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The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime Promises Big Changes

The best-selling hybrid of all time just got better. Here are the changes you can expect for the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime.

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If you are in the market for a new vehicle and gas mileage is important to you, the Toyota Prius Prime might just be for you because of its affordability and staying power. Not only does it average an amazing 54 combined mpg (55 city / 53 highway), but it is also fun to drive. When the 2020 Prius Prime model arrives at dealerships this summer, it will bring with it some important updates and changes.

In fact, this real-world price break down explains why Toyota Prius Prime is top-selling affordable EV In America.

What makes Prius Prime so special?

Prius Prime offers a wealth of benefits for drivers. This PHEV (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle) offers you the versatility as a traditional hybrid (gasoline engine/electric motor combination) or as a plug-in vehicle. People commuting to work on a daily basis can take advantage of Prius Prime’s 25 mile range using all-electric mode. Also, imagine being able to drive 640 miles on one tank of fuel. Prius Prime drivers can. Can you say road trip up the coast?

Now how do you charge it? Is it easy? Yes! You can use any regular wall outlet in your garage or at work and it will take about 5 ½ hours to fully charge your Prius Prime. If you really want to take things to the next level, you can upgrade to a Level 2 home charger and you can fully charge your car in just over 2 hours.

Five not four

One of the main drawbacks of the 2019 Prius Prime is the rear seating. Due to the placement of the hybrid battery components, along with load capacity limitations, Toyota only allowed for two seats in the back. This makes the 2019 Prius Prime a four-seater. For families with three children, this would be a dealbreaker for sure. Great news – 2020 Prius Prime comes back with a vengeance and will add a 3rd seat in the rear, allowing for five passengers. Families rejoice and let’s all pile in.

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime Has Improved Trim Level Configurations

Toyota made a brilliant decision to make trim levels more familiar and easy to understand with the 2020 model. The trims will be LE, XLE and Limited. We like these. We know them already.

In the past Prius Prime trim levels had been challenging to remember and tell apart. With configuration names like Plus, Premium and Advanced, loyal Toyota car buyers were unfamiliar with those terms. It made Prime car research more difficult than it should be. The new 2020 configuration lineup matches Prius Prime up perfectly its Prius gasoline counterpart, so shopping should be much easier for buyers.

CarPlay? (Bueller?) Anyone? Anyone?

As drivers in today’s hectic driving world, we are faced with an increasing amount of distractions and temptations. Apple CarPlay is one application that really does limit these distractions. You can now easily access your music (“Play Bon Jovi songs”) or navigate to nearby coffee shops using Google Maps and even Waze with the simple touch of a steering wheel button. I should know – my 2018 Camry XLE was just retrofitted with CarPlay yesterday and I love it (click to read about Camry’s CarPlay software update).

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime will be gaining Apple CarPlay, along with Amazon Alexa capabilities. Before you ask, Android Auto will not be part of the action this time around. Sorry in advance.

Other Additions

To make life more convenient for passengers, 2020 Prius Prime adds 2 rear seat USB ports. Also, black interior accents will replace the previous white accents. This should appeal to buyers’ more high-end luxury tastes.

Other improvements are the addition of sun visor extenders and easier-to-reach heated seat buttons.

I would love your thoughts. Does the idea of the plug-in Prius Prime appeal to you? If looking for Prius, would you more consider the traditional hybrid Prius or is the Prius Prime on your radar?

Thanks again for reading. For all your Toyota news and reviews, feel free to Bookmark my Torque News page and follow my work to catch the all the latest (click here). See you next story about Prius where I am discussing 5 Facts to Know About 2019 Toyota Prius Prime Before You Buy One.

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at Toyotajeff.

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Ihm (not verified)    May 14, 2019 - 10:21AM

Android has 65% market share and going higher, of course, Toyota would choose the OS that is declining. Their upper management is on drugs.

pbass wil (not verified)    May 17, 2019 - 5:35PM

In reply to by Ihm (not verified)

Have to agree – how could they ignore the wide usage of android? World-wide, more people use Android than even Windows. And Hybrid & Ev adopters are tech-savvy. Do they not care that they're losing sales??

Peter (not verified)    May 14, 2019 - 10:31AM

I Was looking at my first "new new" car to be the Prius Prime. No Android Auto, no deal. Hyundai it is (I've tried their Ioniq previously and it's lovely). But I'll be putting it off until my current Prius drops dead, having too much fun at the moment.

Jeff Teague    May 15, 2019 - 8:48AM

In reply to by Daniel Hinich (not verified)

I mean, more people have the Android than anything else. I'm told it will be added to each new model that carries the 3.0 multimedia system. Will roll out with 2020 Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner and Sequoia and all others from this point on...we shall see!

Vic (not verified)    May 15, 2019 - 4:15AM

I have a 2012 Prius Trim 4 and am in the market for a 2020 hybrid. The only thing holding me back on purchasing the Prius Prime is lack of Android Auto. I'll gladly pay $1,000 more to have it as an add-on.

Tom Gee (not verified)    May 15, 2019 - 8:55AM

It seems like too little too late in the EV department. I own a Prius V which I like and wished the new Prius would have this kind of room not less than even a standard Prius. The choice of Apple over Android is very unfortunate. I consider Apple more of a marketing company than a technology company. Their Marketing is world class for a product that doesn't measure up to the competition..

G (not verified)    May 15, 2019 - 5:57PM

I love my 2018 Prime. I now start the day with 30.5 miles in the battery. up from 25 miles. The top version, with all its sensors and features, is fantastic! 2 USB in the back would be a good addition as would be the plan to move the heated seat buttons. I think Toyota Prius Prime knocked Volt out of the market.

ernesto ramirez (not verified)    May 17, 2019 - 3:58PM

As a previous owner of the Prius plug I was very disappointed in the Prime's lack of cargo space. WHY would they make the truck smaller? I would not even be able to put my bike in the truck becasue they made it so small now. The extra batteries should have placed elsewhere. Also, the interior feels cheap with all the shinny plastic. Maybe a 2021 update but by then the Tesla model z may be coming out??

Adrian (not verified)    May 27, 2019 - 4:39PM

In reply to by Jeff Teague

I'm both happy and sad. Wanted to see a few more changes under the hood and in the drive train like AWD, and a longer EV range for the 2020 Prius Prime, after the disappointing 2019, no changes release. So I'll wait one more year, and push the 04 beyond the 300k range. Living at 9,000 feet would be a lot nicer with 4wd in a Prius Prime. Guessing I'll be downgrading to a Audi e-tron as my next 14+ year ride. Love your writing style. Adrian

Marianne (not verified)    June 20, 2019 - 6:52AM

We have an '07 with 140k miles and the daughter loves it. Its holding together and hasn't cost much for maintenance (yet). We bought a '17 prime and love it too. My firefighter husband got crap from his buddies about the hampstermobile but we are giggling as we pass them at the pumps filling their trucks. Love our hampstermobiles. Put studded snows on and all is well.

Osvaldo R Orozco (not verified)    July 7, 2019 - 3:05PM

Same ... ready to pull trigger but not because of no android auto..looking elsewhere..

MattCoyle (not verified)    October 21, 2019 - 12:38PM

I think it is interesting that everyone is upset about the Android Auto missing, as am I since I cannot stand Apple products, but I'm also curious about the smart assist support. Why no Google assistant support? Again, you're limiting your market and just shooting yourself in the foot.

Bob Foss (not verified)    April 12, 2020 - 7:46PM

Wanted to consider Prime as my Bolt EV lease is expiring, and though a PHEV is backwards from an EV in terms of "green" the Prime might work except for the cargo area. I have two greyhounds that can't jump over the battery cover. I heard Toyota may change the design in 2021 or 2022. is that feasible?

Allan (not verified)    April 3, 2021 - 9:12AM

I bought a 2020 Prius Prime. No Android Auto is a Bummer. Still waiting for an Android Auto update. That is one thing about Toyota's. They do not keep up with updates like Tesla's.