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2020 Toyota Prius Prime 2-in-1 Plug-in & Hybrid 133 MPGe

2020 Prius Prime

Written by Marco Carvajal

2020 Toyota Prius Prime is an innovative car, both Plug-in, and Hybrid. Owning a Prius is like getting a 2-in-1 car, you get a Hybrid car and also a full electric Plug-in vehicle.

133 MPGe Combined city and highway with the battery fully charged….sounds like science fiction but it is a reality with the Prius Prime.

If you only use the Prius Prime hybrid engine, without the electric system battery, then it can run up to 54 Miles per gallon average combined city and highway.  In both settings, Amazing fuel economy…let’s go to the future.

You decide! A Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), gives you the best of both technologies. The Prius Prime can be charged as a regular electric car on EV mode, but you still can use it just as a Hybrid, using a combination of an electric engine and a gasoline engine, without having to charge your Prius. 

Prius the first Hybrid Car Sold Back in 1997

The Toyota Prius is known as a pioneer of Hybridization. Everything started when the Prius was launched on the Japanese market back in 1997 and was the first series and mass-produced hybrid vehicle.  In 2001, it continues its expansion in other markets worldwide, and finally today it is sold in more than 70 countries.

About 23 years ago, back in 1997, Toyota started manufacturing the Prius, which translates as “first”, superior”.

It has been two decades since the Prius was introduced in the United States, who will imagine at that time that 20 years later most other car manufacturers will follow the trend of Hybridization that started with the Prius.

The first Hybrid car available to consumers was the Prius.

The Prius is built with great smart hybrid and electric technology, but also among many features, it has an aerodynamic body design to enhance fuel-efficiency.

Prius versus Prius Prime

What is the difference between the Prius and the Prius Prime?

The main difference between the standard Prius and the Prius Prime is that the Prius has a hybrid engine, but the Prius Prime is a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), giving you the best of both technologies hybrid and full electric.

The Prius Prime can be charged as a regular electric car on EV mode, but you still can use it just as a Hybrid using a combination of an electric engine and a gasoline engine without having to charge your Prius.

Japan and the United States represent the largest markets for the Prius.

The name Prius Prime is used in the United States, but in Japan and Europe is called Prius PHV.


The 2020 Prius Prime is available in three different trim models:

  • LE
  • XLE
  • Limited

I am test driving the Prime Limited trim, the top of the Prime lineup.  Toyota made it easy and convenient to select the right Prius Prime version, the 3 different Prius Prime models share the same hybrid powertrain with EV mode, and also operate identically. The main difference in each of these 3 Prius trims is about features.

I am test driving the top of the line 2020 Prius Prime Limited.


The Prius Prime is less affordable than the regular Prius, we are talking about a car with state-of-the-art electric and hybrid technology, and that has a cost. It is one of the most fuel-economy cars available with 133 MPGe Combined city and highway with the battery fully charged.

For those who don’t understand or don’t appreciate this advanced PHEV system, then the price around $30K average can sound a little high for a compact sedan. In the long run, a typical Prius Prime owner will save thousands of dollars in fuel, paying back for the higher price compared to a regular Prius with MSRP of $24,325, or compared to other compact sedans.

The price range for the Prius Prime goes from MSRP $27,900 for the base model LE, all the way to MSRP $33,800 for the top of the line Limited.

  • 2020 Toyota Prius Prime Limited MSRP Price$33,800

2020 Toyota Prius Prime Limited Highlights

The Prius is a full hybrid and electric car. It has a sharp aerodynamic design and its look is inspired by Japanese origami.

  • Hybrid system net power: 121 hp (90 kW)
  • 1.8-Liter 4-cylinder Aluminum DOHC 16-Valve with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
  • EV80/ECO/POWER Modes
  • 95 horsepower @ 5200 rpm (71 kW @ 5200 rpm)
  • 105 lb.-ft. torque @ 3600 rpm (142 N•m @ 3600 rpm)
  • 133 MPGe Combined city and highway with the battery fully charged
  • Upgraded audio with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility.
  • Prius 2020 models now include with standard free of charge Toyota Safety Connect

Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) is standard in every Prius model, offering you a suite of features including:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Automatic High Beams

Previously, Safety Connect was available only on the top-line Limited grade but now is included in all Prius. This system includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification, with a complimentary extensive three-year free trial subscription.

New Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Compatibility on All Prius Models

The new 2020 Prius Prime is part of a new generation that dates back to the 2017 model year. So far there have not been major changes until the 2020 model year.

The new Prius Prime 2020 is better than ever. It now has a rear seat with a fifth seat and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. An attractive substitute for Toyota’s native Entune infotainment system.

For those looking for a city-friendly smart sedan at a reasonably fair price around 30K, then the Toyota Prius Four should be on your shopping list.

The Prius Prime is a state-of-the-art vehicle, with good performance and yet consume very little gasoline.

Hard to believe but the Prius covers 54 miles on a single gallon of gasoline on hybrid mode. I have made an effort to spend all the gas on the Prius Prime gas tank, but I didn’t succeed. I have not been able to spend the full tank, it seems to last forever.

The performance of the Prius Prime is very good and the engine is really quiet, turn on or turn off the engine and there is almost no difference in the sound. I can hear sounds surrounding the road, that I can’t usually hear when I drive other cars. Driving the Prius feels like if you are playing ambiance music due to the super quiet engine, allowing you to hear everything surrounding the car.

The system’s total output is 121 horsepower, delivered to the front wheels through a continuously variable specialized automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard.

The Prius Prime battery can be easily recharged in a standard 120-volt household outlet very fast, which takes approximately 5.5 hours, or in approximately two hours in a 240-volt outlet.

The Prius has an original modern futuristic design with a trendy silhouette. The Prius’ exterior is very attractive and aerodynamic, very Japanese ultra-modern style to enhance the feeling of advanced electric hybrid technology.

The compact interior is comfortable and appealing, I like a lot the control panel. It feels like driving a flying-car, very bright lights, and a high-resolution screen similar to the one included in a Tesla.

Prime’s cargo is small due to its larger battery, providing less luggage space than the standard Prius and several of its competitors, here I find some room for improvement.

For 2020, a lot of new features are one more reason to buy a Prius Prime versus the competition, standard SiriusXM satellite radio, more compatibility with Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa but Android Auto is not available yet.

If you want to buy one of the most efficient cars in the word priced around $30K, then the Prius should be in your wishlist.

2020 Prius Prime

Marco Carvajal

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