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2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid


We sample every Prime in the range to reach a single verdict.
After much discussion, we’ ve finally figured out the Toyota Prius Prime’s spirit animal: an anteater. That long snoot, the humped appearance, and those squinting headlights look ready for ant-scooping duty. Or maybe it’s more of a platypus. Either way, the point is that Toyota’s newest—and for the first time, stylistically independent—plug-in version of the Prius hybrid looks weird enough to invite such comparisons. Even so, the Prime is prettier than the regular Prius, a car we’ ve described as having been designed “by people obviously on psychotropic drugs.”
Perhaps someone slipped us a similar stimulant before we decided to test not one 2017 Prius Prime, but all three versions of it: the entry-level Plus, the mid-level Premium, and top-of-the-line Advanced. All three are separated from the ubiquitous Prius hybrid by way of a charge port, the unique styling, and a larger 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that enables an EPA-rated 25 miles of electric-only driving range. When the battery’s charge is depleted enough—the car always holds some electrons in reserve—the Prime reverts to a conventional hybrid mode (what the super nerdy call “charge sustaining mode”) , blending electric power with the bridled fury of a 95-hp 1.

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