New Toyota Prius Enterprise Version+ AWD 2019 evaluate
The Toyota Prius has change into a vastly standard hybrid because it made its debut again in 1997. With good cause, too: they infrequently go improper, they’re straightforward to drive and, most significantly, they’re actually low cost to run.
And now the most important title in hybrid tech advantages from a refreshed exterior look and minor cabin tweaks in an effort to keep aggressive towards its predominant rival, the Hyundai Ioniq. There’s a brand new mannequin becoming a member of the vary, too.
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That is the Prius AWD: the primary hybrid Toyota exterior of its SUV vary to return with 4 pushed wheels. The additional drive is equipped by a 5.3kW motor and inverter mounted to the rear axle, and is engaged always under 6mph to supply smoother traction when pulling away from a standstill. From six to 44mph it engages solely when the automotive’s sensors detect front-wheel slip, whereas the remainder of the time it operates in front-wheel drive mode.
There’s no mechanical connection to the drivetrain on the entrance, which stays an identical to the remainder of the Prius vary. Which means the combustion ingredient takes the type of a 1.8-litre petrol engine, whereas a front-mounted electrical motor gives additional shove. A small 1.31kWh battery is topped up by a mixture of regenerative braking and, sometimes, the petrol engine appearing as a generator.
On the transfer, the Prius AWD behaves a lot the identical as every other Prius. The powertrain is easy, the steering gentle and exact, and the trip snug. Save for onerous acceleration – when the engine revs rise to an disagreeable drone – refinement is nice, too. The additional weight of the second motor dulls efficiency solely very barely, with the 0-62mph time growing by three-tenths of a second. Nonetheless, it stays completely adept at each pottering round city in close to silence, or sitting at a gentle 70mph on the motorway.
Its predominant promoting level is its gas financial system and, as ever, on this space the Prius completely excels. Our time with the AWD mannequin revealed gas financial system within the high-sixties is feasible at a cruise, whereas heavy cease/begin visitors delivered outcomes nudging 60mpg. The difficulty is, the usual mannequin is healthier nonetheless: CO2 emissions for the front-wheel drive automotive are 3g/km decrease (the hole grows to 10g/km in the event you go for the smaller 15-inch wheels), and it ought to use much less gas, too.
The front-wheel drive Prius advantages from the identical mid-life upgrades as this all-wheel drive mannequin. They tone down the curious appears to be like of its predecessor; the headlights are extra typical and the bumper is a smoother form than earlier than, whereas the rear will get new tail lights and a brand new bumper. There are a few new colors and wheel designs to select from.
Inside, Toyota has labored to enhance the infotainment system. Loading instances have lowered, and it will possibly now recognise pinch and swipe motions to maneuver by menus and maps. Enhancements, sure, however choose any rival set-up – Kia/Hyundai, PSA, or the VW Group – and so they all provide vastly superior tech.
The Toyota’s graphics are fussy, the interface clunky and the small display is low down and never angled in the direction of the driving force which implies that, not solely is it extra of a distraction to make use of, however on-screen data is usually obstructed by a big, diffuse glare. Even the buttons across the exterior really feel low cost and fiddly. A minimum of it’s straightforward to pair a cellphone by Bluetooth.
The digital dials aren’t nice, both, mixing a load of kinds, colors and warning lights right into a reasonably cluttered panel. The one constructive is that the pace is displayed in a big and clear font, however that doesn’t matter a lot as a result of the heads-up show, which might present navigation directions, is brilliant and clear and in your line of sight anyway.
Elsewhere, the Prius is a spacious automotive, simply edging the Ioniq for leg room. The AWD’s additional motor compromises boot area barely, although; the shallower 412-litre load bay is 45 litres smaller than in front-driven variants.
The AWD system is barely supplied within the Enterprise Version+ trim, which affords all you’d ever want by way of gear. The usual package listing consists of dual-zone local weather management, electrical lumbar adjustment on the driving force’s seat, wi-fi cellphone charging, a rear view digital camera, and LED headlights. Security tech is nicely stocked too, with a ahead collision warning system that detects pedestrians, adaptive cruise management, lane departure warning, and street signal help all included.
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So do you have to get the all-wheel drive mannequin? Nicely, no. At £28,970, the AWD prices £1,650 greater than the common Prius. That’s £1,650 extra for a automotive that’s thirstier and fewer sensible than an ordinary Prius, and can solely reveal its traction advantages within the rarest of circumstances.