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2018 Toyota Prius Prime Ownership: Pros and Cons

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author photo by Eric Brandt August 2018

The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime has replaced the Prius Plug-In as the plug-in hybrid variant of the wildly popular Prius. The Prius Prime has a new look that sets it apart from the standard Prius, and the technology both under the hood and in the interior has generally impressed us in the time we've had with our tester.

Style?

One of our editors has found himself struggling to find the appeal in the Prius Prime after spending some time with it. He noted that he found the styling of the car polarizing at first, but that it grew on him. That's something we don't think is said very often about the Prius, which seems to generally be considered a plain ugly car. The Prius Prime has a futuristic aesthetic without being an eyesore -- at least, not to everyone.

Function?

As for the Prius Prime's functionality as a hybrid, we've been a little disappointed that its electric range is only 25 miles. The Prius Prime's top competitor, the Chevy Volt, beats that number easily; it's able to go 53 miles without burning any gas. The Prius Prime, however, has the Volt beat in total range, which is about 600 miles for the Toyota and 420 miles for the Chevrolet. Depending on how you drive, you might be making fewer trips to the pump with the Prius Prime than you would be with the Chevy Volt, despite the Prius Prime having a lower electric range.

Most of those on our team are fans of the navigation system in the Prius Prime, and we've all found the front seat to be nice and roomy. The good news about the navigation system is that it's fast and user-friendly, but the bad news is that it's your only option since Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't available in the Prius Prime.

Downsides?

One downside of plug-in hybrids, in general, is compromised interior space because of the extra equipment required. For example, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid doesn't have Stow-and-Go seats because there's a battery where the seats would normally fold into the floor. We've found that to be the case in the Prius Prime as well, with limited storage space in the back.

So far, we've been impressed with the technology, the total range and the fast charging time of the 2018 Toyota Prius Prime. Toyota clearly took a step forward with its plug-in hybrid, but there's still some room for improvement.

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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 Ownership: Pros and Cons - Autotrader