What's Wrong with the 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in?

The Prius Plug-in doesn't do much to excite. It has a sub-par electric performance and issues with the brakes. No wonder sales are lagging.

The Electric Part is Just Meh

This is a minimalist car and only gets 10-miles worth of battery power. To make matters worse, the gas engine kicks in anytime you ask the Prius for a little extra juice.

The tiny little battery has a couple other problems, this time financial:

  1. it only qualifies for a $2,500 federal tax credit, while others get $7,500.
  2. it doesn't qualify for some state incentives

So while the normal Prius gets excellent gas mileage, the question is --- why pay the $7000 premium just to be able to plug it in?

Brake Failure

There is growing concern about the brakes in the entire Prius lineup. Toyota uses a regenerative braking system that recharges the battery as it decelerates, that's normal. What's not normal is the transition from regenerative braking to hydraulic braking. Some say the transition is harsh and can force the driver to apply different pressure to the pedal. And, in some cases, the transition just fails:

"Bumper to bumper traffic going slow stop & go. Brakes failed 100% I had to use emergency brake which locked up but I was going slow and had no accident. Then the brakes worked. I took it in to local dealer they could find nothing. It is a lease and Toyota will not admit to any problems, so for now, I'm stuck with this junk in my driveway till the lease is up. I will not drive it again it will be towed to Toyota at end of lease in 11 mo. -- 2014 Prius Plug-in Owner"

Lagging Sales

In an apparent effort to boost sales, Toyota dropped the price of the base Prius Plug-in to $29,999^1.