The 2022 Prius Prime is here and is a plug-in hybrid. Toyota has been an industry-leading champion of Hybrid technology for over two decades. Its Prius is the best-selling hybrid of all time and it’s showing no hints of slowing down.
Its 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is augmented with an 8.8KWh battery back that provides about 25 miles of fully electric range. After that battery runs out, the car goes into pure hybrid mode. Charging time on an empty battery takes roughly 2 hours on a 24-volt charger or 5.5 hours on a standard 120-volt.
In Prius fashion, this engine is gutless and takes the car from 0-60 in a turtle’s pace of 10.8 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at up to 54 miles per gallon, however, some owners are reporting 60mpg.
The exterior design is the boldest look yet, for the Prius. Of course, it still looks quirky but is a bit less so than before. Visibility is good and is made better by the rear hatch lid having a large piece of tinted glass that the driver can see through, while it’s closed. LED headlights are standard and do a great job of lighting up the roads at night.
15-inch alloy wheels are standard as well and the car rides on 195/65R15 tires that have an emergency tire repair kit.
There are a lot of driver aids, including; cross-traffic alert, parallel park mode, frontal collision alert with active braking, and pedestrian alert.
An 11.6-inch vertically mounted infotainment screen that has a relatively slow touch response time. Additionally, the graphic user interface is looking a bit long in the tooth. The JBL audio system does provide good sound quality and there is native support for Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto.
The Driver’s seat does include lumbar support but the front passenger gets nothing. Overall legroom is good for a vehicle in this class and the seats are rather comfy.
Only 19.8 cubic feet of space is available behind the rear seats. This is due to the slope of the rear hatch and the extra used by the larger battery in the Prime model. Putting down the 60/40 split rear seats will give you a bit extra room, however, keep in mind that it is not a level surface.
On the road, the Prius Prime does handle okay but it doesn’t do much at all to dampen out rough roads. It’s not the most adept handling car you’ll drive and it has a bit longer stopping distance than its competitors, coming in at 128 ft from 60-0.
Overall, even though this 2022 model doesn’t bring any new changes from 2021, Toyota has done a good job of keeping the Prius relevant to economy-minded consumers. It’s still that odd-looking econocar that’s largely driven by drivers who seem to find ways to frustrate the rest of us who share the road with them. If you add in the 2years included maintenance Toyota offers on this Prime model, its standard 5-year, 60,000 mile warranty and a starting price of $28,000 (our Prime model comes in at $35,000) for the basic Prius, you’ll understand why it sells so well.