Toyota Prius plug-in in the driving report

[= ””] Update: The federal government now has the Promotion of e-mobility decided, We are therefore updating once again the e-car articles, tests and driving reports. This original article is from the 25. June 2013 

At some point during the trial period, I once had tweeted: “Driving a Prius plug-in is always accompanied by a feeling similar to when you are saving the world”. Or something like that. And even now - some time after the test drive, I still get this feeling. "Anyone who drives Prius wants to save the world."

"Real hybrid - with e-car function"

The PR pros at Toyota began a few years ago to effectively point out the differences between the various hybrid models on the market. And when it was decided there that everything that does not come from Toyota and is not equipped with the elaborately branched drive system, to be called “mild hybrid” - this was gratefully received from all sides. (With the exception of the PR departments of the “other” automobile manufacturers concerned). The hybrid at Toyota became the full hybrid. And now Toyota also offers a hybrid of full hybrid and e-automobile.

In the driving report:

Toyota Prius plug-in

The hybrid with the expensive wire.

Prius Aschaffenburg Castle

Blue coloring on the headlights and chrome clips on the nose of the plug-in hybrid glowing in the sun of the self-centered eco-hero. The visual changes are limited - the most striking is the second fuel cap. One on the left. One on the right. One for the liquid fuel and one for the fuel in the form of electrically charged particles.

The electricity comes out of the tin

The idea behind the mix of e-mobile and hybrid sounds tempting. Many studies show that the average driver does not drive more than 30 kilometers a day. It would be too tempting to cover this distance without local emissions. In addition, electricity - even green electricity at home in my case - is cheaper than driving with fuel from the petrol pump. But how often does it happen that you want to continue driving? Electric cars are currently reaching the limits of what is feasible - as soon as a distance of more than 130 km (average) is planned. Exactly in this case the hybrid of electricity and gasoline make themselves really useful. A Prius Plugin Hybrid replaces the complex solution of the electric car as a second vehicle. That’s the theory.

The test car:

  • Model Name: Toyota Prius plugin
  • Equipment:  Tec Edition
  • Test car Price: € 42.850
  • Mileage:  17.500 km
  • displacement: 1.798 ccm³
  • Design type: 4 inline engine series Atkinson
  • torque:  142 Nm - 2.800 - 4.400 revolutions
  • Drive: e-CVT planetary gear


Prius Plugin - The shape is known

Prius plugin test car

Atkinson Cycle:  Based on the development by James Atkinson from 1882, the petrol engine in the Prius works on the “Atkinson cycle” named after him. The goal is a higher thermal efficiency and lower exhaust gas temperatures. Such an engine that "Miller Cycle”Is the same as the Atkinson, but only promises higher efficiency in the partial load range and the torque also drops in the low speed range. 

Battery technology: The Prius plug-in relies on lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 4.4 kWh. The normal Prius has significantly lower Ni-Mh and significantly less charge capacity. Despite the larger batteries, the plug-in Prius was only 60 kilograms heavier and the trunk volume only lost 2 liters compared to the normal Prius.

CVT:  In the hybrid models of Toyota is not a normal, continuously variable transmission used, but an e-CVT called system, which is also known under the abbreviation HSD. To make a long story short: the petrol engine, the electric motor and a generator work together on a planetary gearbox, called a power split drive. A detailed explanation with a simulation model is available at this link: 

The shape is known - the technology is well hidden

Today, generations of the schoolyard recognize a Prius just as accurately as only the shape of the Porsche classic 911 used to be. The Prius has been around since 1997 and its technology has always been well hidden from the user. And there are good reasons for that. The cooperation between the electric motor and gasoline engine via a planetary gear transmission called “HSD” is not easy to explain. If you are interested in the details, click on the link in the side box.

Prius plugin center console

Off the socket

Up to 25 KM purely electric. Sounds tempting. But already slight twitching of the nervous gas foot let the 1.8 liter gasoline engine start. Likewise cool temperatures. However, if you take it easy, you can do it on 20 kilometers of purely electric driving. Whereby I want to limit this: As soon as you deliberately try to drive a little, twenty kilometers are already fast together.

But the Prius educates one way or another, to a different driving style. Slide. Roll out. Considerate and foresighted. The entire setup of the Prius fits in with this. Rob curves? Not with him.

His driving behavior is determined by less precision in the feeling between the steering wheel and the road than I am normally used to and yet. You get used to the “Prius style” surprisingly quickly.

EV display Prius

The green thumb in the automotive industry:

Consumption combined

2,1 l / 100km

CO² emissions

49 g / KM



These figures refer to the measured values ​​according to Euro-NEDC. The consumption in everyday life can differ considerably!

Prius second tank flap

Everyday life in Prius

Eco-pathos:  Despite the extremely flat drawn A-pillar, the Prius does not seem cramped in the interior. However, the body with the visible desire for the least possible air resistance can sweat on warm days, the air conditioning of the eco-spreader powerful.

The dashboard with its centrally arranged displays only looks a bit stupid at the beginning, later you get used to it, in the Prius everything is a little different.

The dynamic driving requirements meet friends of ecological locomotion, everyone else is probably disturbed by the noise of the petrol engine that works at maximum speed as soon as you get full power. A sprint at country speed seems absurd - the Prius prefers to slide up the pace scale.

What is he particularly good at? What can he not do? What is convincing about the plugin hybrid? You can find the answers on the next page….

... read on ... >>

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Short driving report - Prius Plugin Hybrid


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