MSRP
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2019 Toyota Prius Prime Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 6.3

The 2019 Toyota Prius Prime has an attractive cabin boasting soft-touch surfaces, modern styling, and lots of standard safety features. Cargo space is above average. On the downside, the upgraded touch-screen system can be tricky.

  • This generation of the Prius finally got an interior commensurate with its price tag, and that carries over to the Prime. Most of the hard and cheap-looking plastics that adorned the old car are a thing of the past. Padded sections cover the upper door panels and top of the dashboard. Most components fit together well, but there are still a few rough edges, specifically on the sun visors, and the headliner looks a little downmarket. The doors sound a bit tinny when you shut them, detracting from the cabin ambience. The Prius' new design motif might not meet everyone's tastes, though, and some odd touches remain. The most glaring is the center console covered with glossy white plastic; it screams 'the future' a little too loudly." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Build quality, especially given we were driving pre-production models, felt excellent and a step above the Volt's." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
  • "Unlike the old Prius Plug-in, the Prime has styling and features that make it stand apart from the regular Prius models. This makes sense because what good is it having the latest iPhone if everyone thinks you're still swiping and pinching the old version." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Seating

This Toyota seats four people. Cloth upholstery and heated front seats come standard. SofTex synthetic leather upholstery is available, as is a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Prime has adult-friendly front and rear seats. Because only two passengers can ride in the rear seat, each person is treated to extra shoulder space.   

For attaching child safety seats, there are two complete sets of easy-to-use LATCH connectors.

  • Unlike the regular Prius, the Prime is strictly a four-seater, due to the space required for the onboard charger and cooling system. Rear-seat room is decent, with enough head, leg, and knee room for two adults. The low and flat seat is a little light on thigh support, and there is no armrest." -- Consumer Reports
  • "The Prius feels spacious up front, and the back seat is much more livable than the Chevrolet Volt's, despite the Volt's on-paper legroom advantage." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • "Seating is limited to four passengers, one fewer than in the regular Prius. While the practical reason for this decision is largely to save weight so the Prime could meet its efficiency targets and fit the larger battery pack, the benefit is a more spacious and upscale experience for the rear passengers." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Interior Features

Standard features in the base Toyota Prius Prime Plus include the Entune infotainment system, with a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, a USB port, and Bluetooth. You’ll also find automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, a rearview camera, a pre-collision warning and braking system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Upgrades include an 11.6-inch touch screen, Qi-compatible wireless device charging, and a premium 10-speaker stereo. Also available are blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear and front parking sensors, parallel park assist, and a head-up display.

The infotainment system in the base trim is easy to use. Most critics knock the available larger touch screen for being more frustrating to use, mostly because it lacks physical controls.

See 2019 Toyota Prius Prime specs »

  • -Toyota's iPad-like display may have showroom appeal, but the execution is poor. Interacting with climate, audio or phone functions requires extra steps, requiring calling up individual categories and watch their graphics rotate on the screen. Tuning a radio station ends up requires too much eye-off-the-road time." -- Consumer Reports
  • Toyota has made an impressive array of infotainment technology standard in the Prime, with some models carrying a huge Tesla-esque screen in the center of the dash. Despite its size, that display is not as versatile as the coveted unit in Tesla's Model S and Model X." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • The base Prime Plus comes with a 7-inch touchscreen augmented by volume and tuning knobs. Climate controls consist of flipper levers to adjust temperature, fan speed, and mode. By contrast, Premium and Advance have a large, vertically oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen where everything is done through the screen or repetitive-step virtual pushbuttons; there are no knobs or flippers. Though this all comes off as appropriately 'techy,' we found the base system easier to use." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

Cargo

This hatchback has 19.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a decent amount for a compact car and for a hybrid.

  • While the passenger cabin of the Prius Prime and the standard Prius hybrid are equally roomy, the Prime's cargo hold is meaningfully diminished by its larger battery. It provides less real-world luggage space than the standard Prius and some of its competition. Interior storage is ample, but family road trips will be a tight fit." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • On the downside, cargo space in the Prime is reduced by more than seven cubic feet compared to the Prius. This is due to the larger 8.8 kWh battery residing under the raised cargo floor, equipped with almost twice as many Li-ion cells. But at 19.8 cubic feet accessible through a large hatch opening, the Prime still has as more (sic) space back there than a typical sedan, and it's plenty roomy for the typical Costco run and that's without folding down the rear seatbacks." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "The trunk frame is, no joke, made of exposed carbon fiber. While this is to some degree a marketing boon, the trunk door is easy to lift and close." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
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