Toyota Prius Prime: 10 Things to Know About the First Sensible Plug-in

Prius Prime, Malibu

The 2017 Prius Prime makes a strong case for green car driving. | Eric Schaal/Autos Cheat Sheet

Everyone who drives an electric vehicle immediately notices two things: the acceleration and the fuel economy. Driving an EV means instant power from a stoplight, and the feeling is addicting. Likewise, finishing a trip with 100 mpg or better makes you want more. Both elements are major selling points for consumers.

Yet plug-in hybrids and all-electric models still post small sales numbers. Which leads us to the two things everyone dislikes about EVs: charging a car and paying so much extra for the battery. Once you start talking about installing a charger in the garage and paying thousands extra to go electric, you lose about 95% of the car-buying public.

Then Toyota released the second generation of its plug-in hybrid, calling it Prius Prime. With this model, you would charge the car when you had a chance and travel 25 miles getting the best economy around. When you couldn’t charge, you would get the best economy of any car without a battery on the standard (54 mpg) hybrid system. Plus, there was another kicker: It cost the same as the regular Prius after the $4,500 tax credit.

In other words, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime represents a small revolution in electrified vehicles. Here are 10 things we learned about the world’s most sensible plug-in vehicle over an eight-day test.

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