Toyota Prius Plug-In (2017) Review

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Toyota Prius Plug-In (2017) At A Glance

30 miles of realistic pure electric range. Practical, smooth, comfortable and quiet. Well-equipped.

Thousands of pounds more than the standard Prius. Needs to be charged frequently or makes no financial sense.

While the Toyota Prius Plug-in shares a lot with the regular Prius – including extremely relaxed driving dynamics - it has the benefit of a 30 mile pure EV driving range. It’s pricier than a normal Prius, but for eco-friendly commuting it’s excellent.

The tweaked styling is built on top of the same basics as a normal Prius. There’s a 1.8-litre petrol engine in the front and a smooth CVT automatic transmission, but the plug-in has a dual electric motor system and a bigger battery, so it can reach motorway speeds and cover 30 miles without using any fuel.

Charging the battery pack from the mains takes two hours from empty with a Mennekes plug, or just over three hours with a normal, three-pin household socket. You can also help extend the battery range with an optional solar roof, while the heating system uses a gas injection system to improve driving range on cold days.

When the battery runs low, the Prius Plug-in behaves just like a normal Prius, with the 1.8-litre petrol engine kicking in under acceleration or when up to speed, while charging the battery pack enough for low speed, stop start driving. That means you can cover long distances without worrying about finding a charger.

The cabin layout is shared between Prius and Prius plug-in, with a central, colour instrument display, touchscreen system and stubby little gear selector. There’s masses of space for family use, including a spacious boot and generous leg room – although the sloping roof means taller passengers might struggle for hat room.

If you have a short commute and a place to charge you could feasibly drive the Prius Plug-in for months before running the tank dry. And if you’re a company car driver, the tax savings are significant too – so there’s plenty of reason to consider the Plug-in – but do some careful maths to make sure it’s better value than the regular and still excellent Prius. 

Looking for a Toyota Prius Plug-In (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

ASK HJ

Is a PHEV a better choice than a hybrid?
I have owned Toyota hybrids for a few years now and have been satisfied with the quality and performance. My wife and I cover about 12,000 miles a year. It's mixed driving (motorway, country roads and some city). Because my wife does quite a lot of shortish driving, on country roads in particular and sometimes into South London from Kent, I have wondered whether our next car should be a plug-in Toyota Prius. However, I have read about the "lugging a heavy car around" after the electric charge runs out. This has confused me because I was under the impression that when the charge runs out it would perform like our current Toyota Auris Hybrid and recharge during the journey? Was I mistaken and does it then perform like an ordinary petrol car?
Yes, once the battery's flat it will operate like a normal hybrid using the engine to recharge the battery and recuperating energy normally lost under braking. It's not very efficient, though - the batteries are heavier than those used in a standard hybrid and it's recommended that to get the best from a plug-in hybrid, you charge regularly. If most of your wife's journeys are within the electric range of the Prius Plug-in and you have a home charger (or can get one), it makes a lot of sense.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which winter tyres do you recommend?
Which winter tyres are best for my 2018 Toyota Prius Plug-In? We average about a 1000 miles a month, mainly on country roads?
I'd go for Michelin Cross Climate or Continental AllSeason Contact. Leave them on all year round. Try Motokiki.com (https://bit.ly/2EF0U04) and Blackcircles.com (https://bit.ly/2JM6bqG) for sizes and prices and read our Tyre Buying Guide (https://bit.ly/2wsFHBU).
Answered by Honest John
Should I get a tethered or untethered charging socket for my new electric cars?
I'm about to purchase both a Toyota Prius plug-in and a Nissan Leaf. I have the option of getting a Chargemaster home charging unit for free via an offer from Toyota. I can have either a tethered unit or a Type 2 socket unit, but I'm unsure which is the best to go for. I understand both cars have Type 2 sockets for the charging inputs. I'm looking to the future when all EV cars have a Type 2 socket. Or has a standard yet to be determined, which may well change from Type 2 and thus make my unit obsolete? What would your advice be?
As you've probably gathered, there are pros and cons to both tethered and universal units. As both the Leaf and Prius Plug-in use Type 2 sockets, I'd be inclined to opt for the tethered charge point to save hassle messing around with charging leads every time you want to charge. Plus, if you change to another EV in the future that needs a different socket, you can buy adaptors or pay an electrician a small fee to change the socket.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What hybrid car should I buy for commuting long trips?
I'm looking for a new company car and l'm interested in hybrid vehicles due to the lower BiK rates in comparison with diesels. I will be doing regular 100-mile journeys, so need to factor in real world mileage rates. I'd like a hybrid that can do reasonable electric-only miles with a decent real world figure when it comes to long runs. I do about 20,000 miles per year and I have around £35,000 to spend. Any thoughts?
A normal hybrid only does 5-10 miles on the electric motor alone. A PHEV does 20-30 miles on the electric motor alone. Both of them regeneratively recharge on a run. How much they regenerate is influenced by the way you drive and the terrain over which you drive. Toyota says that over big distances a plain hybrid Prius works out more economical than a Prius PHEV. But on a run of 100 miles or so we averaged more than 80mpg. It's worth noting that the current Prius steers and handles exceptionally well.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Toyota Prius Plug-In (2017) cost?

Buy new from £26,890 (list price from £28,955)
Contract hire from £273.98 per month
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