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The Toyota Prius AWD-e is equipped for inclement weather

Toyota has added all-wheel drive to the Prius, making it even more useful to buyers in the Snowbelt.

jake-holmes
Jake Holmes
2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e
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The Prius has a new option for 2019: all-wheel drive.

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The Prius AWD-e adds an extra motor, which powers the rear wheels with up to 7 horsepower and 40 pound-feet at low speeds.

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AWD is only available at speeds up to 43 miles per hour, but that should be plenty for getting drivers unstuck from snow, ice or dirt roads.

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The Prius AWD-e LE and XLE are EPA-rated for 52 miles per gallon city, 48 mpg highway and 50 mpg combined. That's only 2 mpg less, in each category, than an equivalent front-wheel-drive Prius.

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Otherwise, this car drives just like a standard Toyota Prius; though the AWD-e is 145 to 170 pounds heavier than an equivalent front-drive model, you won't feel much of a difference from the driver's seat.

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For infotainment, most models use a 6.1-inch touchscreen with AM/FM radio, Bluetooth, a CD player and aux and USB inputs. The system works well enough, with easy-to-use menus and physical shortcut buttons, though its graphics aren't especially fancy. There are also displays to show the car's fuel efficiency.

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The 2019 Prius is equipped as standard with pre-collision warning and braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. All but the base Prius L has parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring, too.

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Among the interior changes for the 2019 model year are extra piano-black plastic trim, which looks good but is prone to attracting fingerprints, and two extra 2.1-amp USB ports for rear-seat passengers to juice up their gadgets.

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Compared to front-wheel-drive models, the AWD-e costs only $1,400 extra in its LE trim level and $1,000 extra in XLE form. Including destination, the cars cost $27,310 and $29,750, respectively.

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Keep clicking or scrolling to see more of the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e.

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