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So What’s The Difference Between a Prius and a Prius Prime?

Exterior

Different from the original Prius Plug-in, the Prime actually LOOKS different from the regular Prius. Most of the body is still similar in shape, the Prime’s front and back are very different. In front the Prime has a blacked out front grill and narrow slits for the LED headlights as opposed to the triangle lights on the regular Prius. In back the Prime has an LED light cluster around the hoods vertical window portion. A different shape to the bumper so it that has the reverse lights and a dual-wave rear window. Also, the lift gate is made of carbon fiber to help with the extra weight of the Prime’s extra Batteries.

Interior

The original Prius design has a bit of an edge due to the fact that it can seat up to 5 as opposed to the Prime’s 4 seat capacity. The Prime also has less cargo space due to it’s larger battery area which is easy to see when the trunk is open. The lower trim levels on the prime have an almost identical driver’s experience with the same 7 inch touch screen and shift controls as the regular Prius. However, in the Premium and Advanced trims the Prime upgrades to an enormous 11.6 inch touch screen.

Mechanical

The Prius returns 54 miles per gallon in the city, 50 mpg on the highway and 52 mpg in combined driving. The Prime gets roughly the same numbers when running on the small gas engine/electric drive combo. However, the advantage of the prime is the plug-in feature. The Prime can travel approximately 25 miles on a charge. So if you live 10 miles from work or are just running to the store it’s possible that you wouldn’t use one drop of fuel, which is a hard put into a traditional mpg number.

Driving Experience

The most noticeable difference is when in all-electric mode, since you get the sort of silent, ultra-smooth acceleration typical of electric vehicles. There’s a nice, low-end punch when accelerating from a stop that you just don’t get in the Prius. Some of that feeling remains even when the all-electric range runs out, and as a result, the Prime can feel a little quicker and is ultimately better to drive as a result. That doesn’t mean it actually is quicker, though. As speeds rise, the extra weight counteracts its added pep, and both cars are therefore equally slow.