Over the years there has been a trend in automobiles that is rapidly growing year by year. What trend is that? Hybrid cars! Now I have to be honest, I had heard of the term before and had some idea of what it was but was never really that interested in finding out more. I knew they would probably be better for the environment and certainly better for my pocketbook, but I just never got around to discovering and researching more about this concept until I was given the opportunity to experience one for myself.
Most people have heard of the Toyota Prius. It is a name that goes hand and hand with the idea of going green. I know I had certainly heard of the model, but I honestly had no idea just what this vehicle could do! Let’s just say I left this review opportunity with a hunger for finding out more.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime comes in three models: Plus, Premium, and Advanced. We were provided the opportunity to check out the Premium edition in a vibrant Hypersonic Red/Ash color. With a price tag of $28,800, this hybrid was loaded with many great features. Features that I am totally missing today in my “real life” car!
Imagine having a car that lets you get up to 640 miles on a tank of gas! Yes, that is essentially what the Toyota Prius can do once you learn how to efficiently drive one. Now that is what I call INCREDIBLE!!!!
You might be thinking, “It’s a hybrid! I’m not going to get that acceleration like I can in a gasoline powered car!” This vehicle delivers quite the performance! With a dual motor generator drive system, you are going to get that feeling.
It features the Hybrid Synergy Drive system which basically means the vehicle combines both the electric and gas engines to drive the vehicle. They can either work together or be used separately. Drivers can select which mode they want to use depending on what driving conditions are like – Normal, Eco, and Sport.
One of the things that we found the most surprising was just how easily this car transitions between the electric and gas. You do not feel it shift from one to the other. You can even see what is happening by selecting the Energy feature from the main menu on the touchscreen display to see how it moves from one to the other while driving.
- EPA-rated electric range of 25 miles (using electricity)
- 54 mpg as a hybrid (using gasoline)
- Rated 133MPGe in energy efficiency (electricity + gasoline)
Prius Prime Premium can be plugged in to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack. How does it work? You can choose to do it at home or at a charging station. We chose to charge the vehicle at home. Housed in the trunk, you can use the cable to plug it into a standard household outlet. While it says it takes about 6 hours to charge, it was done faster than that.
We did not choose to charge at a charging station for this review; however, I do think it is important to provide my readers with some information on how this works. I will be honest with you, I had NO CLUE! Having never driven a hybrid before, I was under the impression that you could simply pull up to one of those charging stations and plug in. That is not the case. You are going to need to purchase a membership with the company that is responsible for the charging port you are using. Another thing I believed was that you would have to wait with your car while it charged. Again, this is not the case. The charging port stays intact and can be locked down while you wait. Simply lock the car, and it locks the charging cable in place.
Designed with advanced aerodynamics and lightweight materials, this Prius is one sweet futuristic looking midsize car.
- Rear hatch, made from carbon fiber reinforced polymer, is strong but also lightweight enough to open and close easily
- Dual wave glass, found only on Prime, helps to reduce drag
- Features visually striking Quad-LED projector headlights with auto on and off
- 15-inch alloy wheels
- 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat
- Heated Power Outside Mirrors
This midsize car was quite spacious inside, not to mention looking sleek and luxurious with the white and black color palate. This vehicle can seat four people. How does it work for a family? Quite well actually! As you can see from our images, we were able to get our car seats in this car with no problem and even had room to spare!
Additional features consist of:
- Smart flow climate control system
- SofTex-trimmed heated front seats
- Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
- Center console in the backseat
- 60/40 spilt fold-down rear seats
- Push button start AC and heating
One of my favorite features was the push button start for the AC and heating. It is beginning to cool down quite a bit in our area. Imagine having the chance to be in your warm home and with the click of a button on your key fob, the heat can be turned on in your vehicle! Seriously! That was one of the coolest features I enjoyed playing with. Each time I knew I was getting ready to go to the car, I would push that button and allow the car to cool or heat itself to my comfort level.
The Prius has a standard 11.6-inch touchscreen. If you can’t picture what that looks like, it is BIG! Like large tablet size BIG! Vertically oriented, this screen allows you to do what a tablet allows you to do- zoom in and out with the use of your fingers.
It also has a split design that allows you to view the navigation while still accessing other features such as the climate or radio.
There is seriously so much that you do with this touchscreen that it would take me a completely separate blog post just to even highlight what is available! From controlling the climate to even checking into apps such as Facebook and OpenTable by way of the Entune App, you literally have the world at your fingertips in the Prius Prime Premium! We enjoyed having the real-time weather updates at the touch of a button.
Need to charge your phone and don’t have the cord? Qi wireless charging pad is a super cool feature. If your phone can charge wirelessly, you simply place it in the charging area, and it charges! Do not have a phone that can be charged wirelessly. No problem! Toyota has a card for that! Simply plug the small card to your phone (Apple and Android compatible) and charge!
Can you still charge with a USB? Yes!
If you are looking to go green when it comes to cars, you really need to experience what the Toyota Prius series has to offer. Designed to be both fuel efficient and advanced, the Prius redefines the driving experience. As someone that has never considered it before, I find myself really missing the features it has to offer. Join the movement and drive a hybrid or electric car. Your pocketbook and the environment will thank you! Let’s go places!
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Disclaimer: I was provided with a Toyota Rpoius Prime Premium for a week to review. All opinions presented are 100% mine and were not influenced by Toyota.