First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
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In July 2007 The New York Times published an article using data from CNW Marketing Research finding that 57% of Prius buyers said their main reason for buying was that "it makes a statement about me", while just 37% cited fuel economy as a prime motivator. Shortly afterwards Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson coined the term "Prius politics" to describe a situation where the driver's desire to "show off" is a stronger motivator than the desire to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Some conservatives promote use of the Toyota Prius and other hybrid cars. For example, Jim Road from What Would Jesus Drive? encouraged people to drive hybrid cars because of the damage that large SUVs and faster cars can do to others.
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.
Unlike its predecessor, the Prime runs entirely on electricity in charge-depleting mode (EV mode). 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. The 2017 model year Prime has a different exterior design than the fourth generation Prius. The interior design is also different. The Prime has a four-seat cabin layout, as Toyota decided to improve the car's efficiency to achieve its design goals.
In 2010, Toyota released a device for the third-generation Prius meant to alert pedestrians of its proximity. Japan issued guidelines for such warning devices in January 2010 and the US approved legislation on December 2010. Models equipped with automatically activated systems include all 2012 and later model year Prius family vehicles that have been introduced in the United States, including the standard Prius, the Prius v, the Prius c and the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The warning sound is activated when the car is traveling at less than 15 mph (24 km/h) and cannot be manually turned off.
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Debuting in the U.S. as a compact sedan, the Prius had a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 70 hp, paired with a 44-hp electric motor with nickel metal hydride batteries. It was rated 52/45 mpg city/highway on the old EPA rating system, later revised to 42/41. The first Prius was criticized for its nonlinear brake feel, abnormal tire wear and subpar safety ratings.
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
For 2019, car shoppers have another reason to consider the Prius: available all-wheel drive. The new Prius AWD-e adds an electric motor to drive the rear wheels for better initial traction between 0 and 6 mph and re-engages when front tire slippage is detected at speeds up to 43 mph. If you live in an area that has snowy or icy roads during the winter, the AWD-e could provide extra traction. Fuel economy suffers only slightly with the Prius AWD-e.
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.
More and more hybrid vehicles are coming out every year, yet the Toyota Prius, the granddaddy of them all, remains at the forefront. It provides high fuel economy (more than 50 mpg), a comfortable ride and a versatile cargo area. There's also the argument for peace of mind since Toyota certainly has a long history of making reliable hybrid vehicles.
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.
You’re ready to purchase your dream car. Before hitting the dealership, apply to a few lenders to see the best offers. These can include a bank, online lender or credit union. Or go to LendingTree, you can fill out an online form and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, instead of filling out five different lender applications. Then, head to the car dealer with your pre-approved auto loan.
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.