2019 Toyota Prius Prime

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2019 Toyota Prius Prime Review: Reliable City Car

For fans of both hybrid vehicles as well as the Prius range as a whole, the Prius Prime offers an excellent hatchback vehicle with electric, as well as gas-hybrid, propulsion options. With superior reliability ratings and high-safety scores, the Prius Prime remains a popular vehicle in the competitive hatchback segment. Up against big names such as the Hyundai Ioniq, Chevrolet Bolt EV and Honda Clarity, the Prius ranks in the middle of the scoreboard for the most part. Although it offers gas mileage that is higher than most competitors, it suffers from the same lackluster acceleration and drab driving style as both its bigger and smaller siblings, the standard Prius and Prius c respectively, although having the benefit of 25 miles range on battery power alone, much fresher and more contemporary looks, and a lovely cabin with large-screen infotainment system. The rear seat can accommodate only two passengers, however, and with limited legroom (and an oddly spaced cargo area), the Prius Prime is a hybrid to consider only if you are a loyalist, or a city-dweller seeking a reliable runner for the daily commute.

Read in this review:

7.5
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2019 Toyota Prius Prime Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Prius Prime?

First released in 2017, the Prius Prime remains unchanged for this year model, but thankfully maintains the fresh and attractive look it was introduced to the world with, as well as modern features that are still relevant today.

Pros and Cons

  • Superior fuel economy
  • Excellent range of safety features - even on base model
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Striking looks
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility
  • Humdrum acceleration
  • Uninspiring drive

Best Deals on 2019 Toyota Prius Prime

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Plus
1.8L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$27,350
Premium
1.8L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,050
Advanced
1.8L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$33,350
See All 2019 Toyota Prius Prime Trims and Specs

2019 Prius Prime Exterior

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Side View Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Side View 1 Toyota
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Dimensions

  • Length 182.9 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 57.9 in
  • Max Width 69.3 in
  • Front Width 60.2 in
  • Rear Width 60.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,365.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Classic Silver Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Titanium Glow
  • Blue Magnetism
  • Blizzard Pearl
  • Hypersonic Red
  • Super White

2019 Prius Prime Performance

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View 1 Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Side View Driving Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Engine Toyota

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    1.8L Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

With the inclusion of the plug-in battery's weight, the balance of the Prius Prime feels quite different to other hatchbacks on the road; there is a sense of heaviness to the vehicle, which isn't improved by lack of power going uphill. The engine also protests vehemently when pressed too hard, although the EV drive is superbly quiet by contrast. Wind and road noise makes its way into the cabin as well, especially when the whispering EV mode is engaged.

A gentle, relaxed, and arguably lethargic ride, the Prius Prime has a rather average steering feel; the car follows directions but doesn't connect the driver to the road or provide good feedback. It has good composure, though, taking turns and bends with a small amount of body roll. The suspension is adequate, absorbing small bumps without a hitch, whereas larger or more erratic jolts are fed through to the cabin. Winding roads, in particular, are not the best arena for the Prius Prime and with less competent handling abilities than many of its main rivals, the Prime is rather bland, to say the least. Braking composure is sufficient, although emergency brake test results showed a lot of careening side-to-side when hard-pressed. The Prius Prime manages open roads just fine, but stop-and-go traffic is where it is more at home.

2019 Prius Prime Interior

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Dashboard Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Dashboard 1 Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Front Seats Toyota
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.2 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.2 in

2019 Prius Prime Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Rear Passenger Seats Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Side View 2 Toyota
2019 Toyota Prius Prime Rear Angle View Toyota

2019 Prius Prime Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    2 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    2 Years \ 25,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Toyota Prius Prime A Good car?

With near-perfect reliability ratings, superior fuel economy statistics and a generally alright engine, the Prius Prime is a good vehicle to purchase if you are looking for a hatchback with a preference for town driving. The added bonus of tax incentives for choosing an electric vehicle makes this an even more attractive option. However, the hatchback segment is very competitive, and with numerous rivals offering better performance, the Prius Prime will only keep you happy if the intended buyer is not after a powerful engine and dynamic driving. While the Prius Prime offers a stodgy, yet committed, powertrain, the benefits of this plug-in hybrid outnumber the negatives. A far greater number of safety features are available as standard on the Prius than what competitors have to offer, and cargo space (although not class-leading) is suitable for the humdrum of daily tasks.

Check out other Toyota Prius Styles

2019 Toyota Prius Prime Comparisons

Chevrolet Volt Chevrolet
Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Toyota Prius Prime121 hpTBC$28,770
Chevrolet Volt 149 hp43/42 mpg$33,520
Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 103 hpTBC$33,400

2019 Toyota Prius Prime vs Chevrolet Volt

One of the most respected plug-in hybrid hatchbacks in the segment is the Chevrolet Volt, which - with remarkable fuel ratings such as a combined 106 MPGe/42 mpg gas-only - is one of the vehicles offering the best value for money. Able to travel nearly double the distance on electric power alone, the Chevrolet Volt also offers a more powerful gas engine, better acceleration and handling, and the ability to seat five. The back seat is equally restrictive as in the Prime, however, and has even more dismal cargo space. It offers a much more engaged drive, but is sadly being discontinued after the 2019 year model. For those committed to electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt is a worthy investment over the Prius Prime, although the price difference is over $8,000.

See Chevrolet Volt Review

2019 Toyota Prius Prime vs Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

Honda's contribution to the plug-in segment is the Honda Clarity, a hybrid with a comfortable, well laid out and high-quality cabin. With a much higher rated driving experience than the Prius Prime, the Clarity also offers a stronger engine and more miles of range on the electric engine (47 miles compared to the Prime's 25). When switching to the hybrid gas propulsion however, the 54 combined mpg of the Prius Prime is substantially more than the 42 mpg resulting from the Honda. While both offer rather dull infotainment systems, at least the Honda offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which the Prius doesn't provide for at all. In terms of space in the back seat, the Honda has more legroom, whereas the Toyota boasts better cargo space. At a cheaper price, the Prius Prime is still the better option.

See Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Review
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