Green and Electric vehicles aren’t usually high on my list of cars I want to drive. Maybe it is something about living in Texas where there are lots of trucks and large SUV’s that has skewed what exactly I want in a vehicle. Perhaps it is that I have two kids that play soccer and a business that I travel with that draws my eye to larger vehicles. So getting something smaller like the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime was a huge step away from my norm and comfort zone. On many accounts the Prius Prime changed my view on the usefulness of a hybrid vehicle while at the same time, space wise, I was also able to see that it isn’t quite the right vehicle for me.
Gas consumption was on point. When the battery is fully charged, you can go around 20 miles totally electric. The ride and smoothness of this drive mode was amazing. Plenty of pickup so that you don’t feel like you are putzing along like in a golf cart. The transition from gas to electric was a bit jerky at times. The Prius would start on battery power then the motor would kick in for extra power. On ECO mode, I wasn’t impressed with the acceleration power. Sure you could put it in power mode, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having an eco friendly car. Now I did get around 45-50 mpg using a blend of gas and electric power. The key to maximize gas mileage is to charge it nightly so that you do get the 20 or so electric only miles. It is easily plugged into any three prong outlet and charged overnight.
Cargo space was highly lacking in the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. The hatchback type design with the battery being in the back as well left limited space to house groceries, wagons, and other things that I need to take with me on a weekly basis. When I have clothing racks to transport as well, there is just no room for them or the 15 Thirty-One totes for all my clothes. Heck I can barely fit all of that stuff in my van. If you have a smaller family or will be using this vehicle for commuting, then the 4 seats and cargo area will be enough for you.
The version Prius Prime I had was only a 4 seater. The back has this hard center console that doesn’t fold away so it for sure limits how many people can ride in the car. My kids did love their little backseat cup station and landing for their “stuff”. The ride and feel of the seats was very comfortable. I took the Prius Prime to Dallas and not once did I ache or hurt from the angle of the seats and comfort. All the controls are well within reach.
Hello screen… The massive touchscreen that this vehicle has is like having a very large tablet at your fingertips. There is enough visual space to have navigation going as well as see what is playing on the radio at the same time. All I need is a bluetooth keyboard and wifi so that I could get some work done on that screen during down times of not driving.
I dig the chiseled look that Toyota is starting to roll out on all of their vehicles. It sure gives this 2017 Toyota Prius Prime an upgrade as far as look and styling. I would highly suggest Toyota figuring out a change in the rear window situation. It is a limited sight line and blocked a lot of times by the larger rear pillars and if you ever have anything in the cargo area. I wasn’t a fan of the split view either. I am sure I could get used to it, but just not the biggest fan of it.
This vehicle changed my view on the usefulness of having a green/hybrid vehicle and the cost savings of the extended MPG. I do a lot of errands locally and if I could do them all on electric, that would be a huge money saver gas wise. Pricing on this vehicle is fairly reasonable and you get extra savings with the government programs on it. While this may not be my cup of tea as I like to say, it was still a good vehicle that I would recommend for commuters and smaller families.
2017 Toyota Prius Prime in Hypersonic Red: MSRP $38,700
- Hybrid synergy drive system, 1.8L DOHC 16V 4 cyl engine
- 15″ alloy wheels
- Electric power steering
- Star safety system
- Toyota Safety Sense
- Blindspot monitor
- Rain sensing wipers
- Qued-LED headlights
- Smart flow climate control system
- 11.5″ HD multitmedia display
- Premium JBL audio
- Color heads-up display
- 3 door smart key system
- Push button start
- QI wireless smartphone charger