2012 Toyota Prius Photo

2012 Toyota Prius - Review


out of 10

Well, now we've driven a prototype of the 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrid that Toyota will sell in the U.S.

What's it like? It's just like driving a standard Toyota Prius hybrid. Only more so.

The 2012 Plug-In will be the first Toyota that can be plugged into the electric grid to recharge its battery pack since it sold several hundred RAV4e electric vehicles a decade ago.

But unlike the RAV4e, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid carries the entire Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain of a conventional Prius.

Its battery pack is larger, and it uses lithium-ion cells rather than the older nickel-metal-hydride chemistry of its conventional brethren. (Toyota has decided that particular lithium blend, however, is a dead end; production 2012 Plug-Ins might use a different variety.)

The Prius Plug-In runs in electric mode for longer, and at higher speeds, than a standard 2010 Prius hybrid. But like the stock vehicle, it recharges its battery using spare power from its engine and through regenerative braking.


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