For people sick of the constantly rising prices of gas, a hybrid is a good option. The Toyota Prius was one of the first hybrids to catch on in the United States and many people feel it is still the best. With impressive fuel economy, ample cargo space, and a new drivetrain option, the 2019 Toyota Prius may be the perfect vehicle for a wide range of consumers. That being said, there are still a few drawbacks that may make certain buyers think twice.
What's New for 2019?
This year, Toyota has gotten rid of the numbered trim levels in favor of their more standard ones. Drivers now can choose from the L Eco, LE, XLE, and Limited. The exterior appearance of these vehicles was also somewhat simplified, although the 2019 Toyota Prius holds onto the iconic teardrop shape. Other than this, changes were minor and included things like changing interior features from white to black.
Potentially the biggest change for this year is the availability of AWD-e, a low-speed all-wheel-drive system that will make the Prius better equipped for handling snow and ice. This new system manages to improve handling while not dramatically reducing fuel efficiency.
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Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Toyota Prius – The Pros
1. Available AWD-e
This new drivetrain option is unlike anything else currently out there and designed to give drivers more traction. It works at low speeds, turning on automatically until the vehicle reaches 6 MPH. After this, it will turn on and off as needed until the car reaches 43 MPH. From there on, the Prius will behave like a normal front-wheel-drive vehicle. This is necessary to keep the fuel efficiency up to the Prius's standards.
2. Fuel Economy
Speaking of being fuel efficient, one of the biggest reasons for wanting a hybrid remains fuel efficiency. The 2019 Toyota Prius base level trim, known as the L-Eco, gets an astonishing 58 MPG in the city and 53 MPG on the highway. There is a range of 589.9 on the highway and 655.4 in the city. The next trim levels get impressive numbers when equipped with FWD, at 54 MPG in the city and 50 MPG on the highway. Drivers who decide they want to take advantage of the AWD-e do not miss out on much fuel economy. These versions still get 52 MPG in the city and 48 MPG on the highway.
3. Plenty of Cargo Space
Although the 2019 Toyota Prius may not look very big from the outside, there is plenty of room in the cargo area. When the backseat is up, consumers will find 27.4 cubic feet of space. Those needing more room can easily fold down the backseat, providing them with 66.5 cubic feet. Drivers will enjoy the fact that they can fold down the backseat without having to move up the front ones.
4. Quiet Cabin
One of the best things about hybrids is that they are relatively quiet. What makes the 2019 Toyota Prius a step above the competition is that it remains quiet, even when the gas engine engages. When it is in EV mode, it is so silent that it is hard to tell it is even on. Consumers will also be impressed with how little wind noise there is once they get on the highway.
5. Great Front Visibility
Toyota designed the Prius in a way that makes visibility great, particularly out the front. The windows are nice and large and the dashboard is low, providing drivers with an unobstructed view of the road ahead. Although the rear visibility is somewhat impacted by the sloped roof, drivers will still be able to see behind the vehicle adequately.
6. Smooth Ride and Handling
The new Prius rides very comfortably, both around town and on the highway. Toyota managed to find the perfect balance between bouncy and stiff to give drivers a smooth ride. The vehicle manages to glide along, even when drivers encounter bumpy pavement. Drivers will find the steering to be responsive and the handling to be quite agile, making the Prius fun to drive and comfortable to ride in. Cruise Control does an impressive job of maintaining speed, even when going up or down a hill.
7. Spacious and Comfortable Front Seats
Drivers are very impressed with the amount of front head, shoulder, and legroom found in the new 2019 Toyota Prius. The seats are made from a comfortable material that is perfect for even long rides. There is just the right amount of side bolstering to offer support without making the driver or front passenger feel like they are being squeezed.
8. Well-Equipped Trim Choices
Toyota offers four different trim choices for the Prius in 2019, making it likely there is a good option for every budget and list of needs. Even the base level L Eco comes with many great features, such as LED lights and a push-button start. Drivers who simply care about fuel economy will be more than happy with this trim, which is the most efficient and has the smallest price tag. Every trim level up adds even more until consumers get to the top-of-the-line Limited. On this trim, drivers will find an 11.6-in. high-resolution touch-screen that adds navigation to the Prius. This trim also adds an Adaptive Front Lighting System that can swivel the headlights as needed to give drivers the best view possible.
9. Standard Toyota Safety Sense P
Although active driver assistance features are becoming more common, many vehicles only offer them on their upper trims. This is not the case for the 2019 Toyota Prius. Each and every trim is equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of features. This includes useful safety technology like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane-Departure Warning. Additionally, each Prius is equipped with eight airbags and the Star Safety System. Within this system, consumers will find Smart Stop technology as well as Brake Assist. The 2019 Toyota Prius received a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
10. Aerodynamic and Eye-Catching StyleThe iconic teardrop shape of the Prius isn't just about looks, it's also about making the car as aerodynamic and fuel-efficient as possible. Consumers will find an active shutter grille, underbody panels, and aero stabilizing fins on the 2019 Toyota Prius. These features all help to increase airflow. The fact that the shape makes the vehicle attractive and instantly recognizable is just a bonus.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Toyota Prius – The Cons
1. Sluggish Acceleration
While no one expects a hybrid to be particularly quick, the 2019 Toyota Prius is quite slow on the acceleration. It takes approximately 9.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60 MPH, which is slower than many other options. Around town, however, the Prius tends to have enough "zip" to get by. On the highway, acceleration is adequate enough that merging is not a major hassle.
2. Outdated Smartphone Integration
One of the most surprising things about the new Prius is that it lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two features that are standard on most new vehicles. Instead, the Prius relies on Entune, something many consumers find to be inferior to those features. Generally speaking, the Prius offers adequate tech but seems to lag a bit behind the competition in this area.
3. Lacking Rear Leg Room
Although those sitting up front will have plenty of space, rear passengers may feel a bit cramped, especially if they are on the taller side. When consumers factor in the slope of the roof, they may find the backseat to be a bit too small to suit their needs.
How it stacks up to the competition
Drivers looking in the market may also consider the Ford Fusion or Chevrolet Volt. As good as those vehicles are, they do not get the same fuel efficiency. The Fusion gets an EPA estimated 42 MPG combined, while the Volt gets 45 MPG. This is not nearly as good as the Prius's average of 52 MPG combined. Additionally, the Prius has a larger fuel tank than the Volt. It also has a much larger rear cargo area than the Fusion. The 2019 Toyota Prius edges out the competition in these key areas for consumers interested in a hybrid.
The 2019 Toyota Prius has a lot to offer potential buyers. This hybrid has a lot more going for it than fuel economy, although that is undeniably a big part of its appeal. Consumers are sure to be impressed by the large amount of cargo space, as well as how well this vehicle rides. It is a great choice for anyone who is not bothered by the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the end of the day, the 2019 Prius is a smart buy for many compelling reasons.
• Why buy a 2018 Toyota Prius? w/ pros vs cons