It took you long enough, Toyota! For the 2020 model year, the Prius finally gets Apple CarPlay as standard along with Amazon Alexa regardless of trim level or drivetrain layout. The latter part might come as a surprise to some people who haven’t heard that the Prius is available with AWD-e in the United States.
The system is called AWD-i over in Europe because marketing, and as you can tell, the biggest difference over the front-wheel-drive Prius is the addition of an e-motor that serves the rear axle. Customers in the market for the L Eco, LE, and XLE are treated to Toyota Audio 7.0-inch infotainment as standard, but the Toyota Safety Sense P safety suite is featured from the get-go regardless of grade.
What’s known for short as TSS-P uses a monocular camera and millimeter-wave radar to detect a pedestrian, vehicle, lane markers, and headlights in the front of the Prius. Active safety further includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist thanks to the electric steering rack, auto high beams, and full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control.
Under certain circumstances, the Prius operates in battery mode alone, and because of this… let’s call it feature, Toyota incorporated a Vehicle Proximity Notification System. The VPNS alerts pedestrians and cyclits when the car is driven in EV mode because the tire noise is almost inaudible at that kind of speed.
Prius AWD-e customers shouldn’t be afraid of the added complexity and weight of the second electric motor because the efficiency is outstanding nevertheless. 52 miles to the gallon city and 48 miles to the gallon on the highway result in 50 mpg on the combined cycle, an extraordinary feat in every respect.
It should be mentioned, however, that the magnet-less rear motor propels the rear wheels from a standstill up to 6 miles per hour, then when more traction is needed, at speeds of up to 43 miles per hour. These said, let’s talk pricing!
$24,200 is the bottom line excluding destination charge, and the Limited reigns supreme at $32,375 for the 2020 model year. The most efficient Prius of them all also happens to be the cheapest, namely the L Eco with 58 miles to the gallon in the city and 53 out on the highway.