2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Review

Toyota – after years of doggedly stating that the Prius hybrid system was not compatible with a plug-in system, and repeatedly warning that lithium-battery-powered plug-in hybrids were too costly and the technology unproven – began delivering the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in March. Easily the most recognized hybrid on American roads, Toyota’s hybrid followers are cheering the automaker’s decision to finally plug in the Prius.

As the hybrid pioneer and leader, it makes sense that Toyota would make the step to the next cost-effective gasoline-electric technology. The chief benefit of a plug-in hybrid isn’t that it can be driven purely on electricity for several miles, but that it erases range anxiety, a fact that Toyota frequently points out. When the battery is depleted, the Prius Plug-in seamlessly becomes a conventional hybrid with the ability to be refueled with gasoline when needed and delivers fuel economy that exceeds gasoline-powered cars.

In general, Toyota’s position is that hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles with smaller and less costly battery packs – rather than pure electric cars with larger and very expensive packs – provide the most value and versatility for consumers overall. While the car itself hits that bull’s eye, the question is does the Prius Plug-in miss the target when it comes to price?

A Prius With More Electrons

Essentially, the new Prius PHV, or Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle, is a 2012 Prius Liftback with a more potent 4.4-kWh lithium-ion battery instead of the standard 1.3-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery pack, an onboard battery charger and an industry-standard charging port. As such, the Prius PHV can be charged and driven gasoline free for up to 15 miles at speeds up to 62 mph according to Toyota. But, under full acceleration or driving uphill while in EV mode, the system switches to full hybrid mode. And, like the regular Prius model, the PHV version shuts down the gasoline engine at a stop and accelerates away with the hybrid battery providing electricity to the front motor.

A depleted battery can be fully recharged in around three hours using a 120-volt household outlet. That time can be cut in half with a 240-volt home charging station.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Under the plug-in’s sheetmetal, the standard Prius parentage continues. The engine is a 98 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder that operates on the Atkinson cycle and generates 105 pounds-feet of torque. (An Atkinson-cycle engine gives up a little power output in exchange for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.)

The series-parallel hybrid system uses two high-output electric motors, one 60-kw (80 horsepower) unit that mainly works to power the transaxle, and another smaller motor that works as the electric power source for battery regeneration and as a starter for the gas engine. Combined output of the gas engine and electric motor is 134 horsepower, which is directed to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). And no, the combined output of the gas engine and electric motor is not an error. Output of the two occur at different rates, so in this case one plus two does not equal three. The electric motor produces 153 pounds-feet of torque but Toyota doesn’t publish combined torque numbers.

The Prius Plug-in offers three driver-selectable modes: EV, Eco, and Sport. EV mode operates as long as there is some battery charge available. Eco mode is programmed to maximize all driving conditions by modifying the electronic throttle control program as well as the air conditioning operation. Sport mode increases throttle response in the middle range that gives a boost to acceleration.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

The standard Prius Liftback has an EPA fuel economy rating of 50 miles per gallon, and at best, it can travel about two miles on electric power only up to around 30 mph. By comparison, the Prius Plug-in is EPA rated at 95 MPGe (Miles Per Gallon equivalent): the car’s efficiency when operating on a mix of a fully charged battery and gasoline. When the battery is depleted and it operates as a hybrid, the fuel economy is 50 mpg combined – and 51 mpg city, 49 mpg highway – the same as the standard Prius.

When it comes to electric only operation, the EPA’s numbers for driving range are somewhat confusing. The estimated driving range for a fully charged battery combined with gasoline over a mix of city and highway driving is 11 miles. Then there’s the small print – 6 miles “All Electric Range,” not the 15 miles that Toyota touts.

Exterior And Interior

There is little that distinguishes the plug-in Prius’s exterior from its less-electrified sibling. Exclusive plug-in exterior trim includes a chrome finish on door handles and grille as well as blue-accent headlamps and LED taillight clusters. The most notable difference is the charging door on the right rear fender, which also has a chrome treatment. A close-up look reveals that the small front fender and rear badges are inscribed “Plug-in Hybrid” rather than just “Hybrid,” and a keen eye will notice the plug-in’s exclusive wheels.

Both cars exhibit a minor 2012 refresh, including a revised front fascia and bumper, plus new head- and taillights. In other words, there’s no elevated, “Look at me, I’m really, really green!”

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Current Prius owners will feel right at home in the new Prius with a plug. Five adults can fit comfortably, with the same 16 cubic feet of cargo room left over in back. The 60/40 split rear seats still fold flat, creating a surprisingly large cargo space for hauling groceries, strollers, large boxes, and gardening supplies – all at the same time.

Interior storage spaces are abundant and flexible. The sound system is adequate, but not ground breaking. The stereo’s most-used functions are easy to see, read and use.

From the driver’s seat, everything is familiar and, yes, those annoying beeps when the unconventional shifter is positioned in reverse will not let you forget that you’re driving a Prius.

Behind The Steering Wheel

Last summer Toyota provided a pre-production Prius PHV for a weeklong evaluation. It was different from the 2012 production car we drove a couple weeks ago. The pre-production Prius PHV had a larger Li-ion battery pack, 5.2-kWh versus 4.4-kWh, and the pack weighed in at 353 pounds compared to 176 pounds. The smaller battery not only frees up space in the trunk, it also provides more electric-only driving range, 15 miles in contrast to the 13-mile distance of last year’s development model.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Like last year, the Prius PHV arrived in the morning with a depleted battery. Three hours later I selected the EV mode and backed out of our driveway with editor/wife Lynne seated next to me, charged with the task of monitoring the hybrid system’s energy flow. We had mapped out a 20-mile route of mostly flat roads with speed limits of 35 to 45 mph with the goal of driving with electric power only for as many miles as I could wring out.

Unlike the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt, acceleration from a stop lacks the zip of an electric motor’s instant-on torque. Instead, forward motion, while nearly silent, was steady but languid. With eggshell pressure on the accelerator, we clocked 13 miles of electric driving with the gas engine kicking in briefly one time traveling up a small hill. While that’s shy of Toyota’s estimate of 15 miles, it’s slightly more than double the EPA estimated 6 miles. But, the drive was on mostly flat roads and the accelerator was coddled – not exactly a normal daily excursion.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

The rest of the time behind the wheel we primarily drove in Eco mode, a setting that most drivers will prefer when the EV mode is unavailable. When the Eco mode’s electronic go-pedal nanny became annoying, Sport mode injected a little life into the car. And yes, the Prius PHV can travel up to 62 mph on electric juice. Of course at that speed the battery depletes quickly, but it is a bit of fun to run at that velocity in near silence.

During our week with the extension cord connected Prius we topped the fuel tank twice. Before the first top-up, we clocked 132 miles – 102 miles on the Interstate – and plugged in twice with recorded fuel mileage of 66.2 mpg. Before the last fill up we drove 86 miles – mostly in the city – and plugged in after each trip that varied from 9 miles and 22 miles with a recorded 82.3-mpg. That’s an average of 74.25 mpg for the 218 miles driven.

From a dynamic standpoint, the Prius PHV has had all the character and personality ironed out with little passion to be found underfoot. If you’re looking for entertainment, it’s better to play with the multiple electronic screens on the dashboard. This is a driving appliance meant to get you from point A to point B while delivering fuel economy numbers that other car companies can only dream about. The only deal breaker might be the cost.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Ouch! A $32,000 Price Tag

The starting price for the 2012 Prius Plug-in is $32,000. That’s $8,000 more than the base Prius Liftback Two. And even after a federal tax credit of $2,500, the car is still close to 30 large, which is close to fully loaded Prius Liftback Five’s price of $29,805. Thankfully, there are various individual state incentives that can help ease the sting of the purchase price and, it qualifies for the coveted solo High Occupancy Vehicle (carpool) lane status in several states. For some commuters that alone is worth the price.

So, what do you get for your hard-earned money besides the eye-popping fuel economy? Quite a lot, actually: A “smart key” keyless entry system with remote air conditioning; power windows, locks and outside mirrors; tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, Bluetooth and voice-command controls; heated front seat; cruise control; Display Audio with Navigation and Toyota’s Entune 1; and an integrated backup camera.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

If you can’t resist bells and whistles, the Prius Plug-in Advanced goes for $39,525. It includes the above plus bonus features such as radar-guided cruise control, a pre-collision system, head-up display, navigation system, a rockin’ audio system and Toyota’s Entune 2 Internet connectivity.

Is This Plug-in Hybrid For You?

If your one-way commute is 10-12 miles and you can plug in at work, you would use little, if any, gasoline all week. However, a 30 or more mile run to the office and no chance of plugging in means fuel mileage closer to the 49 mpg. That suggests the conventional Prius with its 50 mpg combined average is the wiser choice.

Then again, if the one-way trip is around 40 miles with a place to plug in, perhaps the Chevrolet Volt with its 38-mile EV range is the best choice to kick the oil habit. Sure, it appears the 2012 Volt, with its $39,145 sticker price, is seven grand more than the Prius Plug-in, but that is somewhat misleading because the Volt qualifies for a full $7,500 Federal tax credit. That means the difference between the Prius Plug-in and Volt works out to only about $2,145. It also has various state incentives as well as HOV privileges.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Whatever your driving habits are, you might want to wait until this fall to make a decision. Ford’s C-Max Energi plug-in arrives and is priced starting at $33,745 http://www.hybridcars.com/news/ford-prices-c-max-energi-33745-48864.html

minus the available $3,750 federal and possible state tax incentives. Plus the C-Max Energi can travel up 20 miles and up to 85 mph on electricity without the gas engine kicking in.

As for cost of ownership, Car and Driver magazine gives the Prius Plug-in an “Excellent” rating over five years. If you’ve done the math plus, believe you can come close to the magical 95 MPGe number, the Prius may be the plug-in for you.

Prices are Manufacture Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) at time of writing and do not include destination charges, taxes or licensing..

 


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2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Review
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  • alancamp

    I think to keep the price down, 10 miles of electric before the engine kicks in is a good idea for the entry level plug in vehicle.

    Ford had better keep it’s 2011 delivery date for the EV Focus and 2012 for their plug-in/next gen hybrid Focus, Fusion and Escape. It’s a good idea that Ford is planning to offer a mix of EV/Hybrid and Plug-In on their cars, which i am sure Toyota will do also.

    What would also help is to be able to pick a model, match it with a mode, Petro, EV or Hybrid, then select our battery 10, 50, 100, 200, 300 miles. The same battery should work on most all models/modes for the carmaker, and we should be able to upgrade/trade in the battery whenever when we need to.

    This way it helps with the fear of buying too much battery or not enough and being stuck with it.

  • Charles

    It’s a trial version. I expect Toyota will use this model to prove the technology, and then refine it into something with a full-commute range.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    alancamp, the idea of picking out a battery of “10, 50, 100, 200, 300″ mile capacity is a good concept. The only drawback that I can see to it is that the car manufactures must build in a standard battery space in their cars that could accommodate the largest battery or state in the car specs what the largest capacity battery that would fit the car. That way, if one needed a car that had a 300 mile capacity, they would not buy a car with specs that state its battery space would only hold a 50 mile capacity battery.

  • Mr.Bear

    A 10 mile range? Seriously, a 10 mile EV range?

    Frankly, where I live a 10 mile range doesn’t get me to the gas station and back. I’m not impressed. And for double the cost of a standard Prius, it’s a no brainer for a Prius owner to *not purchase* the plug-in

    Hell, maybe Toyota should talk to the guys at Hymotion. I think their upgrade to plug-in costs less than $20,000.

    The final boneheaded move is pricing it $8,000 above the ridiculously priced Chevy Volt when it will get 1/4 of the Volt’s electric range.

    Sorry Toyota. I won’t even give you a “nice try” on this plan.

  • alancamp

    At the same time the Mercedes Benz Vision S 500 Plug In Hybrid is certified to get 73 mpg, can go 18 miles on electric power, and charges in 1 hour with a 20kW power source. It looks like the sub 20 mile range and 70+ mpg is going to be the standard for this first go round of plug-in hybrid cars.

    Now all we need is the garage docking station for charging. A simple electro-magnetic configuration like the MacBook uses connected to a parking stop like device should work. This way it’s automatically plugged in every day.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    I agree with the posts pointing out the lame 12.5 mile electric range at slow 62 mph (100 kph) speeds. This dog will never show and Toyota will say they told us so as people form a line out the door of Nissan, Tesla, Chevy, and all the rest who make useful plug-in vehicles.
    I would like to ask alancamp why I can manage to plug my MacBook in by myself but I need a docking station to plug my car in? Are you implying that the car needs to plug itself in for some reason?

  • Samie

    Timeout!

    Man its amazing how many fall under the spell of public relations nonsense. If you read articles from this site you should clearly make this connection go back and look at what PR they have been spinning and what they actually do, hint look at articles related to plugin vehicles.

    I don’t see why most don’t pick up on this marketing technique. The national print ad promoting the company’s future eco-friendly technologies (Prius Plugin) is trying to keep public interest in Toyota’s hybrid products long-term, while at the same time focusing consumers on their current production of vehicles.

    I don’t see why people can’t get this, Toyota is betting early EV’s and Plugins will be expensive and folks like GM and Nissan will have major production problems. Remember also that limited quantities of these cars will be released in the first year with the possibility of full production coming online 3 to 5 year into production.

    As for the engineering quotes by Toyota, I would say that’s garbage expect similar distance/ range from a Prius/Lexus Plugin Hybrid so don’t get to excited about fake PR numbers, because behind the scenes they are working on developing a plugin option for the next gen Prius.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    Thats ok Samie,
    Most of my friends are waiting for a real plug-in vehicle. They can wait another year or so for Nissan, Ford, GM, Tesla, etc to work out the production bugs without having to buy another Prius. Toyota’s only hope is that Prius sales don’t totally tank while people are waiting for the others.

  • Dan L

    I like everything about this car but the price. Perhaps because I drive 12 miles a day now…

    Still, 12 miles a day, 300 days a year, 8 year battery life, $3.00/gallon gas, 50 MPG Prius… adds up to only $1728 of fuel costs saved over the life of the battery.

    How can I justify paying an extra $25000 for that? I could get a nice rooftop solar system with that money.

  • alancamp

    There are conversion companies that can take a used Prius and give it the 70 EV mph top speed and 25 miles of all electric driving for $15k. Along with a 10 year warranty on the battery.

    http://www.pluginconversions.com/picc_pressrelease61009.html

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Folks, lithium batteries are a known “unknown”. My one associate just spent a week blowing up over $20,000 worth of lithium batteries for his EV conversion company. Some cities are requiring that all their utility vans be EV and they are bidding on the contract to convert the vans. Hybrids will not count in this case; they have to be EV. Along the deliberate blowing up of the batteries, he also has been doing charge testing on these designs. Their particular battery design is endothermic, not exothermic. The battery has to be heated to a certain temperature before charging or the lithium plates out. He indicates that above that temperature, the batteries can be charged without any permanent damage to the battery. He has indicated that the car will rust out before the battery will significantly degrade if properly charged. At higher temperatures the battery can be recharged in as little as an hour and a half. If fast recharged at 150 degrees, the battery temperature will drop to 125 degrees within a minute (endothermic). The batteries that he blew up that caught fire were put out using water with minimal effort since the blowing up did not produce lithium metal and the lithium compound does not burn readily.

    Now, tell me what other battery type has these kinds of properties? And if all these properties are so well known about lithium batteries, why is my associate still testing lithium battery properties?

    All car manufactures and car EV conversion companies are still hedging their bets. Toyota is no different. The lithium battery future looks really bright – once they learn what they have and which lithium battery to use.

  • ACAGal

    12.5 miles isn’t far enough for many. They are designing a car that would work in a compact metro areas, but useless in a massive megalopolis.

  • bill cosworth

    Simple Comment

    Prius is at the end of its life so toyota is behind so told there PR department to hold off until they scramble for a better system.

    Toyota had a nice run with it like the SUV days.

    It was a good intermediate technology.

    But EV is the future.

    The prius name will fade away just like ford explorers have

    GMs new volt and others will be superior in a matter of months now not years.

  • Shines

    I saw a plug in Prius today on my walk to work. It was a generation 2 Prius. Toyota is already and has been experimenting with plug in technology on production vehicles. The Volt is still more than a year away. By the time it arrives I suspect Toyota will have a plug in option for the Prius. I bet it will have an all electric range somewhere between 18 and 28 miles and will be priced significantly less than the Volt.
    I doubt the Prius name will fade any any faster than the Corolla name.
    And where are those Novas and Vegas and Cavaliers anyway?

  • DJB

    My gut reaction is to say that people won’t even bother to plug in a car that has an under 15 mile electric range. But then, why would they pay double if they don’t intend to plug it in?

    If that Nissan Leaf really comes out, has a 100 mile range and costs not much more than $30,000, it might develop a significant niche market that could pave the way for better and cheaper future versions of the car.

    I’m skeptical that any of this will happen until I see these vehicles available for purchase. However, it looks like we may be starting to take our first baby steps towards significantly cleaner cars.

    That said, I’m happy to stick with my walkable city neighborhood and transit. This strategy has the advantages of being cheap, clean, giving me exercise, and being available now.

  • Jerry

    Man,

    They’d better have an upgrade in mind for 2010 owners. That EV mode button is there for a reason. It should involve a battery pack swap as seen in mods available now. The Prius just needs an energy-dense battery with plugin conversion.

    It’s not rocket science …

  • Jerry

    Hey,

    I’d plugin my Prius in a heart beat. It’s hardly a big effort … If the battery pack gave me 12.5 miles, I could drive fossil-fuel-free to and from work.

    Heck yes, I’d do this.

  • David

    Hymotions battery pack for the Prius is about $11,000 with installation, does not void warranty and will give you about 100mpg for the first 40 miles.

  • jbiz

    Looks pretty pathetic compared to the Volt or am I missing something here? I can say without a doubt that the Volt immediately looks better, but performance wise?

    Seriously is this a joke?

  • redbird182

    Only one question. How much does it cost to charge the batteries per mile driven. How does this compare to $2.50 per gallon of gas?

  • Scott

    Why wait?….Some of the conversions that are available now may do better than what Toyota will have trouble delivering before the end of the year http://smilingdogsranch.com/priusblog/

  • whubbs

    There have been conversion kits used to recharge hybrid batteries for years, the process is simple, why is Toyota and other hybrid producers dragging their feet!

  • Gyan verma

    My idea is to make 2 sets of battery. One set should be left for recharge fully and change everyday.

    My next concept is to have (2sets battery)both set inside the vehicle and recharge everyday. The only downfall may be the cost of battery. This way millage range will be even better.

  • kassra tavakoli

    i have two words for plug in and electric concept:
    emissions elsewhere !

  • Mike Ramazio

    Personally, I think most people are missing the REAL problem with getting these EV or hydrogen technologies to market, its POLITICS & MONEY (and I don’t mean the cost of the batteries). Think about it. EV’s have been around for a hundred years or so, but can’t seem to get it right. Look at the recent GM EV1. From everything I have read and seen, it looked like a vehicle that worked excellent as a plug in EV and seemed to have been loved by those priveledged few who had the opportunity to test/lease them. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to see Who Killed the Electric Car and you will get my drift.

    Main issue is MONEY, not capability. I’ve heard from insiders at Toyota who have said that the plug in Prius is fully tested and was TOO good with reports on conservative drivers getting 175 mpg! These reports of 12 miles are preposterous. A true plug in will ELIMINATE gas stations, gas TAXES (absolutely huge), power brokers in the gas and oil fields would lose billions rather than make limitless billions, and the oil companies OWN much of the patents that would allow simple EV and Hydrogen technolgies to prosper.

    I’ve PERSONALLY seen (not an I heard from someone who heard it from someone else story) a hydrogen model 31 years ago that ran on hydrogen that came from tap water and simply made hydrogen at the injector by splitting the water molecule. No fuel cells or filling stations or infrastructure needed! No taxes on this fuel as I can get this from my tap or my lake! Wonder what ever happened to him. He left town a few weeks later with no forwarding address. Hmmmm.

    Look up the Scorpion supercar now. Its doing this as a power/efficiancy booster and this is by a small Texas company. Why can’t the big boys do this? Battery shmattery, its all just a deception and a good excuse for not addressing the real issues. When these technolgies do emerge, I’m sure some form of “infrastructure and taxing mechanism” will be right there with it. I’d love to hear other comments on this thread from “those in the know”!

  • Exo

    What if car companies standardized the size and shape of the battery for their EVs? Kind of like a massive AA. That way, in stead of finding a place to charge our NiMh car batteries for 11 hours, we pull into a servo, they pull a pre-charged ‘AA’ battery out of a warehouse, swap it with our depleted one, we pay them for the power it cost them to charge it and a nominal surcharge for their service, and away we go.

    We can always plug-in and recharge at home, but being able to quickly swap out a depleted battery could be an easy way to solve the current range (i.e., mileage) problems we face with current EVs.

  • Exo

    P.S.

    It would also solve battery replacement costs which would be covered by the surcharge at service stations. Furthermore, batteries would be free to evolve through various Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer incarnations with minimal extra cost to the consumer.

    Look at how far battery technology has come in the past 5 years alone. For example, on the 26th of October 2010, a Lithium-polymer battery was used to power an Audi A2 600km on a single charge (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6150836,00.html).

  • MrEnergyCzar

    I guess the challenge will be to drive it 15 miles without the engine kicking on. It could probably be done on perfectly flat roads…..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • simon@syd

    Looks like the Volvo might be the king of the hybrids when it arrives…
    http://www.caradvice.com.au/142035/volvo-v60-plug-in-hybrid-confirmed-for-2012/
    But of course we have to wait to see it in the skin. Interesting times.

  • ACAGal

    I have been in one of the demo cars. I was impressed at how well it did in a city where 40mph+ is the norm. At 15 miles on a charge, and the rest gas/electric, this will be a very economical car to own and operate for local and regional use. I am considering this as an option….when the time comes.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    Darn it Toyota. I guess I’ll just be sticking to my 2nd gen Prius for now. It’s averaging 47.3 mpg. I’ll wait a few more years before I trade in mine.

  • usbseawolf2000

    15 EV miles go a lot of places in the city and 48 MPG go very far on the highway with a gallon of gas.

    The synergy of two fuel, power this 5 seats family mid-size Prius.

    If Toyota offers a more affordable trim with less standard features, it will be perfect.

  • John Smith

    I think you got it backwards. The Volt is $8,000 more than the Prius, and fully loaded Volt doesn’t even have all the high tech stuff in the Prius like the HUD, Pre-collision system, radar dynamic cruise, and LED headlamps and daylight running lights, not to mention the Prius is bigger as well.

    The purpose of the Prius plug-in is its fast charging time where you can go anywhere and charge really quick. It only takes 3 hours to fully charge on the Prius with a regular outlet. The Volt takes more than 8 hours.

    Also, the Prius has a much longer range when combining both electric and hybrid miles of more than 500 miles. Volt can barely pass 350 miles. Also, even the engineers at Nissan who made the Leaf mentioned the current Lithium Ion battery technology is still young, which means its capacity is cut in half after about 5 years (their example was the Leaf with 100 miles range will reduced to 50 in five years; actual from EPA is only 73 miles so after five years you only get about 36 miles…Volt gets about 35 actual miles per charge and five years later 17). This is the reason why Toyota doesn’t want to use a big Li-Ion battery just yet and found 15 miles to be just right at the current market.

  • chenyj

    Adding an extra Plug-in battery system to existing or new Prius is an alternative. Like Enginer’s 4KWh plug-in add-on system is only $3500 but with 20 EV Mile range, 50% longer range per charge, plus you can still have a spare tire. You can also install a 8KWh system for double the range to 40 EV miles. 800 units have been sold since the product was introduced two year ago.

  • Gerard Paolino

    Well I have been driving a 2010 Prius 5 until the just ordered PHV is produced…..i think the key here is HOW YOU DRIVE THE Prius and what part of QUALITY most others do not get…..the Toyota full line of vehicles have been at the top of most consumers mindsets…..we must remember that the prius has withheld both earlier on testing ….15 years t the least and the Hybrid Synergy Drive produces a seemless change as you drive the vehicle….toyota simply tokk the record of the 3 generations of quality and left well enough alone simply by adding a feature that will undoubtedly DOUBLE the MPGestimate as well as the already stellar 49plus MPG for the standard Prius liftback…..if you drive to waste fuel as most do thats what you will achieve…..the Prius is a vehicle that was created to make us slow down and see how going 60 plus mph has become the standard driving pace…..this is where we all should say to ourselves…… if want to make a change in a world that has taken a turn to the negative CHANGE HAS TO HAPPEN…..all I can share with all is that TOYOTA cares about the environment and has a record of doing good for us ALL follow there articles on many websites and press releases as well …you may find that they are so far AHEAD of GM/FORD and other manufacturers without a doubt……I have not only gotten up to 59 miles per gallon with my 2010 3rd gen…..Prius but also have enjoyed driving my Prius and knowing that the future lies in where we place our energies and gee did everyone know that Toyota is where Ford educated themselves on how to come up with there Hybrid vehicles…read and you will open your eyes to who has the technology of the future…..I will bet that when I receive my new PHV I will exceed the 87 mpge as well as the combined 49 will also be exceeded….SLOW DOWN……life is passing us ALL by too QUICKLY….and guess what Toyota has been the only car company moving forward….i can go 700 plus miles per 11.6 gallons of gasoline each 14-16 days I fill up my Prius….use the technology Toyota has pains takenly timed out for our future you will be pleasantly surprised with your savings if you use it wisely…..happy 2012 ………

  • Anonymous

    As usual this car is priced as a deterrent to purchasing it, and the 10 mile range is also a deterrent. They do it because they are corrupt companies, they have been corrupted by the oil companies. They make it look ugly as shit not for wind resistance but to keep people turned off the vehicle.

  • Anonymous

    Smells like troll.

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  • Utah Viking

    We’ve had a Prius since 2010, and it’s a great vehicle. I’ve had 50MPG driving from home to Logan up a canyon, and there’s NO trace of anemic driving. Sure, it doesn’t snap the neck like a turbo car, but it’s solid. Toyota’s taken GREAT care of us too, and NO sticking accel problems. I was SO impressed with it, that when the order “lottery” for the Prius PI came up, I entered, was selected, and am picking mine up in AZ next month — it’s on the Pacific now. I’m trading in a ’94 Sentra XE with nearly 200K. Getting parts for it are beginning to be a struggle.

    I’ve discovered how to tweak our current Prius to optimize its mileage. Gently squeeze the gas pedal and release it at speed, keep an eye on the barometer to keep it from using the HC engine much, and it’ll pretty much stay on electric round town ’til the battery depletes. My wife gets under 45MPG, but when I have it and zero the trip, I get 65+. It’ll be interesting to see how the PI does.

  • Georgia Drivers Ed

    I would prefer Toyota Prius over Volt & Leaf ( volt due to it’s higher price tag, i feel we can’t reach an break even point in near feature)
    (Leaf i don’t have much of infrastructure.

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  • insiderv

    The quality is depend on the material. There some supplier that mix the material with the worse one. You must check it clearly.
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  • Volt Owner

    13-15mi? useless.

    Only thing we have to look forward to now, is a bunch of PiPriuses doing 61mph in 70 zones on the highway. Great. Smart move, Toyota.

    My Volt will do 73 on cruise, and get me to work using up 4.6-4.9KwHr, NEVER having even turned the gas engine over.

    I’ll GIVE you the 73mpg overall, which is 5.5cents/mile, but my Volt, all electric, still does up to nearly 44-46mi at 2.3cents/mile.

    And I’m not having Gas Anxiety by cruise controlling at 61mph, so as to not have the engine come on at 62mph, and ticking off everyone in the nation by going 9mph under the speed limit!

    Old tech.
    Old school.
    yesterdays news.
    I guess for older folks.

    Enjoy 62mph – I’m going 73!

    ps – oh, and that ugly thing is $33k?!?!?
    People been talking SO MUCH trash about Volt’s price, and now Toyota releases their next hideous abomination, and it’s $33k??

    LOL!

    Let me know how that ugly thing works out for you.
    On second thought, don’t. :)

  • tapra1

    but that it erases range anxiety. When the battery is depleted, the Prius Plug-in seamlessly becomes a conventional hybrid with the ability to be refueled with gasoline when needed and delivers fuel economy that exceeds Tech Updates

  • MontyWeiss

    While I applaud Toyota for plug-in version of their Prius, the 15 mile EV at low speeds simply makes no sense at all for the price point. I own a Volt and I usually get anywhere between 40-47 miles out of my charge. In three months, I have driven 2700 miles on 0.3 gallons of petrol and honestly I do not miss giving BP my hard earned cash.

  • goodowl

    This is the perfect car for retired people. Often we don’t go more than 10 miles to anywhere. We’ll gas-up once a year.

  • ganv

    I have been talking with our local dealer about purchasing a Plug-In Prius. For some reason, Toyota seems to be trying to discourage buyers!? First, the salesman said that it would cost $1 for the electricity for a full charge. Of course if it goes 11 miles on electric power from a full charge, that is $0.09 per mile which is more expensive than gasoline ($4/50miles=$0.08 per mile). But the EPA sticker says it does much better than this on electric power. Then they told me that it takes 4.4kWhr to charge the battery. If that costs $1 you are paying $0.227 per kWhr for electricity which is well above what anyone pays in the US (except maybe in Hawaii). But the battery spec says it has 4.4kWhr capacity. You can’t fully discharge Li ion batteries or they die in a few cycles. So it seems that the dealer is giving bad information…is Toyota trying to discourage sales of their plug-in vehicle?

    The EPA sticker says the PI Prius uses 29 kWhrs plus 0.2 gallons of gas to go 100 miles. If you get 50 miles per gallon, then the 0.2 gallons is 10 miles so it is going 90 miles on 29 kWhrs of electricity or 32.2 kWhrs per 100 miles which is about equal with the Nissan Leaf and a little better than the Chevy Volt. From that I conclude that 11 miles should take 3.54kWhrs which even at $0.16 per kWhr is $0.57 or $0.051 per mile. I think the EPA includes charging losses, so the actual energy stored in the battery is something like 15% less or about 3 kWh which would be a reasonable charge cycle for a battery with 4.4kWh capacity.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? Do you see any problems with my estimates? And why is Toyota trying to talk down their own Plug-in Hybrid?

  • WGK

    There are after market packages that can be installed that are cheaper than the extra cost of the (plugin Prius) that makes an ordinary Prius plugin to 110 I think it includes larg battery and some software modifications.

  • Gary

    Its not Toyota trying to talk you out; it’s dealers who want you to buy a regular Prius since plug ins are not available without a long wait.

  • ganv

    The dealer said they had an available plug-in Prius coming in next month and could get a different one ordered in 8 weeks. It may be that the dealer has some reason to prefer people buying a standard Prius. What might the reason be? But the salesman said he got those numbers ($1 to charge the battery and 4.4kWh for a re-charge) from a sales training session and from calling Toyota.

  • Anonymous

    The article is WRONG…..the mileage is much better and the quality is better. It can be MUCH better but pretty goood for now..

  • Anonymous

    aaa

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    EPA rates the Prius Plugin at 6miles for EV only.

    It is basically useless unless you drive like a grandma on the way to her bingo games… I drove it. It is really really slow.

    Prius is a slow piece of machine. Volt has FAR superior driving dynamic. If you care about range and mileage, the 3rd gen Prius is a better deal. If you want REAL plugins, get a Volt…

  • Van

    Apparently this story has been recycled from about two years ago. The price and range of the Prius PHV remains where it was forcast, about 11 miles in EV mode and its price is $8000 more than a regular Prius that sells for $25,000. Lets compare with the Ford Fusion which sells for about $27,000. I do not think the plug in Energi price has been disclosed but the plug in C-Max is listed at about $33,500. So if the Fusion Energi hits the market at $33,500 too, then for $1500 bucks you get twice the EV range, able to go 85 MPH in EV mode and one beautiful car.

    Time will tell, but I expect the Ford Fusion Energi will out sell the Volt and PHV in 2013.

  • Jawad

    The high quality is be based upon the actual materials. Right now there a few dealer of which combination the actual materials while using the a whole lot worse one. You should check the idea clearly…Samsung Galaxy S3 Price

  • livia japer

    The estimated driving range for a fully charged battery combined with gasoline over a mix of city and highway driving is 11 miles. cell phone spy software

  • mather johnas

    The smaller battery not only frees up space in the trunk, it also provides more electric-only driving range, 15 miles in contrast to the 13-mile distance of last year’s development model. cell phone spyware

  • THIS ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thank you for this i am using it for a school science fair rojesct and got alot of info about it. Thanks!

  • Inkas

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  • Jennifer ann wilson