Prius vs. Prius Prime: What’s the Difference?

September 17th, 2019 by

2020 toyota prius prime parked near a camp site


The 2020 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime both offer incredible efficiency and power in their own ways. Both have an aerodynamic body built for action and both have Toyota safety features built in, yet they accomplish dynamic performance in their own way. 

The primary difference between these two models is that the Prius is a hybrid vehicle while the Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which means you can charge it daily for extra range in EV mode. There are some other subtle differences between these models, which our overview explores below.

What’s the Difference Between the 2020 Prius and Prius Prime?


The 2020 Prius has an aerodynamic body designed to enhance fuel efficiency. The Prius is designed to bring you capability with every feature. 

Toyota continues intentional design in the 2020 Prius Prime. The Prius Prime has Quad-LED projector headlights for extra visibility and confidence. The Prius Prime also comes with standard heated front seats, so that every ride supplies comfort as well as capability. Like the Prius, the Prius Prime was also made with light materials to create an aerodynamic body ready for anything.


Available AWD-e, the electronic all-wheel drive feature on the Prius, gives you powerful traction while you drive so that there is no limit to where your Prius can go. 121-horsepower balanced with an EPA-estimated combined 50 mpg, the Prius has the highest mpg of vehicles equipped with AWD.  

The Prius Prime also leads in efficiency, with its Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) system that allows you to charge your vehicle for efficiency that lasts. The Prius Prime also comes with distinct driving modes, bringing you capability personalized to what you need for the current conditions ahead. EV (Electric Vehicle) Mode, EV Auto Mode, and HV (Hybrid Vehicle) Mode all work to intelligently decide what ratio of EV and hybrid is needed, or what ratio of electrical power is needed, all to optimize efficiency and control.  


The Prius has an available 11.6-inch multimedia display and available color Head-Up display (HUD), which projects information on your windshield, so everything you need to know is right in your range of vision. 

Both the Prius and Prius Prime have Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging, which allows you to simply place your phone on the charging dock so that while you drive, your phone will be getting ready for your destination. The Prius Prime has available JBL® Premium Audio System, with 10 speakers to amplify your favorite music.  

Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) is standard in every Prius model, offering you a suite of features to keep your ride safer and your every turn more confident. These features include:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Automatic High Beams

Test Drive the Prius Prime Today at South Bay Toyota

Both the Prius and Prius Prime offer power and efficiency in a blend of their own unique features. Visit South Bay Toyota in Gardena, California, for Toyota deals among our inventory of new Toyotas for sale. Try out both vehicles today to see which one better fits your needs and desires.

Posted in Green Toyota