First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Prius as among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States, based on smog-forming emissions. The 2018 model year Prius Eco ranks as the second most fuel efficient gasoline-powered car available in the US without plug-in capability, following the Hyundai Ioniq "Blue".
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.
Outstanding efficiency and ample "oomph" when you need it. Both come standard in the Malibu Hybrid with its 1.8L hybrid engine and powertrain. A host of hybrid-exclusive features like the Driver Efficiency Gauge let you monitor your fuel usage and regeneration. A larger 8-inch diagonal, reconfigurable Driver Information Center comes standard in 2019.
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Toyota Prius and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 Prius featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
When you think of highly efficient hybrid vehicles, there's no doubt the Toyota Prius comes to mind. Since its introduction nearly 20 years ago, the venerable Prius has become the paradigm of fuel-sippers. With 50-plus mpg, hatchback versatility and a backing of Toyota reliability, it's easy to see why the Prius is a hybrid sales leader. Now there's another reason to consider the 2019 Toyota Prius, especially if you live in a climate with snowy or icy winters: available all-wheel drive.
The production version was unveiled at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Deliveries began in Japan in late January 2012, followed by a limited roll-out in the U.S. in late February. Deliveries began in Europe in June 2012 and in the UK in August 2012. During its first year in the market, global sales reached 27,181 Prius PHVs, making the Prius PHV the second top selling plug-in electric car in 2012 after the Chevrolet Volt. Production of the first generation Prius Plug-in hybrid ended in June 2015. As of April 2016, cumulative sales of the first generation Prius PHVs totaled 75,400 units delivered worldwide since 2012. The United States led sales with 42,345 units delivered through September 2016, followed by Japan with 22,100 units, and Europe with 10,600 units, both through January 2017. By the end of 2016, the Prius plug-in ranked as the world's all-time third top selling plug-in hybrid after the Volt/Ampera family of vehicles, and the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV.
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.
The Audi A6 is an all-wheel drive mid-size sedan that, like its competitors, has many safety and driver-assist technologies (though the latter seems to come standard with most of the luxury cars). The 2019 version is a little longer and wider, and it comes with a 3.0-liter V6 engine, along with a twin-scroll turbocharger. There’s tons of tech in this vehicle, whose interior is designed with leather, wood and ambient lighting. It has a new MMi Touch Response system, a new addition to Audi, which replaces the rotary dial and infotainment controls.
A 2010 redesign retained similar styling but made the Prius slightly longer and more aerodynamic. A new 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine contributed to a total system output of 134 horsepower, yielding 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway. The interior was significantly improved, as was handling. Toyota also added new drive modes, extending electric-only operation and maximizing fuel economy. Five trims and three option packages were available, and seven airbags became standard.
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.