Depending on how one drives it, Toyota’s Prius Plug-In can go a few miles farther than its U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rating, but officially it can be expected to travel 11 miles in electric-only mode.
This falls short of the “up to 15 miles” at speeds up to 62 mph estimated after consulting with Toyota for our full review.
Although not an apples-to-apples comparison, the Plug-In Prius is often weighed against the Chevy Volt, which is marketed as an “extended-range electric vehicle.” With its larger battery pack, the domestically produced rival from GM is intended to stay in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 100 mph for an EPA-estimated 35 miles distance – though this too can vary greatly depending on usage and ambient temperature.
As mentioned, plug-in Prius test drivers have routinely seen over 11 miles electric range, especially when driving it gingerly.
And where the Prius Plug-In’s EPA efficiency ratings begin to outdo the Volt is in other drive modes. In “EV Mode,” it’s rated at 95 mile per gallon equivalent, which a tad above a fully charged Volt’s estimated 94 MPGe. In hybrid mode, the EPA says the Prius Plug-In returns 50 mpg combined. This compares very well to the Volt’s 37 mpg combined in gasoline-only mode and means – in the absence of on-the-way recharging facilities – for longer trips the Toyota starts to pay back more.
While the two vehicles are often compared and contrasted based on more metrics than the scope of this brief can consider, in short it is a qualified decision to determine between the two.