First of all, a HUGE thank you to Toyota of Long Beach20 minutes ago
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
Consider that a larger-than-average chunk of the Prius's cost is directed to make possible its advanced powertrain, and the amount of plastic in the interior starts to make sense even as it left us wanting for better trimmings. It could be appointed in sumptuous leather and we'd still take issue with the center-mounted information gauges, which require the driver to take their eyes off the road too frequently. Passengers have plenty of room to spread out in the Prius—there's space for four six-footers thanks to upright seating—but several rivals offer even more legroom for back-seat passengers.
During a brief test drive on dry pavement, we were able to shake loose some rear-drive assistance during aggressive cornering, although this served more to confirm the existence of the rear motor than to improve handling. AWD-e does not bring with it any sort of performance-enhancing torque vectoring; the Prius is still happy to understeer. A few circles in a roundabout ("Big Ben! Parliament!") showed a narrow window of all-wheel-drive operation until stability control aggressively steps in. Given the sedate pace that most Prius drivers maintain, the rear wheels will rarely be powered, which is the way Toyota wants it, a necessity to maintain the Prius's fuel-sipping EPA numbers. On a short snow-covered course, however, the rear motor helped to get the car moving from a stop as promised and kept it moving through an inch or two of the white stuff.
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Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
In keeping with the Prius becoming more mainstream, the numeral-based trim levels have been replaced with a more familiar structure of names including L Eco, LE, XLE and Limited. Of these, the AWD-e will be offered only in the midgrade trims. As with the previous model, the 2019 Prius will continue to receive an ample list of standard advanced safety features bundled in the Toyota Safety Sense P suite.
The Prius will be available with all-wheel drive — Toyota calls it AWD-e — in its midgrade trim levels. The hybrid system under the hood returns unchanged, but Toyota added another electric motor between the rear wheels. It provides additional traction upon initial acceleration and, when needed, up to 43 mph. In order to better cope with colder climates, Toyota also replaced the usual lithium-ion battery pack with a nickel-metal hydride unit on the AWD-e.
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.
Styling is a matter of personal taste, but we think the Mazda 6 is one of the sharpest-looking sedans in the class. Its swooping lines and creases may not suit everyone's taste, but an anonymous box the Mazda 6 is not. It also backs up its bold looks with outstanding performance. We're not talking about pure speed — although the available turbocharged engine has ample shove — but rather a complete package of taut handling, prompt transmission response, and precise steering that adds gusto to virtually any driving scenario. A cool, modern interior and a dial-controlled infotainment system cap off the Mazda 6's all-around excellence. The lack of all-wheel drive or a hybrid version will keep the Mazda 6 out of contention for some buyers, and its relatively small trunk won't endear it to more practical sedan shoppers. But for drivers seeking a racier edge to the family sedan experience, the Mazda 6 is among the best. See the 6 in our Sedan rankings
This is one of the least expensive luxury midsize cars in its class, and you can get a lot with just the base trim. But should you opt for the 3.3T Sport ($55,250), you can get an upgraded engine, better wheels, added performance and features from the base model’s two option packages. Still, the standard G80 arrives with leather upholstery, an infotainment system and more. Choose between three trim levels, although the base trim comes with features that are better than many other standards in its class. It has a 3.8-liter V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive (all-wheel drive is an option).
The EPA estimates the thriftiest Prius Eco will earn up to 58 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. The other front-drive versions are EPA rated at 54 mpg city and 50 mpg on highway. Those who drive mostly highway miles and like to travel with the flow of fast-moving traffic might be disappointed to learn that the Prius delivered 46 mpg on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test (which we conduct at a steady 75 mph), undershooting its EPA rating by 4 mpg. While we haven't tested an all-wheel-drive model, the EPA estimates it will earn 52 mpg city and 48 highway.
The Prius uses electric motors in the hybrid propulsion systems, powered by a high voltage battery in the rear of the car. There has been some public concern over whether the levels of electromagnetic field exposure within the cabin are higher than comparable cars, and what health effects those fields may present, popularized by a 2008 The New York Times article. However, Toyota and several independent studies have indicated that aside from a brief spike when accelerating, the electromagnetic fields within the Prius are no different from those of a conventional car and do not exceed the ICNIRP exposure guidelines.
In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority, an independent body charged with policing the rules of the advertising industry, ruled that a television advert for the Toyota Prius should not be broadcast again in the same form, having breached rules concerning misleading advertising. The advertisement stated that the Prius "emits up to one tonne less CO