Home » Car Review » 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Review [complete] – The Green one

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Review [complete] – The Green one

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in 1.8 L VVT-i PHEV Hybrid Sol E-CVT Review. We all know Toyota Prius. It was the first hybrid car that took the world by surprise. It became an object of worship and a fashionable car in California and is today one of the best cars in this segment. The first Prius generation was launched in 1997, so Toyota has over 15 years of experience in hybrid cars.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in 1.8 L VVT-i PHEV Hybrid Sol E-CVT

Today, Prius reached its third generation and Toyota decided to make a step forward. It preferred a hybrid model equipped with a charging cable and increased autonomy in electric mode. Thus, in a civilized country, we could run the new Prius Plug-In in electric mode only.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in 1.8 L VVT-i PHEV Hybrid Sol E-CVT Full Review

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Engine / Transmission 4.5/5

The propulsion system used by 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid is pretty similar to that of a normal Prius. The difference comes from the fact that the Prius Plug-in has a charging cable and can be connected to a normal 230 V power outlet in order to charge the batteries. The main source of power is a 1.8-liter petrol engine developing 99 hp at 5,200 rpm and a torque of 142 Nm (104.72 lb-ft) at 4,000 rpm. It is assisted by an electric motor of 60 kW and 207 Nm (152.65 lb-ft). The quantum of the hybrid power system is 136 hp and the power is transmitted to the front wheels via an e-CVT transmission. Thanks to the Plug-in system, the 4.4-kWh battery pack can be charged even from a household outlet of 230 V. With full charged batteries, Prius Plug-in can cover a maximum distance of 15 miles (25 km) on full electric mode.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid is driven and it feels identical to the normal model. The same total silence when the car runs on electric and the heat engine discreetly intervenes when needed. Moreover, everything can be monitored on the central display, for the driver to always know the source of power. Prius Plug-in is ideal for urban use, running in full electric mode at low speeds, making it ideal for residential areas. Then, even if the batteries discharges, we are able to continue running in hybrid mode with absolutely no worries.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Fuel efficiency 5/5

Because of the electric  and the hybrid mode, Toyota Prius Plug-in is proving to be extremely careful with its owner’s wallet. The fuel consumption is extremely low compared with other classical hybrids. Thus, the official figures for the mixed fuel efficiency according to the constructor is just  2.1 litres/100 km (111 MPG US /134.5 MPG Imp.). In real life, as we expected, it’s little bigger. We tested the Prius Plug-in mostly in the urban traffic, but we had problems with the battery charging sources. So I ran 80% of the time in hybrid mode, but even so a mixed fuel consumption varied between 4.4 and 5.6 litres/100 km (53,5 and 42 MPG US / 64.2 and 50.5 MPG Imp.). Excellent figures for a compact car which still has under the bonnet a 1.8 liter heat  engine.

Responsible for the lower fuel economy is the hybrid running mode. Prius Plug-In stops the heat engine whenever it has the opportunity and this can be felt.

The alternative for Prius Plug-In is called Opel Ampera. The propulsion systems are slightly different and Ampera provide greater autonomy in the full-electric mode.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Engine

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Performance 4/5

With 136 hp declared and weighing 3,300 lbs (1.5 tonnes), 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 11.4 seconds and the top speed that can be achieved is 111 mph (180 km/h). The performance is absolutely decent and Prius is extremely pleasant to drive in urban environments.

If you choose to run in full electric, you can do it in two ways: EV City or EV. The City mode minimizes the electrical loads, such as cooling off automatically. Thus, Prius  can only use the batteries energy to run effectively. For running in a Hybrid model there also is a button called Eco that brings a even more efficient fuel consumption.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Interior 4/5

The interior of the Plug-In Prius is almost identical to that of a normal Prius. We have the same spaceship atmosphere with numerous buttons and a digital display instead of a dashboard. The only differences are given by the two extra buttons from which to choose the running mode.

There is enough space inside for four adults and the luggage has a high floor due to the batteries hidden beneath. Even so, the luggage has a volume of 15.6 cu. ft. (443 liters) that’s enough for a normal family. All the necessary information for the driver is shown on a monochrome digital display centrally located which substitutes the dashboard.

Another display, a color one this time, is on the center console to be used along with the navigation system, the audio system and the board computer. Under the tilted center console there is storage space. In here are located the seat heater buttons, a position quite strange and difficult to access. The materials used are of good quality, although the plastic predominates. In general, the feeling is pleasant on board of the Prius Plug-In.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Interior

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Price 3/5

The major problem of the electric cars or hybrids remains their price. They use the latest technology, so the price is a high one. And if a normal hybrid has a price range closer to “normal”, a plug-in hybrid is almost inaccessible to the great mass of customers. The purchase price for the Prius Plug-In that we tested is €43,900 Euros.

The competition offers similar or even higher prices. An Opel Ampera costs €47,500 Euros (VAT included), while a normal Prius costs €26,400 Euros. A classic hybrid with a more affordable price in the same class is Honda Insight, with a price of €22,930 Euros.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Safety 5/5

Toyota Prius has been subjected to the crash tests organized by Euro NCAP in 2004 and 2009. In both of the tests, Prius has passed the highest grade of five stars. The 2013 model received after IIHS- HLDI crash tests the Good overall evaluation.  Prius Plug-In is offered with six airbags as standard plus driver airbag for the knees. In addition, all assistance systems are also offered on the standard equipment list.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Roadholding 4/5

Prius is not a sports car. It’s a car designed for urban use for the family. That doesn’t mean you can’t make trips on the highway. The suspension is tuned for the comfort and is very well adjusted. Toyota Prius Plug-In is one of the most comfortable cars to drove through the city. But it can also do spectacular overtaking when accelerating and and the both sources of power ally to give us maximum power.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Technology

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Visibility 4/5

The glass surface of the Prius helps to have a good visibility of the surrounding traffic. The mirrors are large enough to keep an eye on the back of the car and a rear view camera is useful when parking. I don’t understand why Toyota hasn’t equipped Prius Plug-In with parking sensors. We have, anyway, audible warning to pedestrians when running back in electric mode.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Technology 5/5

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is more technical than any of the hybrid models in the compact class. The difference is given by the charging system from an AC of 230 V.

A full charge of the Prius Plug-in takes about two hours and offers about 25 kilometers on a full electric running. If there would be the required infrastructure in the central parkings and maybe in the office buildings, this type of car could be used only in electric mode for a whole day.

The list of features for Prius Plug-In is full of advanced systems:  daytime running lights with LED technology for low beam, JBL GreenEdge audio system, navigation system and a 6.1-inch touchscreen display. The automatic air conditioning can be can be remote controlled if we want to pre-cool the interior in a warm summer day.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Exterior

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Design 4/5

Prius has a unique design, dominated by a Japanese line that has become almost unmistakably. Although it is in the third generation, the designers have managed to keep the silhouette that gives the Prius character. Altogether, Prius Plug-In is not a bad car. In addition, engineers were involved in its design model as the aerodynamic factor is very important in this case to obtain the lowest possible fuel consumption. One thing is certain: you can’t confuse a Prius with anything else.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Test Drive

What we liked:

  • Good fuel economy
  • The EV mode
  • Silence of the engine

What we didn’t liked:

  • The display graphics
  • The spicy price
  • No parking sensors

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Specs

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in 1.8 L VVT-i PHEV Hybrid Sol E-CVT
Hybrid (Electric + Petrol)
No. doors
Engine type/cylinder
Displacement cc
Length mm / in
4480 / 176.4
Maximum power HP (rpm)
136 (5200)
Width mm / in
1745 / 68.7
Torque Nm / lb-ft (rpm)
petrol 142 / 105 (4000)
electric 207 / 152 (n/a)
Height mm / in
1490 / 58.6
Top speed km/h / mph
180 / 112
Weight kg / lbs
1425 / 3142
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h / 62 mph
11.4 seconds
Wheelbase mm / in
2700 / 106.3
Fuel tank – liters / gallons
45 / 11.9 US / 9.9 Imperial
Automatic (e-CVT)
Cargo – liters / cubic feet
443 / 15.6
2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in 1.8 L VVT-i PHEV Hybrid Sol E-CVT receives in our Review an Overall note of 4.25 out of 5.

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