First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
The popularity of the Toyota Prius is shrinking faster than the polar icecaps. In 2016, sales dipped below 100,000 units for the first time since 2004. Last year they fell 33 percent. With 2018 drawing to a close, Prius sales are down another 23 percent. Even with the arrival in January of the new 2019 AWD-e model—which Toyota says should be good for a quarter of next year's sales—the company's flagship hybrid is expected to sell just 50,000 units in 2019.
Launched in Japan in 1997, the Toyota Prius hybrid made its U.S. debut in 2001 and sold only 15,000 units that first year. By 2011, U.S. sales reached the 1 million mark, and today global sales top 3.5 million. The Prius uses a gasoline engine and an electric motor with a battery pack. The hybrid system saves fuel by using the electric motor at low speeds, with the gas engine automatically turning on when needed. The Prius’ batteries are recharged by energy captured from braking and by the gasoline engine. Known for its distinctive styling, the Prius name has been applied to other hybrid offerings, including the Prius c, v and Prime. Toyota’s hybrid system found in the Prius is also used in hybrid versions of some of Toyota’s mainstream models.
A mid-size car— also known as intermediate— is a vehicle size class which originated in the United States and is used for cars that are larger than compact cars, but smaller than full-size cars. The equivalent European category is D-segment, which is also called "large family car". Mid-size cars are manufactured in a variety of body styles, including sedans, coupes, station wagons, hatchbacks and convertibles.
The Prius offers Toyota's in-house Entune software for smartphone integration. Setup requires a lengthy app download and account creation process. Entune's app support is meager and less intuitive than CarPlay or Android Auto (neither of which is offered). The Bluetooth menu offers better control and search functionality than most other Bluetooth systems.
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.
The 2019 Toyota Prius is offered in the following submodels: Prius Hatchback. Available styles include LE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Limited 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), LE AWD-e 4dr Hatchback AWD (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and L Eco 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).
What all-wheel drive won't do is help in the stopping department. Prius AWD-e models come shod with the same 15-inch, low-rolling-resistance Dunlop Enasave 01 all-season tires as front-drive Prius models. A good set of winter tires, even fitted to a front-drive Prius, would bring greater traction benefits to stopping as well as going. Mounted and balanced on a spare set of wheels, complete with TPMS sensors and wheel covers and shipped to your house from Tire Rack, these would run about $900. By comparison, the upcharge for all-wheel drive in a $25,900 Prius LE is $1400, and in the $28,740 XLE, it's $1000. Those are the two middle trims in Toyota's new Prius trim naming strategy; all-wheel drive is not available on the top-of-the-line Limited or the entry L Eco.
Despite the newly available all-wheel-drive system, we'd stick with the standard front-drive Prius. Still, those who live where there are more winter months than summer months may appreciate the improved all-weather capability. We prefer the eco-friendliest Prius, which is the entry-level L Eco. It lacks the fanciest options and creature comforts found on more expensive versions, but it has higher fuel-economy estimates from the EPA and solid standard features. These include two USB ports for the back seat, push-button start, passive entry on the driver's door, and numerous driver assists such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Worldwide Sales of Toyota Hybrids Surpass 10 Million Units" (Press release). Toyota City, Japan: Toyota. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2017. This latest milestone of 10 million units was achieved just nine months after total sales reached 9 million units at the end of April 2016. The Prius family accounts for 61% of Toyota's total global cumulative hybrid car sales: 6.115 million units, consisting of Prius liftback: 3.9846 million; Aqua, Prius c: 1.3801 million; Prius α, Prius v, Prius +: 614,700; and Prius PHV: 79,300.
But any Prius comes with a trade-off: performance. The Prius is neither quick nor engaging to drive. Additionally, its infotainment system isn't the easiest to use and lacks Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration. But for shoppers seeking the most return per gallon, that's easily forgivable. Along with the Honda Insight, the Prius is one of our top recommended hybrids for 2019.
The Toyota Camry is a family-sedan archetype, a seasoned veteran to which upstarts are inevitably compared. Gone, however, is the sleepy style of Camry's past. Today's Camry is lower, sleeker and sportier, but it doesn't sacrifice interior space in the bargain. The Camry's standard engine is a somewhat coarse four-cylinder that balances power and fuel economy, but the optional V6 offers spirited performance in high-end models. Serious fuel-watchers will want to consider the Camry Hybrid and its eye-popping EPA rating of 52 mpg combined. Although the Camry's subpar infotainment system and intrusive safety features drag down its standing among the best in this class, it's still a fierce rival. See the Camry in our Sedan rankings