First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
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.
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.
The Prius first went on sale in Japan and other countries in 1997, and was available at all four Toyota Japan dealership chains, making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2000. The Prius is sold in over 90 markets, with Japan and the United States being its largest markets. Global cumulative Prius liftback sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark in May 2008, 2 million in September 2010, and passed the 3 million mark in June 2013. Cumulative sales of one million were achieved in the U.S. by early April 2011, and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011. As of January 2017, the Prius liftback is the world's top selling hybrid car with almost 4 million units sold.
The Prius picked up its trademark hatchback configuration for 2004, moving from a compact to a mid-size with improved backseat room. Horsepower from the gas engine and electric motor increased to 76 and 67 hp, respectively. First advertised at 60 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway, the numbers went to 48/45 with revised EPA ratings. A new gear shifter added a “B” for engine braking. Safety ratings improved, and side airbags were standard.
The EPA estimates the thriftiest Prius Eco will earn up to 58 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. The other front-drive versions are EPA rated at 54 mpg city and 50 mpg on highway. Those who drive mostly highway miles and like to travel with the flow of fast-moving traffic might be disappointed to learn that the Prius delivered 46 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test (which we conduct at a steady 75 mph), undershooting its EPA rating by 4 mpg. While we haven't tested an all-wheel-drive model, the EPA estimates it will earn 52 mpg city and 48 highway.
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.