BY H. THROTTLE
The 2018 Prius Prime Advanced is well named, advanced in technology with a hybrid system that can achieve 133 miles per gallon using the EV charging system.
Just operating as a standard four-door sedan with the 121 horsepower 1.8L engine turns out a significant 54 miles per gallon. With that mileage, it is hardly necessary to go through the five-hour charge to gain the 25-mile capacity of the hybrid battery system.
This Prius Prime Advanced is top-of-the-line with a price of $33,995 loaded with advanced Toyota features. The standard Prius sells in the $27,000 range depending upon dealers.
I really like this car and while some auto writers describe it as “boring” I found it peppy, extremely economical, easy to park, and able to haul four large adults in complete comfort. The back seats have a drink console and passengers relate adequate leg room sometimes lacking in smaller sedans.
The Prius has a sleek design with sloping lines and is really modern in design, engineering, and performance. The synergy transmission has one gear speed that handles all situations. With small engines, a good driver will not lug the engine but keep the RPM’s higher and refrain from jamming the gas pedal to the floor to expect a sudden burst of power from the 121-horsepower engine. I found in mountain driving that the car did fine at higher speeds, and again not lugging the motor and demanding instant high performance. The Prius was quite capable of keeping up with traffic and in some cases nimble enough to be in the passing lane for considerable distances.
The center console contains an 11” screen that offers the car menu of choices. I would prefer a simple dash control for the radio and volume controls rather than touching the screen or fumbling with the steering wheel to adjust volume or stations.
The transmission is simple with just D for drive and the car’s transmission does the rest. Brakes were good, and the suspension was firm and steering precise. The Toyota safety systems make this an all-around safe car with all of the latest gadgets and Star Safety System.
The seats were bucket type and comfortable, but there was considerable noise in the cabin and hard to tell whether it was from the air conditioning or road chatter.
Because of the weight and design of the vehicle, the ride was firm, almost too firm, and the many bumps and cracks in Colorado highways were jarring.
This is a high-tech car that should be appealing to adult penny pinchers, long-range commuters, and millenniums who just like an advanced modern mode of transportation that can offer 133 mpg.
I’m none of the above, but I would like one of these in my garage.
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