There’s a lot going on in the electrified vehicle world, but the pioneering Toyota Prius remains fairly quiet for 2020.
The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime does get a few enhancements, but before we get into that let’s talk about range and what the Prius Prime actually offers. The Prime part in the name designates the plug-in hybrid version in the Prius lineup. The Prius itself is a hybrid while the Prime is a PHEV meaning you get more all-electric driving and range.
The Toyota Prius Prime gives you up to 40 kilometers of EV driving capability thanks to a 8.8 kWh battery. That’s quite a bit of electric freedom despite the smaller battery size, but it’s not enough to rival the likes of the Honda Clarity (70 kilometres) or the PHEV version of the Hyundai IONIQ. Still, for most 40 km will be more than enough to get through the week without using a single drop of fuel.
For 2020 the Prius gets a new third seat in the back meaning it can carry 5 passengers. Moreover, Apple CarPlay is offered as standard equipment. Cargo space is rated at 561 litres. Pricing starts at $32,990 with two other versions offered at $34,990 and $37,990 also available. The new Prius e-AWD all-wheel drive system isn’t offered on the Prius Prime, unfortunately.
That’s quite a bit less than the Honda Clarity which starts at $40,100, but government rebates makes things a bit complicated. In Quebec, for example, the Clarity gets up to $13,000 in rebates while the Prius Prime gets $6,500 which shrinks the price difference quite a bit. In Ontario and everywhere else where provincial rebates aren’t offered, the Clarity gets $5,000 off while the Prius Prime gets $2,500.
What the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime Does Well
- Useful all-electric range which means you can use it every day to get to work, charge it at night, and never need to fill up during the week if you commute less than 40 kilometres.
- More fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine once the battery is drained than the Honda Clarity or Hyundai IONIQ Electric Plus.
- More affordable despite the rebates than the Honda Clarity
- Better cargo capacity than its direct competitors
- Fifth seat is a nice addition for families looking for a PHEV vehicle
- Balanced drive with decent handling
What the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime Doesn’t Do So Well
- Yes, it’s more affordable than the Clarity, but not enough to justify the fact that it has about half the range as the Honda
- Overall, Toyota needs a Prius Prime with at least 60 kilometres of range. Current range doesn’t cut it anymore
- All-wheel drive on the Prius Prime would have given it a great competitive advantage
- Interior is nice, but can be overwhelming
What We Tell Our Friends
The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime is still a worthy car, but if you live in Quebec and can live with the Honda Clarity’s looks, it will give you a lot more range without a huge increase in price thanks to the rebates. Outside of QC where only federal government rebates are offered, the Prius Prime is the better car with better versatility and a more balanced overall demeanor on the road. The Prius Prime needs more range to be a home run, but it’s still a fantastic PHEV option.