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#19

in Affordable Midsize Cars

MSRP: $32,000 - $39,525
Invoice: $30,720 - $37,945
MPG: 51 City / 49 Hwy

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Toyota Prius Plug-in Review

The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in ranks 19 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 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in is ranked:

Critics like that the Prius Plug-in can drive in electric-only mode and has great fuel economy, but they’re disappointed with its subpar cabin materials and lackluster performance.

The Toyota Prius Plug-in has a four-cylinder engine, electric motor and continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2013 Prius Plug-in will get 95 mpg equivalent combined city/highway on a fully-charged battery, and 51/49 mpg city/highway with the gas engine, according to the EPA. These fuel economy ratings are very good for the class. Auto writers agree that since the Prius Plug-in’s goal is to save gas, they aren’t expecting much in terms of performance, but even then, they are let down by poor acceleration, a loud gas engine and harsh transition between electric and gas power. They do like that the car’s battery recharges quickly, though. The Prius Plug-in’s handling doesn’t excite reviewers either. Although they say the car delivers a comfortable ride, they say the steering is numb and there is too much body lean and nosedive.

In the Prius Plug-in’s cabin, reviewers wish Toyota didn’t use such cheap materials and say that given the car’s price, they expect nicer finishes. Critics are happy with the amount of passenger and cargo room, saying the hatchback design accommodates both well. Standard features include navigation, a rearview camera, satellite radio, auxiliary and USB audio inputs, Bluetooth, seven air bags, automatic climate control and Toyota’s Entune touch-screen infotainment system. Features available as options or on the higher Advanced trim include an eight-speaker JBL sound system and adaptive cruise control. A few test drivers report that the tech features are confusing and their layout is a little overwhelming, while others say the controls are easy to use.

  • "On the road, the Prius Plug-in offers a comfortable, virtually noise-free driving experience and a robust list of standard features. But like the regular Prius, the Plug-in also suffers from disappointing interior materials and an awkward driving position." -- Edmunds

Other Cars to Consider

If you’d rather have a more traditional-looking midsize car as well as great fuel economy, the all-new 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in is a good choice. The EPA says it will get 115 mpg-e with a full battery and 47/46 mpg city/highway after the battery is dead. Honda also expects the Accord Plug-in to go a little farther in electric-only mode: 13 miles versus the Prius Plug-in’s 11 miles.

Another all-new plug-in hybrid to consider is the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi. The EPA says the Fusion Energi gets 100 mpg-e with a fully-charged battery and 44/41 after the battery is depleted. The Fusion Energi can travel 21 miles in all-electric mode, which is almost twice as far as the Prius Plug-in can go on battery power alone.

Compare the Prius Plug-in, Accord Plug-in and Fusion Energi »

Details: 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in

The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in is available in two trims: base and Advanced. The Prius Plug-in is powered by a four-cylinder engine and electric motor that are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The regular Prius is reviewed separately. The Prius Plug-in debuted for the 2012 model year and since it sees no changes for 2013, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 and 2013 model years.

See the full list of 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in specs »

Review Last Updated: 10/8/13

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