One of the biggest splashes at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show was made by the new 2019 Prius AWD-e, the first of its kind to be produced by Toyota. And, no surprise, interest in the car is particularly intense in the northern states of the U.S… and in Canada.
As we await pricing for the Canadian market, we can share with you the details regarding the trims and equipment.
The 2019 Prius will be offered in two versions: the Base and the Technology grades. The AWD-e model will be available as an option on the Base and Technology versions, as well as the Technology with Advanced package.
In the U.S., all-wheel drive will be offered on two trims and require an additional outlay of between $1,000 and $4,000 USD, which leads us to think Canadians will have to pay somewhere around $2,000 extra to get the feature.
The Prius Prime will not get AWD as an available feature.
The AWD-e version of the Prius is unique in several ways, starting with its electric motor connected to the rear-wheels is independent and magnet-less. This motor will automatically power the wheels up to a speed of 10 km/h; then it can provide traction as needed up to a speed of 70 km/h.
What that means is that all-wheel drive won’t be accessible when driving at highway speeds – a situation where, in any event, the focus is more on saving on fuel use. Still, this will be something for potential buyers to keep in mind.
The Prius AWD-e gets its electric power from a new Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery, which is smaller and performs better in cold weather, according to Toyota. It placement under the rear seats means that no trunk space is lost (cargo capacity is 1,855 litres with the back seats folded down). The FWD versions will get a lithium-ion battery.
Toyota predicts that as much as 65% of Canadian consumers will opt for an AWD-e version of the 2019 Prius. We’ll let you know as soon as we can what those consumers will be paying for their AWD Prius when it hits the market next spring.