SALT LAKE CITY — We test a lot of cars, as the manufacturers intended, and we think we do a decent job.
So when Toyota loaned us a Prius Plug-In, we were excited. We gave it the kid test, found the hidden exhaust pipe, and headed for the garage to test the EV part.
After a few hours charging, it said we had 12 miles of all-electric range. Contrasted with the leaves, you can hear how quiet it is.
We ran down to a home improvement store. It was less than six miles round trip. While there, we appreciated the backup camera and good rear-view.
But we failed to keep it in EV mode. Turn on the fan, not even AC, and the engine kicks in. Pulling out into traffic, we burned gas.
In the Chevy Volt, we floored it, and it stayed electric up to 50 miles.
We read Prius Plug-in testimonials. They stayed electric for 12 miles, but we couldn't get it to go for half that. It said we still got 78 miles per gallon.
The Prius Plug-In has no changes, including price, for 2103. You pay a couple grand more for the privilege of plugging in, but if you want the benefit of running like an EV, you'll need a lighter foot than ours.