STATUS: All-wheel-drive added in mid-2019 - The Prius was one of the original hybrid nameplates, so it stands to reason that in terms of competition there's nowhere to go but up. But what's this? The redesigned Toyota Corolla has borrowed the Prius's hybrid powertrain for a hybrid model of its own? What impact that will have on Prius sales remains to be seen. The Prius does have some advantages, including a plug-in version called the Prime, and part way into the 2019 model year the all-wheel-drive AWD-e Prius became available. It adds an electric motor to power the back wheels, which works independently of the gasoline-electric power unit in front so there's no driveshaft between the two. The rear motor is activated when the Prius launches below six mph and shuts off when not needed, or 43 mph, whichever comes first. Beyond that speed, it's front-wheel-drive only. Along with the usual standard features, there's a range of standard active-safety technology (emergency braking, etc.) along with a seven-inch touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay) that for 2020 replaces the 6.1-inch unit. The lighter L Eco is the most efficient of the Prius's four trim levels.
Base price (incl. destination): $25,150
Type: Four-door midsize hatchback
Engine (h.p.): 1.8-liter I-4 with electric motor (121 net)
Transmission: Continuously variable (CVT)
Base mpg (city/highway/combined): 58/53/56
Base Weight (lb.): 3,080