The Toyota Prius has long dominated the hybrid market in the U.S., but the Toyota Prius Plug-in model that debuted in 2012 has not measured up to the relative sales success found by its main plug-in hybrid competitor, the Chevrolet Volt.
For 2014, Toyota is cutting the price of the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in to $30,800 with destination, a $2010 drop from last year. This follows the recent trend of price cuts for electric vehicles, such as the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf which both dropped significantly in price this year. The Toyota Prius Plug-in is not a fully electric vehicle, though; instead, it is essentially a standard Toyota Prius hybrid with a beefed-up battery pack and electric motor that allows for increased electric-only range.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in offers 11 miles of electric-only range, as rated by the EPA, and its lithium-ion battery pack can be charged within 1.5 hours using a 240 volt charging station. When the electric range is depleted, the Prius Plug-in operates in normal hybrid mode, achieving 50 mpg combined just like a standard Toyota Prius.
With this price reduction, the Toyota Prius Plug-in now significantly undercuts the price of its two main plug-in hybrid competitors, the $33,745 2013 Ford C-Max Energi and the $34,995 2014 Chevrolet Volt, which also received a price cut for 2014. Compared with these two plug-in hybrids, the Prius offers less electric-only range but better fuel economy when operating in hybrid mode. The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi offers 21 miles of electric range and gets 43 mpg combined when the engine is running, whereas the 2014 Chevrolet Volt offers 38 miles of electric range and gets 37 mpg combined in hybrid mode.
The price drop does not correspond with fewer standard features, as the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In remains approximately equivalent to a standard Prius Three model. This means standard features like heated front seats, navigation, Toyota’s Entune smartphone app integration system, keyless entry, and a remote climate control function that allows drivers to remotely activate the air conditioning from the key fob.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Advanced model receives an even bigger price cut of $4620, down to $35,715 with destination. This model adds synthetic leather seats, a power driver seat, and a head-up display. A large part of this price cut, though, can be attributable to the fact that some previously standard technology features are now part of a $2610 technology package for the Prius Plug-in Advanced, including adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system, and LED headlights.
The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in is sold in 15 states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Main, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Hawaii. Check out the chart below to see how the Toyota Prius Plug-in stacks up against the competition.
|Base Price||Electric-only Range (EPA estimated)||Gasoline EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined)|
|2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in||$30,800||11 miles||51/49/50 mpg|
|2014 Chevrolet Volt||$34,995||38 miles||35/40/37 mpg|
|2013 Ford C-Max Energi||$33,745||21 miles||44/41/43 mpg|