The Toyota Prius is front-wheel drive since its debut and, although the new 2019 Prius keeps this theme alive, it adds all-wheel drive for electrified peace of mind.
Toyota has made many changes to the 2019 Prius, the most important being the addition of the optional all-wheel drive. At the front, we find the usual mix of a 1.8-liter I4 gasoline engine and an electric motor that powers the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Now, there is also an additional electric motor at the rear that independently powers the rear wheels – but only when needed.
The rear electric motor will provide traction of 0 to 6 km / h on the rear wheel. After that, it will start as needed up to 43 km / h. Otherwise, the car will continue to operate as a front-wheel-drive car, boosting the fuel economy that would otherwise be lost for an always-on system. Toyota estimates that its Prius AWD will bring him 52 km per gallon and 48 km per highway.
AWD will only be available on the two highest versions of the 2019 Prius, XLE and Limited. The L Eco trim base is designed for true economy, with fuel economy estimated at 58 mpg in the city and 52 mpg highway. All other FWD variants are expected to reach 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg in the highway.
What's interesting is that the Prius will actually have two different types of batteries. While the FWD Prius will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery, the AWD variants will use a nickel-metal hydride battery that will fit under the rear seat without impacting the cargo volume. All variants of the Prius have a cargo capacity of 65.5 cubic feet and split rear seats for long journeys.
While the fourth-generation Prius has always seemed to like it or leave it, it's even more polarizing now that Toyota has seen fit to bring it closer to the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime. The standard light-emitting diode headlamps lost the bit that fell on the bumper and in the rear, the taillights were lifted and swung towards the center of the tailgate. There is no doubt for something else, that's for sure.
As before, the group of instruments is mounted in the center of the dashboard, with an available head-up display that brings relevant information closer to the driver's field of vision. While AWD models are equipped with a standard 6.1 inch touch-screen infotainment system, the choice of a limited finish replaces it with the monumental 11.6-inch Prius Prime vertical display.
Toyota has standardized its security systems in almost every car, and the 2019 Prius is no exception. It packs the Toyota Safety Sense P series of driver assistance systems, including automatic braking, adaptive cruise control at full speed, lane departure warning and automatic high beam.
Toyota has not yet announced when the 2019 Prius will go on sale, but we will drive it in just two weeks. So be sure to keep your eyes on Roadshow to see if this extra electric motor is worth it. Price information should be closer to the exit of the car.
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: Do you want a little more electric autonomy of your Prius? Branch it!