Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle With The Highest All-electric Range Under $50,000 - SUV VEHICLE

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle With The Highest All-electric Range Under $50,000

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There are a fair number of PHEVs currently available in the new car market, but very few examples sit under the $50,000 threshold. Those that do rarely offer good EV mileage returns, as they typically feature much smaller battery packs and electrical systems. PHEVs are typically the best option to consider if you are reluctant to dive into full electric car ownership but also want to lower your carbon footprint and fuel costs.




PHEVs are becoming increasingly expensive, because the bulk of them are only available as more premium options. Some more accessible manufacturers offer PHEV drivetrain options for their budget-friendly crossovers and sedans, but these often surpass the $50,000 price tag. If you’re looking for a PHEV that offers the best EV range under this price, then look no further than the Toyota Prius Prime. The impressive plug-in hybrid combines a compact battery, aerodynamic body, and efficient ICE to cover impressive distances on a single charge.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Toyota’s websites and other authoritative sources, including Car and Driver, the EPA, J.D.Power, and the NHTSA.


Model Overview
2024 Toyota Prius Prime: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing

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The Toyota Prius Prime Has A 44-Mile EV Range

The Prius Prime benefits from a lot of strong characteristics, but its most appealing trait is its low fuel and energy consumption returns. The newer fifth-generation model is marginally less efficient than the previous-generation Prime. Its larger and more powerful engine is still a commendably light gasoline-electric PHEV. The Base SE trim is the most efficient model, as it boasts a 127 MPGe combined consumption estimate from the EPA. The XSE suffers from a worse 114 MPGe result because of its larger alloy wheels.

Battery Capacity

10.9 kWh

Range

590-645 Miles

Level 1 AC 120V Charging time (0-100%)

11.0 Hours

Level 2 DC 240V Charging time (0-100%)

4.0 Hours

Level 3 DC 440V Charging time

N/A


(Data sourced from Toyota)

The Prime stores its gas in a 10.6-gallon tank, which grants the base trim a 645-mile range, and the XSE models a 590-mile range. Using the gasoline engine independently results in a 52 MPG estimate for the SE and a 48 MPG result for the XSE. The electrical system operates at 650 volts and sources power from a 10.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is enough to drive the base SE 44 miles on a single charge. XSE models have to make do with a slightly lower 39-mile range estimate.

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The Prius Prime Produces 220 Horsepower

 Prius Prime engine bay
Toyota


The Prius Prime’s impressive efficiency and range are all thanks to Toyota’s innovative gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. This consists of a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine connected to a pair of electric motors that drive the front wheels via an e-CVT.

The standard Prius model is available with all-wheel drive, but the Prime’s larger battery prohibits the third electric motor that would sit on the rear axle. The gasoline engine produces 150 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque when working independently. The system output increases to 220 horsepower when the two electric motors kick in.

Performance Specifications

Powertrain 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors
Horsepower 220 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 139 LB-FT @ 4,400-5,200 RPM
Transmission Single-speed e-CTV
Battery 10.9 kWh Net
Range 39-44 Miles
Fuel Economy 144-127 MPGe
0-60 MPH 6.4 Seconds
Top Speed 112 MPH


(Data sourced from Toyota)

Toyota doesn’t disclose combined torque ratings for any of its hybrid cars, but it confirms both electric motors generate up to 161 horsepower on their own. All three Prius trims boast a 6.4-second 0-60 MPH time and 112 MPH top speed. Independent tests reveal that you can expect to cover this sprint in 6.5 seconds and 11.7 seconds in EV mode only. A big reason for the model’s improved performance is also thanks to the refined direct-drive planetary e-CVT.

The Prius Prime Starts At $32,975

Rear shot of the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota


The Prius Prime is a comparatively affordable model, as the entire range sits well below the $50,000 mark. The base SE derivative costs $32,975, but this is a fairly bare-bones offering that focuses on hypermiler efficiency levels. The $34,225 XSE caters more to lifestyle-minded consumers, while Toyota markets the XSE Premium to customers who want the best features, if they are willing to pay the $39,670 price tag.

Trim Level

Price

SE

$32,975

XSE

$36,225

XSE Premium

$39,670

(Pricing sourced from Toyota)

These prices exclude Toyota’s $1,095 delivery, processing, and handling fee. Unfortunately, the Prius Prime range does not qualify for any tax rebates because it does not meet the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act’s stringent criteria. In the long run, you will enjoy some impressive fuel cost savings. The EPA estimates the SE will cost you $700 in fuel every year, while the XSE models will cost around $800.


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The Toyota Prius Prime Looks Handsome

2023 Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota

The Prius Prime returns some amazing fuel consumption and range estimates, but a lot of fans love it because of its stellar and sleek exterior design, with a 0.27 drag coefficient figure. This was a big step for the Prius lineage, because it finally deviates from its conventionally quirky and obscure design philosophy. The new model looks so impressive which led to it winning many prestigious design awards, including the coveted 2024 World Car Design of the Year title.


Exterior Dimensions

Length 181.1 Inches
Width 70.2 Inches
Height 56.3 Inches
Wheelbase 108.3 Inches
Front Track 61.5 Inches
Rear Track 62.2 Inches
Curb Weight 3,536 Pounds

(Data sourced from Toyota)

The model is available in a vibrant selection of colors, including Cutting Edge, Guardian Gray, Midnight Black Metallic, and Reservoir Blue. If you want the Wind Chill Pear or Supersonic Red finish, you’ll have to spend an additional $425. The base model features 17-inch wheels with aerodynamic plastic wheel covers. XSE trims sit on a more premium set of diamond-cut 19-inch alloy wheels. Toyota sells a selection of exterior body moldings if you want to preserve the body’s condition. These are collectively available via the $494 Protection Package.


The Prius Prime Struggles With A Cramped Interior

2024 Toyota Prius Prime (3)
Toyota

The Prius Prime benefits from a lot of merits, but its interior packaging is not one of them. The sleek and low-slung roof translates to limited front and rear headroom. The trunk space is also quite compact, and can only accommodate one or two pieces of luggage, limiting the Prius Prime’s viability as a comfortable family car.

On the plus side, the specification level is attractive, as all derivatives come standard with six USB-C charging ports throughout the cabin, a SofTex-upholstered heated multifunction steering wheel, and manually adjustable front seats upholstered in cloth. The base trim also features a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system connected to a six-speaker audio system, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard.


Interior Dimensions

Front Rear
Headroom 38.0 Inches 36.4 Inches
Legroom 42.4 Inches 35.9 Inches
Shoulder Room 55.3 Inches 52.8 Inches
Cargo Capacity 20.3-26.7 Cubic-Feet

(Data sourced from Toyota)

The XSE includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment for the driver, Sof-Tex upholstery, a Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charger, and additional cupholders. You can optionally specify the 12.3-inch infotainment system and a glass roof.


These are standard on the XSE Premium, which also features an electronic tailgate, memory functions for the driver’s seat, front ventilated seats, and the powerful eight-speaker JBL Premium Audio system. Heating for the rear seats and a digital rearview mirror are optionally available. The XSE Premium is also the only derivative that you can fit with the innovative Solar Roof.

Toyota Covers Prius Prime Battery Defects For 10 Years

Silver Prius Prime profile
Toyota

You can enjoy peace of mind in the Prius Prime, thanks to the brand’s comprehensive warranty package. The standard suite includes a 36-month or 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 60-month or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Toyota will resolve any corrosion defects within a 60-month period. The hybrid system benefits from a class-leading 10-year or 150,000-mile warranty. Toyota covers the maintenance cost for two years or 25,000 miles and offers 24 months or unlimited miles of complementary roadside assistance via the ToyotaCare plan.


Type

Length

Full Warranty

36 Months/36,000 Miles

Powertrain Warranty

60 Months/60,000 Miles

Maintenance Warranty

24 Months/25,000 Miles

Roadside Warranty

24 Months/Unlimited Miles

Corrosion Warranty

60 Months/Unlimited Miles

Federal Emissions Performance

24 Months/24,000 Miles

Federal Emissions Defect

36 Months/36,000 Miles

Seat Belt And Airbags

60 Months/60,000 Miles

(Warranty information sourced from Toyota)


On the reliability front, the Prius Prime range currently benefits from Toyota’s tried and tested build quality as it currently has no recalls, investigations, or complaints from the NHTSA. J.D. Power has not granted the new Prius range a reliability rating, but there’s little doubt that this will be a troublesome car to own.

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