UPDATE: We've driven the 2019 Prius AWD-e!

  • Now available with optional AWD capability
  • Refreshed exterior styling
  • Toyota Safety Sense now standard across trim levels
  • Up to 65.5 cubic-feet of cargo space behind first row
  • Pricing starts around $23,500

 

For a company with a “Go Places” slogan, the 2019 Toyota Prius is taking that to the next level with the addition of optional AWD-e capability and making getting to those places safer by including Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of safe driving features to every trim level. While pricing isn’t yet available, current Prius models have a starting price of about $23,500.

Does the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e gain on the road and lose at the gas pump?

The big news on the 2019 Toyota Prius comes in the form of an AWD-e system, a first for the well-established, matriarch of hybrids. For those living in inclement weather or looking for increased confidence on the road, it promises to deliver added traction. An independent electric motor will send power to the rear wheels from 0-6 mph for initial traction, then only when needed at speeds up to 43 mph.

Toyota is already claiming the 2019 Prius AWD-e will be the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive-equipped passenger car on the road, with manufacturer-projected fuel economy estimates of 52 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined. LE, XLE and Limited front-drive models have projected fuel ratings of 54 mpg city/50 mph highway/52 mpg combined, but the extra traction from the AWD might be worth the slight hit at the pump.

What else is new on the 2019 Toyota Prius?

Toyota embraced a less is more approach with the refreshed exterior styling on the 2019 Prius. Slimmer headlights and fewer sharp, origami-type angles in the sheet metal give a subtler and less aggressive look to the front fascia.

This fourth-generation Prius is built on Toyota’s new global architecture that includes a new high-strength body structure, multi-link rear suspension, and affords the car a lower center of gravity.

What safety features are available?

All 2019 Prius models, including the Prius AWD-e versions, now come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P. Features include pre-collision warnings with pedestrian detection, lane departure alerts, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.

But does that AWD-e motor compromise cargo space?

Instead of the lithium ion battery that powers the FWD model, a newly developed nickel-metal hydride battery powers the AWD-e.  That compact source of power tucks beneath the rear seat area with a minimum impact on cargo space. Thusly, the AWD-e Prius model's maximum volume measures 62.7 cu.-ft., just shy of the 65.5 cu. ft. of carrying space available in other Prius models.

Don't need AWD-e, and don't mind origami styling? Until they're all gone, dealers are dealing on the 2018 Toyota Prius

2019 Toyota Prius at the LA Auto Show

 

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