And it gets 25 miles of all-electric range.
The Toyota Prius, which even we can admit was ahead of its time, has evolved from a slow, strange-looking penalty box to a fully acceptable form a transportation. Granted it took two decades but since the most recent generation, the Prius has been impressive. For 2022 its best model is returning in the Prius Prime. It's the only Prius you can plug in.
The Prime features an engine along with two electric motors making it a hybrid. The Prime was the first Prius to let both motors provide motive force and with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder total system output is now at an acceptable 121 hp. The engine produces about 95 hp and 105 lb-ft of that grand total. It's not a lot, but the benefits come in an EPA estimated fuel economy of 133 mpg when fully charged and filled with fuel.
The 2022 Prime can do 25 miles on EV power alone and has an overall range of a bladder-busting 640 miles. It obviously charges faster on a 240-volt circuit, where it will take just over 2 hours to fill up. On a standard household plug you're looking at 5 hours, 30 minutes.
The Prime differentiates itself from the regular Prius with the "dual-wave" rear window, as well as a full-width LED light panel in the back. As with the rest of the line, the Prime gets that clear glass panel below the spoiler to help with visibility. It's mostly in the service of aerodynamics. Even the 15-inch wheels have special covers to cheat the wind.
The Prius Prime will help drivers maximize their efficiency, first through drive modes but also by remembering your frequent destinations and suggesting when to let off the accelerator. It does this using the optional Predictive Efficient Drive with Predictive Deceleration Support. The system "collects daily driving data to predict points of deceleration and stopping. From then on, when the driver passes through a location in the database, the system indicates when to let off the accelerator and can also apply assisted deceleration to help boost fuel efficiency."
The climate control too, has features for saving energy. First, it only flows air to where passengers are sitting. That's a simple trick that does wonders for both comfort and fuel savings. It also has a heat pump that can warm the cabin in the coldest temperatures. Finally, a battery warmer will preheat when plugged in to deliver the best range. Driver's can also activate their AC if it's hot and they want to pre-cool the cabin.
The 2022 Prius Prime comes in LE, XLE and Limited trims. The LE gets heated front seats, power windows, navigation and that smart climate system. The XLE adds things like a big 11.6-inch infotainment screen, smart key and push button start. The Limited comes with a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, a head-up display, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and more. Hopefully they won't come with blemishes, as we hear Toyota's letting more of that slide.
We've heard some crazy things about the next Prius, but for now we'll continue with the regular Nightshade Prius and this Prime. The base LE model starts at $29,245 including destination. The XLE starts at $31,025 and the Limited will set you back $35,025. They're on sale now.