The facelifted Toyota Prius hybrid has made its debut at the LA Motor Show and will arrive in South Africa in the first quarter of 2019.
Even though the Prius has never really sold well in South Africa, potential buyers can now look forward to an updated version making landfall early in 2019. The latest Toyota Prius hybrid now benefits from Hybrid AWD-i, a new electric all-wheel drive system that makes use of a high-torque electric motor that provides additional drive through the rear axle when required. The system engages automatically at pull off and at speeds up to 11 kph or when the sensors detect low-grip conditions such as in snow or wet conditions at speeds between 11 and 70 kph.
The system does not compromise on boot space and only impacts minimally on fuel economy and emissions. The Prius Hybrid AWD-i is equipped with a new and compact nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery while the front-wheel drive version comes with a new lithium-ion hybrid battery.
Combined with the electric motor-generators and a 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine, the Prius offers up 90 kW and 142 Nm of torque using a CVT to send power to the wheels.
New look to match
Updated styling gives the Prius a sharper, more refined appearance. A new taillight signature is a nice touch...
In terms of styling, the new Prius features a more dynamic appearance with new slim headlights with twin beam LEDs for better illumination. The rear lights also feature a new lighting signature and the Prius can be had in new colours including Emotional Red and Aqua Breeze. The Prius rides on new 17-inch alloy wheels while the 15-inch wheel caps now feature a dark grey finish.
The interior has been improved with new upholstery finishes as well as changes to the centre console arrangement and controls. A larger wireless charging tray has now been installed and the head-up display now includes turn-by-turn navigation directions. The touchscreen infotainment system has also been updated for faster, more intuitive response and incorporates pinch and flick functionality, much the same as a modern smartphone.
Toyota says that the new Prius can be expected in South Africa in the first quarter of 2019 but local specification, pricing and the availability of the Prius Hybrid AWD-i will be communicated closer to launch.