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Toyota's Prius Prime plug-in hybrid starts at $27,100

With tax credits, it could be a better deal than the regular Prius.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 3, 2016
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Drew Phillips

Toyota's latest take on a plug-in hybrid, the 2017 Prius Prime, may be more of a bargain than its name would suggest. The automaker has revealed that US pricing for the Prime will start at $27,100. That's more than the regular Prius (which begins at $24,685), but it also qualifies for up to $4,500 in federal tax credit -- play your cards right and you could pay less for a vehicle that could also cost you less to run. And did we mention that Toyota has boosted the mileage estimates? You now get 25 miles of pure electric driving instead of the originally promised 22, and the equivalent fuel economy has gone up from 120MPGe to 124.

Of course, there are incentives to splurge on higher-end models. The $28,800 Premium trim comes with the Prime's signature 11.6-inch touchscreen (you get "just" a 7-inch screen on the base Plus), Qi-based wireless charging for compatible phones, remote illuminated entry and upgraded seats. Go all-out with the $33,100 Advanced and you get perks like a heads-up display, remote control mobile apps, a heated steering wheel, blind spot warnings and rear cross traffic alerts. All Prius Prime models come with a handful of smart safety features like pre-collision, lane departure and fatigue warnings.

Our Autoblog colleagues have already driven the Prius Prime, and they generally like what they see. The Prime is much improved over the earlier Prius plug-in hybrid, with more range (both electric and on gas), safety upgrades and all that added in-cabin tech. With that said, it's not perfect: the gas motor is "whiny" when it kicks in, and the touchscreen isn't as responsive as on the far more expensive Tesla Model S. And while it's likely the best-looking Prius to date, that's not saying a whole lot -- "dowdy" is an apt description. Still, this might be your ideal commuter car if the Chevy Volt's longer all-electric range isn't worth the price premium to you.

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