Her + His Car Reviews

2019 Toyota Prius Hybrid XLE AWD

Our car reviews are innovative and interesting as we provide insightful and expert reviews from both Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$30,945 Base prices range between $23,770 - $32,200
Here is what we love about this year's 121 horse powered 2019 Toyota Prius. After almost two decades of leadership in the hybrids market, Toyota adds a twist by introducing the AWD to this classic. The cool (not an intention pun, but it will do) thing Toyota did here on this AWD model is they have added a 6.5-Ah Nickel-Metal Hydride pack. What is item all about? It delivers a higher level of performance specifically in colder weather. Novel. I really enjoyed driving the Prius, and I'm pretty sure most prospective buyers will be pleasantly surprised when they take it out for a spin. I thought the driving experience was surprisingly lively, and I never felt that the Prius was not up to snuff in terms of handling and highway driving.
Fuel Economy
Simply outstanding 50 mile combined/52 city/ and 48 highway. Toyota Prius' powertrain system consists of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors/generators. Together, the combined 121 horsepower is sent through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to the front wheels. The AWD-e models add an electric motor for the rear axle. Fuel economy is 54/50/52 mpg.
The Car
Kudos to Toyota for adding the All-Wheel Drive to the Prius this 2019. Here's the two-fold thing to note, the ground clearance is tight at 5 inches. Secondly, this model comes with standard tires that are narrow, so there is a small or a narrow space of traction available. It doesn't mean that the AWD doesn't count, but rather there is not a huge amount of ground to catch hold to. With the All-Wheel Drive, the total packaging capacity is down to about 25 feet.

JD Power reports that when it comes to the buyers of this model, roughly half identify as Baby Boomers and median household income is a remarkable $96,400. Yet one of the top features that appeals to these buyers about the Prius? The Mileage.

Manual adjustments on seats in the 2019. Climate control is lacking in two areas. The speed in which heat and air are distributed in paramount. Secondly, the locations they are placed; there needs to be more strategic air flow generated to drivers and passengers.
Many manufacturers are moving away from making hybrid and e-vehicles because they know that both will make up growing parts of the market share, and they don't want weird styling keeping customers away.

In keeping with that, Toyota has toned down the styling of the Prius considerably in a number of ways, particularly concerning the rear end which, to me at least, was the oddest looking part of the whole car.

For 2019, Toyota introduced an all-wheel version of the Prius and added some new trim levels too. They now are the L Eco, LE, XLE and the Limited. And finally, you can now get a black interior on your Prius instead of having to accept a light interior with an interior that tends to show dirt--a problem shared by all cars with white interiors.

The advantages of buying a Prius are pretty abundant. Not the least reason is the fact that you can get over 50 miles per gallon, and you get a car that really is fun to drive and even peppy. I've heard other auto writers claim the Prius is sluggish, but that is not my experience. Toyota has also designed the Prius in a way that it has a lot more visibility potential on all sides.

Drawbacks? Let's start with the weird shifter and the process that goes with using it. It's fine when you get used to it, but there is a learning curve that comes when you are shifting gears. The instrument panel is informative to a fault, but I still wonder if everyday drivers actually pay close attention to all the gauges, graphs and whatever. I could make a case that the wealth of info could also be a distraction. And the infotainment system is both counterintuitive and more complex than comparable systems in other products I've tested.
Toyota Safety Sense with Pre-Collision Pedestrian Detection System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Road Sign Assist (like stop signs and lights), Lane Tracing Assist, Adaptive Front Lighting System points Headlight beam exactly where the wheels are steered. Our 2019 tester came equipped with the Advanced Technology Package that had the Heads Up Display. Included are Adaptive Headlights and Automatic Headlights that level out. Of course, Push-Button Start and Proximity Keyless Entry are a given. Safety equipment includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Intelligent clearance sonar alerts that let the driver know if there are obstacles near your Prius during low speed driving. Other than that, nothing exceptional worth noting here; but it does feature every commonly installed safety equipment used these days on most cars.
Supported by 17"alloy wheels, this 2019 boasts plenty of tech features. Let's begin: The Infotainment system - its good, but not great, as the responsiveness is not there. Apple - Apple CarPlay still is not available on the Prius, which is a huge miss, considering the demographic buyer, mentioned above. There is Voice Recognition, Bluetooth, 3 USB Ports, Climate Control.

Moonroof. Sirius® satellite radio, HD radio, AM/FM. JBL audio system with a remarkable 10 speakers Wireless charging bed for enabled smartphones, navigation, an 11.6" touch screen.
The 2019 Toyota Prius is a four-door hatchback that seats five passengers. Standard features include 15-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED running lights and taillights, heated mirrors, keyless entry (driver door only) and ignition, automatic climate control, dual 4.2-inch driver information screens, adaptive cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a 60/40-split folding rear seat.

The 6.1-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a front USB port and two rear charge ports and a six-speaker audio system. Standard safety features include automatic high beams, forward collision warning, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking and lane departure warning and intervention.

Next up? The LE. Standard features, along with what you get with the L Eco, include a rear window wiper, front seatback pockets, a spare tire, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and an automated parallel parking system.

If you want more, try the XLE. Its standard features include 17" wheels, automatic wipers, keyless entry for the front passenger door and rear hatch, SofTex simulated leather upholstery and wrapped steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a semi-gloss black center console and a wireless charging pad. It also reverts back to the tire inflation kit.
Aesthetics & Styling
Toyota really does own the hybrid market. They have been a leader through-n-through for almost two decades with the Prius sedan alone. The exterior is upgraded with its design language that is uniquely Prius, and yet shows they are not standing still.

Toyota designers update the headlights (almost) to a 45 degree angle, as well as the geometrically designed taillights and new bumpers have unique appeal. No bumper or replacement tire in the new 2019 XLE.

The XLE model include SofTex leather- type upholstery as well as steering-wheel trim, wireless smartphone charging, rear-view mirror which auto dims, and the high gloss console. Cupholders aplenty. 60/40 split folding rear seats easily collapse for more packing capacity in the back of this hatchback.
3 Years/36,000 miles for Basic. 5 Years/60,000 Drivetrain. Roadside Assistance is provided to all new buyers for 3 years. 8 Year/100,000-mile warranty for Hybrid-related components. The basic warranty is for three years or 36,000 miles. The drivetrain warranty is five years, or 60,000 miles and roadside assistance is good for three years of unlimited mileage.