Skip to main content

Hybrid cars don’t come cheap these days, and plug-in hybrid models are even more spendy. However, there is one model that checks in at under $30,000, and it’s the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime. As the cheapest plug-in hybrid, it’s also a reliable choice delivering the kind of dependability and efficiency Toyota is known for.

Toyota Prius Prime in blue, the most reliable plug-in hybrid
2022 Toyota Prius Prime | Toyota

The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime is the cheapest and most reliable plug-in hybrid model

We may be a few months into 2023, but there are still new 2022 Toyota Prius Prime models out there. According to TrueCar, the average price sits just below $30,000, making it the cheapest plug-in hybrid model available today. It’s an incredibly reliable choice as well, with Consumer Reports giving the Toyota PHEV a higher-than-average reliability score.

Furthermore, this plug-in hybrid only has one recall from the NHTSA, so you have little to worry about concerning trips back to the dealership.

The Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid delivers outstanding efficiency

If the goal of a Prius is efficiency, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime delivers. The four-cylinder engine pairs with an electric motor to offer both versatility and performance. As a plug-in hybrid, the even the cheapest models can travel up to 25 miles on electric power alone. That may not seem like much, but it should be enough to handle the average daily commute. And if there is an EV charging station near your workplace, its likely that your entire slate of daily drives won’t require burning any fuel at all.

Still, when that gasoline engine does kick on, the Prius Prime delivers bigtime efficiency. Rated at up to 53 mpg highway and 55 mpg city, this reliable plug-in hybrid can make you forget all about high fuel prices.

The 2022 Toyota Prius Prime plugged in, the cheapest plug-in hybrid car
2022 Toyota Prius Prime | Toyota

The most reliable plug-in hybrid trades performance for efficiency

For all the excitement surrounding the new 2023 Prius Prime, the previous model offers middling performance. It may be the cheapest and most reliable plug-in hybrid, but all of that conservation comes at a price.

If you’re looking for a fun drive, this isn’t where you’ll find it. At full pelt, the Prius Prime takes over 10 seconds to reach 60 mph and nearly 18 seconds to complete the quarter-mile. In addition, the eco-focused Dunlop tires are far from sticky, and the narrow tread width doesn’t help matters.

None of those are reasons to avoid the cheapest plug-in hybrid, because the 2022 Prius Prime hits its stated goal with surgical precision. This PHEV offers versatility and efficiency in spades, and plenty of comfort along the way. At the end of the day, that’s what this car was designed to do. No more, no less.

Is the cheapest plug-in hybrid reliable enough to be worth it?

Without a doubt, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime easily justifies its price tag. While there are more luxurious models out there, this plug-in hybrid punches above its position as the cheapest available option. Ample cargo space and cabin comforts ensure an enjoyable drive. The serene experience of battery-only power is enhanced by the excellent build quality. And with optional navigation and Toyota’s standard suite of advanced safety features, it has all the requisite tech to remain relevant for years to come.

Related 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid vs. 2022 Toyota Prius Prime: To Plug or Not to Plug?

2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid vs. 2022 Toyota Prius Prime: To Plug or Not to Plug?