Extra traction won’t break the bank when it comes to the new all-wheel-drive Toyota Prius that was unveiled at the 2018 LA Auto Show last week. CarsDirect reported Monday the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e will start at $27,300, which includes a $920 destination charge.
In comparison to the standard Prius, which sends power to the front wheels, AWD adds just $1,400 to the final price for a Prius AWD-e LE trim. An XLE trimmed Prius includes more comforts and the AWD system for $29,740, which reflects a $1,000 upcharge for the extra traction the third electric motor provides. The XLE trim also adds heated seats and a power driver’s seat.
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The Prius AWD-e adds the third electric motor to power the rear wheels at speeds up to 6 mph during launch. After 6 mph, the hybrid powertrain can send power to the rear wheels when additional traction is needed up to 43 mph. Most of the time, the car will still operate in front-wheel-drive until the system detects slip.
For those who seek to maximize their green credentials, Toyota said the third electric motor that powers the rear wheels does not feature a magnet, which means no additional precious Earth materials are farmed in the making of the Prius AWD-e.
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Fuel economy suffers slightly from the AWD setup. Toyota expects the hybrid will return an estimated 52 mpg in the city, 48 mpg on the highway, and 50 mpg combined. The standard Prius returns an estimated 58/53/56 mpg. Buyers will also find slightly tweaked styling for all 2019 Prius models. Front and rear fascias receive minor touch-ups and two new colors join the exterior palette: Supersonic Red and Electric Storm Blue. AWD-e models also gain a new 15-inch alloy wheel design.
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