The 2017 Prius Prime represents the pinnacle of efficiency and technology for the new- generation Prius, with a new dual-motor hybrid powertrain with a remarkable 2017 EPA-estimated 133 MPGe and MSRP that will range from $27,100 for the base Prius Prime Plus grade.
The 2017 Prius Prime combines an electrifying design with an even more capable electric powertrain than the previous-generation model. In fact, the Prius Prime will have class-leading total drive range with a EPA-estimated 640 miles! And, Prius Prime will offer a EPA-estimated range of up to 25 miles up to 84 mph in EV mode, with the goal in mind of meeting the daily commuter distance of over half of U.S. drivers. As thrifty with fuel as the Prius Prime may be, in EV mode it drives with unexpected verve and excitement. Exclusive suspension tuning gives the Prime an enhanced planted stance through curves.
All Prius models are built around Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) and feature double-wishbone independent rear suspension. You’ll find that kind of suspension on the best sport sedans, and it can work the same wonders for handling and ride quality in a super-efficient hybrid, too. The trailing-arm design allows increased luggage space, in this case an outstanding EPA-estimated 19.8 cu. ft. with the rear seatbacks in use.
Prius Prime adds even more premium touches and exclusive tech features compared to the all-new Prius liftback, including its available vertically oriented 11.6-inch HD multimedia screen and an available full color head-up display.
Notably, the Prius Prime comes standard with more active safety features of any hybrid in its class. Among the many safety features is standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beams. The Prius Prime Advanced model also comes with standard Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
All 2017 Prius Prime models come equipped with eight supplemental restraint system airbags, including driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System; driver and front- passenger seat mounted side airbags; front and rear side curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag, and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
EV or Hybrid? Both
The Prius Prime will please anyone who wants to reduce trips to the gas pump, and it makes a great road trip car, too. The Prius Prime is designed to drive in EV mode in more situations, helping to enhance total vehicle driving range.
The Prius Prime also offers other drive modes to give the driver options depending on their needs: EV Auto Mode and Hybrid Mode: EV Auto Mode will automatically rely more on its electric capability, especially in urban and suburban driving during shorter trips. But in situations where it is more efficient to run the gasoline engine, up steep hills for example, the extremely efficient engine will engage. In Hybrid Mode, the Prius Prime runs primarily on the gasoline engine with support of the electric motor. It efficiently combines the engine drive force and the electric power from the hybrid battery.
The Prius Prime can even optimize range by memorizing the driver’s stopping patterns on frequently driven routes and suggesting when to let off the accelerator. Available Predictive Efficient Drive with Predictive Deceleration Support collects daily driving data to predict points of deceleration and stopping. From then on, when the driver goes through a location in the database, the system indicates when to let off the accelerator and can apply assisted deceleration to help boost fuel efficiency.
Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime are powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which seamlessly combines the output of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The biggest difference is that the Prius Prime can be plugged in to recharge its larger 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack – more than double that of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid it replaces.
To help make extended EV mode driving range possible using Hybrid Synergy Drive, Toyota modified the system. For the first time in a Toyota hybrid, the system uses a “dual motor drive.” Toyota didn’t add another motor, however. Rather, a new one-way clutch engages both the generator (MG1) and electric drive motor (MG2) for drive force, the first time MG1 has been used for that purpose. Regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking and stores it in the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.
There’s no special equipment needed for home charging. Just plug the Prius Prime into a standard household outlet (Toyota recommends using a dedicated GFI 15A outlet) using the supplied cable. Charging using a standard household outlet takes less than five-and-a-half hours, or approximately two hours when using a public charger or other 240V source.
To enhance the ownership experience and allow customers to get the most out of their Prius Prime, Toyota has partnered with ChargePoint, the world’s largest public charging network. ChargePoint provides access to more than 30,000 charging spots, the majority of which are free to users today. Add to that an updated suite of Prius Prime Apps that manage vehicle charging, climate control, location services and other vehicle functions, and owners will experience a new type of connection to their vehicles.
Not to be overshadowed by all the electrical action, the Prius Prime’s gasoline engine also plays a starring role in that efficiency. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine, used in all 2017 Prius liftback models, expects a groundbreaking 40-percent-plus thermal efficiency. Most modern automobile engines reach about 25-30 percent.
Dig into the specs, and you’ll find a very high compression ratio of 13.0:1, yet like all Prius models, the Prius Prime runs on regular-grade gasoline. Myriad details throughout the hybrid powertrain contribute to its efficiency: an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system with a cooler; a smaller, lighter, quieter hybrid system water pump, and an exhaust heat recirculation system that speeds engine warm-up.
The combined net output for the Prime’s hybrid system is 121 hp. The effect of the electric motor and the planetary-type continuously variable transmission give the Prius Prime a spunky, responsive attitude in urban driving. On the highway, in battery mode, the silence is quite serene, indeed. The Prius Prime remains a quiet cruiser in all drive modes thanks to the sound-insulating laminated windshield and front door glass, comprehensive sound insulation measures and the optimized aero shape that helps keep wind noise where it belongs – outside.
Toyota’s grade strategy for Prius Prime includes grades, Prime Plus, Prime Premium and Prime Advanced, each with successively more amenities and technology. Prius Prime Plus starts with a long roster of standard features, including fabric-trimmed heated front seats with armrests and seatback pockets; power windows with auto up/down; smart-flow climate control system with pollen filtration; integrated navigation and backup camera; dual sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors and heated power outside mirrors.
The standard SofTex-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel integrates controls for audio, climate, the Multi-Information Display and Bluetooth® hands-free phone. Additional user tech includes the Smart Key System (on driver side) with Push Button Start. To power devices, there’s a 12V auxiliary power outlet up front, and another in the rear, plus one front USB power outlet.
Stepping up to the Prius Prime Premium nets more technology, comfort and convenience.
Entune™ technology goes big-screen with the 11.6-inch vertical HD multimedia display. The Smart Key System with Push Button Start is expanded to three doors and includes remote illuminated entry.
Comfort moves up a few notches with SofTex-trimmed heated front seats with armrests and seatback pockets. The driver gets an 8-way power adjustable seat with power lumbar support.
Want to cut the cord, or at least leave it home? The Prius Prime Premium comes with wireless cell phone charging for Qi-compatible devices; just place a compatible phone on the console charging pad.
More luxury and tech enters the picture in the Prius Prime Advanced, which adds a heated steering wheel, remote climate control system, rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers and auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink® universal transceiver.
LED fog lights help bolster visibility, while a color head-up display (HUD) helps the driver keep focused on the road by projecting vital information onto the lower portion of the windshield. HUD displays include speedometer, hybrid battery charge Hybrid System Indicator navigation and the various systems within TSS-P.
The safety tech roster grows with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Safety Connect®, which includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. (Includes complimentary three-year trial subscription).
2017 Prius Prime Prices
|1235||Prius Prime Plus||$27,100|
|1237||Prius Prime Premium||$28,800|
|1239||Prius Prime Advanced||$33,100|
All prices listed above exclude the Delivery, Processing, and Handling (DPH) fee of $865.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.
The Prius Prime also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Prius models include three years of 24-hour roadside assistance from date of purchase.