2020 Toyota Prius AWD-e review: Child’s play

A face only a mother could enjoy. Craig Cole/Roadshow Toyota’s Prius is the OG hybrid. It’s been conserving fuel close to the planet for nearly a quarter century. But this gasoline-electrical auto has not always been a wonderful alternative for economic climate-minded motorists in areas topic to wintertime ice and […]

2020 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e

A face only a mother could enjoy.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Toyota’s Prius is the OG hybrid. It’s been conserving fuel close to the planet for nearly a quarter century. But this gasoline-electrical auto has not always been a wonderful alternative for economic climate-minded motorists in areas topic to wintertime ice and snow. Rectifying this, the automaker introduced a Prius with all-wheel drive, a variant that presents up incredibly very little performance in trade for enhanced traction in sloppy circumstances.


  • Punchy close to-town performance
  • Crazy authentic-planet fuel economic climate
  • Spacious interior

You should not Like

  • Disappointing dynamics, even for a hybrid
  • Will get winded on the highway
  • Ineffective lane-centering

Without even trying, I have averaged nearly 58 miles for each gallon in an XLE-trim AWD-e product, which is, frankly, astonishing. What will make that rating even more spectacular is it consists of plenty of interstate driving at large speeds, a scenario wherever hybrids are normally out of their aspect. These cars tend to be more successful close to town, wherever regular stops and starts help them to recuperate electrical power that would usually be squandered.

According to the EPA’s nebbish selection-crunchers, this all-wheel-drive gasoline-electrical hatchback must produce fifty two miles for each gallon town and forty eight mpg highway. Mixed, it is really rated at an even fifty. On paper at least, this will make the AWD-e product a bit a lot less inexpensive than other versions of the Prius. For instance, the further-miserly L Eco variant stickers at a whopping fifty six mpg combined.

The coronary heart of this car’s tremendous-successful drivetrain is a one.eight-liter I4. In regular use, this engine is good, but it seems like a piece of farm devices when working difficult, sending very little tingles into the floor pan as it strains to shift the Prius. As in other Toyota hybrids, it is really matched to a pair of integral motor-generators, which support give a whole method output of 121 horsepower and close to one hundred and five pound-feet of torque — ample figures, if only just.

The Prius’ engine may possibly not be the most refined or powerful powerplant ever built, but it is really good in daily use. Many thanks to electrical torque, the auto has astonishing close to-town punch, even though it will become fairly winded at highway speeds, gasping for breath at vast-open up throttle as you consider outrun the tractor-trailer promptly filling the rearview mirror.

All-wheel-drive products also aspect a rear-mounted motor that powers the aft tires, bringing seven hp and 40 lb-ft to the social gathering. In regular driving, this arrangement is absolutely seamless. You can under no circumstances recognize the all-wheel-drive method working at all, even though the way it in fact operates is a very little unconventional. That rear motor lends a hand when having off from a halt, powering the aft tires up to six mph. Soon after that, it only kicks in when further traction is needed and only at speeds up to 43 mph. It’s there to give further grip, as dictated by driving circumstances, without the need of reducing fuel performance.

Doing work with the engine and motors, AWD-e variants of the Prius aspect a six.five ampere-hour nickel-steel hydride battery, a a lot less-state-of-the-art layout than the lithium-ion chemistry employed in entrance-drive products. This change supposedly gives greater resilience in extreme temperatures, given that all-wheel-drive variants are more possible to be employed in locations that expertise frigid climate.

This car’s braking performance is great, even though it is really not fairly as seamless as in other hybrids. The pedal is in the beginning light beneath regenerative braking, but then it gets a bit firmer when the pads and rotors occur into play, the changeover involving these two modes is a very little more clear, a contact a lot less clean than in some competing products, even though it is really not awful.

Like other cars built on the automaker’s TNGA system, which consists of all the things from the Camry and Avalon sedans to Toyota’s Highlander SUV, the Prius carries alone properly. Yeah, in this software the journey is a bit floaty, but it is really also refined, with no vibration or coarseness from the road currently being telegraphed to the cabin, even when traversing heinous surfaces. Very little about this structure feels flimsy, crude or low-cost.

2020 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e

Based mostly on how it seems, the Prius’ interior was almost certainly created by aliens.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Prius isn’t really a driver’s auto, so will not expect Porsche Cayman levels of steering precision the wheel is light in your fingers and vaguer than US obscenity legislation. My examination model’s 15-inch wheels are equipped with a established of Bridgestone Ecopia tires. Certainly, they support produce that spectacular authentic-planet fuel economic climate, even though they come to feel like they’re made of wooden, fairly rigid and furnishing very little come to feel.

Lane-departure notify with steering support is standard on all 2020 Prius products, aspect of the Toyota Basic safety Perception P suite of driver aids. This aspect, which calls for you to continue to keep your grubby paws on the tiller at all situations, is pleasant to have. It will gently nudge the auto towards the center of the lane if you occur to kiss a single of the strains, but compared with appropriate lane-centering methods, the car or truck will ping-pong from a single marker to the other if you will not make minor class corrections to continue to keep it in the center. Computerized crisis braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise handle and automatic large beams are standard devices in the Prius as properly.

Matching the Prius’ alien exterior layout is an similarly uncommon interior. Its dashboard is straight-up weird, ostensibly strange for the sake of currently being strange, with no instrument cluster in entrance of the driver. Rather, you continue to keep monitor of pace and other very important car or truck features on a monitor at the base of the windshield or by way of an obtainable head-up display, which is apparent and effortlessly modified to go well with various-sized drivers.

2020 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e

This car’s fuel performance may possibly be stellar, but its infotainment method is mediocre at very best.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Mounted in the heart of my tester’s interior and surrounded by piano-black trim, which appeals to an countless sum of dust and fingerprints, is a seven-inch touchscreen. It’s household to still yet another middling Toyota infotainment method, though Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility are standard throughout the range. Android Automobile is, on the other hand, conspicuously absent.

My XLE tester also has a Qi wireless charging tray, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic notify and parking sensors. Handy things. Heated exterior mirrors and rain-sensing wipers are also incorporated.

The Prius’ tulip-formed digital shifter sprouts from the bottom of the heart stack. It’s oddly satisfying and irritating to use at the same time. It has a pleasant tactile come to feel, but the independent park button is fiddly and the auto beeps annoyingly inside when you shift into reverse. Like, yeah, I know the auto is in reverse I literally just shifted it. I am not certain why Toyota imagined this was required but it is really certainly bothersome.

2020 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e

This entire body was built to cheat the wind, which without doubt assists the Prius return stellar fuel economic climate.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you will not head its uncommon format, the Prius’ interior is nice plenty of, made largely of smooth plastic embossed with a coarse texture. The SofTex leatherette-included seats are cozy entrance and rear, in addition there is plenty of cargo house, up to sixty two.seven cubic feet with the aft backrests folded down, which is about 3 cubes a lot less than entrance-drive versions offer since of the further AWD components.

The Prius AWD-e will come in two trim degrees, LE and XLE. With the $800 Highly developed Engineering Offer, which consists of a head-up display and adaptive entrance lights among other points, in addition a smattering of further minor choices like doorway edge guards and a rear bumper applique, my Prius overview device checks out for a rather modest $31,757, together with $955 in spot charges. Which is not a lot more than an optionless LE product, which can be experienced for appropriate close to $28,000. Of class, if you will not want all-wheel drive, the cut price-basement Prius L Eco product is about 3 grand more reasonably priced than that.

The availability of all-wheel drive in the Prius is a welcome addition. Four-corner traction broadens the car’s enchantment to eco-minded motorists residing in Maine, Michigan, Minnesota or wherever else that receives the wrath of Outdated Male Winter season. If you want a car or truck that is stupidly successful and possible as responsible as a blacksmith’s anvil — and if you will not care about points like pace or design — this is the auto for you.

Rosa G. Rose

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