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A Weekend With The Toyota Prius Hybrid

Prius V


We wanted to find out how the Toyota Prius Hybrid performs over a standard weekend for city dwellers. So, we contacted a supplier and arranged to borrow a model for three days. After picking the car up on Friday, we had to spend around half an hour reading the manual to ensure we knew how to keep it running. Of course, hybrid models have to be charged at specialist points around the country. That meant we had to download a map of all the nearest charging stations and electric points. As you will discover, the Prius is a fantastic car that more people should consider.


We drove the car for around one-hundred miles during the weekend it was in our possession. At no point did the driver or passenger feel uncomfortable. We found that this was the case, even after more than three hours in the vehicle. The model we borrowed came with leather seats as standard. However, some of the cheaper editions are made with other materials. To be honest, we don’t think it would have made much difference either way. The seats are designed to support your back and ensure you don’t feel pain in your legs on long journeys. Out of ten, we give the Prius a nine rating for comfort.


Our team became concerned about reliability when we looked at the number of charging stations. There were quite a few in our local area, but some towns and cities were severely lacking. Thankfully, we didn’t run out of charge at any point. Planning our route to ensure we passed lots of charging stations probably explains why that happened. However, as more people purchase the cars, garages will have no alternative but to install the right equipment. Of course, hybrid models can run solely on standard fuel. It just didn’t make sense to use a hybrid model in that manner. Out of ten, we give the Prius an eight rating for reliability.


You only have to search online to see the Toyota Prius hybrid has a fantastic safety record. We added some snow tyres and made sure there was enough antifreeze in the boot to keep us going. However, we needn’t have worried because the car never presented a problem. Stopping times are perfect, and the cold weather didn’t pose a problem. The model we borrowed came with a driver, passenger, and rear airbag as standard. So, we felt completely safe travelling around the country. Out of ten, we give the Prius a nine rating for safety.


After spending a weekend with the Toyota Prius hybrid, it became clear we were dealing with one of the best cars of its kind. Anyone who’s looking to buy an economical model this year should give it some serious consideration. It’s ideal for commuting around large busy cities because you won’t use a lot of petrol. Also, it can reach average speeds for a car of its size, and so driving on the motorway is enjoyable. The only quibble we have is with the price. The range starts from just over £21,000, and that seems a little expensive. Hopefully, prices will begin to drop as more people become interested in hybrid models.

On the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Starting in March 2012, the Prius Plug-in will be available at participating dealers in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Hopefully, availability will expand to several more states in 2012.  If you don’t live in one of these states, the Toyota website can direct you to the closest dealership if you don’t mind driving a few hundred miles for your plug-in hybrid. Potentially, you could drive it permanently in hybrid mode without ever plugging it in.  On the other hand, Toyota does not advise somebody to ever drive it without a drop of gas in the tank.


The all electric mode is limited by mileage and speed, meaning you can travel up to 15 miles on a charge, and you are also limited to 62 MPH in all-electric mode.  After you hit these thresholds the vehicle switches to hybrid mode.  You also have the option to manually toggle between EV mode and regular hybrid mode.


This Prius plugs into any standard household outlet with a dedicated 15-amp circuit. The Plug-in Prius requires no additional charging stations or equipment.  The car comes packaged with a 120V cordset.

Tax Credits

August 2011
Individual purchasers of a Prius Plug-in vehicle may be able to take advantage of the Federal Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle tax credit. The Prius Plug-in vehicle tax credit is estimated to be approximately $2,500. However, the Internal Revenue Service has not yet reviewed or confirmed the specific amount of credit, so at this time there are no assurances any purchasers will be able to take advantage of any specific amount of the credit, from zero credit up to the above estimate.

To qualify for the potential Plug-in tax credit:

  • 1. The Plug-in vehicle must be new. Used vehicles will not qualify.
  • 2. The Plug-in vehicle must be purchased. Leased vehicles will not allow the lessee to take advantage of the Plug-in tax credit.
  • 3. The Plug-in vehicle use is primarily in the United States.
  • 4. The purchaser must retain appropriate documentation showing the purchase of the vehicle and the date of the delivery of the vehicle.


So is the Plug-in Prius right for you?  If you have a short commute, and rarely highway drive, this vehicle is a great choice because you will be maximizing your miles per gallon.  Short commutes on smaller roads will encourage regenerative braking, which recharges the batteries in hybrid and electric drivetrains such as the Prius.  While the EV range is short at 15 miles, individuals that can recharge at work or at home can go a long time without using any gasoline.  Starting at $32,000, the Prius Plug-in carries about a $9,000 premium over the 2012 Prius Hybrid, but if you want to make the first step in personal oil independence, the Prius Plug-in is a safe and progressive choice.

For more information go to Toyota’s Website