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]
The Audi A6 has been redesigned for 2019 with an emphasis on evolutionary improvements. Like its predecessor, the new A6 delivers space, technology, luxury and performance in spades, but it's more refined and advanced than ever. Most of the changes for 2019 center on the A6's technology offerings, including additional advanced driver safety aids and a new dual-touchscreen interface that replaces the old knob-based MMI system. Equipped with a velvety-smooth turbocharged V6, the A6 won't leave you pining for more acceleration, although you may find yourself wanting a softer ride. With its typically European sporting bias, the all-wheel-drive A6 rides a tad firmer than some shoppers might prefer, but it's a remarkably well-rounded car overall. See the A6 in our Sedan rankings
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.
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The Prime has an EPA-rated all-electric range of 25 mi (40 km), over twice the range of the first generation model, and an EPA rated fuel economy of 133 mpg‑e (25.9 kW⋅h/100 mi) in all-electric mode (EV mode), the highest MPGe rating in EV mode of any vehicle rated by EPA with an internal combustion engine. Among all-electric cars, only the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a higher energy efficiency, rated at 136 mpg‑e (25.3 kW⋅h/100 mi; 15.7 kW⋅h/100 km).
Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief R. James Woolsey, Jr. drives a Prius because of its low fuel consumption. Woolsey noted the volatility of the Middle East, coupled with anti-US sentiment in much of the region. Noting that the high percentage of oil drilled in the Middle East gives vast profits to Middle Eastern regimes, Woolsey believes that it is a patriotic obligation to drive more efficient vehicles. In a Motor Trend magazine article, Woolsey stated that those oil profits find their way to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, meaning that Americans who buy inefficient vehicles would, in effect, be indirectly funding terrorism. "We're paying for both sides in this war, and that's not a good long-term strategy," said Woolsey. "I have a bumper sticker on the back of my Prius that reads, 'Bin Laden hates this car.'"
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.
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.
The Nissan Altima is newly redesigned, and it shines. It’s got two new engines with continuously variable automatic transmission, plus the option of all-wheel drive ($25,250) — even better: it’s sporty. But if you want an even sportier version, choose the SR model, with 19-inch wheels and a 248-horsepower engine ($25,250). It’s also got Android Auto standard, but unfortunately no hybrid option.
As the Prius reached ten years of being available in the US market, in February 2011 Consumer Reports examined the lifetime and replacement cost of the Prius battery. The magazine tested a 2002 Toyota Prius with over 200,000 miles on it, and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles tested by Consumer Reports 10 years before. The comparison showed little difference in performance when tested for fuel economy and acceleration. Overall fuel economy of the 2001 model was 40.6 miles per US gallon (5.79 L/100 km; 48.8 mpg‑imp) while the 2002 Prius with high mileage delivered 40.4 miles per US gallon (5.82 L/100 km; 48.5 mpg‑imp). The magazine concluded that the effectiveness of the battery has not degraded over the long run. The cost of replacing the first generation battery varies between US$2,200 and US$2,600 from a Toyota dealer, but low-use units from salvage yards are available for around US$500. One study indicates it may be worthwhile to rebuild batteries using good blades from defective used batteries.
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.
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.
In general, one of the advantages of a sedan over many crossovers and SUVs is better gas mileage. In addition to good mileage, our picks received high ratings from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts and consumers on Edmunds. They also received at least a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and/or were a top pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (All reviews are up to date at time of publication.)
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.
In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax. Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations' International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.
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.
In late November 2018, for the 2019 model year, the U.S. market Prius lineup introduced an all-wheel drive model featuring Toyota's E-Four system. This has been available for the Japanese market Prius since 2015 and the hybrid versions of the RAV4 and Lexus NX. Also, the Prius received a facelift with redesigned headlights and taillights, which was released in Japan on December 17, 2018.
The Prius picked up its trademark hatchback configuration for 2004, moving from a compact to a mid-size with improved backseat room. Horsepower from the gas engine and electric motor increased to 76 and 67 hp, respectively. First advertised at 60 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway, the numbers went to 48/45 with revised EPA ratings. A new gear shifter added a “B” for engine braking. Safety ratings improved, and side airbags were standard.
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.