First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
But any Prius comes with a trade-off: performance. The Prius is neither quick nor engaging to drive. Additionally, its infotainment system isn't the easiest to use and lacks Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration. But for shoppers seeking the most return per gallon, that's easily forgivable. Along with the Honda Insight, the Prius is one of our top recommended hybrids for 2019.
The Second Generation Prius contains a 1.310 kWh battery, composed of 28 modules. Each battery module is made of 6 individual 1.2 V 6.5 Ah Prismatic NiMH cells in series forming a 7.2 V 6.5 Ah module with 46 Wh/kg energy density and 1.3 kW/kg output power density. Each module contains an integrated charge controller and relay. These modules are connected 28 in series to form a 201.6 V 6.5 Ah battery (traction battery), also known as the energy storage system. The computer controlled charge controller and battery management computer systems keep this battery between 38% and 82% state of charge, with a tendency to keep the average state of charge around 60%. By shallow cycling the battery only a small portion of its net available energy storage capacity is available for use (approximately 400 Wh) by the hybrid drive system, but the shallow computer controlled cycling dramatically improves the cycle life, thermal management control, and net long term calendar life of the battery. Active cooling of this battery is achieved by a blower motor and air ducting, while passive thermal management was accomplished through the metal case design.
Simply put, the Prius AWD-e is more sure-footed and capable on snow — precisely what the added mechanicals intended to deliver. We'd also like to point out that these vehicles were equipped with the standard low-rolling-resistance tires that are focused on fuel efficiency rather than traction. Switching to all-season or snow tires would likely yield even better results.
Among the new standard features of the Prius, Toyota introduced three optional user-selectable driving modes: EV mode for electric-only low-speed operation, Eco mode for best fuel efficiency, and Power mode for better performance. Optional features included the solar-PV roof panels to help cool the cabin interior in summer heat, Intelligent Parking Assist and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Along with the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord rewrote the American family sedan narrative, shifting it from the lumbering relics of the Jet Age to more compact and fuel-efficient transportation. Despite decades of success with the Accord, Honda hasn't rested on its laurels. With its sleek fastback design, today's Accord displays its sharpest style yet. Powerful yet fuel-efficient engines, a user-friendly infotainment system, and standard advanced safety features, including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, make the Accord one of the best picks, even among this elite group. A hybrid, rated at 47 mpg, is also available. See the Accord in our Sedan rankings
Presented at the April 2003 New York International Auto Show, for the 2004 US model year, the NHW20 Prius was a complete redesign. It became a compact liftback, sized between the Corolla and the Camry, with redistributed mechanical and interior space significantly increasing rear-seat legroom and luggage room. The second generation Prius is more environmentally friendly than the previous model (according to the EPA), and is 6 inches (150 mm) longer than the previous version. Its more aerodynamic Kammback body balances length and wind resistance, resulting in a drag coefficient of Cd=0.26. The development effort, led by chief engineer Shigeyuki Hori, led to 530 patents for the vehicle.
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 Toyota Camry is a family-sedan archetype, a seasoned veteran to which upstarts are inevitably compared. Gone, however, is the sleepy style of Camry's past. Today's Camry is lower, sleeker and sportier, but it doesn't sacrifice interior space in the bargain. The Camry's standard engine is a somewhat coarse four-cylinder that balances power and fuel economy, but the optional V6 offers spirited performance in high-end models. Serious fuel-watchers will want to consider the Camry Hybrid and its eye-popping EPA rating of 52 mpg combined. Although the Camry's subpar infotainment system and intrusive safety features drag down its standing among the best in this class, it's still a fierce rival. See the Camry in our Sedan rankings