Prices for the second-generation Toyota Prius PHEV have been lowered by £3200, with first deliveries scheduled for 1 March
Steve Cropley Autocar
16 February 2017

Prices for the second-generation Toyota Prius Plug-in have been lowered before its launch by £3200, making it cheaper than the previous Prius Plug-In.

The reduction means the entry-level Business Edition Plus costs £31,695. With a sunroof, that model costs from £33,195, while the range-topping Excel model is priced at £33,385. All models are eligible for the Government's £2,500 grant for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) buyers. A 100,000-mile/five-year warranty is standard. First customer deliveries are scheduled for 1 March.

Toyota has only reduced the prices for the UK market and says it has been altered in order to keep the Prius Plug-In pricing sensible and competitive in the market.

Toyota's Safety Sense package will be standard on both versions. This includes automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering control. Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Both models get an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen, a head-up display, two 4.2in TFT information screens and a rear-view parking camera. Sat-nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, a wireless phone-charging area and a rear-view parking camera come as standard.

You also get model-specific two-tone 15in alloy wheels and automatic lights. Excel adds front and rear parking sensors and automatic wipers.

Tech

The Prius Plug-in can reach 84mph in electric-only mode and drive up to 39 miles, which is more than double the 14-mile range of its predecessor.

Officially, the new car can return 283mpg and emits just 22g/km of CO2 - the best figures yet achieved by any PHEV.

The car's lithium ion battery now has twice the capacity of the previous Prius Plug-in's, at 8.8kWh. This sends power through Toyota's new Dual Motor Drive System - one motor 22.5kW, one 53 - which represents an 83% boost in EV power over the old system.

This electric drive system works in conjunction with an 97bhp version of Toyota’s 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. A new exhaust gas recirculation system and improvements to its combustion make it, according to Toyota’s claims, the world's most efficient mass-produced petrol engine. With the electric motors, overall power is 120bhp.

Charging times have also been improved, thanks to an increase in the maximum power the car is capable of handling, from 2.0 to 3.3kW. The battery takes just two hours to charge up to 65% of capacity with a Type II Mennekes connector, or three hours and 10 minutes with a home plug socket.

Looks

Revealed at last year's New York motor show, the new Prius Plug-in looks little different to the regular Prius, but has a longer rear overhang, a higher rear spoiler and new LED lights front and rear. The car is 165mm longer than its predecessor, 15mm wider and 20mm lower with an impressive aerodynamic drag factor of 0.24, delivered by such sophisticated measures as a double-bubble rear window and an automatic radiator shutter which closes when cooling air isn't needed by the engine.

A gas injection heat pump system keeps the air conditioning working when the car is being driven in battery-only mode, while Business Plus models are available with optional solar panels on the roof that charge the battery when the sun shines - including when the car is parked and turned off.

‘More engaging’ driving position

Toyota is at pains to portray the Plug-in as a true driver’s car. It gets what designers call a “more engaging” driving position, a high centre console and the cabin layout of a luxury coupé, with a “dominant” centre cluster featuring 4.2in TFT screens and a wireless phone charging tray.

The driver-orientated theme continues with “more precise and responsive handling” thanks to a new double wishbone rear suspension, revisions to the familiar Prius’s MacPherson strut front end and a lower centre of gravity, which also reduces body roll, improves stability and sharpens the steering. The car is exceptionally quiet, Toyota says, helped by a new sound-insulating laminated screen and special front window glazing.

The plug-in Prius has never sold as well in the UK against the regular Prius, and the recent announcement of a reduction in the government subsidy for PHEVs won’t help this new model. But Toyota bosses believe demand could change “in a heartbeat” if CO2 outputs for cars in cities were dramatically cut, which they see as a realistic prospect.

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Comments
16

bol

23 March 2016
But surprised that it doesn't go further on electricity only, considering how compromised the styling is. Looks like another tax break special, just more peculiar looking.

23 March 2016
Really like this new Prius. The glide away from rest is so much nicer than the constant spluttering of regular stop/start, for one thing. And I like the way its looks reflect its purpose. Sounds like it finally drives pretty well too.

24 March 2016
androo wrote:

The glide away from rest is so much nicer than the constant spluttering of regular stop/start, for one thing

Exactly this! Stop/start isn't so bad in a manual where you effectively control it with the clutch pedal, but in an auto (as I have now) it's infuriating that the engine continuously cuts in and out when creeping up to a roundabout for example. Hence I find myself turning the function on and off. This alone, has got me interested in a hybrid or even full electric for my next car.

And I think this version of the Prius looks rather good, for the type of vehicle.

8 February 2017
androo wrote:

Really like this new Prius. The glide away from rest is so much nicer than the constant spluttering of regular stop/start, for one thing. And I like the way its looks reflect its purpose. Sounds like it finally drives pretty well too.

I agree. Gliding away from rest, and indeed arriving at a stop with the engine already off makes it seem incredibly refined. Stop/Start is clumsy and unpleasant in normal cars, and there's always that moment of uncertainty. I think in the far future, the Prius will be regarded rather like weird old Citroens and Tatras as classic cars. i love the way this looks.

23 March 2016
Progress due to the Kia competition, excellent for the consumer. Anyhow before people go on and on about real world figures I bet you'd get a pretty high figure if you had a round trip commute of no more than 30 miles and charged it up every night on cheap rate electricity.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

23 March 2016
Finally competition is here to egg Toyota to improve its Prius. More competition would lead to more innovations and improved MPG.

7 February 2017
they are optimistic cars but the thick end of £40k to sit in a gloomy plasticky interior like that. No thanks. The CHR is much better inside, and much cheaper. How about a PHEV CHR Toyota?

7 February 2017
Is the Prius the most hideous-looking car there is? I can't think of anything uglier. Well, maybe Diane Abbott.

7 February 2017
Severely compromised, of course Autocar rarely bother getting photos of the boot, literally all that is left in the PHEV version is room for a pizza box.

7 February 2017
Six years later, still not as good as the Ampera/Volt. More expensive, less powerful, half the battery capacity.

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