Toyota is adding an electrified all-wheel drive system as part of a refresh of the Prius for 2019 that should improve sales in the Northeast and other snowy states.
The system would reduce fuel economy from the current front-wheel model only slightly. Toyota expects the AWD Prius to deliver 52 miles per gallon in city driving, 48 mpg on the highway, and 50 mpg combined. The FWD Prius has been rated by the EPA to deliver 54 mpg in the city, 50 mpg on the highway, and 52 mpg combined.
Toyota expects the AWD Prius to account for about 25% of Prius sales. The company unveiled the vehicle ahead of the LA Auto Show.
Toyota is realigning its Prius lineup for 2019 and will offer it in L, Eco, LE, XLE, and Limited models rather than the alphanumeric nomenclature. Executives are considering discontinuing the Prius C, in addition to the Prius V, which is no longer sold in the U.S.
The 2019 Prius will add standard safety equipment in the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) package that includes automatic braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.
Toyota is also refreshing the vehicle's exterior styling.