2013 Toyota Prius Plugin Review Toyota Place …

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TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Review

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Review

Take Prius, add battery

How can you improve on a stunningly successful hybrid recipe? This is the question Toyota obviously asks itself as it comes time to introduce new blood into their line-up. As all great marketers, Toyota seems to subscribe to the adage even if if your hybrid ain’t broke, fix it and make a new variation on the theme!

The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid looks and feels almost identical to its namesake but now includes a high powered battery to give it even longer driving range and improved fuel economy. The only difference you will see is a battery charging port on the right rear fender, plus a handful of minor trim details. The Plug-In’s lithium ion battery is smaller than the battery packs used in the two more popular plug-in competitors, but it still weighs in at 176 pounds.

As Toyota says, it has an “electric only driving range of up to 15 miles at a maximum speed of 62 miles per hour.”  The Plug-In It was introduced only last year, so consumers are just getting a feel for it; no changes were introduced in 2013.

What are the advantages of a Prius Plug-in?

Positioned halfway between a traditional hybrid and an all electric car, the 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In enables you to increase your Prius’s already stellar fuel economy, by allowing you to travel up to 15 miles powered by electricity only. You will be able to re-charge your vehicle at home in about three hours in a regular 110 volt outlet, or an hour and a half in a larger 240 volt outlet. The Plug -In has the same spacious, five seater cabin and virtually noise free driving experience as the standard Prius, plus the same standard features and options.

So far, going the Plug-In route is a win-win.

What you need to factor in, however, is the space you lose inside the car to house the battery, and the extra weight it gives the vehicle. Are you truly gaining much over the standard Prius in the final analysis? Some reviewers have mixed opinions.

Choose your model

There are two basic trim levels to consider. Both are well equipped with navigation, Bluetooth and ipod input, which are quickly becoming standard, instead of luxury options in many cars.

Base

1.8L 4-cyl. hybrid engine

Continuously variable transmission

Navigation System

Bluetooth

iPod input

Satellite radio

Side/Curtain Airbags

Stability Control

Traction Control

Advanced

1.8L 4-cyl. hybrid engine

Continuously variable transmission

Navigation System


Bluetooth

iPod input

Satellite radio

TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid

Side/Curtain Airbags

Stability Control

Traction Control

Are there other advantages?

The Prius Plug-in operates with the same 1.8 liter, 98 horsepower gas engine as the common or garden variety Prius. If you live in the ‘burbs but commute into Los Angeles every day, as thousands do, you can use the gas powered engine and then switch over to EV mode (an energy saving drive mode) once you get off the 405 and into the city. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid has three driving modes: EV, Eco and Power, which is the same as in the regular Prius, the Plug-Ins EV mode however, works at a higher speed and for longer distances because of the car’s added battery power.

Power mode gives you sportier acceleration, while Eco mode emphasizes energy efficiency.

Gas/electric mileage

The Prius Plug-In’s gas powered engine already get 51 miles to the gallon in the city and 49 miles per gallon on the highway (50 mpg combined). If you add the electric engine into the equation, that pushes its energy efficiency rating (MPGe) to 95 combined. That is excellent, and on a par with other plug-ins currently on the market.

You say you want technology?

The Prius Plug In s cabin and controls just look hi-tech and futuristic, with information and display panels enough to convince you that this is a technologically advanced vehicle. You can even keep track of your monthly fuel consumption if you are that …. Toyota s Entune infotainment system provides access to Pandora, IHearRadio, bing, movie tickets and OpenTable.

The Advanced trim level offers the following as standard: Charge Management, Remote Air Conditioning, Charging Station Map, Vehicle Finder, and Eco Dashboard.

(Has Toyota gone a little overboard with the tech-y look? Perhaps.)

Top notch safety ratings

The Prius Plug In has the usual complement of nine airbags. There s also an  Intelligent Parking Assist system, which helps you parallel-park by controlling the steering wheel based on input from the car s cameras. Other safety features include Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, an anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and smart-stop technology.

An engine immobilizer and vehicle proximity notification system are standard.

Orange County, California residents can see the Prius Plug- In at Toyota Place.

TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid
TOYOTA Prius Plug-In Hybrid

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