First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
The Prius NHW11 (sometimes referred to as "Generation II") was the first Prius sold by Toyota outside of Japan, with sales in limited numbers beginning in the year 2000 in Asia, America, Europe and Australia. In the United States, the Prius was marketed between the smaller Corolla and the larger Camry. The published retail price of the car was US$19,995. European sales began in September 2000. The official launch of the Prius in Australia occurred at the October 2001 Sydney Motor Show, although sales were slow until the NHW20 (XW20) model arrived. Toyota sold about 123,000 first generation Priuses.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid (ZVW35) is based on the conventional third generation (ZVW30) with a 4.4-kWh lithium-ion battery that allows an all-electric range of 23 km (14.3 mi). A global demonstration program involving 600 pre-production test cars began in late 2009 and took place in Japan, Europe, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
With all the tech built into Prius, you’re not lost—you're exploring. Boost your journeys with the available 11.6-in. HD multimedia display, and discover a soundtrack for each outing with Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio. The available color Head-Up Display (HUD) projects important information right on the windshield to take your driving experience to the next level.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Along with updated styling, the Prius grew for 2016, increasing cargo space. A new platform improved handling and ride. Though output from the carryover engine decreased slightly, thanks to lighter hybrid components fuel mileage estimates increased to 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway; an Eco version was even more efficient. Lithium-ion batteries are now used on some variations. Six trim levels are offered.
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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.
In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax. Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations' International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.
The Nissan Altima is newly redesigned, and it shines. It’s got two new engines with continuously variable automatic transmission, plus the option of all-wheel drive ($25,250) — even better: it’s sporty. But if you want an even sportier version, choose the SR model, with 19-inch wheels and a 248-horsepower engine ($25,250). It’s also got Android Auto standard, but unfortunately no hybrid option.
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