2020 Toyota Prius gains four-wheel drive

The 2020 Toyota Prius has been launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with subtle interior and exterior design tweaks, a new infotainment system and – for the first time in Europe – optional four-wheel drive.


It might retain its unique looks, but the Prius’ design now shares more with the rest of Toyota’s current range, with cleaner lines and exterior lighting. There are slim LED headlights that provide a wide field of illumination and the rear light clusters now continue onto the hatchback to make the Prius appear wider. There’s a new treatment for the tail too, with inverted trapezoids now framing the number plate. Two new colours: Emotional Red and Aqua Breeze will be added to the configurator, along with a new set of 17-inch alloy wheels and dark grey ‘wheelcaps’ for 15-inch wheels. Inside, the Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system is now faster to respond and you can use similar pinch and swipe gestures to your smartphone. The head-up display can now show turn-by-turn navigation instructions, and the wireless charging tray has been made larger to accommodate the trend for large screens. The updates are rounded off with small changes to the centre console and upholstery, with a new layout for some controls.

2019 Toyota Prius

2019 Toyota Prius

Based on the highly flexible TNGA GA-C platform, the latest Prius will be offered with optional four-wheel drive, branded Hybrid AWD-i. It uses a high-torque electric motor to power the rear wheels at speeds of up to 7mph, helping the Prius pull away in slippery conditions. Between 7 and 44mph, the rear motor can also come into play in conditions such as snow or heavy rain. The Prius Hybrid AWD-i is fitted with a new compact nickel-metal hydride battery that’s particularly good in cold weather, according to Toyota.

Pricing and specifications haven’t been announced yet, but the new Prius will make its European debut at the Brussels Motor Show in January.

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