First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
The Honda Accord Hybrid offers an EPA-estimated 48 mpg combined rating. It comes close to challenging the Prius and gets higher scores elsewhere to even things up. The Accord's interior is especially nice and there's plenty of adult-sized space in every seat. Counting against it: a throttle that can be touchy at high speeds and longer-than-average panic braking distances.
We sampled both the standard front-wheel-drive Prius and the Prius AWD-e on a snow-covered course in Wisconsin to experience the differences firsthand. On a rather conservative uphill grade, the front-drive Prius was unable to find the traction to climb. The AWD-e, in contrast, was able to get up the hill. Its front wheels struggled briefly to pull the car upward until the rear wheels gave it the nudge they needed. There was a slight lateral creep when the front wheels spun freely, but the Prius never felt as though it would veer off the intended path.
The Prius NHW11 (sometimes referred to as "Generation II") was the first Prius sold by Toyota outside of Japan, with sales in limited numbers beginning in the year 2000 in Asia, America, Europe and Australia. In the United States, the Prius was marketed between the smaller Corolla and the larger Camry. The published retail price of the car was US$19,995. European sales began in September 2000. The official launch of the Prius in Australia occurred at the October 2001 Sydney Motor Show, although sales were slow until the NHW20 (XW20) model arrived. Toyota sold about 123,000 first generation Priuses.
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Cumulative Prius sales in Europe reach 100,000 in 2008 and 200,000 units by mid-2010, after 10 years on that market. The UK is one of the leading European markets for Prius, accounting more than 20 percent of all Priuses sold in Europe. Toyota Prius became Japan's best selling vehicle in 2009 for the first time since its debut in 1997 as its sales almost tripled to 208,876 in 2009. In that year it overtook the Honda Fit, which was Japan's best-selling car in 2008 excluding Kei cars.
For 2019, car shoppers have another reason to consider the Prius: available all-wheel drive. The new Prius AWD-e adds an electric motor to drive the rear wheels for better initial traction between 0 and 6 mph and re-engages when front tire slippage is detected at speeds up to 43 mph. If you live in an area that has snowy or icy roads during the winter, the AWD-e could provide extra traction. Fuel economy suffers only slightly with the Prius AWD-e.
On the inside, Toyota has replaced the white plastic interior trim with black glossy and semi-glossy finishes. The Prius lineup has gone through a name change, too, dropping the numbered trims with a more traditional Toyota name lineup of L Eco, LE, XLE and Limited. Feature content remains largely unchanged, which unfortunately also means Apple CarPlay is not yet available. On the plus side, the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of advanced safety features is standard on all Prius trims.
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.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2007 on concerns that quiet cars like the Prius may pose a safety risk to those who rely on engine noise to sense the presence or location of moving vehicles. Blind pedestrians are a primary concern, and the National Federation of the Blind advocates audio emitters on hybrid vehicles, but it has been argued that increased risks may also affect sighted pedestrians or bicyclists who are accustomed to aural cues from vehicles. However, silent vehicles are already relatively common, and there is also a lack of aural cues from vehicles that have a conventional internal combustion engine where engine noise has been reduced by noise-absorbing materials in the engine bay and noise-canceling muffler systems. In July 2007, a spokesman for Toyota said the company is aware of the issue and is studying options.
When the vehicle is turned on with the "Power" button, it is ready to drive immediately with the electric motor. In the North American second generation Prius, electric pumps warm the engine by pumping previously saved hot engine coolant from a coolant thermos before the internal combustion engine is started. The delay between powering the car on and starting the internal combustion engine is a few seconds. The third generation Prius does not have a coolant thermos. Instead, the engine is heated by recapturing exhaust heat. A button labelled "EV" maintains Electric Vehicle mode after being powered on and under most low-load conditions at less than 25 mph (40 km/h). This permits driving with low noise and no fuel consumption for journeys under 0.5 miles (0.80 km). Prior to the 2010 model, the North American model did not have the "EV" button, although one can be added to enable the "EV" mode supported internally by the Prius Hybrid Vehicle management computer. For the N.American market, the third generation can remain in EV mode until 70 km/h (43 mph) depending on throttle and road gradient.
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.
Until September 2012, The Prius liftback was the top selling new car in Japan for 16 months in a row, until it was surpassed by the Toyota Aqua in October, which kept the lead through December 2012. The Prius liftback, with 317,675 units sold in 2012 (including sales of the Prius α), was the best selling car in Japan during the 2012 calendar year for the fourth consecutive year. The Aqua ranked as the second best selling car with 266,567 units sold in 2012. Nevertheless, when sales of the two Prius models are broken down, the Toyota Aqua ranked as the top selling model in Japan in 2012, including kei cars, leading sales since February through December 2012. The Aqua was the top selling new car in Japan in 2013, and again in 2014. Global Prius sales peaked in 2010 with over 500 thousand units sold, and since 2011 sales of the liftback version have declined in most markets through December 2015, and in the US and Canada since 2013.
Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Data plan offered by AT&T. Services subject to user terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services. Visit onstar.com for more details.
Unlike its predecessor, the Prime runs entirely on electricity in charge-depleting mode (EV mode). Toyota targeted the fuel economy in hybrid mode to be equal or better than regular fourth generation Prius liftback. The Prius Prime has an EPA-rated combined fuel economy in hybrid mode of 54 mpg‑US (4.4 L/100 km; 65 mpg‑imp), 55 mpg‑US (4.3 L/100 km; 66 mpg‑imp) in city driving, and 53 mpg‑US (4.4 L/100 km; 64 mpg‑imp) in highway. Only the Prius Eco has a higher EPA-rated fuel economy rating in hybrid mode. The 2017 model year Prime has a different exterior design than the fourth generation Prius. The interior design is also different. The Prime has a four-seat cabin layout, as Toyota decided to improve the car's efficiency to achieve its design goals.
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.