Hi everybody, it's Peter and today we're gonna look at the Toyota Prius Prime. Now whether you're looking at the new redesign yet to be released vehicle or this one, I think this video will probably help you with either vehicle because we're gonna talk about what it's like to live with a plug-in hybrid vehicle and we're gonna use this vehicle as our example. So you'll have a full review of this vehicle, but we'll also try to learn more about what it is really like with a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Now, a couple things you should know. First of all, I used to be known as an EV and hybrid expert and you know, that was another career. So we'll see if I've still got my touch. I also own a full ev, which is a Kia Soul ev, and I own a plug-in hybrid, which happens to be a Jeep Wrangler phev.

From here you can watch Peters Video or Read What he says the choice is your enjoy... this is a great review ether way...

And of course this is nothing like those, but in many cases it's a lot like that as well. So we're gonna talk about that plug-in hybrid lifestyle and uh, what it takes, what you get, what to look for, what not to look for and uh, what to worry about. But before we go too far, I want to thank Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals because if you are looking for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or any kind of electrified or even just regular car, there are all kinds of them here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals in Fredericton, New Brunswick. And if you have questions about it and you're maybe not in the area, make sure you subscribe to my channel and ask me those questions in the comments because I can come back to your questions about hybrids, pH EVs, all kinds of those vehicles over and over again because I have complete access to the electrified and every vehicle line here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals

So let's get going with the Prius Prime here and let's talk about what it's like living with a plug-in hybrid and why certain things matter and why you may want to choose this one over other ones. So let's just very briefly cover what a prime is in Toyota speak the anything with a prime on it is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. What is that really quickly? Well, let's start with a hybrid. A hybrid has a battery, an electric motor. They work together with the gasoline engine to give you efficiency. A hybrid never has to be plugged in a plug-in hybrid does. So the hybrid will recharge by the gasoline engine running by coasting, by breaking various ways it can recharge itself and give you short spurts of pure electric power, but primarily that real blend of electric and gasoline to give you great efficiency. That's what most prius's are.

In fact, every Prius is at least a hybrid. Once you add a prime to the name, then you get the plug-in hybrid. A plug-in hybrid is an interesting animal. It gives you an electric car feel in some ways, but it's not fully electric. So what you end up doing is you add a larger battery and this car can be plugged into charge. So with that larger battery, when you plug it in, you get in this case about 40 kilometers of pure electric range, which turns us into a short range full EV for most conditions. We'll talk about some of the conditions where it won't be a full ev. So when you run through that 40 kilometers charge that you got through plugging in, it does not turn to a gasoline vehicle, but it continues to turn to a hybrid vehicle. So that means it'll continue to blend gas and electric charging itself.

The way it does that, think of it as having a large battery that plugged in area is most of the top of the battery. So it'll use that plugged in range until it gets to the bottom 15% or so and that bottom 15%, it will always charge and recharge exactly like a regular hybrid does. So even when you run out of your electric charge, you are still running on a hybrid vehicle. Now another difference is that a plug-in hybrid does add some weight. So for instance, in my Jeep Wrangler plug-in hybrid, once I run out of that electric range, it actually gets a hair worse mileage than the regular Wrangler and that's because it's so much heavier. The Prius Prime is the same thing, but there's a major difference. It will get a little bit worse mileage sometimes than the regular Prius, but it'll still get way better mileage than a regular car. 

Once it's used, its electric range. Now the biggest difference with a plug-in hybrid is if you're doing a lot of short trips, you can do thousands of kilometers on pure electric and thousands of kilometers on a tank without using the gasoline engine. But a lot of people say, oh, if this thing only gets 40 kilometers, then what's really the point? Or 40 kilometers electric range? What's really the point of going with a plug-in hybrid? Well the point is, if you had your first 40 kilometers on pure electric every day, you're probably gonna find that that's gonna save you a bunch of money. Cuz even though electric does cost some money to put it into the car, it's cheaper than running gasoline even on something like a Prius and therefore you get great emissions, you also get the ability to run on pure electric power and you get overall better mileage. (04:40)
So my overall experience with my Jeep Wrangler phev, even in the winter we'll talk about winter use cuz that matters. I'm still getting half the fuel use or double the efficiency of the regular Jeep Wrangler compared to the Jeep Wrangler phev. And you'll find the same thing with the Prius. Even in winter you're still gonna get, you know, a significantly better mileage. And in the summer for most of my trips, my Jeep Wrangler, which has a similar range to this is actually getting, you know, I'm going thousands and thousands of kilometers on pure electric because of the way I do things. Now let's talk about charging and there's a couple of tweaks there, so let's address that right now. So there's a couple things to know about charging this car or any pH. First of all, this one has a separate gas door. It's actually larger than the gas door and it is the electric door. 
There's always a place where you can plug in the vehicle and you have a little cap right here and you can plug in a standard charger that works on most everything except for a Tesla. 

It'll plug in here. Now this one doesn't have the ultra ultra fast charging but it has two levels of charging. We refer to it, we used to refer to it as level one or level two. Now they call it AC charging ac, fast charging, slow charging. Long story short, this car comes with a plug that you plug in here and plug into the wall socket like your cell phone. And in about five and a half hours of just plugging in like that you end up with 40 kilometers of range, which is actually a pretty fast charge. Now the reason it does have fast charge, if you think about your cell phone, what's your cell phone take half an hour to charge just that thin little cell phone. 

Well 40 kilometers on an actual car, I mean when I was a little kid it used to take me two hours to recharge my little remote control car. So five and a half-ish hours with the regular plug in the wall plug and you have about 40 kilometers of range give or take. And you also have the option of what they call a level two charger. Level two charger is a fast charger. Now this one in particular is not crazy fast on a level two charger. Uh, something like my Jeep Wrangler, plugging it in the wall is about 13 hours but plugging it into a fast charger is two hours this car, but five and a half hours with a regular plug and also devote two hours in the regular plug. So not super fast charging, but that's okay because if you come home, have dinner, you know, take a little break, you've basically got another 40 kilometers of pure electric range to put in. 
And remember you're never ever out of range in this car unless you run out of fuel. So that's the basics of a phev. Let's take a look at some of the sacrifices they make and some of the benefits that they have by looking within the car. One of the sacrifices you're going to see with a phev other than price is most PHEVs have to stick a large battery somewhere in the Prius. It's clearly underneath here. There's a little bit of a lip up in here and it does shrink the trunk space a little bit. Now this is a hatchback. You actually have a lot of space in here above the seats, but when you can see the seats, it only looks like you have about half the seat, maybe two thirds of the seat or so from the trunk. Whereas normally you have a deeper seat, especially in something like a crossover or something like the Toyota rav4.

So you have a little bit of a shower trunk, the trunk space is pretty good back here, but it is not as big as you might think it would be for a large hatchback and that's one of the compromises you make. The other, like I said, is the purchase price of the vehicle. Everything else pretty much the same or in many cases better. Let's go take a look at the driver's environment and show you some things there as we work our way to the driver's environment. I just wanna point out l e D lights, which are pretty much standard on every Toyota l e d sort of signals and marker lights and stuff in here. L e D lights are very common on things like Prius's and things on like PHEVs because they use less energy. So energy usage is a real key thing with these jumping in here. Pretty much standard Prius stuff. So the Prius is a little different than your average car. Let's take a look at some of those differences. It works quite well and it has been

Very popular. Now lemme just shut the door in here. We are working, oh there we go. Are we wide angle enough? There we go. Let's go full wide angle there. All right, you can see here you have a nice compact steering wheel behind it. There is no dash. It does take a little getting used to, but in reality when I'm looking forward, this area here is my forward area and you can see when I turn this car on,

You will see

That the dash does come to life and that is very much within my view the same way the sort of the, you know, the if your dash was sort of behind here with a little bit larger steering wheel that would be within my steering wheel area. And of course it almost works like a heads up display because as you're looking out the window you can really clearly see your display. Now it is different having it in the center and there's a lot of controls up here. One thing I don't like is when you turn on your heated steering wheel, and I should mention I do like the heated steering wheel, there is no indicator on the wheel or on that button anywhere. So you have to get used to where to find some of these buttons because it is a little non-traditional dash. If I turn on the steering wheel, you can see it just turned on there in the center of the dash right there.

So that works just fine. You just have to remember that pretty much everything is gonna display over there as opposed to in this case, on the steering wheel button or other places. If you're buying a Toyota nowadays, uh, modern Toyota, you're getting all the safety features. I almost don't even have to point it out. You have lane keeping cyst, you have collision warning assist, all those kind of things. So all kinds of safety systems and basically when you're paying a little bit extra for that phv, you don't have to worry with the Toyota because you're getting all the safety features you would get in any vehicle in that price range anyways. So there's always a number of displays in here. We're not gonna go through every single one of them, but there are various displays that show just exactly what's going on with the climate system.
Let me zoom in a little bit further. So that one's telling me that, hey, you're not using the motor. This is sort of um, you know, the gasoline engine, the electric motor and the battery again in the display, they're not exactly the same locations, but the idea is the battery is being used right now to power the climate system and that's what's going on. And ar various arrows will move different ways. Uh, these are something that when you have a car when it's new, you might find them enjoyable and you'll then you'll find that you just turn it to other information type displays. Big thing I wanna point out is the EV mode right there. So let's zoom back out because with an EV like this, you have the option of various drive modes, various EV and EV settings. The biggest thing you need to know is you can set this to go on ev from the start. (10:40)
So in other words, you use all your electric range up first and then you switch it to a hybrid or you can set it to drive in a hybrid for now and then wherever you're going, use the electric motors there. So if you knew you were gonna go to a busy city and drive around there, you may want to prevent this thing from using all of its electric range on the highway and save it to use all of its electric range in town overall. Here there's a couple trim lines of the Prius Prime. This one's got about, uh, let's call it I'm guessing a seven inch screen or so. Uh, so seven inch diagonal is usually, that's just my guess there, but it's a good screen, clear screen. Some Toyota screens aren't as clear as this, but this one's very good and you have automatic climate control.
It is a single zone automatic climate control, not a dual zone. So again, for the price of the car, something to keep in mind, uh, a lot of cars at this price point have a dual zone, although I don't know if it really matters. You do have your seat, uh, warmers down here as well. A rope s as I like to call them low or high. I have mine on high right now and uh, you have uh, you know, very comfortable seating area and uh, it's still a bit of a compact car here so you're not uh, crazy, you know, zones apart. So I don't know that a dual zone system would work as well if it wasn't such a, you know, if it's a wider car, it may work fine. This is maybe a little bit larger than a Toyota Corolla in size. I do wanna point out you have extra windows there and this is a swooping down area.
That's one thing that doesn't show in camera, but what that does is it gives you very large windows beside you and very good visibility overall. Prius's have very good visibility. Let's show you behind us now for a second because there's another window I wanna show you there. Alright, so if you look behind me, you can see up there, right there is your rear window, which is on top of the car, but you have extra visibility on the back of the car with that little split spoiler there. And this area right down there on your screen behind, uh, where my finger would be is also a windows. So again, very good visibility with the windows as well as visibility with a backup camera, which we'll show you right now as well to throw any Prius in reverse any Prius that's ever existed. You have an odd gear shift, uh, works very, very well, but you're gonna have to figure it out a little bit.

So we're just gonna throw it in reverse by going like that and up. And you do that and you have your backup camera. Your backup camera is very clear, it's very hard to film the screen. Um, but you can see, you can just read the logo on the wall pretty much. So, uh, you can see good clarity there. Good backup camera. Every car has a backup camera, so I shouldn't really brag about that. This screen also has things like your, um, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which gives you navigation. It does have a map button here, but this trim doesn't come with that. It's one thing Toyota does. It's a little bit weird. They, uh, oh, it has a gps, you know, it does not come with that on this trim line. So something to keep in mind, that gear shift as well, we should talk about, you can throw it in this B mode. 
The B gives you regenerative braking and regenerative braking is a really key piece to hybrids, which we'll talk about in a second when we get outta the car. So we, we'll make sure we get back to that in a second. Just stay tuned overall in here, very comfortable car. We're gonna go wide angle again so you can see everything. You've got your seat heaters there, you've got your um, nice cup holders there. There's a 12 volt port right back here with a USB port as well. So you can keep your phone charged in this nice area over here. There's also two USB ports for the rear seat passengers. Rear seat space is very, very good, even with a sloping roof line, totally fine and a very clean overall look. In this car steering wheel is tilt and telescopic and because there's no dash behind it, you can really get comfortable whether you're taller or short and always shoes there. Uh, so a lot of good nice things in here. Now let's talk about the regenerative braking.

Regenerative braking is a really big piece to any hybrid, any phev and any ev Basically what that means is when you need to coast or break these wheels, because they're spinning can work like generators to put power back into the battery, it's a really key piece to the overall efficiency of these cars. And in a phev it really matters as well because you will save on brake wear. That's a big thing that hybrids give you. Now one thing to remember is, and this car, you can set it to that B mode on the transmission. And when you let off the throttle, you'll feel a really heavy, feels like engine braking when you let off that, uh, accelerator pedal. And that will give you some slowing down of the car while it regenerates. However, you don't have to use that mode to activate, activate regenerative brakes.
If you touch the brake pedal, you are automatically regenerating power. It does not use the in wheel brakes unless it needs to. So if you touch the brake pedal lightly, you're never gonna touch your actual brakes in your wheels and it will just regenerate power. If you have to brake firmly or brake hard or at the very last couple kilometers an hour, it'll grab your wheel brakes as well. And in that case, basically you have very little brake wear. It helps regenerate power and it's a big piece to the overall ownership of this car. And Prius is in general are very low ownership costs. There's no extra maintenance on a electric or a the electric components of something like a Prius. So it's basically you maintain it just like you would a regular gas car. So who is this car for? Well, let's talk about pH EVs in general. 

If you're thinking about an ev, but you do a lot of longer trips. EVs, in my opinion, and I'm saying this as an owner, depending on where you live, they can be very difficult to do longer trips with where I live here in Fredericton, Brunswick. Some of them can make it difficult to do longer trips. So a phv makes perfect sense when you're doing those longer trips. It gives you great efficiency. Most of your in-town driving is gonna be on Pure Electric anyways, but even when it's not, you can go anywhere. The overall range of this car is something like a thousand plus kilometers per tank of gas, even when you just sort of drive it straight. But you'll find if you drive it like I do, you can charge it every day or even sometimes twice a day and get 40, 80 even more kilometers of pure electric ranges just by charging it and using it that way. 

So something to keep in mind as well, with any EV or phev, there are still major delays. This is January, 2023 and there are major, major delays with getting anything with a battery, whether it's a PHEV and EV or even a hybrid. This car is sitting right here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals along with a whole bunch of Teslas. We've got a Nissan Leaf coming in, there's a Hyundai Kona ev. Uh, that's already on the lot. If you're looking at an EV or phv, you can take 'em off the lot, buy 'em today at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. And that's one of the huge benefits of being here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. This car's essentially brand new. It's got, I think, I think less than 2000 kilometers on it. So you can shop a whole range of them, test drive them and work with the same salesperson. So you're getting same numbers both ways. It's a great place to buy an EV or phv. So if you have any questions that I didn't get to in this video even about this car specifically, make sure you ask me in the comments below and subscribe because I'll come back to it and answer it both in the comments and in future videos. And if you wanna see these vehicles in person, swing on down to Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. Thanks everybody for watching.

Full Helpful Financing available... and our specialty