The Toyota Prius Prime is for those consumers tempted to buy a fully electric vehicle, but who aren't willing to contend with the range anxiety that typically goes hand-in-hand with owning an electric car. For anyone who can charge frequently and thus maximize the electric drive, it's a compelling car. Otherwise, using it as a hybrid compromises fuel economy. You also get a $4,500 federal tax incentive, at least for now.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist.
Road Test

The Toyota Prius Prime is for those consumers tempted to buy a fully electric vehicle, but who aren't willing to contend with the range anxiety that typically goes hand-in-hand with owning an electric car. For anyone who can charge frequently and thus maximize the electric drive, it's a compelling car. Otherwise, using it as a hybrid compromises fuel economy. You also get a $4,500 federal tax incentive, at least for now.

Toyota rolled out a Prius plug-in back in 2012, promising some electric-only driving range. But in reality, this was a reluctant EV that resorted to turning on the gas engine at every opportunity. In our owner satisfaction survey, the Prius Plug-in ranked well below the regular Prius hybrid. But the all-new plug-in -- now called Prius Prime -- has the ability to go all electric more often and for longer distances.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 electric (121 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 Toyota Prius Prime owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Side sensor failed - dealer replaced the sensor (under warranty)"

Robert H., CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen freezes up

"The in-car electronics on this car is HORRIBLE. It seems to be incompatible with an iPhone 6s. The display screen sometimes freezes, sometimes reboots for no reason, and on one occasion completely stopped working. I had to pull over and turn the entire car off and on again for it to reboot. This is in addition to the very poor ergonomics of the system - it is difficult to use. And the manuals supplied with the vehicle are very poorly written. 7 manuals came with the car - the longest one over 700 pages long. Yet basic features are not covered. It is by far the worst feature of the car."

Robert M., CO (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Display screen goes blank

"Essentially the same problem as I mentioned with navigation, occasionally shuts down for not apparent reason."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"It has gone blank when turning on the car. When that happens, none of functions controlled on the screen can be controlled, such as heating, AC, etd."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Display screen would go b lank for 10-15 seconds, then reboot. Car would continue to function during this time. A computer update by the dealer fixed the issue."

James H., WI (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Seems to be incompatible with iPhone. See my description in the prior question. Very frustrating. You would think that the car would be compatible with the number 1 selling brand of phone..."

Robert M., CO (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Toyota Case # 1706021000? USB shuffle (things seem to happen often in first 10-15 minutes after turning car on) * Sometimes delays (several seconds) between songs * Sometimes stops playing at the end of each song * Sometimes automatically turns off shuffle and starts playing songs alphabetically * Sometimes when I first turn the car on and its near the end of a song, it replays that song and if I then press track next it tells me the it can't do it because the music list is still initializing Additionally would like much more than the 9,999 songs the system currently supports for a USB stick - at least 50,000 (my mp3 library is already close to 40,000 songs). I wouldn't be so annoyed with the bugs and limitations of the USB playback if the car had a CD changer (like my 2008 Prius did), but not only is CD not offered on anything above the lowest trim level, there's no place to put a changer and its controls."

Steven R., NY (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"The car includes a USB port for music device connection. My iPod Touch (gen5) would not connect reliably - it appears the connector was very finicky and often did not make good contact. The dealer would not acknowledge there was a problem. I have worked around this issue by slightly bending the metal shell of the USB cable I use to for better contact. This is NOT a fix and should have been fixed under warranty."

Anonymous, MA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"problem comes and goes"

Anonymous, GA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Approximately 4 timed in one year, has shut down completely working while traveling, making me reluctant to depend on it for navigation. It doesn't have accurate real-time traffic and the routes are odd."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"the directions are not clear and the voice notices are not consistent. I use my phone for navigation instead of the built in"

Anonymous, MA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"the screen broke with a falling object because it had no protection. It cost $6,522 to replace it."

Glenda D., CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Poor routing/traffic performance - often much worse in NYC area than Waze/Google maps. Often it picks much longer routes and often its time estimates are substantially off. If I ignore the built-in GPS and instead follow Waze or Google Maps, usually the Waze/Google estimate is spot on. Lack of turn directions when turn required to stay on road and for angle turns (like when rt 134 meets 133). Doesn't obey avoid areas I put on GW bridge I-95 going from Bronx towards GW bridge. One time the navigation took me on a local detour through the Bronx to avoid [link removed] told me to drive down a street past where it ended (I think it was 141st St.). The detour ended up adding an extra 20 minutes to my trip beyond the estimate at the start of the detour. Have extensively documented bugs with Toyota but they're refusing to escalate it to the navigation manufacturer (Harman/JBL). They've documented at our National Headquarters under file #1709183051 but won't promise a fix. Its a shame because the HUD with next turn is a great feature and the GPS/HUD comes automatically with the highest trim level (which is the only one with rear cross traffic alert). With the giant display screen and the HUD, it would be better if they just let me use Waze via Bluetooth connection to my phone. Furthermore one of the salemen at Curry Toyota told me (before I bought the car) I would get free over the air map updates but the service dept. there is saying not only is that not true but I have to pay for map updates (already need one because of the new Tappan Zee bridge). Also Case # 1706021000 USB shuffle (things seem to happen often in first 10-15 minutes after turning car on) * Sometimes delays (several seconds) between songs * Sometimes stops playing at the end of each song * Sometimes automatically turns off shuffle and starts playing songs alphabetically * Sometimes when I first turn the car on and its near the end of a song, it replays that song and if I then press track next it tells me the it can't do it because the music list is still initializing"

Steven R., NY (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"the screen broke due to impact from a falling object that it was not protected from. It cost $6,522 to replace it."

Glenda D., CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"It appears there is an issue with the bluetooth connection of my iPhone 6 (IOS 11.3.1 and as far back as late IOS 10 versions). Often I can activate Siri for a command and the phone will disconnect from the car's speakers. This happens intermittently. I believe this is a firmware issues. My phone pairs rock-solid with older 2007 and 2008 Prius models. The only response I get from Toyota is they say it's my phone at fault. Finger pointing that does not resolve the issue. The result of this issue is trying to use voice control to make or receive calls does not work reliably and when it fails is distracting, not to mention annoying for people calling or being called."

Anonymous, MA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"It comes and goes"

Anonymous, GA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Routine software updates

"Since most of my complaints are about phone paring, voice interaction commands, and similar, WHY CAN'T TOYOTA FIX THESE WITH A SOFTWARE UPDATE?"

Frank G., OH (2017 Toyota Prius Prime)
Speakers

"Left front speaker was malfunctioning and needed replacement"

Anonymous, IL (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Steering wheel controls

"cONTROLS ARE NOT INTUITIVE TO SET UP. Had to return to dealer just to set the clock! Too much setup information and not well presented."

Howard F., MA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Voice control commands

"First, I have a Prius 4 Touring, but you didn't give an option to say this on your previous survey. You didn't ask about the effectivenes of the collision avoidance system which doesn't alway warn of a pedestrian when backing up if they enter the field close to the car. The Voice control system is terrible, and despite training doesn't hear/understand what I say, so I just gave up and use my Google phone instead. They need to take lessons from Google. Further they are not doing software updates to fix these problems -- they should!. I could comment on other areas, but you don't allow space or prompts. The phone paring sometimes works fine, but is very difficult to add a new phone, and sometimes you have to take all phones out and start all over to get a phone that stops paring to work. This is a pain! I'm disappointed with the wind noise in the Prius above 60 MPH. Further when slowing a grinding noise, probably recharging the batteries makes a lot of noise. I'd rather have a quiet car and loose a few MPG. In summer I get much higher MPG than in winter about 5 MPG difference - 50 in summer and 45 in winter, sometimes only 40 if it's quite cold. Seems to be a warm-weather car. The paint chips and scratches easily from people not being careful in the parking lot and from salt or rocks hitting the car. Our GM cars did much better paint-wise. In the last 10K miles, there is a rattle in the central area behind the instrument panel that is worse when going over bumps and when slowing down. Very annoying. The weather stripping in the trunk easily tore and now they want over $100 to replace it, rather than have a patch kit for much less."

Frank G., OH (2017 Toyota Prius Prime)

"My phone accepts verbal descriptions of addresses and other functions than the Prius voice recognition system. They need to do an update fix"

Frank G., OH (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"There was a water leak in the car. They thought it was the AC hose. That did not fix the problem. They then told me that it was another hose connected to the AC that had become clogged. This wet things enough that it affected the insulation of the wiring and that in turn affected the hybrid system and the pre-collision warning. Toyata apparently did not have the parts it needed anywhere in the country and I'm still waiting for the parts. In the meantime, I do not have the car. I do have a loaner."

Debra M., NJ (2017 Toyota Prius Prime 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"The overly complex hatch leaked water. After rain, when opened, water would leak out of the rear hatch's latch and the interior handle that is there to lower the hatch. The toyota dealer was unable to reproduce the problem, but they weren't driving in the rain only spraying it with water."

Matthew W., WA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Squeaks or rattles

"There was a align problem with the rear hatch that caused a loud rattle. Took two trips to the dealer and three weeks to resolve. I was given a loaner car during that time."

Liz W., WI (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Rear hatch rattle; multiple dash rattles"

Edward W., IL (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Rear hatch rattle. Other minor rattles and buzzes."

Robert M., CO (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"This failed apparently due to the insulation around the wiring becoming wet because of the problem with the AC hoses. This would seem to me to be a design problem"

Debra M., NJ (2017 Toyota Prius Prime 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Some times When the car that i am following changes lane goes left the systhem cuts out , or does not hook up to the next car in front of me"

Robert B., QC (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Our car was damaged 2x costing us over $1500 due to the Forward collision software that sometimes would detect when we drive into a auto carwash. It would lock the brakes while to converer attempted to move us forward. Blew our front tire, & damaged all four hubcaps. Toyota just happened to do a software update specifically for this issue. Even though we have that update we now turn of the Collision feature for all carwashes. Don't trust it."

Neil S., MO (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"I conisder the anti collision which I spoke about before this page basically the same thing as the end result of the Collision detection the brakes auto lock the wheels. We love this car, but frustrated Toyota didnt offer to pay for our damages due to a fault in their software. (We have owned about 10 Toyota's)."

Neil S., MO (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"ICS system failed after software update and calibration, possible rock damage (unconfirmed by me)"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Steering wheel leather peeling off"

David P., CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint is too soft. Minor road debris causes scratches"

Anonymous, MA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Rust

"Rear-door opening mechanism contactor is rusted. Company working on a solution. May involve the replacement of the entire rear door."

Anonymous, QC (2017 Toyota Prius Prime 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"There is no way to charge a cell phone in this car. It was in the shop for 3 days for me only to be told there is no way to charge the phone through the USB. The service department didn't know. This is ridiculous design in this type of vehicle. The flat charger between the seats is useless because the phone falls off when you turn"

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Toyota Prius Prime 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Headlights

"Brights are turned off automatically if the car perceives an on-coming car with lights on. Brights turn off if there are snow banks or reflective signs. And they do not always turn back on automatically. I can not manually overdrive the brights to go on again. This is dangerous on a dark road when driving 50 mph or more"

Anonymous, ME (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus 1.8-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"I could not open th e hood. It is currently at dealer for repair. I expedctg thus to be a minor problem."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Windows

"Front windshield cracked requiring replacement"

Gerald S., WA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"The blend door motor was making noise. Replacement required removing the entire dash. It was a warranty item but I don't want to know the cost to replace a motor that probably was less the $100."

Patrick S., CA (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Rotors

"Rotor were rusted and pitted due to moist conditions in my unheated garage. Regenerative bring system was also a factor."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel cap

"Could not put gas in card because of defect in fuel cap or fuel door. Toyota replaced a spring to fix it."

Alice R., NY (2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plus 1.8-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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