2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Gets $2,000-$4,500 Price Cut
The ongoing price war between makers of plug-in cars continued this week with the announcement from Toyota that it will cut prices on its Prius Plug-in Hybrid for the 2014 model year. Essentially the same as the 2013 Prius Plug-in Hybrid—and without the garish two-tone paint job recently announced for the Japanese-market 2014 model—the new U.S. market version of the Prius plug-in gains no new visible tech or features, but is more affordable.
How much more affordable depends on the model you choose. At the base end, you’ll find a $2,010 price reduction on 2013 prices for the same car, while those ordering the 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced will save $4,620 compared with 2013 models.
This puts pre-incentive prices for the base-model Prius Plug-in Hybrid at $29,990 before destination, and $34,905 for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced, before destination. Since neither car has been modified from the 2013 model year, expect the same tax credits and rebates, as well as perks like Californian HOV-lane solo driver access, to remain too.
Are Toyota’s price cuts big enough to give it a distinct advantage in the marketplace? Sales of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid have been dropping lately, partly due to competitive pricing from the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and the 2014 Chevrolet Volt. While base-model examples of each car are more expensive than the price-cut 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid, they offer 21 and 38 miles of all-electric range respectively—trumping the Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s 11 miles of EV range.
Is HOV the Key?
Because of its plug-in status and low emissions, California owners of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid are eligible to apply for green HOV lane sticker program offered by the state, dramatically reducing commute times for anyone willing to spend the extra money buying the plug-in Prius over the standard non-plug-in liftback.
And because its 1.8-liter gasoline engine is far more efficient in hybrid mode than either the C-Max Energi or the Volt, the Plug-in Prius is the prime choice for someone who wants HOV lane access to speed up their morning commute but who can’t, or for whatever reason, don’t want to plug in everyday.
However, for true EV fans, Toyota’s price cut to the 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid will likely only cause a momentary pause to examine rival cars with much greater plug-in capability.
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