Toyota Prius Plug-in

Toyota Prius Plug-in

Family Cars

1. Toyota Prius Plug-in

Model/Engine size:
Toyota Prius Plug-in 1.8 VVT-I Plug-in
Petrol Electric Hybrid
Fuel economy combined:
134.5 mpg* see text
Toyota Prius Plug-in


Toyota is the undoubted leader when it comes to hybrid cars. Not only was the company one of the first manufacturers to offer hybrid models, it has managed to continually develop its offerings to stay at the front. What it doesn’t have is an electric car, and with big rivals like Nissan going down the all-electric route, it has felt compelled to do something.

The result is the Prius Plug-in. By fitting a larger 4.4 kWh battery it works exactly like the standard Prius but has a 15.5 mile electric range at up to 51 mph before it switches back to being a normal Prius. Toyota reckons that this gives customers an electric range that will cover most daily commutes without the range anxiety of a pure electric car.

In common with all plug-in hybrids the Prius Plug-in makes a mockery of the industry standard fuel consumption test producing a figure of 134.5 mpg. If you can cover all of your journeys in electric mode you will use no fuel; the good news with the Prius Plug-in is that thanks to the Prius mechanicals, fuel economy is also excellent when you run out of electric range. In normal hybrid mode it achieves 76.4 mpg which is slightly better than the standard Prius.

Thanks to a switch from nickel-metal hydride to lithium-ion batteries, Toyota has squeezed the bigger unit in without losing any boot space, although the spare wheel is missing. Everything else is standard Prius so check out our Prius review for the full details.

On the face of it the Plug-in Prius offers a small electric range in return for a reasonably large increase in the price. However there is a niche market for whom it does make sense. If you don’t cover much more than 15 miles a day (or between plug-ins) its range is adequate. If you do cover more but still want some electric range, fuel economy is better than other plug-ins and even the standard Prius so it is genuinely efficient in either mode. The 5% company car tax rating is also worth noting.


Read the full Toyota Prius Plug-in review


Electricity consumption:

Estimated at 139 Wh/km – approx 72 g CO2/km

Battery pack: 4.4 kWh lithium-ion

Recharge time: 90 minutes 230v


Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Beating Spirit and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.


Fuel economy, extra urban:
Fuel economy, urban:
CO2 emissions:
Officially 49 g/km* see text. Estimated 74 g/km electric (average UK electricity) approx 86 g/km petrol/hybrid mode g/km
Green rating:
VED band A - £0 a year
1,420 Kg
Company car tax liability ( 2015/16 ):
£33,395 (Qualifies for £5000 Government grant)
Insurance group:
98 (petrol) 81 (electric) system 134 bhp bhp
Max speed:
112 mph
11.3 seconds
Euro 6: