For the first time, hybrid fans Canada-wide can get their hands on Toyota's latest plug-in model, the Prius Prime. This PHEV take on the popular Prius liftback was limited to Quebec dealerships in 2017, where Toyota said more than 700 efficiency-minded drivers took the plunge, and that was enough to prompt a coast-to-coast release of the car.
The Prius Prime's major advantage is the ability to plug the car in to charge its battery, which Toyota says allows for about 40 km of all-electric driving and contributes to the potential for 1,000 km of driving range when combined with the car's 1.8L engine and 43L gas tank.
Toyota has been slow to embrace plug-in technology, the irony being that Toyota has been at the fore of hybrid development since it launched the original Prius about 20 years ago. Now, Toyota has its first PHEV model when a handful of other companies already have multiple plug-in models, not to mention full electric vehicles.
Mechanically, the Prime is the same as the standard Prius, deriving a total of 121 hp from its gas and electric power sources working together. Electric and gas power are managed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and funneled through the front wheels.
Standard features mostly mirror those of the regular Prius, and include niceties like LED headlights, tail lights and daytime running lights, passive keyless entry (driver's door only), automatic climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel and the Safety Sense P active safety kit, comprising forward collision warning and automatic braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and radar cruise control.
New to the Prius Prime for 2018 is an upgrade package that brings an 11.6-inch infotainment display (replacing a 7.0-inch screen), passive keyless touchpads for the front passenger door and tailgate, wireless smartphone charging, LED fog lights, rain-sensing wipers and a power driver's seat.
Atop the range is the technology package, which bundles a 10-speaker sound system, head-up display, auto-dimming rearview mirror and blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert.
Toyota estimates the Prius Primes fuel consumption at 4.3/4.4 L/100 km (city/highway), while electric energy use is 1.8Le/100 km combined.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed