Skip to main content

With the announcement of the newest generation Toyota Prius, you may be looking at snagging the outgoing version for a lower price. The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is the second generation Toyotas plug-in hybrid version of the iconic hybrid vehicle. Based on the fourth generation Prius, the Prime received much different styling inside and out. Along with styling differences, you gained the option to plug in your hybrid vehicle and receive an all-electric mode along with slightly better gas mileage. But what are the three best reasons to buy a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime?

1. There are three impressive trim levels to choose from

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Family
2017 Toyota Prius Prime | Toyota

You wouldn’t expect to be spoiled for choice when considering a used hybrid vehicle. For the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, there are three trim packages to choose from. Starting with the Prime Plus at $27,985, the package includes amenities such as LED headlights, LED taillights, heated mirrors, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, automatic climate control, a proximity key with push-to-start, and heated front seats. Then, stepping up to the Prime Premium at $29,685, you swap for a massive 11.6-inch display that mimics a Tesla tablet. Other upgrades include SofTex faux-leather seating, a wireless phone charger, and proximity sensors for the passenger door and trunk.

Lastly, you have the Toyota Prius Prime Advanced package. The Advanced package adds a color head-up display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, parking sensors, a self-park system, and a heated steering wheel. An Advanced package does push the price up to $33,985. While standard safety features like adaptive cruise, front collision warning, and the automated emergency braking system are all standard features, the Advanced model is the only one with blind spot monitoring.

2. You decide how your energy gets used

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced Engine
2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced | Toyota

Each model of the Toyota Prius Prime uses a 95 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder assisted by two motor/generator units (MGUs) that combine to make 121 horsepower total. A planetary gearset is used to power the front wheels, which behaves like a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Optimizing for fuel efficiency, the gas engine runs on an Atkinson cycle, and any reverse movement is purely electric.

The MGUs act as generators as well, converting kinetic energy into electricity like when the car is braking. A full charge of the battery pack and the Prius Prime will default to EV mode on the next start-up. Selecting the EV Auto mode will let the car decide where to use a jolt of electricity while mainly operating in hybrid mode. Optional driving modes include Normal, Eco, and Power. Car&Driver noted that the Eco mode dulls acceleration to the point it is annoying to press the gas pedal. Each mode changes throttle input and braking feel depending on conditions.

3. An EV design that doesn’t over-do it

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced Hatch
2017 Toyota Prius Prime Advanced | Toyota

The New 2023 Toyota Prius Is No Longer a Laughing Matter

One of the most significant upsides of the Prius Prime is the design elements. Still holding the traditional Prius shape, the Prime builds on it with more aggressive angles. The front fascia has slanted but elegant headlights which resemble a jeweled, four-pod design. Moving towards the back, the rear hatch glass is split by the superhero mask-like taillight. The entire hatch is made of carbon fiber, along with wavy and curved rear glass, to add more flair to the Primes back end.

The interior of the Prius Prime is the same across the board, with some slightly different seat coverings depending on the trim. A rubberized plastic dashboard, four-seat layout, and soft cloth door panels encapsulate the passengers. While passengers enjoy plenty of space, especially with no middle rear set, you lose an entire person of carrying capacity. Overall, the design is attractive and futuristic without being in your face about it.

Is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime worth it?

There is only one option if you are looking for unrivaled Toyota reliability and want a plug-in hybrid. With competitors like the Chevrolet Volt, the Prius Prime does lack in a few areas but makes up for it with its design elements and overall value. Since the announcement of the 2023 Toyota Prius, the previous generation cars have fallen to around $22,000. Mileage depending, you may find them even cheaper. However, for the value they provide, and with the brand name reliability backing them up, it is hard to go wrong with purchasing a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.