March 20, 2020 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes C! March 2020 Issue

2020 Toyota Prius Prime Limited Advanced

Extended Interest

As the electrified mobility solutions progressively take over the automotive landscape, even the standard bearers need to make even the slightest adjustments to maintain viability. This is our second time to test Toyota’s finest from the Prius family which looks better and is more realistic than the Fuel-Cell powered Mirai. Practically 95 percent of the equipment tested in the last top-spec model three years ago are carried over with the biggest update being the three-passenger rear seating bench in place of the old two-seat configuration. Our aerodynamic (0.25 cd drag coefficient) test car once again came in the same Blue Magnetism exterior color but this time around the interior did not have the tasteful contrasting Moonstone SofTex interior, instead in came in a sea of black.

Aside from the rear seat, our test unit had the new color Head-Up Display to support the new standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) package which hosts an advanced suite of active safety technologies from adaptive cruise control to the Pre-Collusion system with pedestrian detection and intelligent clearance sonar for parking. Other notable highlights to improve customer satisfaction and battery-range-anxiety management are a 2-year or 40,000 kilometer (whichever comes first) free normal maintenance plan with 3-years of free roadside assistance, and longer warranties for the Hybrid battery (increased from 8 years or 160,000 kilometers to 10 years from date of first use, or 240,000 kilometers).

The endearing mobile appliance features the awesome Quad-LED headlights and full-LED lighting on both ends, multiple driving modes, the neat weight-saving (by 8 pounds) carbon-fiber-reinforced-polymer rear hatch with dual-wave glass, great sounding 10-speaker JBL audio system, active front grille shutters, a massive 11.6-inch vertically oriented high-resolution control touchscreen to address Tesla-envy, Qi-compatible smartphone charging, multiple USB-ports, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, and a long list of standard equipment. The small 15-inch x 6.5J 10-spoke alloys are wrapped with low rolling resistance P195/65R15 89S Bridgestone Ecopia EP 422 Plus tires that performed better than the Toyo NanoEnergy A29 rubber that were in our last test unit.

The Prius Prime makes more power in hybrid mode than in silent pure EV mode. It makes sense to use the pure EV as often as possible for fuel end environmental concerns but accept that the Prime won’t drive briskly like in a dedicated EV like a Chevrolet Bolt. As a hybrid, it’s the very best in the Prius family in the sense of packaging, design and performance. Using a standard USA 120-volt outlet, the Prime would take about 5 hours to charge the Plug-in battery using the supplied charger. Using a 240-volt outlet like in the Philippines would essentially charge it in half the time to get the pure EV 40-kilometer range up to 135 km/h. As soon as the Prime breaches that speed or senses that the battery reserves are depleted, the 1.8-liter gasoline engine will swiftly take over propulsion duties with the electric motors now working in the background automatically to assist wherever required. All of this hasn’t changed. I did hope that for 2020 that Toyota would have injected more oomph in the dynamic department. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

With the electrified competition quickly becoming populated in every market, I am confident that Toyota will answer accordingly, I just wish they would act sooner and also begin offering the Prius Prime in our market.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4, 1798 cc, dohc 16V, Dual VVT-i, Atkinson-cycle, 2 Permanent-magnet synchronous AC, 31 and 71 hp, 30 and 120 lb-ft, 8.8 kWh air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, eCVT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 95 hp @ 5200 rpm95 hp @ 5200 rpm (121 hp combined with EV) (121 hp combined with EV)
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 105 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm

Performance

Top Speed 184 km/h (115 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 10.1 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 55 City & 53 Highway (1,032-kilometer [645 miles] potential fuel range)

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) US$ 36,031.00
What's Great Excellent overall range. Very best of the Prius model family, tasteful and comfortable interior, well-equipped, 5-passenger capacity, 40-kilometer Pure Plug-in EV range at up to 135 km/h.
What's Not So Modest dynamic performance. Tiny alloys.
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
© C! 2003-2020. All Rights Reserved. Designed by