Is the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime’s Mid-Range Trim Level the Best for the Money?
Some have decided to go ahead and get a 2022 Toyota Prius Prime instead of waiting for the all-new model. The last year of the first-generation car provides excellent fuel economy and a spacious interior chock full of standard features. It’s not the only plug-in hybrid on the block anymore, though. Moreover, the 2023 model year ushers in a complete redesign with jaw-dropping looks. But more challenging than deciding between the two model years is which trim level to pick.
2022 Toyota Prius Prime performance and fuel economy
The current Prius Prime’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder produces a meager 95 horsepower and 105 pounds-feet of torque. With a duo of electric motors, power output increase to a paltry 121 horsepower. The pint-sized oomph is enough for puttering around built-up areas but will be restricting on the highway. For instance, it takes seven seconds for the 2022 Prime to accelerate from 50 mph to 70 mph. Nevertheless, drivers can enjoy stopping at far fewer gas stations along their journeys.
All three of the Prius Prime’s trim levels—LE, XLE, and Limited—have the exact same fuel economy figures. Toyota says drivers can expect 55 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. Yet, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime can get around on electrical power alone. Its 25-mile range may be lacking compared to plug-in competitors, but the Prime will do 84 mph without the internal combustion engine engaged.
The base Prius Prime LE
With a starting MSRP of $28,770, standard equipment includes a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with multiple Bluetooth capabilities. Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay can play tunes through a six-speaker stereo. But satellite radio is also available, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot. Three USB ports will also keep phones and other devices charged.
Base models typically have cloth upholstery all around. The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is no different, but it does have heated front seats in the entry-level trim spec sedan. Otherwise, the front seats are manually adjustable, six-way for the driver and four-way for the passenger. In the back, a spacious seating row is enhanced with a flip-down center console with an armrest, storage compartment, and two cup holders.
With the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite, all occupants can be reassured with a wealth of standard safety features. They include adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Additionally, lane departure warning, lane tracing assist, pedestrian detection, road sign recognition, and of course, a rearview camera.
The mid-range XLE
The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime XLE gains an impressive 11.6-inch split-screen touchscreen, wireless charging, navigation, and high-definition radio. It has the same six-speaker system as the base model, but the XLE comes with an amplifier. While drivers can enjoy an eight-way power-adjustable seat with power lumbar support, the front passenger seat is the same as the base LE. The only other upgrade over the base model is synthetic leather upholstery, all for an MSRP of $30,550.
The range-topping Prius Prime Limited
Toyota didn’t stock the mid-tier Prius Prime with much over the base model. However, the difference is even less between the XLE and the Limited. For $34,550, additions include a heated steering wheel and a 10-speaker JBL audio system. On the safety side, the Limited gains blind-spot monitoring, a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, a park assist function, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Which 2022 Toyota Prius Prime trim level is the best for the money?
The base 2022 Prius Prime has an extraordinarily affordable price considering its well-stocked interior. Compared to the competition, it also boasts impressive cargo space. Yet, the XLE’s synthetic upholstery is quite desirable in a brand-new car. As does the much larger infotainment system and the power-adjustable driver’s seat with much-needed lumbar support.
That being said, the $1,780 difference between the LE and XLE looks a bit smaller with the additions. While the top-spec Limited has a few extra safety features and a better stereo, it’s an additional $4,000—nearly a down payment on a 2022 Toyota Prius Prime. Therefore, potential buyers shouldn’t skimp when purchasing the plug-in as the extra money for the mid-range model is worth its weight in niceties.