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2017 Toyota Prius Prime Compilation – What’s It Like To Drive?

We compile a diverse group of writers’ opinions on the good they found in the Prius Prime.

Let’s keep it real. If you want to compare the most efficient automobile in America’s driving dynamics to a sporty, affordable car, you are never going to be happy. However, compare the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid to other green cars that start at about $23K after incentives, and you might have a different perspective.

Due to a family emergency, our staff member that was to be at the Toyota Press Launch had to cancel, but we have compiled a list of respectable (as far as you know) auto writers’ views on how the new Prius Prime drives.

Nicole Wakelin (@nicolewakelin):
Nicole Wakelin is a colleague we respect greatly. She is a road warrior who attends more vehicle launches than most multi-writer publication teams do. Nicole was kind enough to sum up her drive of the Prius Prime in one quick sentence we loved. She said, “It drives like a Prius.” Why did we like hearing that? Well, if it drives like the top-selling green car in the world with an added 300 pounds of batteries on board, Toyota must have done something right!

Car and Driver, Aaron Robinson
Aaron Robinson has never been shy about talking truth about Toyota in his editorial sections. In this pair of quotes from Car and Driver, he put on his driver’s hat to tell us how the Prius Prime handles, saying, “The real revelation in the Prime is the steering. .. it may just have the best steering of any Toyota-branded sedan on the market. It’s organic and natural and an unexpectedly gratifying pleasure. Yes, really. Robinson went to say about the Prime’s handling, “… And it feels agile and fairly fleet as it moves down the road, digesting curves and undulations with a cool aplomb and a compliant but not undisciplined suspension.”

Auto Blog, Jonathan Lopez:
Auto Blog’s Jonathan Lopez comments not just on the Prius Prime’s handling, but its overall driving feel. He said, “…what’s it like to actually drive? Well, as you might expect, there’s not a whole lot of excitement on offer if skipping trips to the pump doesn’t get the juices flowing. Output is rated at a net of 121 horsepower, which means the Prime isn’t very fast. A run from 0-to-60 mph should take around 10.5 seconds, which is acceptable for commuting. You won’t fear on ramps, and there’s instant electric torque as soon as you crack the throttle, providing a nice little squirt when needed. Just don’t expect to smash your neighbor’s Model S in a drag race. That said, the car is very easy to drive, both on the freeway and around town. Beyond the extra little low-end kick, it feels pretty much like any other passenger car. And that’s a good thing.”

AutoGuide: Dan Ilika
Dan Ilika at AutoGuide found handling improvements in the Prius Prime. He wrote, “ Whether on the highway or around town, the improvements to the Prius’s driving characteristics are felt almost immediately. Like the standard Prius, the Prime is built on a new, stiffer architecture and features an independent rear suspension setup. The result is an extremely smooth ride, aided by the weight battery pack mounted low beneath car, that almost floats over road at highway speeds. Despite the propensity to glide along the asphalt, the Prime does feel more engaging than the last Prius plug-in, though it does drive more like a bulky sedan than a pocket-sized compact…Feather the throttle and the Prime will reward its driver with near silent electric acceleration, and the improved regenerative brakes will slow the car gently while putting power back into the battery for later.”

Consumer Reports, Gabe Shenhar:
We liked this summary in Consumer Reports. Every writer knows it is harder to write short than long and this quick summary nails that idea. Gabe Shenhar said, “The Prime drives very similarly to the regular Prius with a comfortable, steady ride and handling that’s responsive and secure, though not sporty.”

Digital Trends, Miles Branman:
Miles Branman found that wind noise crept in at highway speeds, but he said the of the Prius Prime, “Ride quality, aided by a new double-wishbone rear suspension, is comfortable at any speed…”

So there you have it, folks. Carefully selected quotes from a variety of testers who have driven the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Feel free to poke fun at the Prime in our comments section below, but be sure to include the name of the 133 MPGe vehicle selling for about $23K after incentives that you think is better.