With the unveiling of the facelifted Prius last year, Toyota, for the first time ever, also launched an optional electric all-wheel drive system in the U.S.
The Prius AWD-e adds an extra electric motor that powers the rear wheels when needed. It works at speeds up to 43 mph (69 km/h) and improves traction on slippery surfaces.
The all-wheel drive Prius should, thus, appeal to clients living in cold climates, who didn’t see Toyota’s hybrid as a viable alternative until now. Moreover, it now uses a new nickel-metal hybrid battery that’s optimized to work in cold temperatures. It’s placed under the rear seat and, as a result, has no impact on the cargo capacity or rear legroom.
The Prius AWD-e returns an average of 50 mpg (60 mpg UK / 4.7 l/100 km), according to Toyota, a minor drop to the front-wheel drive Prius L that has an average rating of 56 mpg (67 mpg UK / 4.2 l/100 km).
Since this is a part of the the revamped, 2019 Prius, it has a few visual upgrades on the outside, such as the restyled lighting units and bumpers. The interior has been slightly revised as well, but nothing major.
Edmunds traveled to Wisconsin to drive the 2019 Prius AWD-e on a snowy course. The reviewer got the chance to compare the traction of both the AWD and FWD models on the same improvised road. So, is it that big of a difference between the two? Find out right below.