First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
MARK TAKAHASHI: The Toyota Prius has been the hybrid poster child for almost two decades. When it comes to fuel economy, it's really hard to beat the Prius. But it's front-wheel drive-only layout posed challenges for shoppers in weather-prone areas. That's all changed with this, the 2019 Toyota Prius. Do me a favor and hit Subscribe below. We have a lot more reviews coming your way. Compared to the 2018 Prius, the 2019 models, including the all-wheel drive, perform and behave much like its predecessor. They're not particularly sporty, but they get the job done, and that job is fuel economy. When it goes on sale in January of 2019, prices are going to start right around $27,000 for the all-wheel drive, which is only about $1,400 more than the front-wheel drive. Another big difference between the all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive Prius is going to be the battery packs. They've switched from the lithium ion for the front wheel drive to a nickel metal hydride battery pack for the all-wheel drive. That's because Toyota says the nickel metal hydride battery pack does a lot better with cold climates. When it comes to styling differences, they've actually gone simple. They took out some of the more complex and awkward shapes that were in the front right under the headlights, and they even shaved off the headlights to give it more of a conventional wrap-around look. The same holds true for the tail lights. There are a lot more simpler and horizontal. Overall, you still get all of the character that you've come to expect from a Prius, for better or for worse. Like the exterior, of the interior of the 2019 Prius sees some minor changes here and there. The most obvious is the white, glossy trim that kind of adorned everything inside, that's gone. They've replaced it with black. And, personally, I think it looks a lot better. They've also moved the seat heater switches from buried deep down under here to right here in from the cup holders. Another addition. They've added two USB ports right behind for the rear seats. Otherwise, a lot of it remains unchanged, and that's a good thing. The addition of the all-wheel drive motor and the battery pack doesn't affect cargo space or rear passenger space at all. All right, so when it comes to driving the new Prius all-wheel drive, there's not a big difference between this and the regular front-wheel drive. To be honest, I don't feel a difference at all. They say that the power output and efficiency is pretty much dead on. This gets two miles per gallon less, so 50 miles per gallon combined, versus 52 for the regular Prius, and 56 miles per gallon for their L Eco. The added electric motors on the rear axle, those come into play under initial acceleration from 0 to 6 miles an hour. And that's really just to help out on slippery surfaces. The motor will kick in from time to time, up to 43 miles an hour, when needed when slippage is detected. Unfortunately, they didn't get around to adding Apple CarPlay for the 2019 model. They are saying it will come eventually. If you ask me, it'll probably be in the next model year. And that's too bad, because the Toyota Entune system, in my opinion, is one of the worst infotainment systems to use. It's just overcomplicated, and it's lacking a lot of features that are made up by the features on your smartphone. So to give an indication of how different or how much better the all-wheel drive might be, they've set up this wonderful little snowy course for us. This is the front-wheel drive version. And we'll see how much of a handful it really is. Let's go plowing and see what happens. Oh, yeah. So it's not a lot of steering response. It's really just-- oh, it's kind of just struggling to get through. And there's a lot of work you can hear with the anti-locks kicking in there. But it made it through just fine. It didn't need a whole lot of steering correction. So we'll see how the all-wheel drive performs in comparison. All right, so there's one important difference, which is initial traction. The rear motors, they come into play from 0 to 6 miles an hour just to get you going. So we're going to go up this gentle little incline here to get a real good indication of if it really works or not. Here we go. OK, so a little bit of crabbing here and there, but it left the line just fine. And that was pretty deep snow, actually. And the front-wheel drive Prius actually won't even make it up that hill. So we are lined up onto the chicane course. Here we go. Going in about the same speed and same aggression. Oh, it's tracking way better. Wow. Yeah, it's not bogging down at all. It's just kind of kicking in. We had maybe 25 miles an hour there, and that was a marked improvement. Good on you, Toyota. The 2019 Prius maintains its advantage for fuel economy and keeps all of its character that we've come to expect. The addition of the all-wheel drive model? Well, that's a significant step forward. It really opens up the Prius to shoppers who normally wouldn't consider it because they lived in snowy areas. After driving it on this course, I can say it makes a difference. It makes a big difference, especially when you're just starting out from a dead stop. For more information on the Prius, as well as its competition, head on over to edmunds.com. To see more videos like this, hit Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]
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.
Launched in Japan in 1997, the Toyota Prius hybrid made its U.S. debut in 2001 and sold only 15,000 units that first year. By 2011, U.S. sales reached the 1 million mark, and today global sales top 3.5 million. The Prius uses a gasoline engine and an electric motor with a battery pack. The hybrid system saves fuel by using the electric motor at low speeds, with the gas engine automatically turning on when needed. The Prius’ batteries are recharged by energy captured from braking and by the gasoline engine. Known for its distinctive styling, the Prius name has been applied to other hybrid offerings, including the Prius c, v and Prime. Toyota’s hybrid system found in the Prius is also used in hybrid versions of some of Toyota’s mainstream models.
If you've chosen a midsize sedan over an SUV, you've already addressed some key buying concerns. Sedans get better gas mileage and handle better than SUVs, all else being equal, and there's something timelessly classy about a sleek sedan parked at the curb. When you're ready to buy, let Edmunds' expert reviews guide you to the midsize sedan of your dreams, whether it's a practical, no-nonsense commuter or an executive-class special with all the trimmings.
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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.
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.
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.
In August 2013, Toyota Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso, who was chief engineer for the Prius line, announced some of the improvements and key features of the next generation Prius. This was the first generation of the Prius to use the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform, which provides a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity. Ogiso also explained that the next-generation Prius plug-in hybrid, the Prius Prime, was developed in parallel with the standard Prius model.
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.
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