For a week this February, the good folks at Toyota USA let me have a brand new 2017 Prius Prime, the plug-in hybrid atop of the Prius line. What's the difference between it and a regular Prius? Well, I drove the wheels off it and didn't use a drop of gasoline. Instead I was able to recharge the batteries via any standard electrical outlet. Pretty awesome. I love though that it still has a gas tank for a back-up in case I had found myself somewhere without outlets. To me, that is a big plus over a typical electric car.
I loved the flash of the "blue magnetism" shade. And the car's sleek lines and nicely designed front made it look far more like a sports car than the original, boxy Prius line. It had all the power I needed, though I wasn't hauling anything and just driving around town. There were lots of whizzbang features that my 1997 (gasp!) Honda CR-V lacks. For instance, they claim it can parallel park itself, but I couldn't bring myself to try it. But I did love the back-up camera and how the car automatically checked my blind spots or if I'd gotten too close to another object. Handy stuff for everyone's safety! The model I tested was $38k and the basic Prime starts at $27k.