Teresa Wiseman
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Toyota Prius Prime Won’t Launch with Five Seats, but the Next One Will

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2017 Toyota Prius Prime Interior

The interior of the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

If you weren’t aware, the upcoming 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid will only have four seats—and yes, it’s intentional. Toyota says that if it were to seat three across in the rear, it would need more reinforcing material (thus adding weight) and the 3.3-kW charger would need to be placed elsewhere—but elsewhere is hard to find in the already tightly packaged car.

So, like Chevrolet did with the first-generation Volt, Toyota compromised. Yet even before the first Prius Prime has launched, the automaker is already working on ways to make it seat five passengers for the next time around.

Koji Toshiyama, chief engineer for the new Prius and Prius Prime, confirmed to AutoblogGreen that he will be focusing on expanding the rear seating area of the plug-in hybrid while he also works on the next-generation Prius. He couldn’t say how long it would take for a five-seat Prius Prime to follow the four-seat model, but given that the next-gen Prius isn’t due for at least a few more years, we doubt it’ll be any time soon.

Still, it’s nice to see that Toyota is always seeking ways to improve. Besides, it’s unlikely that many people will lament being unable to seat three in the back seat of the Prius Prime in the first place; after all, it’s generally uncomfortable squeezing three adults in the back of any small car even when there are technically three seats—and if those are kids you’re cramming back there, you’re probably better off with a bigger vehicle anyway.

Source: Autoblog