At the 2018 L.A. Auto Show, Toyota unveiled its facelifted Prius, and for the first time ever, the popular hybrid car is being offered with an all-wheel drive in the United States.
Called the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e, it will start at $27,300 in the LE flavor, informs CarsDirect, quoting official order guides. For the sake of comparison, the front-wheel drive Toyota Prius LE is cheaper by $1,400.
Meanwhile, the Japanese automaker will offer the 2019 Prius all-wheel drive in XLE trim too. This will set buyers back at least $29,740, or a mere $1,000 more than the regular XLE, which can be had from $28,480. Prices include the $920 destination charge.
The all-wheel drive system in the 2019 Toyota Prius has an additional electric motor that powers the rear wheels. It works at up to 43 mph (69 km/h) and takes juice from a new nickel-metal hybrid battery, located under the rear seat – said to have been developed to provide great performance in cold weather states. When the system detects slip, it automatically activates the AWD to improve traction, but under normal driving conditions, the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e remains front-wheel driven.
Toyota estimates a fuel economy rating of 52/48/50 mpg (4.5/4.9/4.7 l/100 km / 43.3/40/41.6 mpg UK) in city/highway/combined, which should make it one of the most fuel-efficient AWD passenger models on sale.
In addition to the AWD system, the 2019 Toyota Prius also features a few styling updates on the outside, a couple of new exterior colors and a revised steering wheel.