Seriously better | 2017 Toyota Prius Prime First Drive

It's a fair question to ask if buyers of a new 2017 Toyota Prius Prime will be disappointed when they stomp on the gas pedal. After a day spent behind the wheel of the way, way updated version of the Prius Plug-In, we're guessing the 0-60 acceleration time is a leisurely 10 seconds or so. Toyota hasn't provided any official times, but it's perfectly clear that the Prime is not a quick car. It does, at least, feel quicker than any other Prius. But is anyone going to care?

Toyota has spent over a decade defining what a "Prius" is.

Toyota has spent over a decade defining what a "Prius" is in the minds of consumers: a hybrid, "the" green car, and a reliable way to use less gas than your neighbors do. As some point that ideological space got crowded with cars like the Tesla Model S, the Chevy Volt, and any number of gas-electric hybrid offerings. In response, Toyota is trying to shift the conversation over to the hydrogen future with the Mirai. But Toyota is not neglecting the vehicle and brand that got it this far down the green trail.

Toyota claims that this is the best Prius it's ever made, which is why it was christened the Prime (when asked, no one would divulge which Prius is then the worst, but I'm sure someone will suggest an answer in the comments). You can never take PR spin at face value, but it's hard to combat this particular assertion. It's more efficient than any other Prius ever made, save for the Eco trim for the new standard Prius, and it comes with 25 miles of electric range from to a new 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. Despite some disagreement about the design, especially around the front end, this is the best-looking Prius available. I'm pretty sure it looks better than the regular Prius, from every angle. All that you lose is a fifth seat, a rear wiper thanks to a cool-looking but wonky rear window (Toyota calls it "dual wave"), and some extra money. Read more...

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08 Jan 2017

By Sebastian Blanco