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2017 Toyota Prius Prime Review

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid that offers a smooth ride and an abundance of standard technology and safety features. However, its infotainment system is confusing.

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth powertrain
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Generous amount of standard comfort and safety features
  • Excellent safety scores
  • Distracting available infotainment system




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 10.0
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. Its overall score is being calculated without reliability.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Overview

Is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is a good plug-in hybrid car. The engine is potent enough for day-to-day driving, with fuel economy that’s among the best in the hybrid and electric car class. The Prius Prime also offers nimbler handling than many of its competitors.

You’ll get a lot for your money with the Prius Prime’s generous standard features list, which includes advanced safety features that are typically pricey options in competing cars. The Prius Prime’s only downside is its available 11-inch touch screen, which isn’t particularly user-friendly.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 14 Toyota Prius Prime reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime?

There are more than 90 listings on our site for the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Prices range from $23,000 to $31,000, with an average of $27,100. The price you pay depends on the model’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Cost to Own?

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are about $17,000, which is typical for a hybrid.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Toyota Prius Prime?

The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime starts at $27,300. Since there are no real differences between this model and the 2017, stick with the used Prius Prime. You’ll likely save thousands of dollars, especially if you’re shopping for a base model.

Read about the new Toyota Prius Prime »

There are no new hybrid vehicles (including plug-in hybrids) in the compact car class that have a lower starting price than the 2017 Prime’s average price. However, some very good non-hybrid vehicles are available. The 2018 Honda Civic (starting at $18,940) has some of the highest fuel economy estimates of any nonhybrid compact car. It also has a good-looking, spacious cabin and a comfortable yet engaging ride. Another nonhybrid option is the 2018 Kia Forte ($16,800), which has a large cargo hold and a high-quality interior with roomy seats.

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Which Model Year of the Toyota Prius Prime Is Best?

The Prius Prime was an all-new vehicle for 2017, replacing the Toyota Prius Plug-in that ended production after the 2015 model year. Although both Prius models are plug-in hybrids, the 2017 Prime is better in every way. It’s longer in length, quicker, and more fun to drive. The 2017 Prius Prime also has better fuel economy than the 2015 Prius Plug-in.

Compare the 2015 Prius Plug-in and 2017 Prius Prime »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime?

As of this writing, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime does not have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Read more about Prius Prime reliability »

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Recalls

As of this writing, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime has three reported recalls. One addresses an incorrectly inflated spare tire, another one concerns a disengaged parking brake cable, and the third deals with a possible short or chafe in the engine wire. Ensure these issues are resolved before purchasing a used 2017 Prius Prime.

See more information on Toyota Prius Prime safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota Prius Prime Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime has three trim levels: Plus, Premium, and Advanced. The base Toyota Prius Prime Plus comes loaded with technology and safety features that few rivals offer as standard equipment.

The Toyota Prius Prime Premium adds Siri Eyes Free, synthetic leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and wireless device charging. The Toyota Prius Prime Advanced comes with the most active safety features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, an Intelligent Clearance Sonar sensor system for low-speed driving, and automatic park assist. It also comes with a 10-speaker JBL premium sound system, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, fog lights, and rain-sensing wipers.

The Plus trims should suit most buyers, but the Advanced trim has enough add-ons to make it worth consideration.

See 2017 Toyota Prius Prime trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Toyota Prius Prime?

The Prius Prime has excellent crash test scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Prius Prime a 2017 Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest award. It also received the highest rating of Good in five IIHS crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not evaluated the 2017 Prius Prime for safety.

The Prius Prime comes with far more standard safety equipment than most compact cars. Every model comes with a rearview camera and Toyota Safety Sense, which is a bundle that includes forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Safety upgrades include rain-sensing wipers, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and park assist. Toyota's Intelligent Clearance Sonar comes standard in the Advanced trim. It uses a variety of sensors to detect and avoid collisions with stationary objects at low speeds.

See Prius Prime safety scores »

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime or 2017 Toyota Prius?

The 2017 Toyota Prius and the Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid share similar features lists and safety ratings. They have some notable differences, however. Unlike the Prius Prime, the Prius has no appreciable electric range for taking trips on electricity alone. Also, the Prius can accommodate five (the Prime only holds four), and it has more cargo space. The Prius Prime has a much longer total driving range – 640 miles vs. 588 in the regular Prius. Also, the Prime transitions smoothly between gas and electric power, and it can travel up to 25 miles on electricity alone. Both are good choices in the hybrid and electric car class.

Which Is Better: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime or 2017 Chevrolet Bolt?

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and the Prius Prime are both good vehicles. They’re fun to drive, well-equipped, and fairly roomy inside. The Prius Prime’s total driving range is more than 2.5 times that of the all-electric Bolt (640 vs 238), but the Prius Prime can only travel 25 miles on electricity alone. Those who travel mainly on city streets will find lots of reasons to go with the Bolt. Those who routinely take longer drivers will probably prefer the Prius Prime.

Compare the Prius Prime, Prius, and Bolt »

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Performance

How Does the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Drive?

The Prius Prime plug-in hybrid has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to two electric motors and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Transitions between electric and gasoline power are smooth, and the powertrain is zippy enough to merge onto the highway.

The 2017 Prius Prime is fairly agile. Its heavy battery helps maintain a low center of gravity, minimizing body roll around corners. The Prius Prime’s ride is smooth, and its steering is decently weighted.

Does the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Prius Prime is highly efficient. It returns an EPA-estimated 54 mpg combined city/highway. Combining this estimate with its gasoline usage yields 33 MPGe (for more information, read What Is MPGe?). This is a better estimate than you’ll get with the 2017 Chevrolet Volt, 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, and 2017 Nissan Leaf

The Prius Prime can drive up to 25 miles using electric power alone. Charging the Prime's battery pack takes about two hours with a 240-volt charging station or 5.5 hours with a standard 120-volt household outlet.

Read more about Prius Prime performance »

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Seat?

The Prius Prime is a four-person hatchback, so it doesn’t have a rear middle seat like most compact cars. Heated front seats and cloth upholstery are standard. The available SofTex leatherette upholstery comes in all but the base trim. An eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support is also available, as is a heated steering wheel. Overall interior and seating space are good for the class. 

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime?

The Prius Prime has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat anchors on the rear outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the highest rating of Good for its ease of use.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Features

Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, smartphone integration via the Entune App suite, navigation, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, hands-free phone capability, push-button start, proximity key, and six speakers. Available features include Siri Eyes Free, wireless device charging, a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system, a head-up display, and an 11.6-inch touch screen.

Both infotainment screens are straightforward and responsive. However, the 11-inch touch screen can be a distraction. It takes up the bulk of the dashboard, leaving no room for secondary buttons. As such, it may cause you to take your eyes off the road for longer than necessary.

See 2017 Toyota Prius Prime specs »

Read more about Prius Prime interior »

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Dimensions

Toyota Prius Prime Cargo Space

The Prius Prime has 19.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is above average for a compact car.

2017 Toyota Length and Weight

From front to back, the 2017 Prius Prime measures 15.2 cubic feet. It has a curb weight of 3,365 or 3,375 pounds, depending on the trim.

Where Was the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Built?

Toyota built the 2017 Prius Prime in Japan.   

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