3 Reasons the 2024 Prius Prime is the Best

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

You might not like it, but this is what peak daily driver looks like.

We are big fans of the latest Toyota Prius. Specifically, we’re enamored with the 2024 Toyota Prius Prime. Everything we enjoy about the regular hybrid model is alive and well in the Prime—except all-wheel drive—but this plug-in model adds more capability, with high likelihood it will more than pay for its higher cost with daily drives on nothing but battery power.

According to a 2022 National Household Travel survey, the average number of people in cars per trip in America was just 1.4. If you regularly find yourself on drives either solo or with just one other passenger, here are three reasons why the Prius Prime is the best pick of the modern car landscape.

Electric range is plenty

The headline figure in our tester was 40 miles (64 kilometers) of all-electric range. That was the official figure: in use, we saw about 10-percent more range. The entry-level SE trim sees even more range, mostly due to its smaller, more aero-friendly wheels—which we’d probably try to swap to, let’s be honest.

On average, some 93 percent of US drivers drive fewer than 30 miles a day ( care of the Department of Transportation). That means that, in most cases, the Prime would never need to wake its 2.0-liter gas engine from slumber. This of course presumes you have a way to charge it at home; it’ll take 11 hours on a regular 120-volt plug, or 4 on a 240V setup.

220 horsepower is plenty

With more than a few 1,000-plus horsepower offerings on the market these days (and for barely into six figures, too), two-hundred-twenty ponies might sound like small potatoes. Head back to 2003, when the second-generation Prius truly brought “hybrid” to the masses on these shores, and that’s fully double what Toyota’s electrified poster child touted then. The ’24 would have more oomph than any Toyota car not named Camry SE. It’s more than the Celica ever had.

In real-world terms, the Prius Prime is more than capable of keeping up with the flow of traffic, easily merging on even the shortest on-ramps. The instant torque of the electric motor keeps it perky around town, too. This muscular setup is now paired with a chassis that genuinely enjoys a set of curves, so there’s no shortage of smiles to be had. As I learned behind the wheel of a Prius Prime last year, it’s good enough to keep a Mazda3 Turbo honest.

Do we miss the AWD of the regular Prius? Possibly, though if it’s a serious snowfall you’re worried about, the Prii’s low ground clearance will stop it far before the lack of a second driven axle will.

Style is plenty

There are only so many ways to say it, but it bears repeating nonetheless: the Prius went from being gawky to gorgeous. Very few vehicles at this price draw the eye quite like a Prius, certainly not four-door—sorry, five-door—models anyway.

The Prius is a conscious bucking of trends too: it sacrifices some outright space to crossovers to look (and handle) better than them. And if you’re truly insistent on the high-rider life, well good news: the Corolla Cross Hybrid uses the same powertrain as the regular Prius. But there’s no other flavor of this PHEV setup.

The 2024 Toyota Prius Prime isn’t the perfect answer for everybody—because no vehicle is—but for those looking for a feel-good personal transport vessel with wicked low running costs, it sure comes close.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Pablo Rosado Pablo Rosado on Jun 18, 2024

    This was the photo that made me feel lost, looking at the new Hybrid Corolla:

    comment photo

    Personally, I think that Toyota's Camry Hybrid is a better car and a better overall value than the Prius. The gas mileage and performance is almost as good as the Prius, and it is much more roomy for about the same price.