Toyota Prius Plug-In Review
The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In ranks 20 out of 21 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Prius Plug-In, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In is ranked:
The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in gets excellent fuel economy, but auto writers point out that it is dull to drive and has a shorter all-electric range than its plug-in hybrid rivals.
The Prius Plug-in has a four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor, as well as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Test drivers say the Prius Plug-in’s acceleration is unimpressive, but add that it should have enough power for most people. The 2014 Prius Plug-in gets an EPA-estimated 95 mpg-equivalent in combined city and highway driving using both electric and gas power, which is worse than what most rival plug-in hybrids get. However, the Prius Plug-in gets 50 mpg combined using only gas, which is very good for a plug-in hybrid. According to the EPA, the Prius Plug-in has a six-mile electric-only range, and Toyota says it can go up to 62 mph on electric power alone. Most plug-in hybrid rivals have better electric-only ranges and top speeds. On the other hand, the Prius Plug-in’s three-hour charge time is very good for the class. Test drivers write that the Prius Plug-in has a smooth ride but clumsy handling. They add that it has light steering and say the brakes might feel strange at first if you’re not used to regenerative braking systems.
Reviewers appreciate the 2014 Prius Plug-in’s attractive, futuristic interior styling, but they say its interior materials are low-quality considering the car’s price. The Prius Plug-in’s cargo area is large for the class, and reviewers write that it has spacious front and back seats. Standard features in the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in include automatic climate control, navigation, a rearview camera, satellite radio, an auxiliary input, a USB port, Bluetooth, push-button start and Toyota’s Entune touch-screen infotainment system, which uses your smartphone’s data plan to access apps like Bing, Pandora and OpenTable, as well as information about weather, traffic, gas prices and sports. Available features include an eight-speaker JBL sound system and adaptive cruise control.
- "It does get Toyota back into the conversation about cutting-edge hybrid technology, and that's an important step. But with less than half of the Volt's electric range, not to mention a 62-miles-per-hour absolute limit in electric mode, the Prius Plug-in doesn't move the goalposts in the plug-in world like past Prius models have done in the world of electric vehicles." -- AutoTrader
- "However, like other Prius models, it does possess the less exciting but more practical virtues that will endear it to most hybrid buyers, including a comfortable ride, safe handling and a versatile hatchback bodystyle that provides 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space." -- Left Lane News
- "If you're shopping for a plug-in hybrid, there are a few rivals you should check out. The 2014 Chevrolet Volt travels much farther on pure electric power (EPA rated at 38 miles) than the Prius, though its gas-based hybrid fuel economy isn't as good, and it has a smaller backseat. The 2014 Ford C-Max Energi is pretty comparable to the Prius, and it also goes farther on all-electric (21 miles)." -- Edmunds
- "The Toyota Prius Plug-in retains all of its ‘standard’ sibling's attributes but adds the ability to run for longer distances solely on electric power. At the same time, it commands a hefty price premium over the regular Prius. The top-end model butts against the likes of the Chevrolet Volt, a vehicle that goes much farther on its battery." -- Consumer Guide
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford C-Max Energi is also a plug-in hybrid hatchback, but unlike the Prius Plug-in, reviewers say the C-Max Energi has strong acceleration and agile handling for a hybrid. The C-Max Energi also has a 21-mile all-electric range and can travel up to 85 mph on electric power alone.
The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid has a class-leading 38-mile electric-only range and it has no electric-only top speed. Reviewers say the Volt has strong acceleration and responsive handling. The Chevrolet Volt is also the 2014 U.S. News Best Upscale Midsize Car for the Money.
Details: 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in
The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in is a five-seat, front-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid hatchback. It is available in two trims: base and Advanced. The Prius Plug-in is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The regular Prius is reviewed separately. The Prius Plug-in has a lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged from an electrical outlet. The Prius Plug-in debuted for the 2012 model year and sees no major changes for 2014, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2014 model years.
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