By on November 28, 2018

While we’re not sure if consumers were ever really clamoring for an all-wheel drive Prius, Toyota has decided to grace North America with one for 2019. And it would have been a monumental surprise for the kissless virgins that make up the brunt of automotive journalism, had Toyota not already telegraphed its move by selling the model in Japan.

That’s alright, though. Average Joe had no clue such a vehicle already existed in Asia and we’d imagine most Prius fans will just be happy they’ll have an opportunity to buy one that can conquer snowy, mountainous terrain. Whether or not the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e can traverse glaciers on a thimble of fuel remains to be seen, but this seems like a wise move. People are constantly coming up to us and explaining how they “have to have” all-wheel drive and Toyota’s premier hybrid could certainly use a sales boost right now.

Perhaps this mid-cycle makeover can help with that. 

After peaking in 2012, domestic Prius family volume took a serious hit. Deliveries within the United States for 2017 were roughly half what they were a few years earlier. Meanwhile, 2018 looks like it’s shaping up to be one of the worst periods the model has seen in over a decade. Only the plug-in hybrid is gaining any ground right now.

If you’re wondering what went wrong, there really isn’t much to say. The Prius simply has more direct competition now and lost some of its other-worldly appeal with the green crowd. It also happens to be playing host to some pretty questionable styling at the moment.

The point is, the Prius isn’t broken, and the manufacturer has done quite a bit to keep it that way. Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) is now standard across the Prius range, all-wheel drive is newly available, and so are vastly improved exterior aesthetics.

While the company should be praised for trying something different, it didn’t quite come together upon execution. Toyota was smart in toning town the Prius’ polarizing looks for 2019. The prominent headlamps still ride along the edge of the hood, but they don’t melt into a perplexing series of creases on either side of the grille. It retains the more subtle aspects of the previous styling, ditching exactly what it needed to stop it from looking quite so “bold.”

However, Toyota revising the Prius’ alien-like fashion sense is only half the story. You want to know about the AWD-e models. For 2019, the base Prius will remain a front-drive vehicle. However, customers will have the option to configure their vehicle with Toyota’s electric all-wheel drive system. The catch is that they’ll have to purchase an LE or XLE to do so. Base L Eco trimmed vehicles and upper-crust Limited models will be FWD only.

Fun Fact: Toyota ditched the numerical trims for the Prius to bring the model in line with the rest of its fleet.

The system appears similar to what it offers in its existing hybrid crossovers. Rather than running a driveshaft down the vehicle’s length, AWD-e positions an entirely separate electric motor at the rear. That unit is responsible for spinning the back tires under 6 mph and will continue working up to 43 mph as needed. When it isn’t, the system defaults to front-wheel drive, improving fuel economy.

Speaking of which, Toyota claims the Prius AWD-e should be capable of averaging 52 mpg in the city and 48 mpg highway. Meanwhile, the rest of the family should lay down roughly the same numbers as last year — 54 city and 50 highway, with the L Eco doing slightly better.

As previously mentioned, the new Prius also receives the Toyota Safety Sense P driving aid bundle as standard equipment. That includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane-keep with assist.

That’s the important stuff covered, but we did notice it wasn’t quite as robust as the safety tech on some of Toyota’s other models. It’s a similar story with the multimedia setup. The 2019 Prius will march onward with the 6.1-inch Entune infotainment system it had last year, not the larger upgraded unit we saw in the new RAV4. It’s a trifling matter, especially considering there’s a good chance the larger touchscreen might not even fit, but still worth noting if you want to cross shop.

The 2019 Prius is currently on display at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show (probably adorned with a few of the automaker’s new accessories), sharing space with the 2020 Corolla Hybrid and Toyota’s new TRD sedans. Let us know which one you think it the most exciting and be serious. We don’t need the comments section flooded with a bunch of fake praise for the Avalon TRD.

[Images: Toyota]

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78 Comments on “2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e: Conquering Nature, While Saving It...”


  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’m gonna start seeing a ton of these on the commute. If theres one thing Johnson County folk like are Prii and AWD. Maybe steal some sales from Model Xs and P90s …haha
    I actually think it’s a good idea. Subaru probably should get cracking with a 50mpg hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I think this should do pretty good in my area too. The Prius was the best selling vehicle for a number of years and it was the Subaru Outback that knocked it out of that position. The AWD just might help them claw back some of those sales.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Likewise, my parents’ hometown of Ithaca NY full of crunchy granola people went from Volvo wagons to Outbacks, to full on Prius-love, and its’ a hilly place where the Prius’s aggressive traction control caused some real hill climbing issues in the winter, even with snow tires. This AWD version is a smart move. Now offer it on that Corolla hybrid variant!

  • avatar
    afedaken

    ABOUT DAMN TIME. This should have been done years ago.

  • avatar

    Yet another hit for Toyota. These things are flying off the lot while the hapless Chevrolet Bolt continues to be GM’s worst selling passenger car. GM had a chance with the Volt, but they cancelled it. Every time I look at a Toyota I realize how poor GM and the rest of the US industry has become. I would go as far to say GM has a worse lineup now than they had before the 2008 bailout.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      Did you expect the shedding of $48,000,000,000 in healthcare liabilities and a personally hand polished golden parachute for “Rabid” Rick Wagoner to change GM’s culture?

      Amazing isn’t it, a $20,000,000 gift to GTFO of a company you ran into the ground somehow doesn’t inspire a change in corporate behavior.

      May I quote our august founder, Robert Farago? “Even with some pertinent strings, the money will simply enable Detroit to continue its addiction to stupidity, sloth, greed and arrogance.”

      ^ Was true during the “GM Death Watch” series 10 years ago, and is true today….

      • 0 avatar

        The same cycle will repeated at GM for decades to come. The truth is maybe the GM dead watch is still around. We are just less aware of it. I know one thing without their few competitive sedans GM product line is extremely mediocre.

        • 0 avatar
          MoparRocker74

          “As good as prius and tesla model 3”….

          BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

          That’s hilarious that you think D3 should put the bar that far into the septic tank!! The Hellcat Challenger Redeye offers 797 hp, over 20 mpg, the best styling of anything money can buy right now, and is a perfectly suitable daily driver if you should want to subject it to that for well under 6 figures. THATS a car to motivate a person to pursue an education and a good paying job. Not your revenge of the nerds looking….things.

          • 0 avatar

            The Hellcat and other Chrysler muscle cars won’t be around for long. They will fade away like GM and Ford cars and be replaced by trucks and SUVs. Remember, Chrysler muscles cars are based on Merecede Benz chassis’s. Who is going to do the engineering for the next generation Chrysler muscle cars? They will not be around a decade from now.

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            Im stupider for just having read that, AK.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Well, I’m sure FCA will survive just fine on a showroom full of Hellcat Challenger Redeyes. Sure they will.

            It’s a halo car, pure and simple. For it to survive, FCA needs to sell the stuff that actually sells. It’d be easier to do if they had, how’d you put it, “revenge of the nerds looking” things that somehow a huge number of people actually buy so that they could then continue to build what a very small subsection of folks actually buy. It doesn’t seem that hard to figure out. For some people driving isn’t their ultimate form of pleasure. Driving is a chore that merely something that enables them to get to or afford whatever that form of pleasure is.

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            Ultra high performance cars like Redeye are definitely halo cars. They sell all the lower end Challengers as well as other volume vehicles. That, in and of themselves, all challengers MAKE MONEY for FCA!! You don’t seem to understand things like legacy costs which make building low end penalty boxes a guaranteed money loser. That stuff went away because why make 15% profit on a nothing sedan, when a crossover (Cherokee) based on the same components makes 50% profit? Oh and capacity to produce is constrained so you can only crank out X number of total units.

            Ram and Jeep are the big money makers at FCA. Dodge muscle cars are gravy on top. Its a small but profitable niche and there is a small but diehard market that will always buy affordable performance. You can’t succeed as a Detroit automaker without something exciting to get people interested. Detroit sells self gratification and passion. Sure, it’s a big ole ego stroke for alpha male types. But that’s D3’s customer base and they have money. Haters are gonna hate on that because they have a HUGE case of the butt hurt that they have boring miserable lives and boring miserable cars. It’s always easier to tear someone else down to that level than to step up and improve your own life.

            You want a vanilla appliance for a vanilla existence? Go to whirlpool, Maytag, ToyHonSanDai, etc. they have you covered.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            I wasn’t hating on anything, that was purely you in relation to automakers that seem to be making and selling vehicles in enough quantity to actually expand their lineup as well as be extremely profitable overall without concern about the bill collector.

            I perfectly well understand legacy costs and how the domestic manufacturers made some incredibly stupid decisions years ago in a “this quarter” mentality rather than actually thinking long term and thus ended up with those “legacy” costs. Two of those three actually went bankrupt less than a decade ago and are one major geopolitical crisis away from perhaps doing so again. The third is putting all its eggs in a CrewCab sized basket and may well rue the day as well. Once again they seem much more concerned with the next quarter than the next century.

            Have a good evening.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “These things are flying off the lot while the hapless Chevrolet Bolt continues to be GM’s worst selling passenger car. ”

      ummmm….the two cars are not in the LEAST related or comparable in any way, shape, or form.

      Volt is a better comparison, but still not there.

      Please stop comparing a gasoline car (Prius) with a battery electric vehicle (Bolt) and a plug-in hybrid (Volt). You look stupid doing so.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Ya hear that, everyone? This car is FLYING OFF THE LOTS! Never mind that bit in the article about sales being a fraction of what they were and continuing to trend downward. It’s way more fun to ignore pesky facts that ruin a good rant.

      Not even touching on the fact that this isnt a BEV. At best, it’s a plug-in Hybrid, which is not nearly the same as the Bolt.

      Troll on, good sir. I do enjoy the laughs I get from your pathetic attempts at coming off like you have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    Two questions:
    1) Will this continue the extremely asinine Toyota design of having the only front turn signals mounted deep within the bumper as low as humanly possible? How is this legal? There is a front corner amber marker… It doesn’t flash. Mirrors flash to the side only, and are incredibly dim. Assuming a Prius driver actually used their turn signal, there are a shockingly large number of situations where you can’t see it.

    2) Are we assuming the nature we’re saving excludes the abhorrent use of resources for the production and recycling of the batteries? (Thank you, 3rd world nations without environmental oversights!)

    • 0 avatar

      This is a slight design oversight when you consider how bad comparable GM vehicles are.

      The big three are incapable of producing anything as good as the Prius and Tesla model 3.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      they’re saving nothing. Because chinese excavator digging rare earth materials and then chinese processing factory, kill as much earth as prius saves later… if not more

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Then other 100% EVs are far more evil because their batteries are much bigger. The non-Prime Prius battery is only good for about 1.5 miles. It is an essential component of the ultra efficient drivetrain providing instant throttle response and regen braking, but not the bulk energy storage. That is what the gas tank is for.

        On another angle, it will be interesting to see how the trade wars affect the economics of China’s rare earth resources.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Who is this supposed to be meant for? Has anyone paid attention to who actually buys Priuses? Heres a hint: that Prius is their ‘last car’. These have supplanted the beige/grey/merlot Buick putting along in the fast lane 15 mph under the limit with a confused looking blue hair behind the wheel.

    The capability of fwd based awd setups is pretty questionable outside of subaru and a few Jeeps. Even then, fwd and decent tires will do the job 99% of the time. If you need REAL capability…step up to a real 4×4. Outdoorsy active types who actually DO anything aren’t going to have any use whatsoever for an awd Prius. Maybe if granny just HAS to make it to church or the knitting club in a blizzard…

    • 0 avatar
      WalterRohrl

      There are plenty of people that commute in traffic just as bad as that as LA, SF, Dallas, etc but are regularly hit with weather. Chicago, Seattle, Denver, NY, NJ, Philly, etc, probably more cities than with good weather year round. Not everyone wants to drive a “Real” 4WD all the time, but they want to be more secure than regular FWD while spending as little on fuel as possible.

      And before you say that FWD with winter tires is the same as AWD with regular tires, it may be similar but what nobody ever seems to mention is that you can also put winter tires on an AWD vehicle and then it’s simply better than any other configuration. It is possible you have not driven an AWD vehicle, it is not nearly the same as a completely overkill Ram 2500 4WD or whatever. This will likely move some people away from a Subaru.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        I’ve driven awd vehicles. Coming from a background of old school Dodge trucks, Jeep CJs and Wranglers, full-size Broncos (about half had old school manual lockout hubs) that soccer mom oriented lite duty awd stuff is an unacceptable downgrade. It’s fine for posers or those who have very softcore needs, but for me it’s junk. Go big or go home.

        And here’s the elephant in the room: prius drivers are some of the absolute worst on the road if we look at the big picture. Now that trend is going to double down with overconfidence in their awd hybrids piled on. That’s a terrifying thought.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “I’ve driven awd vehicles. Coming from a background of old school Dodge trucks, Jeep CJs and Wranglers, full-size Broncos (about half had old school manual lockout hubs) that soccer mom oriented lite duty awd stuff is an unacceptable downgrade. It’s fine for posers or those who have very softcore needs, but for me it’s junk. Go big or go home.”

          I’ll take a crossover or sedan/wagon with a “lite duty AWD” for slick winter on-road driving any day of the week over a old school part time 4wd system on a 4wd truck. I own one of both currently, both on snow tires. The A4 is vastly more stable and easier to drive, and most of that comes down to one being a sedan with a lower center of gravity and suspension and steering tuned for handling and feel, the other being a tall sturdy truck designed to hold up offroad. But having that Torsen AWD system that shuttles power back and forth on the fly is excellent, versus worrying about shifting into and out of 4wd on mixed traction pavement.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          The biggest posers and the most overconfident drivers on the roads today are those in their lifted and LED’d brodozer versions of Ram 2500, F250/350, Silverados and Wranglers. Full Stop.

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        Jay Leno drove a Volt. A buddy of mine from college, dailies a Prius in LA, and saves his 991 for days off.Makes perfect sense for those who live in congested area.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          “Jay Leno drove a Volt. A buddy of mine from college, dailies a Prius in LA, and saves his 991 for days off.Makes perfect sense for those who live in congested area.”

          Pu$$ie$, both of them. They should both commute in a Hellcat or just make an appointment with Dr. Kevorkian now and get it over with. /s (hopefully that wasn’t needed)

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Actual outdoorsy type capability doesn’t matter in the least for a Prius customer. This will keep the tires from spinning as much in the bingo parlor parking lot, and give Granny peace of mind when that first 1″ of snow falls and her social media is once again full of memes about “everyone forgetting how to drive”. That’s all it takes to sell most AWD vehicles these days.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        You’re absolutely right. Prius’ sales are probably 99.9% to the most car-apathetic consumers out there. It’s always been about hype. The real world savings, the supposedly environmental friendliness, and now any hope of real capability…none of these alleged selling points holds up to even mild scrutiny. It’s simply not there. If you’re genuinely fascinated with high tech and/or electric vehicles or if you’re really deadset on scoring brownie points with the greenpeace and farmers market vegan crowds who will coo approvingly at how much you ‘care’…then at that point I can’t argue that you will indeed get what you’re looking for. This will most definitely sell, and it will be again mostly based on hype…not substance.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Maybe 1% of buyers of 4WD/AWD vehicles actually care if it has any real off road capability and a small fraction of those people who bought them new will actually use the off-road capability.

          People buy AWD vehicles for on road traction not only in the snow but also in the rain.

          The other advantage is that in my state we have mountain passes that have restrictions in the winter. With AWD you are exempt from chain restrictions that 2wd cars are frequently subject to, even if they have proper winter tires. Being able to point to that AWD badge and keep on going is priceless in my opinion and when I cross the passes in the winter if there is any chance of snow I’m not taking any of our 2WD vehicles with winter tires.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Brilliant.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Real winter tires would probably work better for less money on paved streets.
    My buddy who has a fwd Prius says the low ground clearance is a wintertime problem, not sure if the awd rides higher? In the pic above it looks low..like it could pull into the snow pile and get stuck immediately.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Unless the snow is very dense, the rounded front ends and deep front air dams of today’s cars actually act as plows so they only have to drive through a few inches of snow.

  • avatar
    mjg82

    Over a decade of ugly styling and great sales had Toyota believing they could do whatever they wanted with the design, but the ’17 had to have been an inside joke to see how far they could truly push it. Glad they’ve pulled it back a bit, and AWD is an interesting add.

  • avatar
    scott25

    It’ll for sure be a hit, for the few customers who don’t care about ease of entry and exit.

    It’ll tide people over until the crossover-ized Prius V replacement finally shows up.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    This is a comedy. No, really. In the climate with snow where AWD is a king, where it is cold, Prius will not likely reach the MPGe numbers it would in different climate. So, “saving the nature” may be not as big of a thing as it seem at first

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      slavuta-
      True. But you get the benefit of AWD in those states that need it. And you DO ENJOY better millage when the weather warms up.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      And cold weather doesn’t affect ICE mileage?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        -brandloyalty practically no. Unless you warm up for too long. We’re talking 1mpg vs 10 here. But soon you will be able to get your skyactiveX Mazda3 with mileage close to Prius cold-weather mileage. And it will be much more refined and fun car.
        Mileage mostly affected by difference of what is going into gasoline in winter vs summer.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          10mpg less in a Prius likely still beats 1mpg less in most any other car. So there’s that…

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Ya know slavuta, I have lived in severe winters since 1977, have owned 6 different cars here. Being the fuel economy freak that I am, I have kept track of almost every tank’s mpg. In the winters here at 9000 feet in the mountains, fuel economy drops about 15-20% compared to summer. My current Suzuki 4×4 does very high 20s in the summer. mid to low 20s in the winter. Perhaps where you are, winters are milder?

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            ttacgreg,

            even my old Protege, which I drove for 16+ years, never went under 28mpg, winter or summer, almost always @30mpg. I see very small fluctuation in my ’17 Mazda6. May be this is YOUR car has this issue and not cars in general? New cars have better engine temperature controls. These new cars warm up in no time. I remember older cars could idle forever until temp gauge moves.

            Now, when gas was $4/G I was buying new car. I calculated that if I buy Mazda3 vs Prius, with Prius I would break even in 8 years. But for that I had to drive that block. 2011 Mazda3 is fun. Still parked outside and works like a fine swiss clock. There is only one life. Better to enjoy it than dedicate it to saving gasoline for .. who? Right now gas is cheap. I am contemplating on Mustang GT

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      My Prius does not “save nature” in any way. It is every bit a product of the same biosphere and ecology wrecking modern industrial culture that has spread to nations across the planet. With any luck it is simply a smaller toxic foot print. Even if all vehicles on the planet were hybrids, global warming would still be serious. Obviously humans’ current mindset is that they like their materialism. I admit, so do I. If I were king, or Trump, I’d try to set the human race off an a sustainable industrial and economic direction, but that ain’t happening. So enjoy the ride, we are all going down.
      I just happen to like hatchback sedans, and have always valued fuel efficiency. The high tech found the the Prius is icing on the cake for an appreciator of vehicular technology of all sorts.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Prius sales volume for 2018 is off 17.7% down to 75K units sold through October 2018. Toyota “car” sales are off over 80K units YoY through October 2018. This will be the worst year for the Prius since 2004 and represents 11 calendar years since peak Prius in 2007. (NA sales – all variants).

    For some perspective on how truck, ehem, “dependent,” Toyota is becoming, Tacoma sales alone have made up for almost 1/2 of the lost volume, up over 40K YoY through October 2018. C-HR and Highlander sales make up the rest of the gap.

    For some perspective, the executed Cruze has sold 109K units YTD – and in the 3Q press announcement GM stated that about 10% of sales were to rental fleet – which is on par with companies like — Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      WalterRohrl

      I wonder how many Prius sales ended up going to Rav4 Hybrid, Camry Hybrid or even the now available lower trim level Highlander Hybrids (formerly only available in Limited trim) or Lexus hybrids for that matter. The first three generations of Prius got people in the door and talking about it (a LOT) and the fourth may have had the effect of, hey I like Hybrid Toyotas but let’s see what other ones they have. People didn’t buy the Prius because it was all they could afford, they bought it despite the low price.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Part of my rationale for my Prius was that I would rather send my money to Japan for superior sophisticated mechanicals rather than sending money to the sketchy unsavory companies and nations that produce oil.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Your Prius doesn’t use gasoline, oil, mechanical fluids and doesn’t have plastics or pneumatic radial tires? WOW!

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Did I say that? Of course it does, read my longer comment above.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Hmm Edit function not available…..
            It would be interesting to see how much a vehicle’s petroleum demand is fuel burned vs tires, parts, and crankcase oil usage.
            F150 or Prius? Both are modern industrial products. Presumably the Prius is just a smaller footprint. One thing for sure it is a smaller footprint on my wallet than an F150 and easier to park. If I have a job for a pickup truck, I’ll rent one.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        It’s a valid question @WatlerRohrl. However, like all sedans nothing is going to save the Prius beyond the continued robust sales number in Japan. American buyers don’t want cars – we can nitpick that the Prius is a hatchback but it is still a [snark on] dangerous small low to the ground hard to see out of tin can oh my God think of the children and all those big trucks out there [snark off] car.

        It also appears that the tide has turned on the Prius and it now has the stink on it to most buyers that station wagons had in the 80s and minivans had in the 00s and now sedans have in the 10s.

        You want street cred for saving the planet? Thy name is Tesla.

        You want street cred for saving the planet on a budget? Thy name is Nissan.

        You want invisibility while saving the planet? Thy name is Chevrolet.

        You bought a Prius? What, do you actually like driving in the left lane 10 MPH under the speed limit with your headlights off in the rain at night?

        You’ve pointed out what the Prius will become, and it won’t be a Prius. It will be a RAV-4 Hybrid and a Highlander Hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The Prius is definitely fleet heavy, not to rental companies but to Taxi operators, gov’t and business as it has a very low TCO and high up time, the things fleet operators value the most.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      WHAAAAAA?

      You mean Ford and GM aren’t the only ones with sliding car sales being replaced with higher-profit truck/utility sales? Where have you been hiding this information? Who did you have to kill to obtain it? This is crazy! Only the stupid American companies could possibly be guilty of selling fewer cars and more light trucks!

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    The typical recreation of my peer group comprises getting up active and abandoned logging and mining roads as far as possible in Canada’s mountains, summer and winter. To access the backcountry beyond. We want something more civilized than Jeeps but want to own only one vehicle. Today’s small suv’s and Subarus suit us perfectly.

    I have an awd Escape Hybrid. It does just as well as the others navigating obstacles and going up. The weight of the battery actually gives it better weight distribution. I concede the lack of a low gear makes it clumsy for descending steep slippery grades. So I am more likely to put chains on. But it does the job and gets 34mpg US.

    The “silver hair granny going to knitting club” snark degrades comment quality and says more about the poster than the potential owners of an awd Prius.

    Those few of my peers who own aging Matrix’s or Prius’s are also natural customers for an awd Prius.

    And to address the tiresome fwd-with-winter-tires rubbish yet again, an awd with winter tires will do better than an fwd with winter tires. This is accentuated by the weight transfer off the front wheels when climbing.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      Co-worker of mine lives out in the sticks, has to do a commute of 70 miles along a highway that gets a lot of lake-effect snow. Loves his Subaru with winter tires.

      But for “serious” offroad adventures to go hunting or just visiting a remote location, he takes his 1st gen Tundra. Why? He say that he keeps ripping the CV Boots up on the Subbie. It just doesn’t have the clearance for the rougher old logging roads he ends up on.

      Of course the Tundra is better suited for hauling a greasy chainsaw, or loading up a deer or whatnot.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        That’s my take as well: “why not both?”

        Why not Snow tires on an AWD crossover or sedan?

        Why not own or at least appreciate both a classic high-clearance 4wd BOF truck/SUV with low range and part-time 4wd, AND the easy to drive and more efficient AWD vehicle that does great on slick roads?

        • 0 avatar
          Zoodles95

          Agreed. My wife has a Subaru Imprezza now and first thing we did before the winter was get her a new set of Toyo winters to go onto it. She has commuted through some really bad weather already this winter and has had a drama free drive.

          Perhaps not the same difference I noticed on my Ram with winters but worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Easily torn CV boots are a “feature” on Subarus. Just like porous head gaskets, a variety of assorted fluid leaks that are perfectly normal, and premature rust.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          The torn CV boots used to happen because they were positioned very close to the exhaust headers on the flat four, so the rubber would get cooked and brittle over time. Not sure if that is still the case. I don’t really think they rust much faster or worse than anything domestic made in the last decade or so. Subframes are a weak point, but again no different than Fords/Chevies/etc in the salt belt of similar age.

        • 0 avatar
          conundrum

          Been driving Subarus for exactly 20 years. Only two of them since they last so well.

          No torn CV boots, and never added an extra quart of oil between changes either.

          Of course, no doubt you’ve had vastly more experience of Subarus than I have.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            No doubt, the fact there are vastly more people out there who experience issues like oil burning and what not are just mistaken. They must be driving American cars and are too stupid to notice. Glad it was all a big misunderstanding.

  • avatar
    eCurmudgeon

    Sure to be a hit in Boulder.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Clearance is not an issue here in the snowbelt west of Boulder, unless one sallies forth in really strong snowstorms (and even then that is fresh snow that has not set up, and is not much threat to tender front end parts). There are pretty comprehensive plow fleets around here.

  • avatar
    volvo

    I like the Prius overall.

    I would not purchase the current Prius because of the looks.

    The 2019 is not on the Toyota website so I cannot see if the rear has been toned down. If the design is toned down the Prius might well be my next car.

    Since the Prius airdam can be expensively damaged by parking lot curbs and wheel blocks I hate to imagine what would happen when passing over a 6 inch icy snow berm at a driveway or street edge.

    Because of that if I lived in a snowy environment I would think twice before driving any Prius where more than 6 inch clearance is needed. For dry or rainy paved roads the Prius is OK

  • avatar

    I just realized Chrysler will be out of the passenger car business as well.

  • avatar
    Joe Morgan

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see it do well in the Bay Area, even LA. Caltrans waves you through their chain control checkpoints with AWD going into the mountains.

    California’s snowless cities are full of AWD’s, many (for better or worse) just for that convenience alone on that trip to Tahoe/Big Bear.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo

      Exactly. I have an AWD RAV4. Not at all “off road” or sand capable but with all season tires it does breeze right through the Caltrans chain checkpoints during ski season.

      IMO probably not that much more capable under those winter conditions than a FWD car with decent tires but the rules are the rules

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The first time I saw a AWD Hybrid RAV4 I thought “why not the Prius?”

    Toyota finally caught up to some very logical thinking.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    Thanks Toyota for the last pic. It’s in the snow kicking up a nice plume behind it and the lights are off.

    The issue of people forgetting to turn their lights on at dusk or in bad weather is increasing, it seems. I see a couple dozen of these idiots every day on my 1/2 hour commute home. I flash my lights in futility, as most of them have no idea why I am doing so.

    Are we at the point where tail lights should just come on with the DRLs? Maybe just leave it to natural selection, and let the 18-wheeler plow into the rear of it on the highway?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Agreed bunkerman. Also, if we’re mandating things like DRLs, why not add headlights that come on when the wipers are being used?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Ford has been doing the lights automatically go on with the wipers on some of their vehicles equipped with the autolamp feature for a long time, my son’s 01 Grand Marquis for example has it. With computer control of everything it is just a line of code and in some cases an extra wire.

        I’ve heard there are some states that have laws that require lights with wipers though certainly not my state that gets a lot of rain.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And Toyotas seem to be the biggest offenders of driving with no lights thanks to the DRLs, always on instrument cluster lights and a lack of an autolamp feature. At this point DRLs that use the headlights but at a reduced brightness are more of a danger than a safety item.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    I think Prius is a fun little car, and extremely reliable (brother’s 2012 already did 150K miles with just oil changed, and maybe some other expendables like spark plugs). But my problem with it is that you effectively get the ride quality and equipment of a Corolla for the price of a mid-range Camry. In the age of 2-3 dollar gallon of gas, I’d rather have a Camry of course.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      The Camry has finally become a nice looking car but it’s also become a freakin’ land whale size-wise. Having gone indy/wishbone in the suspension dept, the current Prius is finally a good handler, it’s sized right, and it swallows loads of stuff with the hatch. I’d be inclined to take the Prius. It’s pretty neat that Toyota has upped its game to where people who enjoy driving would seriously consider either though, honestly.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    It looks like you’ve run the interior picture from a plug-in Prius Prime with its giant faux-Tesla center stack, not the interior of the ordinary plugless Prius you’re reviewing with its 6.1″ infotainment screen.


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