Discover the impressive features and performance of the Toyota Prius PHEV review in our comprehensive review. Unleashing the power of a plug-in hybrid system, this eco-friendly car blends efficiency and innovation for a greener driving experience
The Toyota Prius is a car that should not be missed. It is about the first hybrid car manufactured in a series, from the one responsible for popularizing this kind of technology, despite the fact that in 1997 it seemed that it came from the future.
Although it must also be said that it has had to evolve and adapt over time. So much so that the Toyota Prius PHEV the one we put to the test this week has almost nothing to do with the one that originally came out.
The main reason is that currently in our market only the plug-in hybrid version after he retired the conventional hybrid that had triumphed so much before. Times have changed and the Prius has been seen reaching its peak a few years ago. The last few generations have been more niche models which: show your technology commitment, while sales have been dominated by other more conventional hybrids, mainly crossovers. However, that does not mean that this model is not interesting.
Toyota Prius PHEV Review and Opinion
The aesthetic has always been a controversial point in the Toyota Prius. Since its launch betting on exotic lines and that they distanced themselves from the trends. This earned him some criticism from the public, although it also managed to turn it into a car that does not go unnoticed. This Prius PHEV re-applies that concept, keeping the sedan-style bodywork that has always accompanied him through his generations.
The front is very aerodynamic, with a low position and leading to a dark gray molding in the middle. Replaces the grill and goes in line with a pair of very narrow headlights, with four easily recognizable LED modules. The daytime running lights are arranged vertically and are accompanied by fog lamps, while the bumper takes on a recognizable shape. The silhouette is also easy to spot, especially thanks to that Kammback-esque drop from the ceiling.
The 15-inch wheels practically go unnoticed, because it is a size that we have not seen in a long time. On the other hand, the ceiling gets all eyes, not just for the solar panels which we will explain later, but also by how it leads to a moon with a double bubble Inspired by Zagato’s. The rear also takes on a peculiar appearance due to the shape of the taillights, which are merged in the middle.
In terms of dimensions, it would fall within the mid-sized sedan segment, although the truth is that it is a difficult car to classify and very different from the rest. Has a length of 4.645 mm, a width of 1760 mm, and a low height of 1470 mm. The wheelbase goes up to 2,700 mm, something that will be reflected in the interior space.
The interior concept It’s also inspired by previous Priuses, completely eliminating that other car’s goal of putting it all around the driver. Here, in front of the multifunction steering wheel, the typical instrumentation with a screen or with the bulbs does not appear, if we want that information we will have to move our eyes to the central part of the dashboard. There they appear in an elevated position two 4.2 inch TFT screens that provide all the information.
In this peculiar central instrumentation, it is possible to see the speed or the autonomy, among other information such as consumption and the position of the gear lever. That remote, by the way, is small and goes in an unusual position below the screen. In this Prius PHEV, the infotainment is controlled from the 8-inch touchscreen, with the Toyota Touch 2 system.
It hasn’t evolved as much as the latest models, so we’ll see some outdated graphics and less precision than on other screens. Luckily we have hotkeys on its sides and the menus are quite intuitive. Analog climate controls are also maintained, all integrated into the same central section of the dashboard. In the lower part of the center console is a hollow with wireless charging for smartphones.
Quality is not the pinnacle of the Toyota Prius PHEV. The finishes are pretty good and it looks like they will last as time goes by. However, there are details that are not entirely convincing, such as the use of Piano Black intensive through the central part of the dashboard and on the console, next to the trim on the steering wheel and doors. If it is true that the fabric upholstery is well done and the plastic of the dashboard has a good touch, the whole is not too noticeable.
also not habitability for many reasons. That is no problem in the front seats, they are spacious and we find quite a few storage spaces. They are the rear ones that are limited by the design of the vehicle and offer a headroom that’s fair and that it is because of the fall of the ceiling. The hollow for the legs is more achieved, although it must be borne in mind that the main square is crossed by an abrupt transmission tunnel which is also annoying.
With the trunk, The Toyota Prius PHEV is exactly the same for us. This version has a battery pack that goes just below the second row of seats and that reduces the space on this surface. That makes the capacity stay at 354 liters, slightly below the segment average and also behind the 502 liters previously offered by the conventional hybrid Prius. Not to mention the space is taken up by charging cables.
For the rest, the shapes of this trunk are very useful. It benefits from a double bottom, where the cables should go, but is very narrow, you have to be careful when bending them. When we need to unleash their full potential, they can: fold down the back seat in two parts (60:40) to let us up to 1,360 liters of capacity.
The Toyota Prius PHEV can be configured in three different trim levels. It comes standard with the Advanced, which after a full complement thanks to 15-inch wheels, LED headlights, Toyota Touch & Go 2 with an 8-inch screen, integrated navigation, rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, and Toyota Safety Sense driving aids.
A step above would make the . are solar, a very peculiar finish because the roof with solar panels is added to improve the model’s efficiency. If you want an extra point of technology and comfort, you will have to choose the finish Luxury, which adds the Head-Up Display, electric seat adjustment, wireless charging for smartphones, leather upholstery, and some additional security systems.
As we said, after the withdrawal of the conventional hybrid Prius, only this Toyota Prius PHEV with its plug-in hybrid powertrain. The main gasoline engine is an Atkinson cycle with four cylinders and 1.8 liters to reach a power of 98 horsepower. In addition, two small electric blocks that together produce another 67 kW. To clarify, the combined power is 122 hp in this example, which is passed to the usual CVT of the brand.
And to achieve the DGT’s ZERO label, the Prius PHEV also uses a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 8.8 kWh. Thanks to her you get an Electric range of 45 kilometers and also have ridiculous consumptions. Approves 1.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 29 g/km. Although that will be with the battery charged, something that is done in a little over two hours at a maximum speed of 3.3 kW or in less than four hours when connected to a conventional wall socket.
And now comes the million dollar question, what do solar panels do? from the roof? That photovoltaic cell takes energy from the sun to charge a specific battery of this system. It has a charging power of 180 W and is able to: use it in two different ways. When stopped, it sends it directly to the main battery to increase electrical autonomy and when it is moving (or the other is charged), it sends it to the auxiliary battery to power electrical systems such as instrumentation or electric windows.
Although the interest only comes when we get behind the wheel of this peculiar plug-in hybrid. It is even when it comes to going out because it has a foot handbrake, something that is practically not in any car anymore and that is where the strange experience begins. The next thing to come is absolute silence which already makes clear that driving comfort was paramount in the development of this Toyota Prius PHEV.
Because we are not just talking about the silence that comes to us in the electric mode, but to the total absence of noise aerodynamic and rolling. In this sense, the shapes of the car have many advantages, we have already talked about the shapes of the front or the fall of the roof. And it is that it is a drag coefficient of only 0.25 Cx, a great figure. The 15-inch wheels also help.
And when we talk about how the Prius PHEV works, the truth is that we consider it as smart as it is efficient. The energy management is sublime, alternating the thermal mechanics with the electrical ones according to the needs when we move into the Hybrid mode. You could also opt for EV mode to force the use of electric motors as long as we have a battery and there’s even a City EV to use just one of the electric motors in town.
In addition to those three power management modes, there are three others for general behavior. It’s about the usual Eco, Normal, and Energy; that change certain parameters, such as the touch of the accelerator or the direction setting. In any case, the Prius PHEV feels more comfortable in the first two, because it is not a car with sports concessions or the like.
In fact, it feels odd getting the most out of its 122 horsepower, given that the planetary gearbox CVT transmission isn’t very refined. You get that usual slippery feeling when you show up and stay on a set regimen. The performance of this example goes unnoticed, as it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.1 seconds and the maximum speed is 162 km/h, capped at 130 km/h in electric mode.
On the contrary, it is distinguished by the economy and low consumption. A priori does it seem quite affordable? reach that 45 electric kilometers with a battery charge. But it’s that when it ends, there’s no big problem either. It’s almost impossible to see it consuming more than 5 l/100km so don’t rush if we don’t have a plug to hand it won’t be expensive either. In general, if we have access to charging, it is easy to consume about 3 liters and be less than 15 kWh in electric mode.
At the chassis level, the Toyota Prius PHEV gets a very balanced setup. It emphasizes ease of driving and comfort in almost every aspect. The suspension is white, as is the address, for which we would ask a little more information. The same goes for regenerative braking, which seems unnatural and makes it difficult to dose the brake pedal until we get used to it.
The Toyota Prius is always the efficiency icon par excellence and the plug-in hybrid version does not disappoint. It stands out in its technical part, with a highly intelligent propulsion system that is combined with an aerodynamic body to get really low consumption. In addition, its high driving quality and driving comfort make it a car with which you take away daily stress.
Of course, it should be borne in mind that the peculiar design does not suit everyone’s taste or that the interior layout is also different and the quality is somewhat reasonable. Although the habitability is correct, the suitcase can be small for long family trips. The price is within what is expected, from 33,900 euros (37,150 euros in the superior finishes), and can benefit from the MOVES Plan.