First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
If you’ve always coveted a Tesla but didn’t want to spend close to six figures, this might be your route. It’s a mid-size electric car with plenty of technology, as expected with this brand. Additionally, the trunk is large enough to easily hold a mountain bike (as long as you fold the flat rear seats), and the interior cabin is large and comfortable. Consider the long-range battery version — approximated at an extra $7,000 — if you plan on driving longer distances.
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 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.
A 2013 study by the Mayo Clinic found that patients with implanted cardiac devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators can safely drive or ride in hybrids or plug-in electric cars without risk of electromagnetic interference (EMI). The research was conducted using implantable devices from the three major manufacturers and a 2012 Toyota Prius hybrid. The study used 30 participants with implanted devices, and measured electric and magnetic fields in six positions inside and outside the Prius, and each position was evaluated at different speeds.
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Stepping up to the XLE trim brings 17-inch wheels, automatic wipers, keyless entry for the front passenger door and rear hatch, SofTex simulated leather upholstery and wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a semi-gloss black center console and a wireless charging pad. It also reverts back to the tire inflation kit.
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
The large number of Prius-owning progressive celebrities in 2002 prompted The Washington Post to dub hybrids "Hollywood's latest politically correct status symbol". Conservatives called "Prius Patriots" also drive the cars because they want to contribute to reducing US dependence on foreign oil. A 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article said "Prius Progressives" were becoming an archetype, with American conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh opining that "these liberals think they're ahead of the game on these things, and they're just suckers".
During the 1970s, the intermediate class in the U.S. was generally defined as vehicles with wheelbases between 112 inches (2,845 mm) and 118 inches (2,997 mm). The domestic manufacturers began changing the definition of "medium" as they developed new models for an evolving market place. A turning point occurred in the late 1970s, when rising fuel costs and government fuel economy regulations caused all car classes to shrink, and in many cases to blur. Automakers moved previously "full-size" nameplates to smaller platforms such as the Ford LTD II and the Plymouth Fury. A comparison test by Popular Science of four intermediate sedans (the 1976 AMC Matador, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Torino, and Dodge Coronet) predicted that these will be the "big cars of the future." By 1978, General Motors made its intermediate models smaller.
Toyota debuted the new Prius (2010 US model year) at the January 2009 North American International Auto Show, and sales began in Japan on May 18, 2009. Toyota cut the price of the Prius from ¥2.331 million to ¥2.05 million to better compete with the Honda Insight, leading some to wonder whether increased sales of the Prius might come at the expense of sales of other vehicles with higher margins. Competition from lower priced hybrids, such as the Honda Insight, also made it difficult for Toyota to capitalize on the Prius's success. As of June 2013, Toyota has sold about 1,688,000 third-generation Priuses worldwide.
Do not imagine that the AWD-e system will be good for taking a Prius rock crawling or desert racing. All-wheel-drive cars come with only a 0.2-inch increase in ground clearance over the standard Prius, to just 5.3 inches, and the all-wheel-drive system is active only under 43 mph. Its purpose is merely to improve traction and allow the Prius to pull away from a stop during slippery conditions. Slowly, of course. After the car reaches 6 mph, drive to the rear wheels switches from full-time to part-time mode and the Prius experience becomes mostly indistinguishable from the front-drive car.
Entering its seventh year of production for 2019, the Ford Fusion remains a midsize-car favorite thanks to its nicely trimmed interior, advanced Sync 3 infotainment system and spirited driving character. The Fusion isn't a performance sedan, but it corners with confidence and doesn't mind a sprint now and then. The V6-powered Sport model is a gem if you want swift acceleration, but most drivers will appreciate the fuel savings afforded by the trio of four-cylinder engines, particularly the turbocharged 1.5-liter version. To minimize fuel costs, consider the Fusion Hybrid (42 mpg combined) or the Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid that can cover about 20 miles on a full electric charge before the gas engine takes over. This is nearly the end of the Fusion as we know it; Ford is likely to phase out the sedan after 2020, possibly reusing the name for a new SUV. See the Fusion in our Sedan rankings