind-place monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. The Prius Prime will be a 2019 Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick.