Toyota Improves Prius
Hybridization is now considered commonplace, but it all started two decades ago with the introduction of the first Toyota Prius in the U.S. Today, the Prius remains one of the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles without a plug, with EPA-estimated 58 city / 53 highway / 56 combined MPG fuel economy ratings (Prius Two Eco).
The AWD-e system adds even more options for the iconic Prius model. For 2020, the Prius offers a new Toyota Audio 7-in. Touch-Screen Display on L Eco, LE and XLE, new Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Compatibility standard on all model grades and newly standard Safety Connect on all grades. The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime offers a new fifth seat for even more room, Standard Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM and Amazon Alexa compatibility, two additional 2.1A USB ports for the rear passengers and so much more.
When it comes to the Prius, “Let’s Go Places” can be expanded to “let’s go more places, in more conditions” thanks to the available AWD-e system. Designed to provide more confidence and control when weather and road conditions are less than ideal, the electric all-wheel drive system further expands where Prius can take drivers.
The Prius AWD-e system, first introduced last year, will certainly deliver added traction and confidence for drivers but, in true Prius fashion, the AWD-e will lay claim to being one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive-equipped passenger cars available in the U.S., thanks to manufacturer-projected mpg estimates of 52 mpg city / 48 mpg highway / 50 mpg combined.
Toyota estimates that the AWD-e model could account for as much as 25 percent of annual U.S. Prius sales.
Toyota’s AWD-e system is ideal for Prius. The automatic, on-demand system does not require a center differential or other torque-apportioning device, nor does it need a front-to-rear driveshaft. Instead, the “e” in AWD-e stands for electric. The Prius AWD-e uses an independent electric, magnet-less rear motor (a Toyota first) to power the rear wheels from 0 to 6 mph, then when needed, up to 43 mph. This system provides the power to the rear wheels to confidently pull away from a stop, yet the on-demand system recognizes when all-wheel-drive performance is not needed to provide great fuel economy.
The addition of the available AWD-e system is only part of the wider revisions to the Prius recently, which includes newly refined front and rear exterior styling that includes an all-new front bumper, headlamp design and taillamp design.
The AWD-e models also sport new foglamps and an all-new LED accent lamp. Inside, the Prius receives piano black accents around the shifter, on the steering wheel, and on the center console cover. Interior updates also include two additional 2.1 USB ports and an enlarged Qi wireless phone charging tray.