First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
Otherwise, the Prius AWD-e is similarly outfitted as its front-wheel-drive stablemates. The added weight (between 145 and 170 pounds) and power needs for the extra motor minimally affect the Prius' exemplary fuel efficiency. Toyota estimates the AWD-e will return 50 mpg combined, compared to the EPA-estimated 52 mpg for the standard Prius and 56 mph for the L Eco model. Also to Toyota's credit: The added mechanicals don't affect rear passenger space or cargo capacity. To make room for the extra hardware, Toyota did have to use a small gas tank; fuel capacity drops from 11.3 to 10.6 gallons on the AWD-e.
The Prius is a power-split or series-parallel (full) hybrid, sometimes referred to as a combined hybrid, a vehicle that can be propelled by gasoline or electric power or both. Wind resistance is reduced by a drag coefficient of Cd=0.25 (0.29 for 2000 model) with a Kammback design to reduce air resistance. Lower rolling-resistance tires are used to reduce road friction. An electric water pump eliminates serpentine belts. In the US and Canada, a vacuum flask is used to store hot coolant when the vehicle is powered off for reuse so as to reduce warm-up time. The Prius engine makes use of the Atkinson cycle.
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.
For the first time, the 2019 Toyota Prius is available with all-wheel drive. Its outward appearance is also slightly revised in an attempt to attract more buyers. The updates include new front and rear bumpers, more paint colors and wheel designs, revised LED head- and taillights, and a fresh rear hatch. Inside, the cabin layout is unchanged but there are new trim options. The Prius lineup also receives a new naming structure that drops the numerical names of old. Instead, the models now have titles that are similar to other Toyota products.
All 2019 Prius models receive a slight styling refresh that replaces some polarizing body panels with more conventional ones. The unusual marker lights that used to drop below the main headlights are gone, as are the awkward creases in the front fascia directly below them. The same holds true for the taillights that now have a more horizontal orientation.
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.
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".
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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.