First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
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".
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.
A major advantage of the Sonata over its rivals is that it comes with Hyundai’s 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty — though experts recommend an upgrade to the top-of-the-line Limited 2.0T version ($31,900) for those who want a little more power, thanks to its turbocharged engine. Android users will be happy to note that the Android Auto comes standard, as does Apple CarPlay. Upgrade for wireless charging, a rear USB port and Blue Link telecommunications. An additional tech package includes lane keep assist, smart cruise control, automatic high-beam assist, automatic emergency parking and more.
Toyota sold 223,905 Priuses among the various HEV family members in the US in 2012, representing together a market share of 51.5% of all hybrid sold in the country that year. In addition, a total of 12,750 Prius PHVs were sold in 2012, allowing the plug-in hybrid to rank as the second top selling plug-in electric car in the US after the Chevrolet Volt, and surpassing the Nissan Leaf. The Toyota Prius liftback, with 147,503 units sold, was the best selling hybrid in 2012, the Prius v ranked third with 40,669 units, and the Prius c was fourth with 35,733 units. Toyota USA estimated that sales of its hybrids models in 2012 would represent 14% of total Toyota sales in the country. Since their inception in 1999, a total of 1.5 million Prius family members have been sold in the US by mid October 2013, representing a 50.1% market share of total hybrid sales in the country. Of these, 1,356,318 are conventional Prius liftbacks sold through September 2013.
Despite its larger size and strong acceleration, the Camry Hybrid returns an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined to match the standard Prius. We also like the Camry for its spacious interior and cargo capacity, but deduct a few points for its noticeable braking transition between regeneration and mechanical systems. The base Camry's ride quality also tends to feel overly soft on the highway.
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.
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.
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.
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".
The following table presents fuel economy performance and carbon emissions for all Prius family models sold in Japan since 1997. The ratings are presented for both, the older official 10-15 mode cycle test and the new JC08 test designed for Japan's new standards that went into effect in 2015, but was already being used by several car manufacturers for new cars. The Prius 2nd generation became the first car to meet Japan's new 2015 Fuel Economy Standards measured under the JC08 test.
The Prius offers Toyota's in-house Entune software for smartphone integration. Setup requires a lengthy app download and account creation process. Entune's app support is meager and less intuitive than CarPlay or Android Auto (neither of which is offered). The Bluetooth menu offers better control and search functionality than most other Bluetooth systems.
^ Jump up to: a b "Most Efficient EPA Certified Vehicles". U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016. The 2014–16 BMW i3 BEV was the most efficient EPA-certified vehicles considering all fuels and of all years until November 2016, when it was surpassed by the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. As of November 2016, the 2016 Toyota Prius Eco hybrid car is most efficient EPA-certified vehicle with a gasoline engine without plug-in capability.
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.
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.