Toyota Prius

Toyota’s Prius has been the poster car for those looking to lead a greener life since its second-generation model came online for 2004. Now in its fourth generation, today’s Prius isn’t quite as ubiquitous as it once was, thanks in part to low gas prices, changing consumer tastes and arguably, genuinely weird styling. Today’s Prius has been on sale since the 2016 model year, and the gas-electric hatchback continues to be one of the most efficient cars on the road, while offering markedly more engaging handling dynamics than its forebears.

Starting at $23,475 before options and delivery, the 2018 Prius also features standard lane-departure alert, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision with auto-brake and pedestrian detection. The 2018 Prius offers fuel economy as high as 58 miles per gallon city, 53 highway and 56 combined. If you are looking for the greenest possible model, however, you might want to check out the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime, which offers 25 miles of all-electric range, a more sophisticated infotainment interface and a slightly more conventional appearance.

Editors' Review

Toyota's Prius is the OG hybrid. It's been saving fuel around the world for nearly a quarter century. But this gasoline-electric car hasn't necessarily been a great choice for economy-minded motorists in regions subject to wintertime ice and snow. Rectifying this, the automaker introduced a Prius with all-wheel drive, a variant that gives up very little efficiency in exchange for enhanced traction in sloppy conditions.

Without even trying, I've averaged nearly 58 miles per gallon in an XLE-trim AWD-e model, which is, frankly, astonishing. What makes that score even more impressive is it includes plenty of interstate driving at high speeds, a situation where hybrids are typically out of their element. These vehicles tend to be more efficient around town, where frequent stops and starts enable them to recuperate energy that would normally be wasted.

According to the EPA's nebbish number-crunchers, this all-wheel-drive gasoline-electric hatchback should deliver 52 miles per gallon city and 48 mpg highway. Combined, it's rated at an even 50. On paper at least, this makes the AWD-e model slightly less economical than other versions of the Prius. For instance, the extra-miserly L Eco variant stickers at a whopping 56 mpg combined.

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The Good ~ Punchy around-town performance ~ Insane real-world fuel economy ~ Spacious interior

The Bad ~ Disappointing dynamics, even for a hybrid ~ Gets winded on the highway ~ Ineffective lane-centering

The Bottom Line If you want to maximize fuel efficiency without even trying, the 2020 Toyota Prius AWD-e is the car to get.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 6
  • Media 7.5

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