First Look Review: The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime is beyond just efficiency

  • Toyota Prius Prime brought forward to the 2024 model year without any changes
  • Delivers an electric driving range of up to 44 miles (EPA-est.
  • Priced from USD 32,975 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee)
  • Now arriving at U.S. dealerships

It is not often that I come across an economical daily driver that also boasts eye-catching looks, top-notch mpg, and strong performance, all under USD 35,000. The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime is that exception, and in my first encounter, it broke the preconceived notions I had about the nameplate. I came away feeling that the 2024 model has set a new standard for what the Prius can be, questioning why Toyota didn’t make this transformation sooner.

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime is now arriving at U.S. dealerships, and recently, I took a detailed look at a Guardian Gray-colored unit that was on display at an event. Here are my thoughts about the new plug-in hybrid car:

Design

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime features a sporty and dynamic design that exudes a swankier appearance than what photographs reveal. Seeing it up close, I was immediately struck by its low-slung body and athletic stance. In my view, no other compact car currently on the market, regardless of its powertrain, comes close to matching its style.

The 2024 Prius Prime’s low and wide stance is complemented by large, 19-inch alloy wheels that go well with its size and perfectly fill out its wheel wells. I think the short overhang and upright rear also add to its sports car-like styling. The clean-slate design of the rear doors and the faux two-door coupe look are particularly appealing.

That said, some of the car’s bold design elements, such as the flattish A-pillar, for instance, did raise concerns about practicality for me, which I’ll come to in the next section.

Interior

I’m six feet tall, and when I entered the front of the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime, I felt that ingress was a bit uncomfortable from the low roof. The first thing I checked after sitting in the driver seat was forward visibility, which I had no problems with, but with my head touching the roof when I raised myself a little, it all felt a bit cramped.

Rear visibility was below average from the smaller rear glass, but thankfully, the car comes with a digital rearview mirror, which fixes the problem. Rear-diagonal visibility was also not great, as the sloping roofline minimizes the glass area.

I felt that I had just about enough knee legroom and that the under-thigh support could have been better. The dashboard and console weren’t touching my knee. I opened the center console storage box, and I found that it was enough to keep small items like a wallet or a phone, and it comes with two charging ports.

Entering the rear, I really had to watch my head as the roof tapers quickly. If you aren’t careful, you could bump your head on the door seal. Here again, I felt my head rubbing against the headliner. I imagine that I would feel a bit claustrophobic on a long road trip. With the driver seat adjusted to my settings, I felt that the knee room was surprisingly a bit more than I imagined. The rear bench isn’t equipped to carry three adults comfortably.

2024 Toyota Prius Prime interior
The 2024 Prius Prime shines in dashboard design, effectively blending physical and digital controls. However, adapting to its plethora of buttons and controls took me a bit of time.

Just from an aesthetic standpoint, I think the 2024 Prius Prime’s interior scores ten on ten. The wide, floating dashboard suits the sleek exterior of the car and makes the cabin feel like an inviting space. The compact 7-inch TFT LCD is a hoodless, edgy unit with sharp and clear graphics. Sitting in the car, I learned that it offers information like Eco Score, EV Ratio, power produced by the solar roof, power consumption, Energy monitor, trip info, etc. This is certainly also a geek’s car!

The 350-mm (14-inch) steering wheel took me back to the time when I held an aftermarket steering wheel in a JDM sports car! Lifted from the bZ4X, the stubby design, which partly obstructs the view of the instrument cluster if set higher, contributes to the car’s sporty feel.

One of my top interior features of the 2024 Prius Prime is the free-standing 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, developed right here in the U.S. I used it to see if it has a simple UI and operates without any lag and found that it works well. This system has wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto compatibility, and it also comes with built-in useful cloud navigation.

Lastly, I checked the quality of plastics, trim, and upholstery materials. The car uses hard plastics in most places, with padded surfaces in touch points like the armrest and piano black around the center console. Given its price point, I think Toyota’s done a good job with the quality, but I would like to see a lighter shade as an option in future model years, as it could enhance the sense of spaciousness inside the car.

Driving impressions

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime has no mechanical changes from the outgoing model. It uses a 220-horsepower plug-in hybrid system that combines the 150-horsepower M20A-FXS 2.0-liter gas engine with a 161-horsepower permanent magnet synchronous motor, also mounted at the front. The car’s 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack gives it an electric driving range of up to 44 miles (EPA-est.) and a total driving range of up to 600 miles (EPA-est.).

The Prius Prime shouldn’t feel any different in how it drives following the 2024 model year update. Previous model year reviews are largely positive. The plug-in hybrid car offers punchy acceleration and can whisk the driver quietly out of their neighborhood, being capable of operating in EV-only mode at speeds up to 84 mph.

2024 Toyota Prius Prime cargo area
The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime offers 20.3 cu. ft. of cargo space, and folding its rear seat slightly increases that figure to 26.7 cu. ft.

The Prius Prime’s 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.6 seconds effectively silences any further jokes about the Prius’ performance. Not just straight-line acceleration, it corners pretty well too. The car doesn’t show reluctance to light, playful driving inputs, which makes it surprisingly fun to drive. The steering wheel starts off light but gains weight during spirited driving.

The Prius Prime’s suspension offsets bumps well and doesn’t let vibrations filter into the cabin much. The friction brakes come into action smoothly, so braking feels natural, something that is uncommon among HEVs and PHEVs. Overall, the Prius Prime strikes a fine balance between fun and comfort and ticks most boxes for a compact family car.

Price

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime’s prices start at USD 32,975 and go up to USD 39,670 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee).

TopElectricSUV says

For those around six feet tall, like myself, and families who have taller members, the 2024 Prius or Prius Prime may not be the ideal option, given the constraints in headroom and cargo space.

Wondering why Toyota didn’t opt to make the car a couple of inches taller? Look towards the lower end of Toyota North America’s lineup: with the Corolla Hybrid, Corolla Cross Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid, and variants of the Camry, Toyota offers several options for shoppers prioritizing space and practicality.

So, what’s the role of the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime? It’s the Toyota that grabs attention with its design and premium interior, focusing more on performance and driving dynamics, all while maintaining impressive mpg. Even with four Toyotas around its price range selling under the same roof, the Prius Prime manages to find its niche and excels in its role!

2024 Toyota Prius Prime FAQs

What is the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime release date?

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime has started arriving at U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime price?

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime’s prices start at USD 32,975 (excl. USD 1,095 DPH fee).

Which cars are the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime rivals?

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime doesn’t have any direct rivals, but it indirectly competes with the 2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid.