2017 prius prime offers fancy interior tech and lots of miles – DOC690976
Over the course of its lengthy production run, the Toyota Prius has more or less set the standard in the world of hybrid transportation. Four generations have come and gone since the nameplate’s release in 1997, and now, the popular Japanese fuel-sipper is getting the top-shelf treatment with what Toyota calls “the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Toyota Prius in the model’s nearly two-decade global history.”
Dubbed the Prius Prime, the new model comes equipped with a healthy dollop of technology, both in the interior, and under skin.
Climb into the cabin, and you’ll find an available 11.6-inch HD multimedia touchscreen, which is mounted centrally on the dash. Operated via tablet-like inputs, the display gives off a definite Tesla-esque vibe.
Complementing the large screen is an available color heads-up display and a Qi wireless phone charging system. There are also tons of active safety and convenience features thanks to Toyota Safety Sense (automatic braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, etc.).
Optimizing the car’s inherent efficiency is available predictive software, which analyzes where you go and how you drive, offering tips on when to apply the throttle and brake pedal for max mileage.
Speaking of efficiency, Toyota foresees official estimates at 124 MPGe. That’s a 26-percent improvement compared to the preceding plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, making for the highest MPGe rating of any PHEV on the market. You’ll also get 25 miles of zero-emissions motoring at speeds up to 84 mph while in EV mode, plus 640 miles of range with a tank full of gas and a battery full of electricity.
The 2017 Prius Prime will go on sale across the country later this year, starting at $27,100. But the question is – do you want one?
Why It Matters
First things first – the mpg. No one buys a car like the Prius without paying a good deal of attention to efficiency figures, and thankfully, the Prime delivers on that front.
Helping it go the distance is higher battery capacity and improvements to the Prius’ hybrid system. Motive power is derived from a new dual motor drive, a first for the model, which uses a one-way clutch to engage both the internal-combustion engine and the electric motor while under way.
Tech specs include a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, which burns fuel with an incredible 40-percent thermal efficiency, plus an 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery charged to full in about five-and-a-half hours. Transmission duties are handled by a CVT.
I recently got a chance to drive the new Prius Prime in Ojai, California, and overall, I came away satisfied with the experience. The ride felt smoother and more refined, possibly thanks to the model’s higher curb weight, while the recently updated independent rear suspension kept it all in check while out in the SoCal canyons. Further improvements included a reduction in wind and road noise.
Of course, there were a few issues that cropped up during my stint behind the wheel. Stay tuned, because we’ll be posting our full written review, including in-depth driving impressions and original media, in the next few days.
Gallery 2017 Prius Prime Offers Fancy Interior Tech And Lots Of Miles