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Toyota Mirai
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4.5

2019 Mirai

For commuters who live in a region where the hydrogen fueling infrastructure is already built out, opting for the 2019 Toyota Mirai may make a lot of sense. For starters, it's a genuinely futuristic experience since the Mirai is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that converts the stuff of stars into electricity and water. This electricity goes to a small battery that drives the motor while the water leaves the tailpipe as vapor.

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Toyota 4Runner
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4.1

2019 Toyota 4Runner

TRD Pro has new Fox shock absorbers, new skid plate and roof rack, and standard sunroof and JBL sound system New Limited Nightshade Edition with black-out color scheme Part of the fifth 4Runner generation introduced for 2010.

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Toyota 86
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It's easy to pick on the 2019 Toyota 86 and count the ways it falls just short of excellent. It's small inside. There's limited passenger and cargo space. It's not particularly comfortable, especially for taller drivers, and its technology feels dated and inadequate.

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We also drove both cars on a flat but snow-covered road with an obstacle course that required a quick right-left S-turn. When we tried the maneuver in the front-drive Prius, its front tires were easily overwhelmed when we accelerated and steered at the same time. Because of that, it was hard to keep the car from running wide. With AWD-e, there was still some squirming through the course, but it was far more composed and easy to drive.
During a brief test drive on dry pavement, we were able to shake loose some rear-drive assistance during aggressive cornering, although this served more to confirm the existence of the rear motor than to improve handling. AWD-e does not bring with it any sort of performance-enhancing torque vectoring; the Prius is still happy to understeer. A few circles in a roundabout ("Big Ben! Parliament!") showed a narrow window of all-wheel-drive operation until stability control aggressively steps in. Given the sedate pace that most Prius drivers maintain, the rear wheels will rarely be powered, which is the way Toyota wants it, a necessity to maintain the Prius's fuel-sipping EPA numbers. On a short snow-covered course, however, the rear motor helped to get the car moving from a stop as promised and kept it moving through an inch or two of the white stuff.
Visit our Toyota Universe finance page to get pre-approved today! The staff within our Finance Department is dedicated to putting you in the car you want, at a price you can afford. We also offer competitive auto leasing options for our customers who are not looking to purchase or finance a vehicle. Whether you are looking to finance or lease your new Toyota car, truck, or SUV, our finance experts will work to arrange affordable payments for our customers.
The Honda Accord Hybrid offers an EPA-estimated 48 mpg combined rating. It comes close to challenging the Prius and gets higher scores elsewhere to even things up. The Accord's interior is especially nice and there's plenty of adult-sized space in every seat. Counting against it: a throttle that can be touchy at high speeds and longer-than-average panic braking distances.
If you want the space and versatility of a family sedan along with extra power and refinement, a luxury midsize sedan makes for a refreshing alternative to the pullulating herd of luxury SUVs. These premium sedans provide more elegant cabin materials, more advanced technology, more engaging performance and, yes, more precious price tags. You won't find many hybrid options; in this group, only BMW and Lexus offer upscale hybrid motoring. But you will find some of the most satisfying driving experiences that today's market has to offer.
Simply put, the Prius AWD-e is more sure-footed and capable on snow — precisely what the added mechanicals intended to deliver. We'd also like to point out that these vehicles were equipped with the standard low-rolling-resistance tires that are focused on fuel efficiency rather than traction. Switching to all-season or snow tires would likely yield even better results.
The Audi A6 is an all-wheel drive mid-size sedan that, like its competitors, has many safety and driver-assist technologies (though the latter seems to come standard with most of the luxury cars). The 2019 version is a little longer and wider, and it comes with a 3.0-liter V6 engine, along with a twin-scroll turbocharger. There’s tons of tech in this vehicle, whose interior is designed with leather, wood and ambient lighting. It has a new MMi Touch Response system, a new addition to Audi, which replaces the rotary dial and infotainment controls.

^ Jump up to: a b "Most Efficient EPA Certified Vehicles". U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016. The 2014–16 BMW i3 BEV was the most efficient EPA-certified vehicles considering all fuels and of all years until November 2016, when it was surpassed by the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. As of November 2016, the 2016 Toyota Prius Eco hybrid car is most efficient EPA-certified vehicle with a gasoline engine without plug-in capability.
Global sales of the Aqua/Prius c passed the 500,000 mark in August 2013.[109][101][110][111] and the 1 million milestone during the first half of 2015.[112] As of January 2017, with 1,380,100 units sold worldwide, the Aqua/Prius c is the second top selling TMC hybrid after the regular Prius.[12] The top market is Japan with 1,154,500 Aquas sold, capturing 83.6% of global sales, followed by North America with 192,700 units.[12]
As the Prius reached ten years of being available in the US market, in February 2011 Consumer Reports examined the lifetime and replacement cost of the Prius battery. The magazine tested a 2002 Toyota Prius with over 200,000 miles on it, and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles tested by Consumer Reports 10 years before. The comparison showed little difference in performance when tested for fuel economy and acceleration. Overall fuel economy of the 2001 model was 40.6 miles per US gallon (5.79 L/100 km; 48.8 mpg‑imp) while the 2002 Prius with high mileage delivered 40.4 miles per US gallon (5.82 L/100 km; 48.5 mpg‑imp). The magazine concluded that the effectiveness of the battery has not degraded over the long run.[168] The cost of replacing the first generation battery varies between US$2,200 and US$2,600 from a Toyota dealer, but low-use units from salvage yards are available for around US$500.[168] One study indicates it may be worthwhile to rebuild batteries using good blades from defective used batteries.[169]
When you think of highly efficient hybrid vehicles, there's no doubt the Toyota Prius comes to mind. Since its introduction nearly 20 years ago, the venerable Prius has become the paradigm of fuel-sippers. With 50-plus mpg, hatchback versatility and a backing of Toyota reliability, it's easy to see why the Prius is a hybrid sales leader. Now there's another reason to consider the 2019 Toyota Prius, especially if you live in a climate with snowy or icy winters: available all-wheel drive.
There are two principal battery packs, the High Voltage (HV) battery, also known as the traction battery, and a 12 volt battery known as the Low Voltage (LV) battery. The traction battery of the first generation Prius update (2000 onwards) was a sealed 38-module nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack providing 273.6 volt, 6.5 Ah capacity and weighing 53.3 kg (118 lb)[165] and is supplied by Japan's Panasonic EV Energy Co. They are normally charged between 40–60% of maximum capacity to prolong battery life as well as allow headroom for regenerative braking. Each battery pack uses 10–15 kg (22–33 lb) of lanthanum, and each Prius electric motor contains 1 kg (2 lb) of neodymium; production of the car is described as "the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world."[166] The LV battery is essential to starting the car and providing initial power to the computer.

Unlike its predecessor, the Prime runs entirely on electricity in charge-depleting mode (EV mode).[90] Toyota targeted the fuel economy in hybrid mode to be equal or better than regular fourth generation Prius liftback. The Prius Prime has an EPA-rated combined fuel economy in hybrid mode of 54 mpg‑US (4.4 L/100 km; 65 mpg‑imp), 55 mpg‑US (4.3 L/100 km; 66 mpg‑imp) in city driving, and 53 mpg‑US (4.4 L/100 km; 64 mpg‑imp) in highway. Only the Prius Eco has a higher EPA-rated fuel economy rating in hybrid mode.[89] The 2017 model year Prime has a different exterior design than the fourth generation Prius. The interior design is also different.[87] The Prime has a four-seat cabin layout, as Toyota decided to improve the car's efficiency to achieve its design goals.[88]
I am home... this car is where I belong. In less than 24 hours of ownership, this is quite possibly my favorite car ever (and I've owned 17 cars in my life). Took delivery two hours away and recorded a solid 62.5mpg on the highway (keeping in mind the break-in requirements). The CVT is perfect (I came from owning a line of late-model Subarus, and throttle tip-in and rubbery-band effect were terrible in the Subarus). The Prius rides like a much larger car - feels solid on the road, very very smooth and quiet. Happy to have the AWD for my slippery, slopey, snowy driveway in winter. Roomy interior! Steering still carries the artificial electric boost and feel that most Prius drivers will instantly recognize. Coming from the superior Eyesight package available in Subaru, I'm not as thrilled with Toyota's Sensing package, but it is what it is. Entune is terrible, and I didn't think I would miss Apple Carplay, but I do. And one small fault: it would be nice to backlight the shifter column to see the shift patterns in the dark (I know they are on the dash, but something about the shifter having it backlit is better to me). No dealbreakers here... the car is simply phenomenal... I love coasting through traffic and starting off effortlessly. Well done.
Among the new standard features of the Prius, Toyota introduced three optional user-selectable driving modes: EV mode for electric-only low-speed operation, Eco mode for best fuel efficiency, and Power mode for better performance. Optional features included the solar-PV roof panels to help cool the cabin interior in summer heat, Intelligent Parking Assist and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.[57][58]
If the vehicle is traveling at a low speed and the camera-based system detects that a front-end collision is imminent while following a detected vehicle and the driver has not already applied the system can automatically apply the brakes to potentially help reduce the collision’s severity. The system may even help avoid the collision at very low speeds.  
Since its inception, the Toyota Prius has been among the best fuel economy vehicles available in the United States, and for the model year 2012, the Prius family has three models among the 10 most fuel-efficient cars sold in the country as rated by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[172] After the Honda Insight first generation was discontinued in September 2006, the Prius liftback became the most fuel-efficient car sold in the American market,[172] [173][174] until it was topped by the Chevrolet Volt in December 2010, as the plug-in hybrid was rated by EPA with an overall combined city/highway gasoline-electricity fuel economy of 60 mpg‑US (3.9 L/100 km; 72 mpg‑imp) equivalent (MPG-e).[175] According to the EPA, for the model year 2012, and when only gasoline-powered vehicles are considered (excluding all-electric cars), the Prius c ranks as the most fuel-efficient compact car, the Prius liftback as the most fuel-efficient midsize car, and the Prius v as the most fuel-efficient midsize station wagon.[176]
The Prius offers little in the way of driving enjoyment and refinement. Still, the steering effort is pleasingly weighted, and responses to your inputs are accurate—making the handling feel almost lively. Feedback from the road is non-existent, though, and feels numb on-center. Braking is a common gremlin for hybrid vehicles, which use a mix of regenerative and friction braking. Inconsistent or numb feedback from the pedal, as we experienced in the Prius, is often the trade-off and, combined with the low-rolling-resistance tires that most hybrids wear, can make for longer braking distances in our testing than we would expect from other similar-size non-hybrid vehicles.
Global sales of the Aqua/Prius c passed the 500,000 mark in August 2013.[109][101][110][111] and the 1 million milestone during the first half of 2015.[112] As of January 2017, with 1,380,100 units sold worldwide, the Aqua/Prius c is the second top selling TMC hybrid after the regular Prius.[12] The top market is Japan with 1,154,500 Aquas sold, capturing 83.6% of global sales, followed by North America with 192,700 units.[12]
In late November 2018, for the 2019 model year, the U.S. market Prius lineup introduced an all-wheel drive model featuring Toyota's E-Four system. This has been available for the Japanese market Prius since 2015 and the hybrid versions of the RAV4 and Lexus NX.[70] Also, the Prius received a facelift with redesigned headlights and taillights, which was released in Japan on December 17, 2018.[71]
All 2019 Prius models receive a slight styling refresh that replaces some polarizing body panels with more conventional ones. The unusual marker lights that used to drop below the main headlights are gone, as are the awkward creases in the front fascia directly below them. The same holds true for the taillights that now have a more horizontal orientation.
As the Prius reached ten years of being available in the US market, in February 2011 Consumer Reports examined the lifetime and replacement cost of the Prius battery. The magazine tested a 2002 Toyota Prius with over 200,000 miles on it, and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles tested by Consumer Reports 10 years before. The comparison showed little difference in performance when tested for fuel economy and acceleration. Overall fuel economy of the 2001 model was 40.6 miles per US gallon (5.79 L/100 km; 48.8 mpg‑imp) while the 2002 Prius with high mileage delivered 40.4 miles per US gallon (5.82 L/100 km; 48.5 mpg‑imp). The magazine concluded that the effectiveness of the battery has not degraded over the long run.[168] The cost of replacing the first generation battery varies between US$2,200 and US$2,600 from a Toyota dealer, but low-use units from salvage yards are available for around US$500.[168] One study indicates it may be worthwhile to rebuild batteries using good blades from defective used batteries.[169]
The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2007 on concerns that quiet cars like the Prius may pose a safety risk to those who rely on engine noise to sense the presence or location of moving vehicles.[197] Blind pedestrians are a primary concern, and the National Federation of the Blind advocates audio emitters on hybrid vehicles,[198] but it has been argued that increased risks may also affect sighted pedestrians or bicyclists who are accustomed to aural cues from vehicles. However, silent vehicles are already relatively common, and there is also a lack of aural cues from vehicles that have a conventional internal combustion engine where engine noise has been reduced by noise-absorbing materials in the engine bay and noise-canceling muffler systems. In July 2007, a spokesman for Toyota said the company is aware of the issue and is studying options.[199]

During a brief test drive on dry pavement, we were able to shake loose some rear-drive assistance during aggressive cornering, although this served more to confirm the existence of the rear motor than to improve handling. AWD-e does not bring with it any sort of performance-enhancing torque vectoring; the Prius is still happy to understeer. A few circles in a roundabout ("Big Ben! Parliament!") showed a narrow window of all-wheel-drive operation until stability control aggressively steps in. Given the sedate pace that most Prius drivers maintain, the rear wheels will rarely be powered, which is the way Toyota wants it, a necessity to maintain the Prius's fuel-sipping EPA numbers. On a short snow-covered course, however, the rear motor helped to get the car moving from a stop as promised and kept it moving through an inch or two of the white stuff.
One of the longest-running nameplates in this group, the 5 Series lives up to the legend in its latest iteration, boasting robust engine power, lively handling, and a raft of modern safety and infotainment features. The across-the-board competence of this 5 Series makes it a reference point for any aspiring midsize luxury rival. Today's 5 Series lineup is more varied than ever, with numerous powertrain options, a dizzying array of optional niceties, and cutting-edge safety systems that inch closer to autonomous driving. Fuel-efficient alternatives include a plug-in hybrid that can travel up to 16 miles on a full battery charge before the gas engine kicks in. For our money, the 540i is hard to beat with its sublime turbocharged inline-six engine. See the 5 Series in our Sedan rankings

Simply put, the Prius AWD-e is more sure-footed and capable on snow — precisely what the added mechanicals intended to deliver. We'd also like to point out that these vehicles were equipped with the standard low-rolling-resistance tires that are focused on fuel efficiency rather than traction. Switching to all-season or snow tires would likely yield even better results.
There are so many options within the 5 series, but experts suggest getting the 540i if you’re looking for a powerful sedan, though it is more expensive than the 530i ($53,400). Like other BMWs, the 540i comes with a dizzying array of options, including all-wheel drive and a hybrid version, not to mention numerous tiers and packages you can add — consumers who prefer (and can afford) customization may well swerve toward the BMW.

I am home... this car is where I belong. In less than 24 hours of ownership, this is quite possibly my favorite car ever (and I've owned 17 cars in my life). Took delivery two hours away and recorded a solid 62.5mpg on the highway (keeping in mind the break-in requirements). The CVT is perfect (I came from owning a line of late-model Subarus, and throttle tip-in and rubbery-band effect were terrible in the Subarus). The Prius rides like a much larger car - feels solid on the road, very very smooth and quiet. Happy to have the AWD for my slippery, slopey, snowy driveway in winter. Roomy interior! Steering still carries the artificial electric boost and feel that most Prius drivers will instantly recognize. Coming from the superior Eyesight package available in Subaru, I'm not as thrilled with Toyota's Sensing package, but it is what it is. Entune is terrible, and I didn't think I would miss Apple Carplay, but I do. And one small fault: it would be nice to backlight the shifter column to see the shift patterns in the dark (I know they are on the dash, but something about the shifter having it backlit is better to me). No dealbreakers here... the car is simply phenomenal... I love coasting through traffic and starting off effortlessly. Well done.
Global sales of the Aqua/Prius c passed the 500,000 mark in August 2013.[109][101][110][111] and the 1 million milestone during the first half of 2015.[112] As of January 2017, with 1,380,100 units sold worldwide, the Aqua/Prius c is the second top selling TMC hybrid after the regular Prius.[12] The top market is Japan with 1,154,500 Aquas sold, capturing 83.6% of global sales, followed by North America with 192,700 units.[12]

2 less than an equivalent family vehicle with a diesel engine. Average calculated on 20,000 km a year." Points of contention were the vehicles chosen for comparison, whether "'up to' one tonne less" adequately communicated that reductions could be lower, and whether the distance used was appropriate: 20,000 km per year is around a US car's average annual driving distance, while a UK car's is 13,440 km.[206]
Otherwise, the Prius AWD-e is similarly outfitted as its front-wheel-drive stablemates. The added weight (between 145 and 170 pounds) and power needs for the extra motor minimally affect the Prius' exemplary fuel efficiency. Toyota estimates the AWD-e will return 50 mpg combined, compared to the EPA-estimated 52 mpg for the standard Prius and 56 mph for the L Eco model. Also to Toyota's credit: The added mechanicals don't affect rear passenger space or cargo capacity. To make room for the extra hardware, Toyota did have to use a small gas tank; fuel capacity drops from 11.3 to 10.6 gallons on the AWD-e.
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

In general, one of the advantages of a sedan over many crossovers and SUVs is better gas mileage. In addition to good mileage, our picks received high ratings from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts and consumers on Edmunds. They also received at least a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and/or were a top pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (All reviews are up to date at time of publication.)

The Prius uses an all-electric A/C compressor for cooling, an industry first.[44] Combined with a smaller and lighter NiMH battery, the XW20 is more powerful and more efficient than the XW10.[45] In the US, the battery pack of 2004 and later models is warranted for 150,000 miles (240,000 km) or 10 years in states that have adopted the stricter California emissions control standards, and 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years elsewhere.[46][47] The warranty for hybrid components is 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years.[48]

MARK TAKAHASHI: The Toyota Prius has been the hybrid poster child for almost two decades. When it comes to fuel economy, it's really hard to beat the Prius. But it's front-wheel drive-only layout posed challenges for shoppers in weather-prone areas. That's all changed with this, the 2019 Toyota Prius. Do me a favor and hit Subscribe below. We have a lot more reviews coming your way. Compared to the 2018 Prius, the 2019 models, including the all-wheel drive, perform and behave much like its predecessor. They're not particularly sporty, but they get the job done, and that job is fuel economy. When it goes on sale in January of 2019, prices are going to start right around $27,000 for the all-wheel drive, which is only about $1,400 more than the front-wheel drive. Another big difference between the all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive Prius is going to be the battery packs. They've switched from the lithium ion for the front wheel drive to a nickel metal hydride battery pack for the all-wheel drive. That's because Toyota says the nickel metal hydride battery pack does a lot better with cold climates. When it comes to styling differences, they've actually gone simple. They took out some of the more complex and awkward shapes that were in the front right under the headlights, and they even shaved off the headlights to give it more of a conventional wrap-around look. The same holds true for the tail lights. There are a lot more simpler and horizontal. Overall, you still get all of the character that you've come to expect from a Prius, for better or for worse. Like the exterior, of the interior of the 2019 Prius sees some minor changes here and there. The most obvious is the white, glossy trim that kind of adorned everything inside, that's gone. They've replaced it with black. And, personally, I think it looks a lot better. They've also moved the seat heater switches from buried deep down under here to right here in from the cup holders. Another addition. They've added two USB ports right behind for the rear seats. Otherwise, a lot of it remains unchanged, and that's a good thing. The addition of the all-wheel drive motor and the battery pack doesn't affect cargo space or rear passenger space at all. All right, so when it comes to driving the new Prius all-wheel drive, there's not a big difference between this and the regular front-wheel drive. To be honest, I don't feel a difference at all. They say that the power output and efficiency is pretty much dead on. This gets two miles per gallon less, so 50 miles per gallon combined, versus 52 for the regular Prius, and 56 miles per gallon for their L Eco. The added electric motors on the rear axle, those come into play under initial acceleration from 0 to 6 miles an hour. And that's really just to help out on slippery surfaces. The motor will kick in from time to time, up to 43 miles an hour, when needed when slippage is detected. Unfortunately, they didn't get around to adding Apple CarPlay for the 2019 model. They are saying it will come eventually. If you ask me, it'll probably be in the next model year. And that's too bad, because the Toyota Entune system, in my opinion, is one of the worst infotainment systems to use. It's just overcomplicated, and it's lacking a lot of features that are made up by the features on your smartphone. So to give an indication of how different or how much better the all-wheel drive might be, they've set up this wonderful little snowy course for us. This is the front-wheel drive version. And we'll see how much of a handful it really is. Let's go plowing and see what happens. Oh, yeah. So it's not a lot of steering response. It's really just-- oh, it's kind of just struggling to get through. And there's a lot of work you can hear with the anti-locks kicking in there. But it made it through just fine. It didn't need a whole lot of steering correction. So we'll see how the all-wheel drive performs in comparison. All right, so there's one important difference, which is initial traction. The rear motors, they come into play from 0 to 6 miles an hour just to get you going. So we're going to go up this gentle little incline here to get a real good indication of if it really works or not. Here we go. OK, so a little bit of crabbing here and there, but it left the line just fine. And that was pretty deep snow, actually. And the front-wheel drive Prius actually won't even make it up that hill. So we are lined up onto the chicane course. Here we go. Going in about the same speed and same aggression. Oh, it's tracking way better. Wow. Yeah, it's not bogging down at all. It's just kind of kicking in. We had maybe 25 miles an hour there, and that was a marked improvement. Good on you, Toyota. The 2019 Prius maintains its advantage for fuel economy and keeps all of its character that we've come to expect. The addition of the all-wheel drive model? Well, that's a significant step forward. It really opens up the Prius to shoppers who normally wouldn't consider it because they lived in snowy areas. After driving it on this course, I can say it makes a difference. It makes a big difference, especially when you're just starting out from a dead stop. For more information on the Prius, as well as its competition, head on over to edmunds.com. To see more videos like this, hit Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING] 

Once the premier name in American sedans, Cadillac is a latecomer to the modern luxury-sedan world. It hasn't taken long for the fabled brand to reassert itself, though. The midsize CTS stands apart thanks to its distinctive design, sporty performance and advanced technology features. The standard four- and six-cylinder engine options don't overwhelm with power, but the optional turbo V6 is the equal of almost any rival. On a winding road, the CTS is easily one of the most engaging cars in its class, even alongside the 5 Series. The downside is a stiff ride quality that may give buyers pause, as well as an iffy control layout that incorporates Cadillac's sometimes-frustrating CUE infotainment system. Perhaps it's no surprise to learn that this year's CTS may be the last. See the CTS in our Sedan rankings
The original Prius helped make hybrid vehicles mainstream back in the early 2000s, and it continues to be one of the most recognized hybrid nameplates. Its eccentric exterior styling and—ahem—untraditional interior design are unmistakable albeit polarizing. Still, the Toyota has always been about making the world a greener place by maximizing fuel economy and minimizing emissions. The compact hatchback is losing ground to newer hybrid alternatives such as the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Niro, but the Toyota brand maintains an unrivaled reputation for reliability. While the 2019 Prius is the polar opposite of driving enjoyment and high performance (or any type of performance, for that matter), its comfortable interior and trademark powertrain deliver what many consumers want.
The Prius's hybrid powertrain is not capable of delivering thrilling or even amusing acceleration. Its lethargy can't be given a free pass, as other competitors prove that acceptable performance need not be sacrificed in the pursuit of world-beating fuel economy. The all-wheel-drive versions feature an electric motor that functions separately from the hybrid system and powers the rear wheels.

We also drove both cars on a flat but snow-covered road with an obstacle course that required a quick right-left S-turn. When we tried the maneuver in the front-drive Prius, its front tires were easily overwhelmed when we accelerated and steered at the same time. Because of that, it was hard to keep the car from running wide. With AWD-e, there was still some squirming through the course, but it was far more composed and easy to drive.
Presented at the April 2003 New York International Auto Show, for the 2004 US model year, the NHW20 Prius was a complete redesign. It became a compact liftback, sized between the Corolla and the Camry, with redistributed mechanical and interior space significantly increasing rear-seat legroom and luggage room. The second generation Prius is more environmentally friendly than the previous model (according to the EPA), and is 6 inches (150 mm) longer than the previous version.[38][39] Its more aerodynamic Kammback body balances length and wind resistance, resulting in a drag coefficient of Cd=0.26.[40] The development effort, led by chief engineer Shigeyuki Hori, led to 530 patents for the vehicle.[41]
But it's the shift in consumer tastes toward compact crossovers that has most impacted the Prius. Toyota's own RAV4 Hybrid is neck-and-neck in sales this year, even with a base price that's almost $4000 higher and fuel economy numbers that start with 3s rather than 5s. If you're looking for an answer to the "Why all-wheel drive? Why now?" questions, this is it. It doesn't hurt that Toyota is already selling a nearly identical all-wheel-drive Prius in Japan, simplifying this marketing move.