Toyota Prius Plug-In (2017 – 2022) Review
Toyota Prius Plug-In (2017 – 2022) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 16–20
On average it achieves 99% of the official MPG figure
The Toyota Prius is arguably the most famous hybrid vehicle on the planet. It has become the brand generic for what Toyota calls a ‘self-charging’ car. Launched in 2017, the Toyota Prius Plug-in is a little different. As the name suggests, it’s a Prius that can be plugged into the mains to provide up to 30 miles of all-electric range, making it a rival to the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid. This, in theory, should make it more appealing than the regular hybrid. However, sales are dwarfed by the less expensive standard hybrid model.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in is the ‘other’ Prius. While the regular Toyota Prius has cemented a position as the default hybrid vehicle, the Prius Plug-in is the less well known and arguably less desirable sibling. It’s a hard sell, with prices starting at around £7,000 more than the regular Prius, which puts in competition with some impressive all-electric rivals.
It looks similar to the regular Toyota Prius. That’s to say that, at best, the styling is bold and dynamic, but some may view it as ugly. We’ll settle on the word ‘challenging’ to describe the look of the Toyota Prius Plug-in. It’s certainly… different.
Not that you’ll buy a Prius Plug-in for its styling. This is a car you purchase for its fuel economy, all-electric range and low running costs. It scores well for all three, even if the low running costs are offset by steep depreciation, which won’t be a problem if you’re leasing the car or using it as a fleet vehicle.
It actually looks subtly different to the regular Prius. Note the even bolder styling at the front, which is matched by a more sober approach at the back. Toyota could have made the two cars look identical, which is Hyundai’s approach with the Ioniq, arguably the Prius Plug-in’s chief rival.
Inside, the cabin architecture is largely the same as the regular Prius. There’s a genuine feeling of quality, albeit without the soft-touch materials you’ll find in premium rivals. Don’t confuse perceived quality with actual quality. The Prius Plug-in scores highly for the latter.
We can be less charitable about practicality. Although the rear bench offers excellent legroom for three adults, the aerodynamic roofline means headroom is severely restricted. A tall passenger will have to travel with their head pressed against the roof, which is far from ideal. There’s also a tiny boot, which is around half the size of a family hatchback when measured up to the tonneau cover.
On the plus side, you get a long list of standard equipment for your money, even on the entry-level Business Edition.
It’s so good, you have to question if it’s worth upgrading to the Excel trim, especially given the excellent safety kit, decent infotainment system and premium features. It’s just a shame that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t offered.
The driving experience is almost irrelevant. What matters is the efficiency, with the Prius Plug-in offering a claimed 217.29mpg on a combined cycle. To achieve this, you’ll have to charge the car overnight, taking advantage of the claimed 39 miles of all-electric range. If you don’t plug it in, we’d recommend the cheaper Prius hybrid.
However, if you have a short commute, it’s probably possible to complete your working week without using any petrol, which is something you can’t do in the regular Prius. That said, given the new breed of electric cars, it might be time to consider going full EV.