The Toyota Prius Prime has been in continuous production since 2015 and has been one of the most successful plug-in hybrid models to ever come to the United States. Being part of the fourth-generation Prius lineup, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime comes with no major changes from the older model years, and hence it retains the frugal powertrain, top-notch reliability, and many other features, all of which made it a fan favorite of the segment.
Offered for a base MSRP of $28,220, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime comes in the same three trim configurations. The quirky exterior design manages to turn heads wherever it goes and coupled that with a feature-rich and spacious cabin, there aren't many things to complain about this moniker. With the fierce competition from the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV and Kia Niro PHEV, here are 10 things you need to know before buying the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime.
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10Performance Is Nothing To Be Excited About
The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime comes with the same 1.8-liter naturally aspirated inline-4 motor mated to an electric motor, producing a combined output of 121 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque. The transmission duties are handled by an ECVT automatic transmission, and the car comes with a front-wheel-drive layout only.
The performance is nothing to rave about, as it is not going to blow you away with the punchy acceleration. The engine feels a bit coarse as the revs climb and the performance tapers off too. However, the car is a perfect commuter, with a decent initial grunt from the electric motor. Nevertheless, the 0-60 mph time of 10.3 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 17.7 seconds makes it the slowest in its segment.
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9Driving Dynamics Are A Bit Dull
Like all the other Prius trims, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is not made to excite the gearheads out there. Even though this hatchback comes with strut front suspension and multi-link rear setup with coil springs and anti-roll bars, the overall driving dynamics turned out to be a bit vague and imprecise, especially when compared to the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV and Kia Niro PHEV.
The car had quite a lot of body roll when being pushed around the corners quite enthusiastically. With high weight concentrated to the front, the car also gave an alarming level of understeer, which makes the driving experience very disappointing. Even with the stiffly sprung suspension setup due to the added weight of the electric motor and battery, the car was handled quite poorly. The steering lacks feel and feedback too.
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8Impressive Range And Fuel Efficiency
One thing that has always been a USP of the Toyota Prius Prime is when it comes to the fuel efficiency and range on offer. The same ethos has been carried forward to this 2022 iteration of the Prius Prime as well. The car offers 55 mpg of city gas mileage and 53 mpg of highway gas mileage, which equates to 54 mpg of combined gas mileage.
With a fuel tank capacity of 11.4-gallons, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime could do 615 miles of combined range, which turned out to be superior to the Kia Niro PHEV and Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. However, the 25 miles of full-electric range is not the best of the lot.
7Jittery Ride Quality
Due to the inclusion of the battery pack and an electric motor, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime feels stiffer when compared to the regular Prius. This does make the ride quality a bit underwhelming, especially when compared to the plush ride quality offered by the rivals of the PHEV segment.
When driven at a slower pace, the Prius Prime does throw the passenger around when met with sharper bumps and potholes. At higher speeds, the ride doesn't ride as flat as you expect from a car with stiff suspension. There is a bit of vertical movement, and hence traveling a long distance at the rear seat of the Prius Prime is not going to be very enjoyable.
6Not Very Spacious
The interior space of the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is mediocre at best. Get into the front seats of the Prius Prime and you wouldn't be disappointed with the space on offer. The headroom and legroom is more than enough to accommodate tall Americans, and the seats offer decent comfort too.
However, the rear turned out to be pretty terrible. The headroom and legroom weren't particularly good. The shoulder room of 53" turned out to be less than the rivals and hence accommodating three passengers in the rear seat is going to be a herculean task. The cargo space of 19.8 cu ft is not the best too. However, the cabin offered a decent number of storage outlets and cubbyholes.
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5Long List Of Safety Features Are Standard
Like the outgoing 2021 mode of the Prius Prime, this 2022 iteration comes with a long list of active and passive safety features as standard. In comparison, the rivals from Hyundai and Kia lose out on some of the driver-assistance features as standard. This helped Prius Prime to get a 5-star rating in NHTSA and a good rating in most of the subsections of the IIHS.
The standard driver-assistance features include forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. All the basic features are standard too. The superb list of safety features coupled with the excellent build quality is the main reason why Prius Prime is one of the highest-selling offerings of the PHEV segment.
4Interior Feels Well Put Together
There's not much to complain about regarding the fit and finish of the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime. Offered for a base MSRP of $28,220, the cabin doesn't feel like it's built to a cost. The entire dashboard and door cards comes constructed in soft-touch plastic and leather. The seats and steering wheel come covered in SofTex leatherette material too.
When it comes to the overall build quality, we found the interior to be well put together, with no uneven panel gaps and rough edges to report. There are no rattles and squeaks either, which does add to the premium traveling experience. In comparison, both the rivals also showcased a similar cabin quality.
3Sure-Footed Braking Experience
The braking performance offered by all the models of Toyota Prius is excellent, and the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is no different in this regard. Being a plug-in hybrid moniker, it comes with multiple levels of regenerative braking as well, which can be altered through the centrally mounted shifter into the B position.
The braking had a natural feel to it, unlike some of the other offerings with regenerative braking. The 10" front rotors and 10.2" rear rotors coupled with all the regular braking features also help the Prius Prime to shed its speed very quickly. The 70-0 mph braking distance of 189 feet is pretty decent and bite and braking progression is acceptable too.
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2Quirky Exterior Design
The design of the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime may not be to everyone's taste, and Toyota hasn't done any changes from the outgoing model to make it look less quirky. This PHEV hatchback has an oddball shape, which is mainly highlighted by the multiple sharp creases and lines and funky gloss black and chrome accents, all of which don't seem to gel well.
The front end gets a blacked-out central grille and air-dam with a blue surrounded Toyota logo stuck neatly in the middle. The massive DRL and the LED headlights add to the road presence too. The side profile is going to have mixed opinions, and the 15" alloy wheels look pretty bland. However, the blacked-out pillars and the sloping roofline look decent. The rear section is the weirdest of the lot, with radical taillights and a cluttered bumper design.
1Infotainment Is Feature Rich
Coming in with three trim configurations, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime comes with two different infotainment systems depending on the trim that you opt for. If you get the LE trim, it comes with a 7" touchscreen infotainment system that offers everything like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, voice recognition, and many more. It's a breeze to use as well.
However, we would recommend you to get the XLE or Limited trim, both of which comes with a massive 11.6" touchscreen infotainment system offering everything offered by the smaller system. The interface is top-notch, and so is the display quality and touch sensitivity. There are tactile buttons and knobs too, making the interface even better. This infotainment functions more like a tablet and offers split-screen functionality.
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