First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
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.
But the Prius AWD-e isn't quite like other all-wheel-drive vehicles. Instead of drawing from the engine to power the rear wheels, this new Prius uses a separate electric motor to enhance initial traction from 0 to 6 mph. If wheel slippage is detected, the motor will re-engage at speeds up to 43 mph. That means the rear wheels are only powered when needed, minimizing the detrimental effects that traditional all-wheel-drive systems have on fuel economy. Toyota estimates this new Prius AWD-e will achieve 50 mpg combined (52 city/48 highway), which is still very impressive. By comparison, the standard Prius gets an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined, while the Prius L Eco earns 56 mpg combined.
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
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.
Although midsize sedans make up one of the largest car segments in production, most models follow a familiar recipe of features and offerings. In general, you can expect to find a base four-cylinder engine with an optional performance upgrade. At the luxury level, virtually every entrant offers all-wheel drive to entice buyers in harsher climates. A roomy cabin and a rear seat that's comfortable for large adults are common characteristics. Most midsize sedans will offer sizable trunks with 16 to 18 cubic feet of cargo space, but some trunks are on the smaller side, especially those in hybrid models.
The 2019 Toyota Prius offers ample cargo space for your impromptu adventures or calculated itineraries. If up to 65.5 cu. ft. of space isn't enough to hold all your gear, accessory cargo cross bars are available to share the load. With the highest mpg of any vehicle equipped with AWD, Prius encourages you to seek out hidden gems—like that quiet surf spot or that bustling marketplace. Wherever your spirit takes you, the new Prius lets you be in your element.
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".