Some more first drive reviews:
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/110 ... -in-hybrid
2017 Toyota Prius Prime: first drive of new plug-in hybrid
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is a considerably better car than a few electric-car fans had feared. In fact, with an EPA-rated range of 25 miles (more than projected) and energy efficiency so high—at 124 MPGe—that it matches the BMW i3 with all its whizzy advanced technology, it’s a very viable plug-in hybrid choice. . . .
But just as the fourth-generation conventional Prius hybrid is a far better car to drive than its predecessor, the Prius Prime is a much better plug-in hybrid than the first plug-in Prius. . . .
On further drives after the cars had been recharged, we confirmed that the Prius Prime is a decent if not particularly speedy electric car for its battery range. It's good off the line from 0 to 30 mph, but begins to lag a bit at higher speeds, though it will accelerate entirely on electric power to 75 mph or a bit more. . . .
The engine and electric motors combine seamlessly in most cases, but when maximum power is required, the engine spins up to high speeds and moans noticeably from up front under the hood. Otherwise, the Prime shares the much improved roadholding, handling, and comfortable ride of the conventional Prius. . . .
No safety ratings have yet been released for the Prius Prime, though it has a comprehensive suite of electronic active-safety features with the awkward name of Toyota Safety Sense-P as standard equipment. Those include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert, and automatic high beams. In addition, Toyota adds a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert to the highest trim level, the Prius Prime Advanced. Last year's new fourth-generation conventional Prius was designated a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). . . .
And Toyota has priced the Prime range aggressively, with the Plus starting at $27,950, the Premium at $29,650, and the Advanced at $33,950. (All prices include a mandatory $850 delivery fee.) It qualifies for a $4,500 federal income-tax credit, and in California, it is eligible for both a $1,500 purchase rebate and the coveted green sticker that gives single-occupant access to carpool lanes on freeways.
While the Prius Plug-In Hybrid was not a 50-state car, the Prius Prime will be, Toyota says. . . .
http://www.autoblog.com/2016/10/03/2017 ... -1-review/
Seriously better | 2017 Toyota Prius Prime First Drive
If you want a Prius, this is the one to get.
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 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. . . .
Let's start there, with the cost, because that's going to be a key reason that makes people care about the Prime. Not counting any state or federal incentives, the new plug-in Prius starts at $27,100 for the base trim, called the Plus. That's $3,000 lower than the original Prius Plug-In. The two other trims levels are the Premium at $28,800 and the Advanced at $33,100. All three qualify for up to $4,500 in federal tax credits. Considering that the standard Prius starts at $24,685, getting the many benefits of the Prime for an after-credit price of $22,600 is truly compelling. Toyota wants you to compare these numbers to the Chevy Volt, of course ($33,220 MSRP, or $25,720 after a $7,500 tax credit) but the real numbers to be look at here are the all-electric range and miles per gallon after the battery runs out. Depending on your personal driving situation, those will be much more important than up-front cost.
For someone like me, who doesn't need much AER for local use but needs high mpg on trips, the Prius Prime's blend of AER/mpg is better, although I'd prefer some increase in passing ability from 30-50 and 50-70, even at a cost in mpg. For people with the opposite requirements the Volt's approach is superior. OTOH, I'm not thrilled with the Prime's split-level cargo area with the rear seats down.
Looks-wise there's no contest, but some people (including me) are more concerned with how well you can see out of the car while driving it, than with what it looks like from the outside, as we spend far more time engaged in the former than the latter. Still, it would certainly boost sales here if it were better looking. We'll see how much more people are willing to spend for that reason (and/or 4.5 or 5 seats), as the Fusion Energi and Hyundai Sonata PHEV as well as the Volt are all competitors.