Toyota Prius

Toyota’s Prius has been the poster car for those looking to lead a greener life since its second-generation model came online for 2004. Now in its fourth generation, today’s Prius isn’t quite as ubiquitous as it once was, thanks in part to low gas prices, changing consumer tastes and arguably, genuinely weird styling. Today’s Prius has been on sale since the 2016 model year, and the gas-electric hatchback continues to be one of the most efficient cars on the road, while offering markedly more engaging handling dynamics than its forebears.

Starting at $23,475 before options and delivery, the 2018 Prius also features standard lane-departure alert, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision with auto-brake and pedestrian detection. The 2018 Prius offers fuel economy as high as 58 miles per gallon city, 53 highway and 56 combined. If you are looking for the greenest possible model, however, you might want to check out the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime, which offers 25 miles of all-electric range, a more sophisticated infotainment interface and a slightly more conventional appearance.

Editors' Review

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The Toyota Prius is something of a known quantity at this point. The world's best-selling hybrid nameplate, it's probably hard to find someone who hasn't heard of the fuel-sipping car. This year, Toyota has a new way to attract even more buyers to the Prius lifestyle thanks to the addition of all-wheel drive as an option.

It's the first major update for this generation of the Prius, which went on sale in the US in 2016. But with much of the Prius' appeal predicated on its fuel economy and affordability, does the new AWD-e model require big sacrifices on either front?

Upgraded powertrain

For the most part, the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e has the same powertrain as any other model. Up front is a 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder and an electric motor-generator, which deliver a combined 121 horsepower. However, where the front-wheel-drive Prius has a 3.6-amp-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the AWD-e uses a 6.5-amp-hour nickel-metal hydride pack. Toyota says a key consideration in using the NiMH pack is its reduced susceptibility to cold weather -- i.e. the types of snowy weather in which one might be driving an all-wheel-drive Prius. The final change is at the rear axle, where the Prius gains an electric motor rated for 7 horsepower and 40 pound-feet.

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The Good The 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e is crazy fuel-efficient and easy to drive.

The Bad In-car features are lacking.

The Bottom Line Getting all-wheel-drive traction in a Prius requires few sacrifices.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8
  • Design 7
  • Media 7

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