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2018 Toyota Prius Prime: Style and Design

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2017

We haven't spent much time yet with our recently delivered 2018 Toyota Prius Prime, which is the new name for the plug-in hybrid version of the Toyota Prius. But as the Prius Prime cycles through our office, we're starting to gain first impressions on the hatchback -- and a lot of them relate to the car's styling and design, rather than its gas mileage. The styling is, after all, pretty radical -- and our team found some benefits and drawbacks with its look.

The biggest drawback to the Prius Prime's styling is that it is, in fact, rather polarizing. Some like it, some hate it, but it's certainly not a car anyone would call classically beautiful -- though a few staffers consider it daring and cool. One staffer, Ben, notes that he isn't crazy about the styling -- but he says there are a couple of exceptions when you look at the details. "I noticed that the glass on the rear hatch has a curvature to it that's kind of cool," notes Ben, pointing out the rear glass's unusual -- but distinctive -- "double bubble" look. Ben also mentions that he likes the look of the Prius Prime's narrow headlights, noting that the design is distinctive and the headlights are tremendously effective.

Another staffer, Dwight, pointed out that one benefit of the Prius Prime's profile -- largely created for aerodynamic benefits -- is that the front windshield is large and wide, offering excellent visibility, especially compared to many modern cars. Of the Prius Prime's forward visibility, Dwight notes that "you can see everything at most angles without blind spots." Unfortunately, Dwight points out that the same doesn't go for the rear end: The sloping back actually hampers visibility, and the split rear glass design means that a partially-full cargo area gets in the way of your ability to see behind you. Dwight also pointed out that the Prius Prime lacks a rear wiper, which could be useful.

So the design -- and its associated benefits and drawbacks -- have been a focal point of our experience so far with the 2018 Toyota Prius Prime. But there will be much more to come in future updates behind the wheel of the plug-in Toyota.

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New 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium
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Used 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
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New 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced
New 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
MSRP $35,736
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Toyota Prius Prime: Style and Design - Autotrader