Cost & verdict

Toyota Prius Plug-in review

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Toyota Prius Plug-in
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22 Feb 2017 14:03 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 08:59

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

As with all plug-in hybrids, the fuel economy you achieve in the real world will vary dramatically depending on on how much you charge the car and how many short-range, electric-only miles you do. But even on a long-distance ‘fuel-only’ drive, you can get close to 70mpg if you drive in the relaxed style the Prius Plug-in encourages.

That's more than any rival is capable of, and about 10% up on what the regular Prius will do. But the difference in monthly company car tax bills compared with the regular Prius is actually negligible as a result of the 40 per cent price premium that Toyota charges for the Plug-in version.

In addition, changes to the road tax system introduced on April 1, 2017 mean that hybrids no longer offer private buyers a significant tax advantage over conventional cars.

At least Toyota gives you plenty of standard equipment for your money. Even the lower of two trim levels gets Toyota’s full suite of ‘safety sense’ active safety systems at no extra cost, as well as a reversing camera, keyless go, a DAB radio, a wireless phone charger, LED headlights and heated front seats. Meanwhile, Excel-spec cars add a 10-speaker premium audio system, parking sensors, intelligent park assist, automatic wipers, leather upholstery and voice control.

One reason not to splurge on the more expensive version, however, is Toyota’s solar panel roof, which is available as an option only on lower-trim examples. Over a typical day’s use, it's claimed to produces enough power to add three miles to the car’s electric range. Alternatively, if you park up in an averagely sunny place and leave the car for around a week, the car’s drive battery should charge from flat to about 90 per cent full.

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Toyota Prius Plug-in
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The Toyota Prius Plug-in is too expensive by half. It works well as a short-range, pseudo-electric vehicle, but not well enough elsewhere

  • Quiet in electric mode
  • Cheap to run if used properly
  • Well equipped
  • Expensive to buy
  • Limited practicality
  • Noisy petrol engine
There are 4 trims available for the Prius hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Most owners will be satisfied with the generous level of equipment that comes on the cheapest trim level. The kit list includes 15in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and 7.0in touchscreen wi...View trim
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For an added layer of luxury, top-spec Excel trim adds leather seats, an upgraded stereo system and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. There are also extra infotainment features such as text message a...View trim
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